We need a faith so color blind, So free from time-worn lies, That when we look from face to face, We see the eyes of God.
We need an ethic of respect, An honest pledge of trust, That when we share the deepest things, We feel the warmth of God.
We need to act as well as speak, To see each other’s sweat, That as we we labor side by side, We do the work of God.
Come, Christians, look for character, And not for shade of skin, That as we rend the walls of race, We live the peace of God.
In the YouTube video below, hang in there through the introduction to the song, and then let the words, the music, the interaction of the performers, and the joy of the audience and children LIFT YOU UP… “Raise you up to more than you can be!”
With FAITH and God’s help, we CAN and we will be part of the healing solution for this divided world. We WILL be part of the change we hope to see in our world. We PLEDGE to be agents of UNITY!
All you need is LOVE, FAITH, and DETERMINATION to see the eyes of God, feelthe warmth of God, dothe work of God, and live the peace of God.
Together, we can be the change we wish to see in the world. Let’s get to work!
Thanks for joining me. See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
My friend, Doris, who graduated from high school with me back in the Dark Ages, sent me an e-mail today with 48 pictures designed to demonstrate acts of kindness in the midst of this world-wide time of struggle with COVID-19 and racial injustices.
I selected my favorites from the 48 – and want to share them with you here as an encouragement to go out and do likewise. Pick your favorite from these seven that I have chosen. Tell me why it touches your heart.
Each of the seven (selected in random order) were important to me. They demonstrate our need for ONENESS, UNITY, RESPECT, GOODNESS, LOVE, and KINDNESS.
The numbers attached to the pictures were on the website… they are not in any way prioritizing. And that message above was part of the post… “Bored Panda” was the source. Their word “tolerance” is not mine. It seems condescending to me. I prefer “LOVE.” Don’t just tolerate me! Love me… and treat me as I am: your equal! One of God’s children!! Just love me!!
I love YOU!
Can you choose one from those seven? Tell me why it resonated with you.
The YouTube below was also sent to me by that same high school friend, Doris. It’s a wonderful children’s choir singing about the memories that will live on in their lives after this time passes. Click on the arrow, sit back, and enjoy the voices, the melody, and the message.
And don’t forget the message here: ONENESS, UNITY, RESPECT, GOODNESS, LOVE, and KINDNESS.
Bee well, my friends. I’m so glad I didn’t lose you… Memories bring back YOU!!
See ya tomorrow. Hugs, JanBeek
(Oh, leave me a note about your favorite of those seven, will you?)
During this period of time from now to November 2020, we in the USA will be looking carefully for the qualities we seek in a good leader… wanting to elect a great leader … someone worthy of following.
Our Ideas & Biblical Principles
I asked Bob this morning, “If you had to name just seven qualities you think are essential for effective leaders, what would they be?”
His answers didn’t totally match the Biblical principles that prompted this blog title, but some were right on. I was reading 1 Timothy 3:1-3 during my devotional time up in my angel room this morning. This is what it said:
“… If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach… temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.”
An overseer is one who sees over his followers. A supervisor, head, manager, head honcho! And s/he must lead with qualities worthy of emulation.
Interdependence (not someone who thinks s/he can do it all alone)
The Bible went on to say in 1 Timothy 3:6-7 (The parenthesis are my additions):
“He must not be a recent convert (in other words, s/he needs experience in his/her area of leadership), or he may become conceited… He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace…”
If the leader’s reputation is tarnished, it is like handing his/her followers a handful of worms. They just come crawling out…
1 Timothy 3:8-10 says,
“Deacons, likewise, are to be [persons] of respect, sincere… and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.”
Being a deacon is often considered synonymous with being an “elder.” In the Catholic church, it is a position below that of priest. In the protestant church, an elder is part of the ruling or decision-making body. A deacon is a part of a group of leaders elected to reach out in service to the congregation and the community at large. All religions have “deacons” whose job it is to be the hands and feet of God – serving those in need. Deacons are respected leaders whose job it is to serve those who count on them.
Your Ideas & Mine
So have you come up with your own list of seven qualities a good leader needs? Will you let those qualities guide your decision when you vote in your next election?
Before you read on, make your own list. What are the seven qualities you deem most important in an effective leader?
These are the ones I gleaned from my study of the third chapter of 1 Timothy:
competent (gained from applicable experience)
wise (wisdom borne of Godly counsel, intelligence and study)
mature (mentally and spiritually solid)
gentle (compassionate & not quarrelsome)
self-controlled (exhibiting peace and unity)
respectable (leading a life worthy of emulation)
generous (always giving his/her best to/for followers)
May we each live a life That is worthy of emulation – A life that is an open book.
Tell me, what are the qualities that are on your list for great leaders? See ya tomorrow.
An especially bright spot in the heart of downtown Faribault is the Second Street Garden, a pocket garden with positive messages like this one. Minnesota Prairie Roots edited file photo August 2019.
BY NATURE, I AM a quiet observer. Not introverted. But a watcher, a listener, the person who mostly sits back, especially in a room filled with strong personalities.
But that doesn’t mean I embrace overpowering people, especially those who talk over and at others. That type of self-centered behavior bothers me, bothers being a tempered word choice. Lack of empathy, understanding and compassion hurt personal relationships, communities, countries. I see too many people driven by their goals, their agendas, their misinformed/uninformed assessments of others and of situations. Their “I’m right” and “I don’t care if I’m hurting you” perspectives.
How do you fix that on a personal level? The answer: We usually can’t. I’ve learned that unless someone is willing to engage in civil dialogue, it’s probably a waste of time to even have a discussion. I can only control how I react. And sometimes the best way to react is simply to walk away, to let it go, to extract myself from those who are toxic, who lack empathy and the ability to think beyond themselves.
The Minnesota Nice part of me screams, “That’s not very nice!” But the reality is that we all deserve respect. To be heard and understood and loved. Every. Single. One. Of. Us.
My thought on this blog is that Audrey is so right! As a culture, we seem (in the USA) to be losing sight of common courtesy. We seem to be forgetting the power of mutual respect. We seem to be going down a rat hole… and it’s not pretty!
So, Audrey’s blog spoke to me. We DO have a choice. We do not have to travel down that ugly hole. We can walk away “from those who are toxic, who lack empathy and the ability to think beyond themselves.”
I posted “Walk with Me” a couple of days ago. It was a physical walk around our beautiful neighborhood here in Rancho Mirage, CA. Yesterday Bob & I walked around the beautiful polo grounds in the La Quinta/Indio area.
Today, I am walking again… but this time, it is around a desert path in Thousand Palms. I send funny little kisses to you… from Snapchat … with a tooth in the way. Oh my!
Thank you, Audrey, for your thoughtful blog. I am taking it to heart. If there are toxic people out there, intent on spreading hate, I am walking again…
… Not around the neighborhood or the lake or the desert, but walking way from hate and disrespect.
Bob and I have been married more than 57 years. Our love for one another is more alive today than it ever has been. (I read that statement to him just now and asked if he agreed. Of course, he said, “Of course,” That’s part of the secret, guys! Ya gotta readily agree on things like that!)
How do we do it? How do we keep love alive after all these years? What is a healthy marriage anyway?
Jane Smiley, in her book, At Paradise Gate, wrote the following:
“You know what getting married is? It’s agreeing to take this person who right now is at the top of his form, full of hopes and ideas, feeling good, wildly interested in you because you’re the same way, and sticking by him while he slowly disintegrates. And he does the same for you. You’re his responsibility now, and he is yours. If no one else will take care of him, you will. If everyone else rejects you, he won’t.
What do you think love is? Going to bed all the time? Poo! Don’t be weak. Have some spine! He’s yours and you’re his. He doesn’t beat you or abuse you, and you’ve made the same bargain. Now that you know what it’s like to be married, now that all the gold leaf has sort of worn off, you can make something of it; you can really learn to love each other.”
I love that take on marriage by Jane Smiley. It coincides with my opinion on what it takes to make a marriage work. Here is my list: Ten Constant Steps toward Being Married Happily Ever After:
Accept and Respect one another’s differences, and celebrate your areas of sameness.
Stick by one another – even as you slowly disintegrate.
Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Be forgiving.
Defend one another to a hostile world.
Be strong in your faith; pray and laugh and play together.
Be a diligent partner, doing more than your share without bitterness or resentment or complaint.
Praise one another for the little things.
Never take one another for granted.
Always be trustworthy; don’t stab one another in the back!
Practice the art of compromise – with God as your Constant Guide.
Yes, when all the gold leaf has sort of worn off and you’re each comfortable in your own space, keep the space open and inviting. Invite one another in. Keep on learning to love one another as long as you both shall live.
You’re in this box together. You’re in it for the long haul. Enjoy the ride!
Today at church our guest minister was Dan Hollard, a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Bozeman, Montana. Our pastor for the past 25+ years has been Rev. Jean Johnson. Jean is on disability leave right now … in a rehab facility in Great Falls, MT.
Pray for Jean
Join me in prayer for Rev. Jean Johnson’s release from pain and ability to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.
Meantime, it’s a surprise each Sunday to see who is in the pulpit and to hear a different kind of message. Today’s message was titled, “Spirit of Peace.” I think Dan Hollard must have spent some time in Africa, because he put on an authentic African accent and told us the story of Ubuntu (Oooo-boon-too).
He based his message on the scripture of Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
Here’s what I heard through my filter and took away this morning:
And Happy 57th Anniversary (58 in February) to Bob & me – as we enjoy this 80th year of our lives – and celebrate our togetherness – and thank God for our health
How do couple stay together so long?
That’s a question Bill & Marge were asked at our granddaughter, Faith’s wedding when the 4 Beekman couples were the last ones left on the dance floor after the disk jockey (DJ) said, “All couples married less than 55 years sit down.”
Wow! Here we were… eight old farts still standing, still dancing, still together.
Marge Beekman’s answer was, “Never go to bed mad at each other.”
Bill Beekman was asked for his answer. He said, “I agree with Marge.“
The DJ said, “Did you see that? Did you hear that? He let her answer first and then he just agreed with her. There’s the secret to a long married life!”
Are There Other Secrets?
Well, if he had asked me, “How have you stayed together for 57 years?” I would have answered with not just one, but TEN ideas! (He would have had to cut me off!)
These ideas have worked for us in our long marriage – and have contributed to my ability to tell you, “We’re not just still together, but I love him more today than I did the day we married.”
What Are the Tips for Longevity in Relationships?
Pray together – make the Lord central in your relationship – ask Him to guide your days and help you with every decision. Listen for His Holy Spirit to speak to you and help you as you walk daily in His Will to the best of your abilities.
Give each other space – you are a couple, but you are also people with your own ideas, your own needs, and your own agendas. Allow each other the right to make individual decisions and keep your own identities bright and alive. We even have separate checking accounts. As long as the household needs are met, I don’t have to account to him for every penny of my retirement money that I spend… and likewise, his retirement play money is his to play with as he chooses. Give each other individual freedoms!!
Listen to one another – really hear! Care about what the other thinks and find out why he/she really believes that. Never stop learning from one another.
Go to church together – find a worship community and cultivate their friendships. We are Christians – and we want you to be able to see that in our love for one another and our love for YOU. “They will know we are Christians by our love ❤ ” is not just a song we love to sing, but a life we strive to live. Our Christian friends are our support system, our help in time of need, our prayer partners. There is no friend like the long-term friends you make under the cross of Jesus!
Play together – you may each have your own idea of what “fun” is (He fishes, I don’t. I love movies & popcorn, he doesn’t. He skis, I don’t. I go to Writer’s Group each Friday, he doesn’t. He loves yard work … or at least does it masterfully, I don’t. I love to volunteer at the Sr. Center, the Medical Center, help seniors in need, he doesn’t.) You get the idea. But we love to go riding on the Montana mountain trails with friends in our ATV – and we love entertaining friends in our home, hosting over-nighters for a week or a month or even a year in our home. We love going out to Dave’s Sushi or enjoying a BBQed dinner with fine wine at home. The idea is, find your areas of commonality and play happily together!
Treasure and Appreciate One Another – Bob’s nickname for me (he has many, but my favorite ) is “Precious.” I appreciate his expressions of love and affection and his readiness to show appreciation. He often comments on things like, “My, you look pretty today!” or “I like the way you added that spice to the ______ (fill in the blank) for dinner tonight.” In return I try not to take for granted his beautiful yard work or the delicious waffles he makes for breakfast or his warm and plentiful hugs. Thank you is such an important word in any relationship!
Love One Another – even when you don’t Like each other! None of us is perfect. We often do things to “piss each other off!” It could be something as simple as leaving the toilet seat up or not putting the lid back on the toothpaste. Or it could be a major thing like staying out late without saying you were going to do so – and not calling to say where you are. Showing LOVE for one another is treating your partner the way you want to be treated and expressing yourself clearly without anger (if possible) when your expectations are not met. Loving is compromising and not always expecting things to go your way. Love is forgiving and trying NOT to be the annoying one in the relationship!
Be Kind and Compassionate – Yes, we all make mistakes. We do stupid things. We say things we wish we could take back. When we are at our worst, that’s when we need kindness most. It’s when our partner is at his/her worst that we find it most difficult to be kind in return. But harshness begets hatred and ugliness begets violence. Our response is crucial. Of course, there are caustic relationships that are unhealthy and are not meant to be sustained. No one is called to be a doormat. My heart goes out to those who are in relationships with those who inflict mental or physical abuse. Especially when help is offered, but refused. Sometimes leaving is the most loving option. Kindness/Compassion is a two-way street!
Trust! – Without mutual trust, the relationship is doomed! My husband, Bob’s ski buddy is Nancy. She is a 50-something dynamo who is a ball of energy and fun. She’s a fantastic skier and loves to do those double diamond runs – just like Bob does. If I didn’t trust Bob, I could be jealous of the time they spend together on the slopes and I could conjure up all sorts of images of what I think might or might not be happening. But, Bob & I always have lived with mutual trust – and so instead of worrying, I treasure Nancy’s friendship, too. I love getting together whenever we can with her and her fun-loving husband, Dan. In fact, she’s the one I told you about a few days ago when I said I wanted to adopt a Daughter #4. You gotta trust – and in that confidence enjoy a multitude of friendships and a plethora of opportunities you might miss otherwise!
Respect! – It’s the bottom line. Without mutual respect, you may as well call it a day NOW. I have been around couples where one of them is so disrespectful to his/her partner that it smells up the room. The air is so caustic, you don’t want to be within ten miles of ’em. You want to shake ’em and wake ’em up to what they are doing to one another – or what one is doing to the other. But, rarely does intervention help. You sigh, shake your head, and vow not to ever do that to YOUR loved one. That’s a vow worth keeping if your relationship is worth having! ALWAYS show respect to your partner… and while you’re at it, respect yourself. God don’t make no junk … you’re a treasure!
from message based on
“That They May Be One.”
Jesus prayed for Oneness
For each divided sect.
As He is One with God,
He prayed we will show respect.
The ways in which we
Polarize ourselves here
Is tiring. It saddens me.
It brings no one cheer.
All people are more similar
Than different from each other.
We establish boundaries
To separate from our brothers.
We do it to prove that
We are right and we’re accepted.
We name others as losers
And place them outside – rejected.
Jesus prayed that we would just
Love One another – differences and all.
He prayed for our Oneness.
Honor uniqueness; stand tall!
Oneness is not about eliminating
The differences we see.
It’s about loving our uniqueness.
Love your neighbor, even your enemy!
It is about Oneness with God;
It’s a boundary-less love.
It’s only possible with help
From the Divine Source above.
If we call ourselves Christian,
We must stop bickering and be
The loving children our Creator intended.
Love differences; love even me!
Be one with all.
In Christ’s Love we Pray, Amen.
JanBeek’s poetic notes from a sermon by Rev. Jean Johnson at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church Ennis, Montana June 2, 2019
What will you do today to demontrate your love for one another?