“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
With the inspiration provided by scripture, prayer, daily devotionals, and a constant walk with my Lord, I am inspired every day be seek His Will for my life. I am inspired to seek His Truth. I am inspired to share His Love. I am inspired to share the Good News!
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
I pray that Jesus inspires you, too.
Now, if I have to choose someone who is on earth today… a living human who inspires me, I would not be able to narrow is down to one person! Here are a few:
Derrick Knight – he inspires me to blog every day as he does, and to respond to all who leave a comment on my post (just as he does).
Ty and Monika – our son and daughter-in-law – they inspire me with their big hearts and open hospitality, their love for one another, their family and neighbors, and their faithfulness. They inspire me to be more open and communicative about my faith in Christ.
Marcie Fernandes – my long-time friend – she inspires me to be more forgiving, more open to seeing the good in others, less quick to be judgemental.
DeAna & Andre’ – our daughter and son-in-law – in Switzerland – they inspire me to be more “in the moment.” Carpe’ Diem!
It would be fun to have those six folks together here at Ty & Monika’s in California right now, but they are spread from here to England to Tennessee to Switzerland! They all live in my heart and my prayers each day, though.
Who inspires you and why? It’s a thoughtful question, don’t you agree?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Bob & I have “2Beeks” on our car’s license plate. With the last name of Beekman, the nickname “Beek” is a natural. Sometimes we catch people driving past us, looking strangely at us. I imagine they are looking to see if we have particularly long noses!
I have a few new followers who joined JanBeek this month. I think WordPress’s “Bloganuary” has brought them here. Thank you!
If you are one of them, you may not have seen the post where I showed our family a few evenings ago sitting around the dinner table discussing our ancestry.
We gave Bob a bad time about his “honker” (beak by another name) and we showed him how he inherited it from his great-grandfather! Tonight we are giving Bob a bad time for another reason: His honker is doing a lot of honking! He has RSV.
This respiratory virus put him in the hospital in Napa on January 1st. What a way to start the new year, huh? RSV is nasty! After spending the night there, he was dismissed Jan. 2nd and we were able to travel back to our son’s to recuperate.
This is not the way we hoped to begin the new year. But the good news is we had the option of coming back to Placerville – it was a sunny CA day today. The recuperation time is greatly appreciated!
Bob’s cough is getting better… and soon we will be able to hit the road and return home to Montana. It’s not what we intended, of course, for this “vacation.” We wanted to visit friends in Pebble Beach – and spend time with Bob’s brothers in the CA valley.
But, we are grateful that when this curve ball was thrown at us, we had a beautiful alternative. Thank God for loving family and friends, right? God has a plan for why this has happened!
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
God knew we needed more rest and relaxation! Our house isn’t ready to return there now anyway!
We hope your year has started off happily. We pray you’re healthy and dong what you want to do. We trust the Lord has us right where He wants us. And we hope, dear friends, the same is true for you.
What’s an update on what’s happening in your life? I’d love to know how your New Year began. Thanks for visiting JanBeek. See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Every morning I begin my day with a cup of coffee and a climb up the stairs to my sanctuary where I spend time with my Bible, devotionals, prayers, and Jesus.
One of my devotionals is “These Days,” a daily devotion for living by faith, published by the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Its format is scripture, devotional, prayer.
Today’s scripture was:
He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.”
In the devotional, the author, Hope Douglas Harle-Mould, wrote about the comfort Jesus provides. She included a poem she wrote to Our God of all Faithfulness:
“We pray for a cure; God sends us healing. We pray for continued life; God gives us new life. We pray death will not come; God overcomes death. We pray in anguish; God weeps with us. We pray in fear; God teaches us to laugh. We pray for ourselves; God gives us each other. We pray for miracles; God fills us with love. We pray for the future; God showers us with blessedness. God, help me trust the voices heralding your hope.”
I am assured as I read and pray and study God’s word, that just as he carries the lamb in his arms, he will be faithful to carry me.
As I descend the twelve stairs at the end of my devotional time, I recite my personal TWELVE STEP PROGRAM Thank You, Jesus, for the:
Peace (that are mine). Help me with
Faithfulness (which brings blessings),
Help me live humbly with an attitude of gratitude, and
A response of generosity, forgiveness,
Obedience, and integrity. In Jesus name, Amen!
When I get to the 7th step, I see the metal sculpture that says, “Blessings” above my door. It was a gift from our dear friends, Jim & Terry, so I pause to thank God for their faithful friendship. When I get to the bottom of the stairs, I see this cross on the wall:
It was made by Native Americans. I pause to pray for them and their peace and prosperity. I send occasional gifts to schools for Native American children – – places like St. Labre’ and St. Joseph’s – and they faithfully write back acknowledging my small donation.
Faithfulness is a two-way street. We pray to God faithfully; God answers. We give to people who touch our hearts; they give back with gratitude & smiles. We read God’s Word faithfully each day; He gives us wisdom and discernment, understanding and blessings.
Check out this different version of that old song, The B-I-B-L-E… I love it! What a way to learn to names of the books of the Bible, huh?
How do you begin your day, my friends? What does FAITHFULNESS mean to you?
Thanks for visiting today. I hope your Friday is blessed, indeed!
Although the flow May feel like a free fall, Embrace the flow. There’s Someone at your call.
He’s right there to catch you When you’re about to land. He won’t let you crash – He’ll hold out His hand!
Yesterday Bob & I dashed off to Bozeman for three reasons – and there ended up being four… oh actually five:
Drop off his pickup at “Dark Horse Snug Tops” to replace the hinge on his hatch cover
Go to an appointment with the nephrologist (what’s that? -the doctor who deals with the branch of medicine related to physiology and diseases of the kidneys-)
Keep an appointment with the cardiologist (you all know that’s a heart doctor), and an unexpected
X-ray of his abdomen… oh, and I was there for a 5th reason:
To shop for the veggies to make vegetable soup for tomorrow’s fellowship at church
We were hoping that the nephrologist would say his kidneys show no signs of protein or amyloid deposits – and so a biopsy would not be necessary. God answered that prayer!
We were hoping the cardiologist would say all the preliminary tests are done and show no signs of AL Amyloidosis (the cancerous kind) – and so no more labs and scans before our trip to Mayo Clinic in January. God answered that prayer.
The unexpected x-ray showed yes, the abdomen area is full of air (that’s why it sounds like a kettle drum when you tap on it) – but it’s not fluid – and he’s not showing signs like pain or vomiting – so we won’t deal with that issue right now. God is good! We trust His timing on this – (and all our other decisions).
I got my veggie shopping done (Thanks, CostCo, for your lovely fruits and veggies) – and …
The pickup latch cover hinge was fixed and BONUS: they replaced the key mechanism that was troubling (God answers prayers you didn’t know to mention … He’s way ahead of you!)
So, go with the flow…
“Out of the believer’s heart will flow rivers of living water.”
Today’s word in Unity‘s Daily Word is FLOW. The introductory thought is, “I flow with the nourishing life of God.” John 7:38 is the featured scripture. The devotional (quoting Lao Tzu) says, “The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things, without trying to.”
As believers, we know that “supreme good” is God. We know God is “The Flow.”
Unity‘s Daily Word goes on to say, “Whether I experience this flow as a current of a river, the swelling of ocean waves, or my body’s life-sustaining circulation, I am in sync with this flow, which by its nature knows which way to go and what to do.”
How refreshing is that thought to you? It nourishes my soul. By the Holy Spirit, I know God’s life is in me – moving, changing, dancing and singing. I am one with the flow. I need not dash and rush and worry about things happening on time! I need not worry about Bob’s heart and kidneys, his abdomen or his pickup. I need not worry about his lack of stamina on the drive home. Just go with the flow – and trust. Follow along in the car – and honk if his pickup drifts and he seems to be falling asleep!!
Sometimes the flow is slow and steady … and I am out there in a fiery mood, trying to rush it along.
Don’t be in a rush To try to get too much done. Let the smooth flow of God Stop you mid-run!
Delight in the sneakiness Of a red sunset’s glow, And take time to relish The soft taste of snow.
Embrace the joy Of vegetables’ texture and smell, The magic of herbs as they cook, And bid stressing farewell!
Embrace the flow Of God in your life. Let Him slow you down As you eliminate strife.
Don’t worry about health. Don’t stress over unfinished tasks. Just go with the flow – And take time for some laughs!
Overflow this Advent season with the love of Christ Jesus, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the easy flow of God answering prayers in your life.
Oh, the joy of being great-grandparents is a joy many never live long enough to experience. We do not take this for granted. An afternoon with our granddaughter, Hope, and her two children, Xander and Sienna, reinforced for us why God gives children to the young!!
In Genesis 17, when God
himself appears to Abraham and tells him that Sarah will bear a son, Abraham falls on his face laughing and exclaims, “Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” (Genesis 17:17).
(Genesis 18:13-14) After Sarah laughs, God turns to Abraham, asking, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old? ‘ Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?” Sarah has been caught in the act of her private laughter and mocking commentary, a response which catches God off-guard.
We understand why when God granted Sarah the child she longed for all her life (she was in her 90s – so it was quite a miracle), she laughed (not believing God could really do that) and then she gave Isaac to the church. The priests there raised him!
Oh sure…. she gave her child to God in gratitude for God’s generosity. Suuure!!
I’ll bet she didn’t have the stamina to care for that lively little guy!
Hah! We loved visiting with our great grandkids, but we’re sure grateful it’s Hope who took them home – not us! Embrace those great-grandchildren… and then kiss ’em good-bye. You bet!!
I’m headed to bed. I’m exhausted! See ya tomorrow (God willing) Love, JanBeek
Light Dispels Darkness Open His Word Let it enlighten you Brightness
Brightness Is yours If you ask Take it to others Share
Today at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church, here in Ennis, Montana, Pastor Mary Grace Reynold’s sermon was inspired by the New Testament scripture Matthew 2: 4-18
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[a]
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”[b]
If something unnerves you, pay attention! The realm of unpleasantness is not what we expect in Advent as we wait for the Messiah. Killing all the boy babies? Worse than unnerving!
The season of Hope, Faith, Joy and Love is not supposed to be unsettling. Let’s weep with Rachel over the loss of children. Let’s weep over the bleakest of backgrounds.
Life is frequently bleak, but take heart! Into this bleakness a star appeared in the sky. Into this bleakness the vulnerable baby was born. Into this bleakness, a cruel king felt threatened.
Herod, the king sat in the stain of his own shallow angst and envy. He looked foolishly to the stars, believing in his own deity.
Threatened by an innocent baby, reported to be coming as a king, Herod ordered the death of all boys under the age of two in Bethlehem.
God heard the cries of “the least of these.” Jesus remembered those cries when He reminded us to care for “the least of these.” And friends, we each are part of “the least of these.”
Jesus/God knows the hearts of the bleak. He injects hope in the hearts of the hopeless. He injects love, joy and peace into our bleak world today.
Rejoice in the brightness of God’s love. Rejoice that God claims us. Do not be surprised by God’s compassion. Bask in the warmth of His bright love.
May peace, love, hope and joy be yours this Advent season – and into the new year. May the brightness of Jesus/God be within you. Share His bright light with others.
Wreath Advent Memories Light each candle Remember what each symbolizes Jesus
Embrace Brightness!! Thanks for visiting JanBeek. See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Christmas is coming You see it everywhere you look these days. But… It’s not a “Merry Christmas” I am wishing for you! It’s a “Mary Christmas!” That’s in contrast to a “Martha Christmas!”
New International Version
At the Home of Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Are You Mary or Martha?
If I am not totally aware, it is easy for me to fall into the Martha role. Company is coming! I love entertaining.
But, if I am busy being Martha, I find at the end of the evening I didn’t engage in a meaningful conversation with anyone!
“Oh, Jan, Jan!” Jesus would say to me, “prepare for your guests in advance, so when they come, you can sit down and enjoy their company!”
But what if guests pop in unexpected? Should I be the Mary who lets Martha do all the work? Surely there is a happy medium here somewhere!
Work or Shirk?
If company pops in unexpected, drop everything and enjoy the surprise! They didn’t come to see your house. They probably didn’t come to eat your food. They are there to see you! So it’s not a question of work or shirk!
Put on a smirk – take off the apron – set aside the work!
If you convince them to stay and enjoy a snack or a meal with you, invite them in to your kitchen and continue to enjoy one another as you fix up some goodies together!
‘Tis the season to enjoy the love of company – ‘Tis the season to spread the joy and remember the reason for the season. It ain’t stressin’ yourself out with decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping, and entertaining like Martha!
It’s Mary – the Christ Child – the simplicity of the stable – the spontaneity of good friends – and the Good News!
Have yourself a Mary Christmas!
Love to you… Pop in – and sit awhile! Let’s listen to some relaxing Christmas music and have a cup o’ tea or hot cocoa! Hugs, JanBeek