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Posts tagged ‘scripture’

Embrace Pray-ers


James 5:16b

“The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”

I embrace prayers
And I embrace the pray-ers
Reaching out to God

As Bob & I prepare to embark on our trip to London and Switzerland, we are humbled by the number of prayers being offered on our behalf by family and friends. Bob came back from his Alaska trip a week and a half ago unfit to travel again… but with care and prayer, he is so much better – – – and his doctors have given him the ok to take this next trip. It’s been booked since last March! We leave Sunday. Oh, time is swiftly passing!

We know God hears – and we know our dear Lord is holding us in the palm of His hand. We are grateful for the intercessory support.

I know you have faced challenging times, too, and you know the power of prayer when you are navigating rough waters.

I know Jesus is a pray-er. He modeled the effectiveness of prayer for us. I am not sure how many times in the Bible it says Jesus went to a quiet place and took time to pray… but I know it’s a lot! If He counted on speaking to God in order to determine His next steps, who am I to try to go it alone?

So, I am up this evening talking to God, knowing Jesus intercedes for me, too… and I can feel the prayers of friends and family who have shared comments such as, “Let us pray that all goes smoothly,” and “Praying for you and Bob… Seeing family is worth the effort. God’s peace,” and “I hope all of your test come back negative and your travel plans run smoothly.” Thank you, WordPress friends!

With a community of believers out there, friends sharing their prayers and good wishes, and with my faith in scripture such as James 5:16, I can go to bed this night and sleep peacefully. I know the One who holds me also holds the future … and wants only my good.

Thank You, Lord, for the love, support, and comfort You send through my spiritual family.

Thank you for helping me relax and put these COVID test results and travel requirements in God’s hands. If this trip to London and Switzerland is meant to be, all my worries are for nothing. As the meme above says, “Worry is a conversation you have with yourself about things you cannot change.” Instead, Jan, put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the waters!

Now that I am safely tucked into the Man from Galilee’s hand,
I can relax and go get a good night’s sleep!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Good night!

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Doubting


May sound really weird
For a Christian to embrace
Doubting; How can I?

What does doubting mean?
I believed it’s unbelief.
But, let’s think again.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Matthew 28:17

“When they saw him,
they worshiped him;
but some doubted.”

Who is “they” who saw?
It was Jesus’ disciples.
What does “doubted” mean?

In my devotional time this morning, Daily Guideposts explained that the original text was in Greek. The word “doubted” in Greek is “distazo.” That does not mean unbelief. It is more accurately translated as “hesitation or uncertainty about how to respond.”

In today’s world, as the cartoon shows, the disciples would not have to think twice about how to respond. They would simply get out their cell phones and record this momentous reappearance of their Savior!!

But in the world of Jesus’ time, how would you respond when someone you watched die on the cross suddenly walked out of the tomb? “Distazo” seems appropriate to me. Whoa!! I’d be pretty unsure about how to respond, wouldn’t you?

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

Sometimes I am quite unsure about how to respond to situations in today’s world. How about you?

Our test kits came today for the COVID-19 test we have to self-administer and then mail FedEx in the envelope provided so it can go overnight to the place where the results are determined and then sent to me before our flight out of Chicago to London on Sunday night. (Whoa… that’s a long, complex sentence – did you grasp it?)

I am doubting … I am unsure about how to respond to the instructions.

Unfortunately, my test results won’t come in a fortune cookie. They will be sent to an app on my iPhone. Problem: my iPhone is 8 years old and it won’t upgrade to an IOS high enough to download the app. I am feeling doubtful. Very uncertain about how to respond. The new iPhone 12 and last year’s version (iPhone11) are not available here in Ennis. Checking with our nearest city, Bozeman, I discovered we don’t have an Apple store… and the Verizon Wireless store doesn’t have the phone I want in stock. I have to order it on-line from Apple. Will it arrive in time for our departure? What will I do if it isn’t here in time?

Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com

In this COVID-19 world, “distazo” is a natural response. We are unsure of how to respond in so many ways. Get the vaccine or not? Wear a mask or not? Get a booster or not? Join friends for a dinner out or not? Worship in church with others sitting close by or not? Travel or not? Get a new phone or not? Forget the whole thing?

I pray to God for help with decision-making, but I am not sure I am hearing His response. Should I keep asking? Should I reword my questions? Am I missing His answers?

As Daily Guideposts has written in today’s devotional, “Doubt, distazo, is part of our faith journey.” It’s OK to question how to respond when we’re baffled by the challenges we face. Like the disciples, we are faced with some unbelievable situations. These are unprecedented times!

In these troublesome times,
we are encouraged to Stretch!!

Embrace Doubting!

Let your hesitation
and your uncertainty
cause you to
question more,
research more,
and pray more.

Let your hesitancy
and your uncertainty
cause you to
trust more,
experience more,
and increase your humility
as you allow yourself
to admit

“Crap!
I don’t have all the answers after all!”


Get in touch with the
Tiger in you!

Do you find yourself doubting about anything?
What causes you to experience “distazo“?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Spontaneous Leisure


Elfchen or “Elevenies”
are poems with eleven words
in a pattern of
1+2+3+4+1



Embrace

Spontaneous Leisure
as you relax
and enjoy life today:
Sunday


Sunday
mornings always
are hurried “UP
‘N AT T’EM” days.
Rush!

Shower.
Get up.
And get dressed.
Then gobble your breakfast.
Church!

(Click the arrow below)

Listen
“Rush Hour”
for a minute …
Then click it off.
Frenzy!

Happy?
Not likely.
That “Happy Hardcore”
Destroys any residual sanity.
Yuck!

(Go back and click outta that sound!)

Repetitive,
nerve wracking…
Who needs it?
Put your feet up.
Relax!


Wallow
in silliness
for a while;
Find yourself some laughter.
Chuckle!

Find
some friends
to join you.
Good for your soul.
Laze!

A few friends took me up on my suggestion yesterday. My silly blog was titled, “Embrace a Camel” and I really went off the deep end. One little friend got into a box and joined the insanity club!

How about you?
Do you take a day
to just be silly
and relax
every now and then?

It’s called “Spontaneous Leisure”
and I recommend it!

Today we slept in.
We dressed in a casual, leisurely fashion.
We ate brunch at 10: am
(our church didn’t ZOOM the service today
or we would’ve tuned in to it)
and then we went up to our sanctuary
and had our own worship service up there.

It was just the break from routine that we needed!

Embrace
Spontaneous Leisure.
Just treat yourself
Take an unintentional break –
Relax

Jesus
Accepts worship
Wherever it occurs.
God condones taking breaks.
Recline!

Question: “What does the Bible say about rest and relaxation?”.
Answer: “Rest” is defined as “peace, ease or refreshment.
“Relax” means “to become loose or less firm,
to have a milder manner,
to be less stiff.”
The Bible speaks quite highly of rest.

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Doctor
ordered relaxation:
Just sit back –
Put your feet up –
Chill!

Embrace Spontaneous Leisure

Do it today!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Stressing Less


Trying to arrange for a trip abroad in this COVID world today will guarantee stress.

Today I used links sent to me by a friend who just returned from a trip to Canada and from our daughter who is planning to join us next week in London, and I tried to make the arrangements for the COVID tests required. Oh me, oh my! Can they make it more difficult?

Seems to me they are just trying to send us senior citizens over the sanity edge ridge into complete derangement!

Not only do we have to have proof of our vaccines, but we have to prove we tested negative within 72 hours of our departure from the USA to London. Then when we arrive in the UK, we have to have a test there within 2 days – and it has to be ordered in advance. We have to prove (before we leave the US) that we have ordered the 2 day test to be delivered to our place of destination in London. Oh bludder!! And none of these tests are free, of course!

So, I took a break from all that computer stuff and spent some time with a few friends… a great antidote to hysteria and complete lunacy!

Back at home, I let my mind wander as I checked out some of my favorite bloggers. That was definitely a stress reliever! I especially enjoyed reading:

Gottfried, Banter Republic and Roth Poetry and derrickjknight and Big Sky Buckeye– four of my favorite guys!

Those guys’ blogs are great indicators of “where my heart is!”

Also it was fun to let my mind wander and reduce stress with three of my favorite gal bloggers:

Pat Cegan, Source of Inspiration and

Ann Koplow, The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally and

Phyllis Rogers, Life On The Lake



Are you looking for ways to embrace stressing less? Here’s a helpful list I found:

I’m smiling now … just asked for and got that hug.
It’s soooo good to have Bob back home again!
He returned Wednesday night
from his fishing trip in Alaska,
and I was quite worried about him.

We spent a lot of yesterday at our medical center
here in Ennis, trying to see how we can
reduce his fluid retention,
get his kidneys and heart
functioning normally,
and help him prepare for the trip
to be with our daughter next week.
See why I am posting
EMBRACE STRESSING LESS
?


What do you do to reduce stress?
Try playing this video in the background
while you go about your next task.

“Come to me all of you who are weary
and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you.
Let me teach you,
because I am humble and gentle,
and you will find much rest for your souls.
For my yoke fits perfectly,
and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

I found another resource on line today to reinforce today’s post:

marvaseatonLess News Might Reduce Stress

I totally agree with Marva. Watching less news is a GREAT way to reduce stress. But, don’t be an ostrich. Total lack of information can be a miserable stress inducer!

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

Do they really stick their head in the sand?

Remember #4, 5 and 6 on that list above?
I’m headed off to do them right now.

What are some of your techniques
that help you
embrace stressing less?


I’ll see ya tomorrow (God willing).

Have a good night.


Hugs,
JanBeek

Embrace Good Cheer


1 Thess. 5:16-18a

Let godly thinking shape your attitudes.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances…”

With the right attitudes, we can be young at heart no matter what our chronological age may be.

No, we are still young…
Young at heart!
Can’t you see it?

Psalm 92:12-15

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
    he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

Psalm 70:4

Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You.
Let those who love Your salvation say evermore,
“God is great!”

Each day has its own personality.
There will be happy and sad days.
Some will be quiet and restful,
while others will be filled with activity.

Some will be brimming with health,
others will find you facing unexpected challenges.

But, whatever the circumstance,
you can find moments of delight –
and you can thrive as you see the
blessings hidden – even in the worst of times.

Photo by Khimish Sharma on Pexels.com

This week I learned that my friend, Paul,
who was scheduled to replace our wood floor
(while we are gone next month on a trip to Europe)
fell off a ladder and broke some ribs.
In addition to the body aches, he was suffering
massive headaches. So, the doctor took x-rays.

The x-rays revealed that Paul had a brain tumor!
If he had not fallen off that ladder, there might not
have been the x-rays to reveal the tumor.
He had brain surgery yesterday morning.
The report came that “all is well.”

I don’t know if that means the tumor was benign,
or if it means they got it all and he will be fine.
Maybe it means all three!
But, I know Who has the answers…
and I know He hears my prayers.

I know everything happens for a reason…
and I know God is in charge.
I am so grateful the tumor was discovered!
So, I can EMBRACE GOOD CHEER!

I am grateful for the faith I have that allows me to
behold life through the eyes of hope and positivity.


Colors are brighter,
laughter comes easier,
and the joy of simply being alive
sets the tone for daily celebration
of life’s infinite possibilities.

On this day of remembrance (9-11),
may you – with love and reverence –
embrace the good cheer of memories
that cherish the family members,
friends, co-workers, and tireless volunteers
who have made a mark upon your life.

May those memories inspire you
to live with such
integrity,
creativity,
faith,
and love,
that one day
the memory of you
will bring good cheer
to all who know you.

Be in prayer for those who are hurting.
Be in prayer for all who are in danger.
Be in prayer for all who live in fear.

Be in prayer for those who need
happiness to knock on their door today.

You’re in my prayers.
God bless you with good cheer!

Love and hugs,
JanBeek

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Contentment


Romans 12:18

“If it is possible,
so far as it depends on you,
live peaceably with all.”

With all the strife in the world today,
the least we can do is to live in peace
with ourselves, our neighbors, our families.
And if we see someone in need,
reach out a helping hand.
Heaven knows, regardless of how bad
things seem to be for us,
it never is hard to find someone
who is worse off than we are.

He complained about
Having no shoes for his feet
Others had no feet

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Be contented with the little things.
They really aren’t so little after all!

Philippians 4:11-13

“Not that I am speaking of being in need,
for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
I know how to be brought low,
and I know how to abound.
In any and every circumstance,
I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger,
abundance and need.
I can do all things
through him who strengthens me.”

These photos were sent to me by Daughter #2 in Maryland.
That tornado and car pile-up were about 8 miles from her home.
She is thanking God for the fact that the strong winds
she had at her house didn’t knock down trees
or create a power outage.

Philippians 4:6

Keep praying!

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Pray with Me

God Almighty, I honor and praise You
for the works of Your hands,
for the beauty of the earth,
for the love You have for Your people
and for the animals.
I ask you now to protect
those who are ravaged by tornadoes
and floods, fires, and hurricanes,
wars and injustices.
Help us to know and trust
that You are with us
and You hear and answer
the fervent prayers of Your people.

Save us, Lord.
Bring peace.
Bring safety.
Bring rain to those who need it
and sunshine to those
who need freedom from flooding.

Help us find contentment
in Your care and promises.

Amen

Jan’s black eye fading

Find contentment in little blessings (some of them are not so little):

  • my black & blue eyes are healing
  • the bump on my forehead is decreasing
  • our smoky valley has cleared a little (we can see the mountains again)
  • the firefighters are diligently working to contain the wildfires
  • my grandson, Chris, made it safely to Colombia (that’s him & his girlfriend, Natalia’s picture behind me there)
  • so far our granddaughter’s house in South Lake Tahoe has not caught fire – and they are safely evacuated to stay with their other grandparents in southern CA
  • our son & his wife’s house is safe from the fires (and they are graciously housing a family who were evacuated from theirs)
  • my husband’s doctor has okayed his fishing trip to Alaska (he leaves next Monday) – in spite of some health scares this week – he is better :o)
  • you came to visit my blog and share the message of contentment in your life (in spite of challenges) – I look forward to your comments ❤

God bless you!
See ya tomorrow (God Willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Courage


Some days it takes courage to get out of bed!
Some days it takes courage to look yourself in the mirror.
Have you had days like that?
Today was one of them for me!

Oh my! Goose egg reduced –
– but eye suffering drained blood!

So, I could go back to bed and feel sorry for myself –
– or I could get up and face the day.
I had to ask myself, WWJD??
(What would Jesus do?)

So, I began with that simple prayer…

Jesus said to me, “Get up and face the day! Be courageous!”
So, I did… and by noon the one black eye was better
and the color had shifted so it was on the other eye, too.

Not near as frightening looking!

Matthew 9:22

“But Jesus turning and seeing her said,
‘Take courage, daughter…’ “

My devotional for today in Mornings with Jesus
reinforced the prayer response.
So, up and out I went!

We have been having day after day with skies filled with smoke
from the fires that are all around MT, ID, CO, CA, and OR.
The mountains have been invisible to us weeks on end.
But today I could see the mountains!

The view of the Madison Range
from our Pintail Ridge
here in Ennis.

By the time I spent a little time with a friend
and returned home this afternoon,
we had the clearest blue sky in months!
See, if you have courage to face the day,
God is good – and He will make you glad you did!

The beautiful view of blue sky
above and around our home…

The moral of the story is,
EMBRACE COURAGE!

Don’t let your hesitancy
keep you from facing the day.


Get up,
Get going,
Get out,
and
Get happy!

God is good.
Trust Him!

Oh, and remember those fires in CA?
They are not over…

Please keep the firefighters and those in Harm’s Way in your prayers.
Our son and his wife are sharing their home with a family of 8
who were evacuated from their home… but it is not destroyed…
just in the evacuation zone … and the fire is still headed toward
our granddaughter’s in S Lake Tahoe. So keep the prayers flowing!

See ya tomorrowGod willing!

EMBRACE COURAGE –
and reach out to do what you can
to help others…


Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Living Bread


Happy Sunday, my friends.
I hope you had a great day.
As usual, Bob & I attended church
and I took notes as I listened to the sermon.

The message was delivered by Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds.
The sermon was inspired by
John 6:51-63.

I was amazed at how cleverly MGR
took the scripture and applied it
to today’s world.

Bread & wine

John 6:51-63 NIV

51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 52Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. 60On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” 61Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.

The Living Bread

We come to church to seek comfort,
But is that the point of our faith?
Aren’t we called to be moved by Jesus?
He appeared a bit delusional to His disciples.

Jesus suggested what was prohibited.
People didn’t eat human flesh!
That teaching came across blasphemous.
Associating with Jesus caused them alienation.

Jesus’ message was meant to teach
His followers that He was the food
That would bring them into relationship
With God … and not laws or codes.

God saves – Rituals don’t.
God sent manna and now Jesus.
First physical, then spiritual saving.
Jesus told them, “I am the Bread.”

Trust Jesus to provide
the catalyzing calories
in our lives.
Feed on Him daily!

Jesus is the Living Bread…
Drink in the Wisdom of the Word

God Bless You
for visiting JanBeek today.
I appreciate you.

What did you do today?

I pray your Sunday
was filled with life and love.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Playfulness


Doesn’t that word make you smile?
PLAYFULNESS is underrated!
We all need to have days when
we determine it is the Word of the Day!
Today was that day for me!

Photo by Chevanon Photography on Pexels.com

It started with a day to celebrate
my friend, Sue’s birthday.
We met at a local coffee shop
and shared some quality one-on-one time.

We talked about the ways
people whose ideas may differ
in some areas of life
can love each other
for all their commonalities.

Then I spent a couple hours playing
Scrabble with a friend who is
recuperating from surgery.
A little playfulness is good for us all.

Playing in the sandbox
would be a welcome next activity.
Do you have a sandbox available?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’d love to be at the ocean right now
Playing in the sand with you –
Jumping in the waves, and
drawing hearts on the beach.

Let’s spend time
listening to the waves crash against the shore
and enjoying the chance to
embrace playfulness!
Photo by Daniel Torobekov on Pexels.com

It’s a good day to embrace playfulness.
It’s a beautiful blue-sky, no wind afternoon.
Bob & I are headed to play with friends
Who are so dear… and so much fun to play with!

Terry & Jim – really fun-filled friends!

The Bible reinforces the idea of playfulness:

“Moreover, it is God’s gift that all should
eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.”

Ecclesiastes 3:13

Eating
Drinking
and taking pleasure
in the company
of our “Hood”

Do you have friends who embrace playfulness?

I didn’t get this posted yesterday.
I was having too much fun playing.
So here we are another day…

Bob, TazE & I
are headed out
with friends
on our ATV
(Lucille – the redhead
on which we have a “Ball”)

I wish you could come and enjoy this playfulness with us!


What kind of play is your favorite?
What will you do to enjoy playfulness today?

Whatever it is…
Take joy!


I send my love.
JanBeek

Embrace Old Churches


Photo by gifted photograher, Gerry Mooney

This old church in McAllister, Montana is a treasure! The bell in the dome still rings, though the organ in the church no longer plays and the roof and foundation of it are compromised. It needs a lot of TLC.

Its history goes back to 1885 – when the land was gifted to the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1887 the structure was completed. It was transferred to the Presbyterian Church (where Bob & I are members) in 1952.

We (as a congregation) love this old church, and many of our members, their friends, and their grandparents or parents or children or grandchildren have been married or baptized there.

Preserving precious old churches such as this one is an ongoing responsibility. It is costly and time-consuming. Respect for what it was and how it served its community in decades past keep us loving those old buildings.

Here are a few others that are treasures in their communities. If only they could talk!

Dilapidated
Sadly abandoned old church
Is God still in there?

Matthew 16:6.
In many ways Matthew chapter 16
is a chapter about the church.
Jesus was the first to mention the church.
He only mentions the church twice,
and both times are here in the book of Matthew.


In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said,
“And I say unto you,
That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church;
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”


This is the first time that Jesus used the word church.
He used the word church only twice,
so it is good to know exactly what Jesus taught about the church.
It may be that the things that Jesus taught about church
are the things that are the most important to know about it.

Church is a place to trust in God’s promised presence
( Matthew 18:20)
as we worship Him together,
out of a sense of love and obedience
( Colossians 3:16 ).

When the church is functioning biblically,
it’s more active and alive when the seats are empty,
and the community is filled with those
seeking to activate the gospel in love for each other.

Many of these old churches were also home
to the cemeteries that bear the tombstones
of its deceased members.

What a shame to allow them to
deteriorate and collapse.
But, who has the money
for restoration and maintenance?

Weekly church attendance is down in our society today.
It sometimes downplayed into a legalistic ritual.
According to Pewforum.org, 61% of churchgoers
attend to feel closer to God,
while a sizable majority of non-churchgoers
state they practice their faith in other ways.

Which is the right way?
Modern society may beg us
to believe the choice is ours,
but biblical truth is clear
about going to church.

Jesus Christ seeks in earnest
to meet us on a day set aside
to commemorate His defeat of death,
to equip us to sustain our faith until He returns.

I am so grateful for my friends
who sit in the pews with me every Sunday.
Indeed, they help me sustain my faith.

Old churches remind us of the
value placed on weekly worship
in communities gone by.

Let’s all work to keep our churches
vibrant, healthy, and inviting.
Don’t let it become a place of ruin!

Oh the church in the valley
Is a place I know so well…
Listen to Jim & Jesse
sing to you about it:

Do you have a little old white church in your history?

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