Embrace thoughtfulness. Express appreciation. Take none for granted.
Express thoughtfulness. Embrace opportunities To show gratitude.
Thank you, WordPress friends, For being so very kind. I love your comments!
“But I rejoice with a deep and holy joy that now at length you have revived your thoughtfulness for my welfare. Indeed you have always been thoughtful for me,”
Ba no kuuki wo yomu culture in Japan. The ability of “Sensing someone’s feelings” generates thoughtfulness in Japanese culture and “understanding the situation without words”
A Thoughtful Tenacious Man
Thoughtful is not just how you treat others, but it is how you treat yourself, too. It is how you embrace life.
Steve Jobs is a man who faced many challenges in his life – experienced enormous success – and endured failures that would have devastated a more thoughtful, tenacious man.
A while after he knew his life span was limited, he gave an address to a group of college graduates. It is labeled as “One of the Greatest Speeches Ever.” It will give you pause to be thoughtful … and to experience the rest of your life much more thoughtfully. Do take time to hear it (even if you have done so already).
Ten thoughtful take-aways from Steve’s message:
Your beginnings in life do not have to define your life’s endings
Being a drop-out does not have to make you a loser. Trust that it will work out OK.
Tenaciously stumble into opportunities as you discover them. Grab them!
Dropping out may give you a chance to drop in to something better.
Find what you love and thoughtfully pursue it.
Don’t be afraid to start over; enjoy the lightness of being a beginner again.
Don’t lose faith.
The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
Live each day as if it is your last.
Death clears out the old to make room for the new… your life is limited. Make the most of it.
Embrace Thoughtfulness. Live thoughtfully!
What did you think of that Steve Jobs address?
Thanks for visiting – and thoughtfully responding.
Embrace Your Pastor. He or she needs your support – And needs your feedback!
Your pastor plants seeds With each sermon presented. You fertilize them.
You add nutrients To the soil where they’re resting By watering them.
Water the ideas By ruminating on them. What was the message?
Each week I take notes. I capture the main ideas As they resonate.
Today’s seeds that Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds sowed were inspired by Ephesians 2:11-22 and enhanced by the experience she had Friday night and Saturday morning with a group of young bicyclists who were traveling 4000 miles for cancer research. Here are my notes that I took while listening this morning.
Serving 400 hours as a hospital chaplain Was required in my seminary studies. Why God – why? What’s the answer? With integrity and stamina, just serve!
Ephesians 2 is not about empty connections. It’s talking about the death of our worst instincts. It’s talking about getting on board with Christ. Paul believed Christ would come back yesterday!
We’re still here thousands of years later… Wondering when that victory over death And division will come to this earth. The Kingdom of God didn’t come in Paul’s time.
It hasn’t come in our time, either. Addictions, abuse, fires, death, wars continue. Where is the world where all divisions are erased? We’re here to put our feet on the ground and be hopeful.
Moments of hope will come to you. The U of Austin bike riders were my moment. Stories of lodging needs and cancer research, Tenacity, friendship, and HOPE scenarios entered.
Hope is a screamer and fighter. Sometimes it works out for the good. HOPE is the reality that God is love. Evil will not win. God’s hope will!
Say YES to what pulls on your heartstrings. Say YES to the reality of God’s hope. Say YES to Truth and love and reaching out. Say YES to cancer research and to helping.
Every inch gained in the fight against cancer Is an inch toward life and hope. We are building the Kingdom of God here Where violence and oppression will be foreign to us.
With tenacity, hang in there. With tenacity listen to God’s response to Your questioning… Why God? Why? With tenacity and stamina and love, just serve!
Embrace Your Pastor. He or she needs your support – And needs your feedback!
Happy Sunday. Thanks for visiting JanBeek See ya tomorrow (God willing).
When I searched to see if I have used this theme of tenacity already this year, I found a link to “Tenacity Defined” written a couple of years ago … before I started the current “Embrace” series. So, I decided it was OK to use the theme again because I have whole different take on it now.
So much has happened in these last three years since that 2018 post. Among the defining “happenings” is COVID-19. Impacting my view of life has been the way in which the pandemic exposed some of our worst tendencies. The issue of racism raised its ugly head. (I guess it never really was hidden)… but … In spite of the tenacity of people who to this day follow the non-violent teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., there has been an increase in violent crime – and especially racially motivated hatred.
I saw images of people of Asian descent being knocked to the ground, innocent little Chinese ladies being beaten, and people standing by observing these horrendous acts – and doing nothing to stop them.
Where does tenacity fit in to this line of thinking?
Jeremy Liew from Riverside, Connecticut wrote in Time Magazine this week, “The last year made me comfortable with being uncomfortable.” In his article titled, Newfound Empathy, he explains his discomfort, ending with, “I am still uncomfortable, but now I am confident. I appreciate who I am. I am grateful for what I have – my education and health, and my three annoying sisters.”
Jeremy’s tenacious attitude, at the tender young age of 13, does not come magically. He must have some role models out there who are helping him appreciate his uniqueness, and value his attributes.
The song’s theme of “Never Give Up” reminds me that change comes slowly, but it comes. Like MLK,Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” speech, we need to adopt that attitude of hope. Tenaciously hang on to HOPE. And then we need to live it! We need to be able to say, along with Jeremy Liew, “I am confident.”
In 1936, when she was a bride, transplanted from Washington to central California, my mom had a habit of cutting favorite poems out of the newspaper and taping them to a piece of cardboard. She hung that cardboard inside her kitchen cabinet.
It is now hanging inside my kitchen cabinet here in Montana. I treasure it… and I hold tenaciously to the lessons those various poems teach me. What a legacy, huh? The poem above was brought to mind today by Ann Koplow’s wonderful blog. She titled her post:
“Wouldn’t life be lots more happy, If we praised the good we see? For there’s such a lot of goodness In the worst of you and me.”
It takes TENACITY to look for and find the good in others. But it is so worth it!! I have a plaque in my dining room that reminds me of this fact. Here it is:
In that Time Magazine article, Jeremy Liew went on to explain, “I was uncomfortable being singled out for how I look (I am an Asian American Pacific Islander). A year ago, people looked at me as f I had COVID-19 or brought it to my community…”
Since when do we traumatize people because of the way they look? Since when do we marginalize them and make them feel inferior?
You say, “Since time immortal”??
Well, I say, “Well, It is time to make a change!”
As the song at the top of this blog says, “I will take a chance to be who I’m meant to be. I won’t let fear keep me from trying. It’s time for me to make a change. Start living the life I want. I’m gonna reach for the sky way up high. I’m never giving up. It’s up to me to see who I can be. Make change reality. I’m never giving up.”
Not only do I need to live the life I want and be who God made me to be, but I need to spread that message to others. Find the gold in them. Encourage them to be all that God made them to be, too.
One of my favorite bloggers is Cristian Mihai “The Art of Blogging” … If you go to his About page and read his explanation of who he is, you will see that it ends with these 4 lines:
“Sometimes I think I am who I am because someone has to be.
I believe it’s always strangers who ask the most difficult question.
‘Who are you?‘
I just wrote 1,500 words and I’m still not sure you know who I am.“
That last link is one of Cristian’s blogs that I think is so powerful that I told him he needs to bookmark it and read it when he is 80, because he writes about the trials of being a 20-something-year-old. He writes it now as a 31-year-old who has wisened beyond his years. He looks at life through very unique lenses. He is tenacious about passing along to others “The Art of Blogging” with the hope of improving us all.
The road to our best self is a long and arduous one. No one ever said it was gonna be easy. After all, we’re only human! But in our humanity is a divine core. We were made in God’s image. We are His Beloved. So, when I talk about finding the gold, that’s the core I am talking about.
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
Do you have something you are needing to do? Something you might feel ill equipped to accomplish? Or maybe, just not as strong as you thought you might be… and needing to take it one baby step at a time? Well, that’s where tenacity comes in. Start slowly… work yourself up to the full extent of your power … the power of the Holy Spirit in you.
Mom used to tell me, “Everything worth having is worth working for!”
I believe it. And that includes things like love, equality, unity, strength, freedom, peace, clarity, and direction.
One thought at a time. One step at a time. One act at a time.
This quote came in the mail today from Billy Mills, national spokesperson for “Running Strong for American Indian Youth” – a project associated with Christian Relief Service.
The synchronicity of the arrival of this in mailbox today was not lost on me. I already had spent my hour up in my sanctuary reading my Bible, devotionals, and praying for you – and other family and friends on my prayer list (yes, you are there!). Among the names on my list is “Native American Youth.” Lord knows their needs and yours.
The word that was my “Take-Away” from that time upstairs today was “Perseverance.” And that’s BEFORE the mail came with this gift! Go back up and read it again… “Collective Perseverance…” and HOPE …Resilience and Certainty in tomorrow – – – Tomorrow: a better day!
It’s perseverance That changes maybe’s to YES. Chase the doubt away!
To make an impact Just practice perseverance. Keep your dreams alive.
Being persistent As you work to problem solve: The road to success!
I can’t just sit here Expecting success to come. Gotta go get it!
It’s perseverance – Working to make it happen That completes the goal.
What are you working To complete with great success? Live with that purpose.
But tenacity Ain’t easy when we don’t see The results we need.
Positivity Is hard to always maintain When we keep failing.
But unless we fail, We’re not trying hard enough! Gotta fail to learn.
3 “Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance,character;andcharacter,hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.…”
Don’t let the fact that There’s certain failure keep you From taking chances!
Folks who developed The vaccines we are using Failed many times.
Before succeeding, They conjured up their courage And kept on trying.
That’s the way it is! So Embrace Perseverance And live your purpose.
1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” Hebrews 12:1
Look at that runner; He did not win his first race! But perseverance paid off.
What race are you in? What’s marked out for you to do? Step out and do it!
Long term marriages like ours don’t happen accidentally. Takes lots of perseverance. Believe me!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Before you click out, leave a comment below, will you? What is the “race marked out for you” today?
As a teacher of elementary children for nearly a quarter of a century and the mom of two very curious children, I can tell you that one of the most annoying questions is “Why?”
I remember the day I finally asked my father, “Why not?” when he told me NO. I was about 20 years old! Can you imagine? Being raised in a family where when Dad said, “No,” that was final? No questions asked. Just obey?
My kids were not like that. It was a different era. They asked, “Why?” before they knew how to say, “Chocolate!”
I think a measure of a child’s intelligence may be how many times s/he asks “Why?” The explorations, poking, questioning, prodding, relentless inquisitive nature of some children and adults can be downright annoying, though.
The path may not be a straight one… And it may be hard to determine where it leads, but curiosity will keep you (and them) moving forward. There is a huge NEED to know what’s beyond the bend!
As parents and teachers we sometimes want to shield our children from the unknown. There may be danger out there. I had a tendency to be protective. I know that’s where my dad was coming from when he said, “No!”
But squelching curiosity because of fear of the unknown is a dangerous path. It can lead to many missed opportunities and lost happiness.
Instead of being annoyed by the “Why?” and the “Why not?” we need to teach ourselves and our children the importance of always questioning.
Accepting “No” for an answer without questioning can lead to stagnation.
Instead of squelching curiosity, let’s turn our questioning into research with a purpose.
Curious people don’t just look Curious people see Curious people don’t just see Curious people question Curious people don’t just question Curious people probe
With a thirst for answers, Curious people are relentless. They keep asking until They find answers that satisfy.
Curiosity changes our perceptions. It changes our way of seeing things. It helps us gain the wisdom That less curious people Spend a life-time chasing.
Francoise Sagan is credited with that quote. Who was he? Are you curious? I was.
“Françoise Sagan (born Françoise Delphine Quoirez; 21 June 1935 – 24 September 2004) was a French playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. Sagan was known for works with strong romantic themes involving wealthy and disillusioned bourgeois characters. Her best-known novel was her first – Bonjour Tristesse (1954) – which was written when she was a teenager.
Want to know more? Put her name in your Google search engine. We are so blessed to have an encyclopedia at our fingertips. Folks with insatiable appetites for answers can ask the who, what, why, when, and how questions and Siri or Alexa or Wikipedia are right there. What a gift these are to the curious.
EMBRACE CURIOSITY! Let your “Why?” be followed by active listening, thoughtful reading, and the explorations, poking, questioning, prodding, trying again, inquisitive nature that those children and adults exhibited who were downright annoying. Go ahead! Be annoying!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I’m curious. What are you up to? What are you curious about?
Today’s sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley at Ennis, Montana’s Presbyterian Church was titled, “Swept Up in the Current of God’s Love.”
In my typical fashion, I listened and took notes in poetry to capture the message as I was received it.
I like this image for today’s bulletin cover because the message as I pondered it was: “Listen for the angels’ announcement. Listen with your heart, and Be swept up into the realms of JOY!”
Based on and reflections from Luke 1:39-55
Mary rushed to tell Elizabeth The anticipation of Jesus’ birth. But Elizabeth already knew it… Elizabeth knew it? How on earth??
Mary felt a song swell up And bubble over inside her. She sang acceptance and praises. Elizabeth beamed beside her.
We don’t think of God exploding Into our lives this season. Our upside-down world seems to forget The JOY, the Message, the Reason.
The story of Mary and Elizabeth Reminds us of the glories of the event. To make Christmas more meaningful, We need to focus on the love sent.
Mary and Elizabeth didn’t make the joy. They WERE the joy – growing in them. God’s presence exhibited the miracle. The peace and JOY of God began then.
We’re not the master of all this. The grace and love are gifts. We’re the grateful recipients. With Jesus’ birth, the world shifts.
The angels announced the Savior. The vulnerable baby was born. His life changed our destiny. No longer are we lost or forlorn.
Mary’s Magnificat is a message To all of us to be steady – Steady for Christ’s coming. Listen with your heart – be ready!
Be prepared to be swept away By the current of God’s love. Be prepared for that Bethlehem baby Who came to save us from above.
Yes, the angels announced that heavenly Baby Who came down from God to us. Now we’re awaiting the angel Who’ll announce an end to all this fuss.
No, Reverend Steve didn’t add that last stanza to his sermon… but I just couldn’t help myself! Don’t you love that COVID angel? No?
Ah, come on… let’s add the need for a freedom announcement.
Freedom from the pain of this pandemic. Freedom from the need to wear masks, socially distance, stay at home, and isolate.
Don’t let this Coronavirus get to you…
Don’t take to the bottle to try and drown the pain!!
Make wise decisions!
Keep your eyes and your ears tuned to the Holy Spirit and be ready to be “swept up in the current of God’s love.” Jesus’ birth is the reason for the season – And the grace and hope He brings will keep you swimming in love and joy. Believe!
The following poem came from Lisa yesterday as I was waiting for Bob’s angiogram results.
“Thy name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. Nearness to Thee is my hope, and love for Thee is my companion. Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succor in both this world and the world to come. Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.”
Jaime and Kathy played the piano and keyboard as Jim played the saw for some special music this morning.
I always imagine that saw being the only instrument some old cowboy had on hand in some distant days gone by… and learning to eerily try to play a tune on it must have been quite an interesting pastime!!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
I hope you enjoyed these tidbits of my Sunday. Bee safe! See ya tomorrow. Bee well!!
As the “Black Lives Matter” protests gain less and less news coverage and the reason for the demonstrations that are still happening become obscured in the face of violence, looting, burning of buildings, and disjointed opinions, let’s revisit the subject!
Black Lives Matter
A chilling thought flashed into Isaiah McKinnon’s mind the first time he watched the Minneapolis video seen around the world of George Floyd’s death.
“George Floyd could have been me,” the former Detroit police chief wrote at the start of a Free Press guest column.
McKinnon joined the Detroit city’s force in the summer of 1965, four years after graduating from Cass Tech High School and entering the Air Force. He served as chief from 1993-98 and was deputy mayor from 2014-16.
Isaiah ‘Ike’ McKinnon asked: “What were they willing to do to Black civilians?” (Photo: Facebook/2014)
A Personal Account
In Isaiah McKinnon’s vivid commentary, the 76-year-old retiree — still a Detroiter — recalled blatant racism when he entered law enforcement five and a half decades ago:
“As a rookie officer, I encountered overt and casual bigotry and routine denigration and brutality. Many white officers refused to ride alongside Black officers. Some made cardboard dividers in patrol cars — designating the ‘white’ section from the ‘colored.’ Others used Lysol to ‘disinfect’ seats where Black officers sat. Some of my white colleagues refused to speak with me during shifts, dared not eat near or with me, and frequently used the ‘N-word’ to describe me and the African American citizens they were sworn to protect.
Two years later, I felt the sting of betrayal as an officer during the 1967 rebellion. One night, after a grueling shift, two white DPD officers pulled me over. I was still in uniform, badge affixed to my chest, and a #2 pin on my collar, indicating that I worked in the 2nd Precinct. I identified myself as a fellow officer, thinking they would see me as an equal. Instead, one pointed his gun at me and said, ‘tonight you’re going to die, N….’ before discharging his weapon. I dove back into my vehicle and miraculously managed to escape. I realized then that not even our shared uniform could save me from their racism. And I wondered if they were willing to shoot and kill a Black police officer, what were they willing to do to Black civilians?
As a supervisor a few years later, I stopped a group of officers from beating three Black teens. I was finally in a position to hold them accountable for their excessive use of force. But my precinct commander yelled at me for attempting to ‘ruin the lives of those good officers.’
I witnessed this kind of complicity repeatedly. When other officers reported abuse, as they should, they were ostracized, transferred to lesser assignments and treated so poorly that many quit.”
McKinnon, known widely as “Ike,” wrapped up his account with a call for “a change at all levels.”
“Now is the time to get to the heart of the matter: There must be a major effort to fundamentally restructure police departments so that they actually do what they promise: serve and protect all people.“
Listen to the Ones Who Know
McKinnon knows what he’s talking about! He is credible. He has lived the scenes of discrimination and experienced the violence first-hand. “Ike” has met six U.S. Presidents and Nelson Mandela, and has appeared on the “Today Show”, “Good Morning America”, “Oprah”, and “The History Channel.” He is a national motivational/inspirational speaker to Fortune 500 companies and schools.
Ike began his five decade career in public service as an officer with the Detroit Police Department in 1965. He held more than ten different positions in the department including patrol operations and various supervisory, administrative, command, and executive roles, before retiring as an Inspector to start his own security firm. In 1993, McKinnon returned to the Detroit Police Department to serve as Chief. Under his five years of leadership, hundreds of police officers were directed to go into city neighborhoods and introduce themselves to residents in an effort to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. In addition to shifting the focus of the department to community-driven policing, he advocated for and implemented training programs for officers responding to domestic violence.
What to Do Now
Let’s continue the leadership McKinnon demonstrated during his tenure with the Detroit Police Dept. Let’s make sure we engage across the USA in some of the practices that will help:
Send police officers into neighborhoods to bridge the gap between the law enforcement and the community
Shift the focus of the departments to community-driven policing
Continue funding our police departments as we train officers to respond in appropriate ways to various needs
Advocate for and implement training programs for officers responding to domestic violence
Hire officers who demonstrate compassion – and fire those who do not!
Oh, and do not forget about ME! I am part of the problem if I do not check my “White Privilege” at the door – and examine my own heart and actions. Am I guilty of prejudice unintentionally? If so, how? And what can I do about it in my own life??
No more needless deaths! No more hatred! No more discrimination!
Reach out in love Call Unity into Action. Just LOVE ONE ANOTHER!! Be the change you want to see in the world!
Cristan Mihai is a blogging guru who started his blog within a month of when I did in 2012. His posts on “The Art of Blogging” have taught me so much about how to create and continue to improve my JanBeek, Loving One Another website. A constant piece of advice that Cristian repeats at least weekly is: “Punch Those Damn Keys.”
In his “About” introduction to himself on his website, Cristian wrote:
“Cristian Mihai (born 25 December 1990) grew up in Constanta, Romania. And he’s still growing up, or at least trying to. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he gets lucky and writes something good. He can’t, however, draw a straight line. No matter how much he tries. Not even with a ruler. And, please, don’t ever ask him to sing.”
You can tell by that introduction that he has a wonderful sense of humor. You know he is an English-as-a-second-language blogger. You would never know that by visiting his website. His English is perfect! And his tips, ideas, lessons about how to improve are priceless. He offers his services in a number of ways – and he is sponsored by several companies on his website. He’s a full-time blogger. He tells us that TENACITY is one of the most effective qualities if you want to grow your blog.
What’s ironic about his “The Road to 1,000th Order” blog?
He posted today “The Road to 1,000 …” the same day I received this notification of congratulations from WordPress:
Posting for Readers
I am not selling anything on my blog, so I won’t get 1,000 orders… But I would love to get 1,000 followers! And I am pleased to know I have posted that record 1,000 number of times – pleased because I know my posts and my readers have grown and improved through the years.
I post for my readers… and to my readers. I post to encourage, inspire, educate, and occasionally just to share my love, to share my joy or to entertain.
I post to show you the scenery, people, activities, and animals in whatever corner of the world I am today, knowing it may be very different from your surroundings. I enjoy seeing where you are and what you are doing.
Each day one or two new folks join us. Each day between 70 and 120+ folks from around the world visit JanBeek. Of those an average of 15 to 20 click “like” to let me know they have been there. If I am lucky, 8 or 10 will leave a message (usually it is only 2 or 3 comments, however). Usually I have no idea who more than 75% of my visitors are (except that WordPress tells me where they are from).
Encouraged or Discouraged?
Are those numbers typical? Are they encouraging or discouraging?
They are neither. They just are what they are. The “Discover” site on WordPress has 42,500,197 followers!! What would I do with that? I’d have to hire several private secretaries to keep up!!
It is not the numbers that keep me posting. One thousand posts since 2012… of those, the last 148 have been consecutive. It is not the numbers… it is the contacts, the friendships, the connections with people I have come to love here – or conversations with those I love in other walks of my life, as well. I hope to meet face-to-face someday the new friends like Derrick and Richard who are so kind with their messages of affirmation.
It was 148 days ago when I decided to make blogging a priority after my devotional time each morning.
It was 148 days ago when I committed to taking that part of Cristian Mihai’s advice, that “Get serious about it,” very seriously.
Just “Punch those damn keys!” Say what you mean – and mean what you say. Get passionate! Share what you care about. Be the change you want to see in the world … one word, one post, one action, at a time.
Cristian Mihai – The Art of Blogging
Cristian has 131,548 followers and often offers them perks… like today, “A random person will be selected among those who order until we reach #1000 will receive six months of reblogging, one sponsored post per month for a duration of six months, and a one-on-one Skype chat with me.”
I am one of Cristian’s 1,000. I ordered his on-line book, “The Art of Blogging,” and I subscribed to some one-on-one tutoring from him. He gave me some great advice about formatting, headlines, content, and networking. I recommend you take him up on his offered perk today. Who knows, maybe you will be the 1,000th person! He’s offering a great reward!
When I posted this, it was supposed to be a tribute to a fellow blogger who shared Maya Angelou’s poem, “Continue.” But, when my post aired, the poem was missing. I have since tried to find it, but to no avail… until now.
I wrote, “I love this Maya Angelou poem. I had not seen it before. Have you?” And then, there was no poem for you to see!!
One thing I did find during my search was this quote by Maya Angelou, “My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.”
This is our month on JanBeek of gratitude and kindness… and Maya’s heart and talent surely expand the love this blog is meant to share with you.
I continued my search for her poem titled, Continue, and finally found it!! It was on Phil Ebersole’s blog with a sub-title of, “Thoughts about politics and the passing scene”