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Posts tagged ‘prayer’

Embrace Gray


Embrace gray?
No way!!
I hate gray!

Especially humid, sultry, gray days.
Smokey days that sting my eyes,
assail my nostrils,
and remind me
of the forest fires in the area.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

People’s homes are in danger.
Firefighters’ lives are at risk.
The habitats of birds and deer,
chipmunks and moose,
squirrels and rabbits
are being devoured.

The smoke blows in.
The sun is hidden.
Gray engulfs our valley.
I hate gray!

And yet, as I sit here
looking out at the gray,
praying for rain
to douse the fires
and chase the smoke away,
I hear the birds chirping in the trees.



They see the same gray sky,
smell the same smoke,
feel the same humid, sultry air,
and yet – they sing!
They dance in the leaves.
They fly free –
knowing a rainbow
sits beyond the gray.

Photo by Paweu0142 Fijau0142kowski on Pexels.com

So, rather than hating gray,
God is challenging me to
see gray in a new way.

See the light.
See gray as silver!

When my hair first started turning gray,
I dyed it – trying to keep
the deep brown color of my youth.
But God spoke to me:

“Gray hair is a crown of splendor,
it is attained by a righteous life.”

Proverbs 16:31
Embrace Gray!

Hello gray!
Hello silver!

I can sing your praises
just as the birds
continue to sing
on this gray day.

It’s all a matter of perspective, right?
Not everyone lives long enough
to earn their “crown of splendor.”

Silver brings wisdom.
It signifies the blessing of longevity.

How can you hate gray?
Embrace it and
thank God for that crown!!

How do you feel about gray?

See you tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace the Night


I sit on the porch
In the quiet of the night
Embracing darkness

I sit in my chair
In the quiet of the night
Absent mosquitoes

I sit quietly
Embracing night’s coolness
Praying smoke leaves us

I stare at the sky
Wanting to see the moon shine
Longing for mountains

I know they are there
Behind the smoke and ashes
Muted by the gray

I sit on the porch
Praying for firefighters
In the smoke-filled night

I sit on the porch
In the quiet of the night
Embracing darkness

Come and sit with me!

Good night, dear WordPress friends.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Smell the hov’ring smoke
Hear sleepy birds chirp good night
Feel the peacefulness


I send my true love…
and hold you so tight
In the still of night
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Shared Humor


I have a good friend –
(Well, I have more than one friend)
But one makes me laugh.

She sends funny memes,
And she shares off-color jokes –
Never toooo naughty!

Some are just
“Uh-huh”
Others are
“uh-oh!”
Watch your ego!
And still others are
“Oh-no!”
I laughed out loud on this one!
Did you?
Oh ya!!
Groan!
I have another friend
who sends pictures of her sunrise,
and let’s me know she has
me in her morning prayers.
In return, I send her my sunrise…
and keep her in prayer, too.
This morning it was no laughing matter,
the smoke in our valley is hiding the sun.
And my daughter in Glen Burnie
sends morning photos of her coffee.
That’s not shared humor…
but it makes me chuckle!
And smile with reciprocated love.
Whatever you share,
whether humor,
sunrises,
prayers, or
coffee…
I love it!
And maybe that smile
will grow into a chuckle
or a belly laugh…
This is my great-granddaughter –
Sienna.
This kind of shared humor
keeps me smiling all day long!

Have a fun-filled day.

Pass along some humor!

God bless you!
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace 5 Ways to Keep Long-time Friends


Bob & Victor

Victor Salazar and Bob have stayed in touch for 50 years. How has that happened?

Victor was Bob’s wrestling student when Bob coached at Hillsdale High in San Mateo, CA. back in the 1970’s. Every year at Christmas, we exchanged Christmas cards. Victor let us know where he was each year – and his career took him to over 30 different countries! What a joy to have Vic come from Alabama to reconnect with us here in Montana this week!

I have had the fun of that kind of connection with former students, too. This is Ty Stiles and his wife with Bob & me. He was my kindergarten student in 1962! I named our first child, Ty. We never let Ty Stiles out of our sphere of contact. He was in my prayers daily. He came with his wife, Roxanne, from California to visit us a few years ago. About a year after his visit, sadly, Ty left this earth for is eternal home. My memories of him and his visit warm my heart every single day as I look at the cross he welded and sent to us shortly after his visit.

There’s no greater joy
Than to reconnect with friends
From long, long ago

Look up for your purpose!
Look up to the cross
Recall its loving meaning
Embrace those friendships

5 Ways to Keep Long-time Friends

  1. Pray lovingly for them daily.
  2. Be sure to keep them in your address book and write to them often (don’t just rely on social media)
  3. Pick up the phone and talk to them, emptying yourself into them… it’s an investment. Be loyal and be confidential.
  4. Let them know how much they mean to you, but don’t force the relationship. It has to be natural. Don’t insist that the relationship is forever reciprocal. Some friendships are meant to be seasonal… and the season may last years – but maybe not. You can’t control that.
  5. Be honest and transparent with them … let them see your warts. It shows you trust them not to hurt you… and you are trustworthy in return.

Embrace Long-time Friendships
Never let those precious folks go
Keep them forever in your heart
How long we’ll be here, we can’t know

Embrace Long-time Friends
My heart’s covered with footprints.
How about your heart?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Morning Light


Embrace Morning Light
Streaming brightly through windows
Every day is new


Embrace Morning Light
Let it follow you inside
It illuminates

Embrace the Sunlight
Appreciate its brightness
Flowers follow it

Flowers turn to find
Sustenance in the Sunlight
We should turn also

Turn to the Maker
Of sun and light and wisdom
Let His LIght lead you

Psalm 43:3

“O send out your light and your truth;
Let them lead me;
Let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling.”

Go out in the Light.
Have a sun-filled day, my friends.
Where will the Light lead?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow.

Embrace World Peace


Tomorrow is Independence Day in the USA. July 4th… a day to celebrate America’s beginning. Dwight Roth posts about it quite poignantly. Check it out:

https://rothpoetry.wordpress.com/2021/07/03/independence-day-all-men-are-created-equal/

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could really embrace and LIVE that sense of equality our constitution espouses?

Where do you find places where world-wide peace is the major goal? How is it expressed?

In addition to poets like Dwight Roth, I love folks like Bob Goff, author of “Love Does.” He wrote:

“Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, “Let’s go do that together.”
― Bob Goff

Bob Goff’s books, “Love Does,” and “Everybody, Always” spell out in clear terms how the “love with actions and in truth” can make such a impact on your own peace – and can matter to the world at large. Check them out, if you have not read them already.

“Jesus talked to His friends a lot about how we should identify ourselves. He said it wouldn’t be what we said we believed or all the good we hoped to do someday. Nope, He said we would identify ourselves simply by how we loved people. It’s tempting to think there is more to it, but there’s not. Love isn’t something we fall into; love is someone we become.”
― Bob Goff, Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People

That’s the only way we can work toward world peace…
One person, one act, one decision at a time.

It’s not really pride that is my motivator…
It is gratitude and love and a faith that
runs deep in my soul.
Thank You, God, for Your many blessings.
Thank you for Your love.
I pray that everyone in the world can feel it.

Thank you for the joy and peace that are mine.
May they radiate through me.
May I generously shine them on all I meet.

Feel the love.
Feel the peace.

Have a very Happy 4th of July!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Peace be with you!

Embrace Reliance


In a world of self-reliance,
Where “I can do it” is king,
Being reliant on others
Is construed as a “weakness thing.”

But, as Christians we are taught
To rely not on our own strength.
“Lean not on your own understanding.”
God is within a prayer’s length.

In today’s prayerful message,
Our wonderful pastor, Mary Grace,
Talked about God’s will and love,
And seeking our Lord, face-to-face.


“God of forgiveness, hear our confession to you.
You have called us to excellence in compassion
and we fall short of your confidence in us.
You grant us grace and we abuse your gift.
You expect us to align our hearts with your will
and that our love will be genuine.
But we trust our own desires
rather than rely on your goodness.
We look after our own comfort
instead of our neighbor’s needs.
In Christ, have mercy on us
and forgive us our sins.
Amen”

As you know (if you’ve followed my blog for a couple of weeks or more), I take copious notes as I listen to the sermon through my fingertips each Sunday. Sometimes I translate what I am hearing into poetry. Today’s doesn’t rhyme. It’s free verse. But it poured out as I tried to capture the main ideas. First, look at the scripture on which the sermon was based.

Mark 5:21-43.

Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman

21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

36 Overhearing[a] what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

The sermon title was
“Fools for Hoping”

“Secondhand Lions” was a movie with Caine and Duvall.
The fictional characters were replicas of my grandfather and uncle!
The film is wonderful and whimsical (don’t believe the critics).
Believe what you want to believe… and here are some essentials:
“What every boy needs to know” – a speech worth hearing…

  • People are basically good
  • Money and power mean nothing
  • True love never dies
  • Integrity means everything
  • Love, truth, and integrity are essential

True or not, those are worth believing!

We don’t see much love in the news these days.
The news is full of the ways we are really awful to one another.
Recent news revealed 751 unmarked graves of indigenous children
found this week in Canada. Children taken from their families
and forced to attend the former Marieval Indian Residential School.

Survivors, community honour 751 unmarked graves at Sask. residential school site with vigil

Seven-hundred and fifty-one lights
spanned the entirety of the unmarked graves
discovered on Cowessess First Nation
in southeast Saskatchewan
where a large group of people,
many wearing orange clothes,
gathered on Saturday night
in honour of the remains.

An elder in the community
who spoke at the vigil
likened the finding
of 751 unmarked graves 
to a scab that had been
“slowly healing”
being ripped off.

Not one of us is wholly good, so the natural inclination
When confronted with our sinful nature is despair.
Confession and repentance are the next steps, but
Where do we go after confession?

We need to define our beliefs and act on hope…
Even when it seems foolish to do so.
Be ready to be made fools for your integrity.
Stand up for what is right… stand up for Truth!

The woman in Mark 5 took the show!
Jesus asked, “Who touched me?”
The disciples laughed, “Everyone’s touching you!”
Jairus was impatient, “My daughter needs you!”

He wondered why Jesus was taking precious time
To deal with a woman with a 12 year infirmity.
Let’s assume the woman just happened to be
Outside the crowd that day and heard of Jesus.

She heard Jairus – with hopefulness in his voice –
Asking Jesus to help his dying daughter.
His hope inspired her hope as well.
Two lives were saved that day.

Our speech, our attitudes, and our actions
Can have a positive affect on others.
We need to consciously lean on God
With hope and trust and mindfulness.

Jairus could have listened to his tears,
But he stepped up and listened to hope.
His act of believing in the power of Christ to heal
Allowed other to respond in hope, too.

“Your faith has made you whole,” Jesus told
The woman whose hemorrhaging stopped.
The only way out is reaching out in the hope
That God’s love will make life better.

I’ll stay a fool for hope!



EMBRACE RELIANCE

Rely on God

I’ll stay a fool for God.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

Thanks for sharing a part of your Sunday with me.
I hope you have a wonderful week.



See you tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds
and Jan

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

The 7 Step Prayer Process


Has anyone ever taught you HOW to pray? Here is a 7 step process that my grand-nephew was studying today. I listened in.

  1. GRATITUDE: Get comfortable. Be still. Deeply breathe in. Breathe out by anxiety.
    Express Gratitude to God. Tell God what you are grateful for.
  2. AWARENESS. Revisit the times in the past 24 hours when you were the best version of yourself. Then talk to God about the times when you were not the best version of yourself. Talk to Him abut hw you will handle the situation better in the future.
  3. SIGNIFICANT MOMENT… recall a moment when you felt God was trying to teach you something through an event or action. Talk to God about that significant moment.
  4. PEACE: Ask God to forgive you for anything you have done that you feel badly bout. Ask for forgiveness, and ask God to fill Yyou with deep, deep, peace.
  5. FREEDOM: Ask God to help you be the best version of yourself. Ask him how you can change to be the person He made you to be. Ask God for the Courage and Strength to make this change in your life.
  6. OTHERS: Lift up to God anyone you feel you want to lift to Hi today. Ask for the specific way you want God to bless the people in your life that you care about. One at a time, bring them to God.
  7. OUR FATHER: Pray the prayer you might often say by rote. But this time, say it slowly and find meaning in each phrase:
    Our Father, who art in heaven
    Hallowed be Thy name
    Thy kingdom come
    Thy will be done
    On earth as it is in heaven
    Give us this day our daily bread
    And forgive us our debts
    As we forgive our debtors
    Lead us not into temptation
    But deliver us from evil
    For Thine is the Kingdom,
    And the Power,
    And the Glory
    Forever.
    Amen

Embrace Great-Grandchildren


I am so blessed!
To live long enough to
Embrace Great-Grandchildren
is such a gift!

This is Cosette.
She is the darling offspring
of my grandson, Jordan,
and Joss – his significant other.

Joss is such a caring and happy mother!

And I cannot believe how tall Jordan has grown.
What a good daddy he is!
Here we are at church together yesterday morning.

Can you believe how tall (6’4″) my grandson is?
Never in a million years when he joined our family
at the age of 3 did we imagine he’d grow to this height!

In this photo, Jordan is the “Tin Man” sitting next to my sis, Sally.
Jordy and his siblings each are adopted…
gifts from God to Ty (back left in this photo).

Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old
they will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6

The church service was lively and invigorating and inspirational.

My heart is singing God’s praises.
How was your Sunday?

We’re having a relaxed morning before heading
to spend time with Bob’s brother & sister-in-law
and their family in central CA.

How are you spending your week?
I hope you are well …

I am including love
and lots of well wishes here for you.
Pray for my daughter-in-law, Monika, will you?
She has a miserable case of the flu.

See ya tomorrow
(God willing).
Love,
JanBeek

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