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Posts tagged ‘singing’

Embrace Creativity


When are you the most creative?
Where do your creative juices flow most freely?
What’s your God-given creative talent?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I am not a painter.
I may have some latent talent there, but I have never developed it.

That’s Bob –
He’ll tell you he developed
his painting skills by
painting beehives for 30 years!
Now he’s painting the pastor’s house!!

Do you have hidden talents that you have not fully explored?

Photo by Roman Koval on Pexels.com

When children are given the tools
and the examples early in life,
often that becomes the springboard
for a life of artistic talent shared.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

No one told me that my scribbles
might lead to a creative talent
that would be appreciated by others!

But, I was encouraged to sing as a child.
That was a talent that did not go unnoticed.
How could you ignore it when
I was a 3-year-old singing
“Appo-Tee, Appo-Tee, AppoTee”
all the way through the hymns at church.
Singing loudly and joyfully!

Hah!
It was during the time of WWII
and a popular song was
“Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree
(with Anyone Else But Me).”

You’re probably not old enough to remember it!!
Go ahead, click on it here.
You’ll love it!!

So how did my “Appo Tee” singing
graduate into a full-blown creative talent?
Like any talent, it takes
involvement,
participation,
practice.

I have been a member of a choir
for as long as I can remember…
… always in school, then in church,
and eventually our community choir.
I am not a soloist,
but I love singing in a duet
or trio or with a large group.
Recently our church choir
was able to start up again…
it is such a joy!


Once I even got to sing
with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
during one of their dress rehearsals
for their Christmas concert!

The rendition below of
“The Lord Bless You and Keep You”
was sung by the University of the Pacific Choir
at Bob’s and my wedding 2/11/62.
Here is the Mormon Tabernacle singing it.
I love it so much!

If your talent is not singing or painting,
maybe you developed a talent in another area –
like cooking or woodworking or metal sculpture.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Of course, one major talent I forgot mention
Is instrumental music …
the piano or a woodwind or string or brass instrument…
Such talent brings so much joy to the player
as well to a world of listeners.

I played the accordion and the clarinet
as a child and continued to do so
until just recently.
My accordion is not functioning,
there’s a hole in the bellows.

Perhaps I will find another
small accordion that I can handle…
and will resume that creative endeavor.
The children at the day care center
and the residents at our local
Nursing Home enjoyed it!

Here’s just a small clip –
(it’s only 10 seconds!!)
of me playing for the residents
at my sister’s place in PA
a couple of years ago.
(I won’t burden you with too much of this!)
Hah!

My cousin always used to send me comic strips
about the accordion.
One was a guy entering heaven
and the angel said,
“Welcome to Heaven,
here’s your harp.”
The other was a gal entering Hades.
The angel greeted her and said,
“Welcome to Hell,
here’s your accordion.”

Hah! I miss Cliff and those jokes!!




The question remains:
What are your God-given talents?
Have you developed an area of creativity?

I forgot to mention writing!!
Us bloggers imagine ourselves to have that talent
or else we wouldn’t be posting here on WordPress, right?

But, even this writing talent
doesn’t improve without practice, right?
Never stop learning and trying to improve –
regardless of the area of creativity…
gardening & photography (Derrick) –
poetry (Dwight, Richard, Pat, Rahul, etc.)
cooking (Andre’ & Caralyn)
You know who you are…
and what you need to do!

Our library was having a book sale last week.
For a dollar, I was able to buy this wonderful book.
Copyrighted 20 years ago, it’s never outdated,
and I can never stop learning how to be a better writer.
Like any talent, it takes practice, study, and more practice.
And feedback always helps!

Roses are red.
Violets are pink.
I’m an emerging poet.
Man, don’t I stink?

No, don’t badmouth yourself!!
Keep workin’ at it…

Embrace Creativity!
Tell me about yours…

Thanks for sharing!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Defining Moments


In my reading this morning, These Days – Daily Devotionals for Living by Faith, I was inspired by the commentary of Robin Gallaher Branch of Memphis, Tennessee. The scripture that motivated her thoughts was from Ezekiel 1-2:1

The word of the Lord came to the priest Ezekiel,
son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans
by the river Chebar, and the hand of the Lord
was on him there.

What Does That Scripture Mean?

Study that painting. Obviously artists have been inspired by this scripture. But somehow, as I read it again, the depth of its meaning escaped me. I was not quite sure what to make of it. Robin Branch, on the other hand, saw “A Vision is a Divine Interruption.”

She wrote, “I tell my students this: Expect Divine Interruptions.”

Why? Because they occur regularly in the Bible.

And that is what she understood was happening to Ezekiel in this passage. She wrote, “He was minding his own business when the heavens suddenly opened.”

Another artist depicted the scene this way:

Wow! Robin Branch describes it in words, “He saw four living creatures in human-like forms. Each had four faces: those of human being, lion, ox, and eagle… When the creatures moved, their wings sounded like mighty waters.”

What did he do? Ezekiel’s response was, “I fell on my face.” (verse 28)

God Interrupts Our Lives

Ezekiel shows us what to do when God interrupts our lives with a vision, a dream, or an angelic encounter. Worship and wait to be addressed!

But, how many of us have had God present Himself to us in a vision or a dream or an angelic encounter?

Maybe more of us than we realize! Do we open our eyes and hearts to recognize those defining moments? Do we see the angels in our midst? Do we know God makes divine appointments with us? Do we feel His presence?

Live in Expectancy

Do you live in a state of expectation, looking to see God in others? Do you know God is making broken things brand new? I see God in you! I see God in the defining moments of my life.

Daily Word, a Unity Publication, provides a daily word (or words) to ponder. It has a short devotional to enhance the word. Today’s word was “Expectation.” In the commentary, the title was, “Expectation keeps my mind positive and my heart full.

“Living in a state of expectancy kindles a quiet excitement in my heart, keeping me passionate about life.”

If I live in expectancy, I encounter defining moments …

Moments that define us are often not recognized until years later.

What are Defining Moments?

Jan & Bob
1962

Of course, if you are married happily, you know a defining moment in your life is your wedding. That one is easy to recognize.

Defining moments are those that impact you, change your direction, or reinforce it. They change your thinking. They wake you up to an Ah-hah moment, or they sit quietly in your subconscious – ready for the day you are prepared to recognize their impact and put their lesson to work in your life.

I asked Bob, as we were together in our sanctuary this morning, doing our Bible Study and devotionals, “What are the defining moments of your life?”

Right away, he said, “Our wedding day.”

See, I told you.. that one’s a given. Especially for folks like us who have stuck it out through thick and thin for 59 years!

Not All Are Positive

Not all of your defining moments are going to be the mountaintop experiences. Some are experienced in the valleys of our lives.

One of mine was when I had a burst appendix. I thought I was constipated and that’s why I ached so much. I tried laxatives. I tried a therapeutic massage. It just got worse. Finally the pain was so intense, I couldn’t sleep and I was crying out. Bob took me at midnight to the emergency room in the hospital just 5 minutes from home. They ran a bunch of tests, took x-rays, thought it was diverticulitis. Sent the x-rays to the larger hospital in Bozeman (an hour’s drive away). The doctors there looked at them and called to say, “Get that lady in here right now! She has a burst appendix.”

Why was this a “defining moment”? A dear lady (one of our medical center volunteers named Donna) road with me in the ambulance to Bozeman held my hand and prayed with me the whole way. She was an angel on earth! She helped me survive the painful ride to the hospital. Once there, the doctors told me I could have died. At my age (I was 79 or 80), many don’t survive such an ordeal.

I learned:

  • it’s probably not a good idea to ignore excruciating pain or self-medicate
  • it’s not wise to diagnose your own ailment
  • a prayer angel can make all the difference between life/death and comfort/agony

Some Defining Moments are Very Positive

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

A mountaintop defining moment for me occurred when I was only 16 years old. It was the summer between my junior and senior years in high school. I was attending a summer “Music Therapy Clinic” at the College of the Pacific. One of our participants was a little boy named Jeremy. He about 4 years old and had never spoken. He had a voice. He could scream when he was upset. He could moan. He could whimper. But he had not spoken any words.

My music therapy counselor/teacher, Mrs. Harbert, was playing the piano. We all were sitting on the floor in a circle. Each of us had a child in our lap. Mine was Jeremy. Mrs. Harbert was playing a non-sensical, very rhythmic song. Its only word was “Hospodipomilwi.”

Hoss-poe-dee-poe-meal-wee

Hos-po-de-po-mil-we

Hos-po-di-po-mil-wi

I bounced Jeremy on my lap and sang quietly in his ear.

All of a sudden, Jeremy began to sing!! “Hospodipomilwi”

Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

A year or so later, I saw Jeremy and his mom when I was shopping near the college. She said, “I can’t believe I used to pray for him to speak. Now I can’t get him to stop talking!”

I learned:

  • There is no greater thrill than to help a needy child
  • Music is magical
  • I wanted a career where I could work with children and music

God’s Divine Interruptions Change Us

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

We were living in California. Bob was still working as a beekeeper. I was retired. He wasn’t sure he was ready to retire yet, but we talked about it. We didn’t know where we wanted to live after his retirement, but we were pretty sure we didn’t want to stay in California. The state was growing in population faster than the the infra-structure could handle the numbers.

Then he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Life changed. We changed.

I won’t take you through the whole three year process, just suffice to say, it was a defining moment! His cancer caused us to reevaluate where we were, who we were, and where we wanted to be.

It is the reason we now live in this place we call God’s Country, Ennis Montana.

The Road of Life is Filled with Defining Moments

The road of life is filled with highs, lows,
mountaintops and valleys,
potholes and gravel.

When life knocks you down,
when you are going along
minding your own business
and the heavens open up,
or the bridge collapses
and you fall into a crevice,
remember Ezekiel.

He fell on his face.
He called out to God.
He waited for God to direct him.

Let God’s still small voice direct you.
Like my Donna,
watch for the angels all around you.

Let His strength illuminate your path.
Like Josh Williams, see God in others
and let their strength encourage you.


Let the defining moments speak to you.
Like Jeremy, find your voice
and sing!
Hos-po-di-po-mil-wi

Embrace Defining Moments



What are YOUR defining moments?

Embrace Bird Songs


Bird Songs – Haiku
by JanBeek

Let’s embrace bird songs.
They bring music to our souls.
Delight in their sounds!

The following video is a 42 minute delight.
It displays 80 birds,
identifies them for you,
and plays their songs.
I LOVE it!

I recommend that you
play it as background music
as you read the rest of my blog
and go about your day.

Peek back at it every now and then –
because the close-up pictures of these birds
and the words that identify them
and the settings where you find them
will be sure to delight you!

I woke this morning to the sound of doves cooing.
They have built their nest in the eaves
Outside my bedroom window –
Crafted it with twigs and leaves.

Partner doves made their home there
And sang their song, “I hid hid hid it!”
Soon they’ll lay their eggs there
And change their song to “I did did did it!”

But their nest is not hidden from us.
We can see their coming and their going.
Their song brings us daily happiness.
Our day starts with shared music – enjoying!

.

After you have listened to some of that first video, check this one out. It is just the dove…
Then go back to that first one. Let it mesmerize you!
(You can slide the red bar at the bottom of it to go back to where you left off.)

“Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;
happy are the people whose God is the Lord.”

Psalm 144:15

Just as each bird has its song,
People have songs that identify them.
Some are blues, some jazz or rock and roll,
Others are known by their favorite hymn.

As I listen to music on my Amazon device
And I hear one I wanna put in my cart,
I say, “Alexa, add that to my favorites.”
My list – like a bird song – comes from my heart.
.

Take a break from the bird songs,
and listen to a song that touches my heart.
I can’t help but sing along whenever it plays:


In my “Happiness Project”
(one sentence journal)
the verse at the top of the page
today was:

“It is neither wealth nor splendor,
but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.”

– Thomas Jefferson

.

What Creates Happiness for You?


I used to find my greatest happiness in the classroom – working with young children.
Then I found it in my home with my husband and two children.
Neither of those sources, however could be defined as “tranquil.”

It wasn’t until we moved here to Montana, we both retired, and we bought a house with an upstairs “SanctuAiree,” that I found my place of tranquility. Surrounded by trees with singing birds outside and my Bibles, devotionals, and angels inside, I am at peace. Inner peace is my definition of tranquility and happiness. How about you?

For me, there are few things in life which create more tranquility than the sound of a dove cooing. Our God used a dove as the carrier of good news (it returned to the ark with an olive branch to announce “Dry Land! It’s here! It’s here!”) The dove is a symbol of peace.

What a way to wake up in the morning! And then they greet me on the rooftop when I am in my SanctuAiree.

Doves are little gifts from God.
I love them and their song.

What is your favorite bird song?

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

I hope you’ll be singing when you leave here!

(You can go back to that first video and continue enjoying those bird songs)

See ya tomorrow (God willing).

Embrace Vision


I will be the rock of your salvation
In the hour of your deepest need,
You’ll find that I am here.
I am the God who sees.

I will lift you up again.
I will reveal and heal.
No need to feel despair.
I am the God who sees.

Embrace Vision.
Glory, glory Hallelujah!
Every knee will bow to Me.
I am the God who sees.

I see you.
Believe.

Embrace Music


Whatever happens in your life
Can be made more meaningful
If you wrap it in a song.
It’s in your heart for soooo long…


What song wraps a moment of remembrance for you?

When you are in your late teens
Or in your early twenties,
If you fall in love and want to marry,
People might tell you you’re too young.

At least that’s the way it was
When I was a kid way back when.
So, this Nat King Cole song
Resonates in my heart.

Do you have a song from your teens
That stays in your heart today?
What message did it carry
That caused you to sing along or play?

Another Nat King Cole Song
That brings back sweet memories
Is this one: “When I Fall in Love.”
Do you know this one or are you “Too Young?”

Yes, music defines our era, doesn’t it?
Elvis was too loud and wiggly for me!
The Beatles didn’t come ’til I was
Out of college and busy working.

Big Bands were important to me.
I love listening to Tommy Dorsey;
And I loved being in the band
And in the orchestra. Did you?

As a child, we often sat around the radio
And listened to the big bands…
This song was one my mom loved.
She sang along and taught me to harmonize.

Did your mom or dad sing along
To the songs on the radio or TV?
Music is a huge part of my life –
And it brings me such joy. How ’bout you?

I dare you to play this Sachmo number –
“The Saints Go Marchin’ in” and not tap your feet
And if you’re like I am, then you will
Sing along when they get to the chorus.

Oh, and did you play an instrument?
Besides the accordion, I played
The clarinet; It was a pleasure
To hear that great clarinetist.

Good music brings you back –
Back to the place where you were
When you first heard it,
Doesn’t it?

A good symphony orchestra
Can take you back to the symphony hall
Or it could take you to the living room
Where this song was theme for what program?

All our lives long, we embrace music.
It is the way we learned our ABC’s.
Why didn’t our math teacher
Put the times tables to music??

Wasn’t that adorable?
Didn’t it bring you back?
When patients with dementia
Lose memory, songs remain.

Music occupies a place in our minds
That stays alive long after other things
Have vacated the scene!
What songs will remain to your end?

How has music enhanced your life?
Does it still play a big part?
The pandemic didn’t squelch music.
Instead it just became more creative.

I majored in music therapy in college,
So, this video touched my heart.
Even though I didn’t become a music therapist,
I used music every day in the classroom.

How do you use music to enhance your days?
Embrace music today… and let it
Lighten your heart and lift your spirits.
Dig dig dig dig do do do do
Dig dig dig a doo doo!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today

Don’t leave before you hear one of my favorite inspirational songs:

Open my eyes, Lord!

See ya later.

I’ve Got Peace


I’ve got peace like a river…
Do you?
Sing along!!

Don’t worry if you get the words mixed up.
I did!
I’m singing alto.

I hope you hear Alexa
with the melody in the background.
Add your voice to mine…

I love this song!

Take Peace!
Have a Terrific Tuesday.

Bye for now!
See ya tomorrow.

You got peace like a river
in YOUR soul?
I pray you do…

Hugs,
JanBeek

To God Be the Glory


(You can sing my poem to that same tune…
Try it!!)

To God Be the Glory
Great things He has done.
In God is my hope
For the vict’ries yet won.

We all are a work
In progress with Him.
He’s not finished with us yet.
The future’s not grim.

Just look at this seven-year-old.
Hear the joy in his voice.
See the future through him.
In his future, rejoice!

To God be the future…
In Him I can trust.
In Him we can place hope.
His promises are just!

Because He lives,
And I’m connected to the vine,
Because I know He lives,
All hope is mine.

Because He taught us
How to live for others,
I can do my part
With my sisters and my brothers.

Let His love guide your actions;
Let His teachings fill your soul.
To God be the glory –
In Him, let’s be whole!

Let Him heal us all so
We can turn to Him and sing
It is well with my soul…
Whatever life may bring.

God bless you, my friends.
Have a peace-filled week.
Pray to God for health and peace and justice.
Be the love you wish to see and feel in this world.

See ya later today, I hope.
I will post my sermon notes from Sunday
on my next post: “Love the Stranger.”
Be sure to check back.


Thanks for being part of the solution,
not the problem.


Love,
JanBeek

Here’s to the Goodness!


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?)

Each Man as My Brother


Each man as my brother,
Each woman as my sister
Each one as my friend
We need one another…

When I was in college back in the late 50s and early 60s, we sang this song in the A Cappella choir at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. I loved it then. I love it even more now. We need it!!

We need one another
So I will defend
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.

Each woman as my sister,
Each one as my friend.

Lord, heal our nation.
Almighty God, step in and heal our divisions.
Help us understand our Oneness.
Help us just LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!

Lie down, my friends.
Put your feet up.
Fold your hands.
Click that arrow up there –
And pray this as a prayer with me
As we sing that song together,

“No man is an island…
No man stands alone,
Each man’s joy is joy to me
Each man’s grief is my own.
We need one another,
So I will defend
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.”
Each woman as my sister,
With love that knows no end.

Beth Guckenberger,
from her book, Reckless Faith: Let Go and Be Led,

“Hope is reborn in the form of faith,
faith that God will take over,
even if you can’t see how.”

Rest in that thought!!

You are in my thoughts,
in my prayers,
in my heart.

Bee well.
Just love!

See ya later,
JanBeek

Celebrate the World


Sing in the morning
Sing through the troubles of day
Sing in the evening

Sing when you feel sad
Sing experiencing joy
Celebrate the world

Celebrate your life
Celebrate with joyful song
The world sings along!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Grab a mike.
Listen with me – and sing along!
https://youtu.be/koBiXquzmr8

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Have a great Thursday night
– a good sleep
– and celebrate the world
and your place in it!

Good night.
See ya tomorrow.

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