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Posts tagged ‘sacrifice’

Embrace Memorial Day


Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. … Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

I went to our Madison Valley Cemetery this morning. The grave sites of veterans were marked by American flags. Many of the tombstones were freshly decorated for this important holiday. Come visit with me – and let’s honor the memories of our brave military ancestors.

The music at the end of this blog is so beautiful, you may want to scroll down there, click on it, and listen as you view the rest of this post.

Only in Montana might you find a gravestone decorated with a set of antlers!

The Daems memorial was especially meaningful to me. Doris was a friend of mine here in Ennis who was a faithful volunteer with the Women’s Club as well as the Madison Valley Manor and at the Medical Center. What a wonderful lady! Her 86 year-old brother and 90 year-old sister were there today to honor her memory as well as the many veterans.

Doris Daems served her country, too…
here at home in so many ways!

It was a beautiful blue sky day. A memorial service brought many people from our area out to this beautiful cemetery today… an opportunity to honor those brave men and women whose blood was spilled on the battlefields so we might enjoy the freedoms we have today.

If you were given the opportunity to select the 3 words to go on your tombstone to describe who you are, what words would you choose? Gene Wilkins was known as “Doc” here in Ennis… “Healer” was a perfect word for him!

Two of my words would probably be “Mother” and “Grammy” – A third word would need to be “Wife” since that identifies 60 years of my life. Although I was a teacher, a principal, and a district office administrator for 36 years, I think I’d have to choose “Child of God” or “Friend” before I’d call attention to my professional career. But, I don’t know what I’d do if I had to limit it to just three. How about you?

Here’s a wife, mother, daughter, sister,
grandmother, and friend.
Melissa’s family couldn’t limit it
to just three descriptors!

Would you include “Hero” for a description? How about pets, would they be part of your cemetery memorabilia? I’d like an angel by mine… (my maiden name is DeAngeles – and angels are a big part of my world!)

Some of the tombstones were decorated in very special ways, but a simple stone flush with the ground with letters worn away by time and weather intrigued me a lot. Who was that veteran? Is his/her family still in this area?

Thank you for your service, nameless one!

Rest in peace, dear ones. May your service to our country never be taken for granted!

God bless you, dear friends.
May your life be a long, happy one
and may you leave a legacy
that inspires your grandchildren.

Happy Memorial Day!

See ya tomorrow.
Love, JanBeek

2 years + 9 months + 3 days


He went into the army because
He didn’t know what else to do.
He was in two years, nine months,
And three days. Does that count to you?

It was during a time of peace.
No, he didn’t have to serve in a war.
But that time in the army
Changed him to his very core.

Today is Veteran’s Day in the USA,
A time to honor our veterans’ sacrifice.
Some serve now, others are retired,
While many gave their very lives.

So, it’s important to recognize
All the men and women who gave
Of themselves to keep us free.
Today flowers went on many a grave.

Whether days, years, or a lifetime
Were spent in the service of country,
Today we reach out to say to you,
Thank you! Your sacrifice keeps us free.

God Bless Our Veterans.

Thank you, Bob!!
I’m glad I got to serve those last
9 months and 3 days with you!
I love Germany and the friends we made there.
And I loved teaching in the school on the army base.

Thanks to all our veterans!
Your sacrifice is sooo appreciated.

I will never take our freedom for granted.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow.

Do you have a veteran in your family?
If so, name them in the comments below.
I want to thank them, too!


You Are Mine


As this day – a day in the USA to remember and honor our veterans – draws to an end, I am encouraged by the ways God reassures us of our destiny… and theirs.

My heart goes out to the parents, spouses, children, and loved ones of our fallen heroes. God bless those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country and our freedom.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

But my greatest gratitude goes to my Lord who assures us that He will bring us home … and He will be our strength, our light, our hope.

In 1991 David Haas, inspired by Ps. 46:10, Isaiah 43:1 and John 14:27 wrote “You Are Mine,” a song that speaks to my soul.

“I will come to you in the silence,

I will lift you from all your fear.

You will hear my voice,

I claim you as my choice,

Be still and know I am here.

I am hope for all who are hopeless,

I am sight for all who long to see.

In the shadows of the night,

I will be your light,

Come and rest in me.

Do not be afraid, I am with you.

I have called you each by name.

Come and follow me,

I will bring you home;

I love you and you are mine.

I am the strength for all the despairing,

Healing for the ones who dwell in shame.

All the blind will see, the lame will all run free,

And all will know my name.

I am the word that leads to all freedom,

I am the peace the world cannot give.

I will call your name,

Embracing all your pain,

Stand up now, walk and live!

Do not be afraid, I am with you.

I have called you each by name.

Come and follow me, I will bring you home;

I love you and you are mine.


Our loved ones who sacrificed their lives
For our freedom and for our safety
Are home in the arms of our Lord.

He said, “You are mine.”

And He meant it for Eternity.

In His Promises there is peace and assurance.

God bless you. Believe! You belong to Him.

And He has your loved ones in His Hand.

See ya tomorrow.

To Give or to Give Up?


Today is Ash Wednesday.
Many Christians around the world are wondering today,
“What should I give up for Lent?”

What to Give Up?

Once you decide, you ask yourself if this is like a New Year’s resolution. Will I be able to keep my commitment? Can I keep the spark alive for 40 days? Or will I give up?

monochrome photo of person holding sparkler

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Forty days is a long time! Can I give up coffee or carbs? Dessert or just donuts? How about carrots or cabbage, broccoli or brussels sprouts?

assorted vegetable lot

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

 

What do you obsess about?

A promise to give up something for Lent
needs to be a promise to rid ourselves
of something that we obsess about.

We need to cleanse our bodies and souls of something that distracts us
from focusing on the meaning of this season
in preparation for the sacrifice of the “Bread of Life”
who gave His body for our salvation.


If spiritual discipline is what fasting is supposed to be about,
does giving up something you can do without
really do the trick?

 

photography of pink doughnut

Photo by Jonathan Miksanek on Pexels.com

 

Looking at Lent through the eyes of Marjorie J. Thompson,
who wrote the book “Soul Feast,”
I began to understand
the concept of fasting a little better.
She wrote, “… the discipline of fasting…
has to do with the critical dynamic
of accepting those limits that are life-restoring.”
She went on to caution us,
“Do not underestimate what God can
accomplish in you through the consistent offering
of such a discipline.”

The discipline is that of “self-emptying.”

What is Self-Emptying?

Self-emptying is “giving up something”  –
but it doesn’t have to be food!
Fasting from a particular food we crave
is NOT the ONLY way to acknowledge the onset of Lent.

Let’s decide to “self-empty” of something.

The word Lent was derived from a Saxon word meaning “spring.” In the early church, Lent was viewed as a spritual spring, a time of light and joy in the renewal of the soul’s life. James Earl Massey wrote, “Fasting is not a renunciation of life; it is a means by which new life is released within us.”

What can we give up in order to release new life in us?

More Than Food!

Fasting is about more than food. It is about hungering for the things that matter most. It is about abstaining from those activities that pull us away from what we know we OUGHT to be doing.

  • What about fasting from constantly checking your cell phone?
  • What about fasting from daily absorption in the “breaking news” – the TV?
  • What about giving up the tendency to let our minds wander when in fact we want to be meditating and entering into prayful communion with God?
  • How about a fast from negativity or criticism?Those are some of the things we can “give up” without giving up the intent of Lent.


To Give or to Give Up?

But what about GIVING instead (or in addition to) giving up? What might I GIVE to honor God during this season of Lent?

A couple of years ago, I read in a Guideposts Magazine about a woman who had spent the 40 days of Lent in what I thought was a very unique way. She created a list of 40 people who made a difference in her life. These people who positively influenced her were from every walk of life – family, work, church, childhood friends, neighbors, teachers, etc. Once she generated her list, she wrote a letter a day. In her notes, she told each of them how important they were in her life, how much she appreciated them, how grateful she was for what they meant to her.

I read that and thought, “I can do that!
I can think of 40 people who deserve a thank you
from me for what they have done in my life.”

arts and crafts cardboard close up design

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My trouble was, however, limiting the list to just 40. When you stop and think about it, I bet you can easily name 40 or more who have touched your life in a meaningful way. I had to make some of the names “couples.” Then, I was able to begin my 40 days of letter writing. It was a wonderful act of “giving” – and filled the time I might have been eating that food I crave!

Yes, you can give – and give up – at the same time.

What will you do to honor this season,
to create a time of “interior spring cleaning” 
that leads to God in the core of your being
while making your life more nourishing for others?

Think about it…
and tell me what you come up with
in the comments below,
will you?

No Change Without Challenge


Is it really true?

There’s no change without challenge?

Sacrifice for change.

cross jesus summit cross

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Is sacrifice necessary?

group of children raising their palm towards a man

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Is a small thought it?

That’s all it takes for real change?

Okay, let’s try it!

analysis blackboard board bubble

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