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Posts tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Waiting


Photo by Gary Barnes on Pexels.com

There is more than one way to interpret the word “wait.”
The photo above shows you a waitress who is “waiting” on a table.

Some waiting is defined by
an expectation of something
or someone to come…
like a good friend.

Other waiting is short-term, self-imposed, self-defined…
…. like waiting for your food to digest before
that next meal or dessert after a huge Thanksgiving dinner!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

What are you waiting for?

Today is the first day of Advent.
As a Christian, that means we have 40 days of waiting.

The season of Advent lasts through Christmas Eve.
When Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday,
it is the last or fourth Sunday of Advent.
In Eastern Orthodox churches,
which use the Julian calendar,
Advent begins earlier, on November 15,
and lasts 40 days, rather than 4 weeks.

40 days of waiting for the coming of the Christ Child
… waiting for Christmas.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

The word “Advent” stems from the Latin word adventus,
which literally means “coming” or “arrival.”
Our sermon at my church this morning
dealt with this topic of waiting…
waiting for that special arrival.

Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds
spoke about a children’s book
(I think it was a Dr. Seuss)
that depicted a “waiting place”
as a “useless place”
but she encouraged us
to view waiting differently.

She asked us what we do when we are waiting.
Some people find something to read.
Others play on their phones
or engage in conversation with a friend.
Some write letters or cards
or they reach out to help a neighbor.
Spend the waiting time productively.

I wrote this conclusion as I listened:

There is a lot we can do while we wait.
Think about the good things we can do.
Gracious God, help us make waiting useful.
Let’s fill it with good things for me and You.

We can live during this time of waiting
With love and hope in our heart.
We have control over our actions.
We can spread peace – today’s the day to start.

Ready? Begin!

Psalms 27:13-14
I believe that I shall look upon
the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
Wait for the LORD;
be strong,
and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Have a wonderful season of Advent.

Love and hugs to you!

Make your waiting a time of love and compassion!
Reach out today!

Happy Day After


Happy Day after Thanksgiving! It’s a heat wave – we’re finally above freezing! The icicles are melting.

Time to “cool it” and let the turkey and stuffing settle while making turkey soup with the leftovers.

Our dear friends, the Humphreys, invited us to share the Thanksgiving feast with them. Such a lot of food! God bless them; they sent half the leftovers home with us. We are enjoying them a lot!!

Bob and I tried not to overstuff ourselves. Not easy!!

Kathy set a really pretty table.

Meantime, in Maryland, our friend Laina is recuperating from surgery, so her daughter, Katy, came over and created a phenomenal meal. Take a look at that turkey. Isn’t it beautiful? Katy’s sister and her fiance’ joined them. Thank God for our technology, we are able to share photos and greetings with one another.

In California, our son, Ty, and his wife, Monika celebrated Thanksgiving with his in-laws, two of his kids and two grandkids at a time-share in Napa. Here is a wreath they made with expressions of their gratitude. Don’t you love it?

On Thanksgiving Day, Ty and his son (our grandson,Jordan) plus his daughter (our granddaughter, Faith) and her husband participated in a “Turkey Trot.” Good for them, huh?

I have a wonderful picture of the whole family, but with my two great-granddaughters in the photo, I can’t post it. You’ll just have to imagine it!

I hope your Thanksgiving weekend
is filled with more family and friends
gathering to celebrate your blessings with you.

Do keep in touch, OK?

Love,
JanBeek

Happy Day Before


Happy Day Before…. the rest of your life … a day of gratitude in the USA,… I pray you are well, anticipating a happy tomorrow, and living the good life.

Thank you for checking out JanBeek today. What are your tomorrow plans? We are planning to go to dinner with dear friends who live just a mile away … that is, if we can get out of our driveway! Look at what’s happening outside:

It’s pretty from the inside looking out! I’m not complaining. We have had several relatively dry years – so we can use the moisture! I just pray the roads are clear enough that we can get out tomorrow!

Yup, like that turkey who avoided the chopping block, I am grateful for life! Grateful for love and health, and all God’s blessings. What are you grateful for today? I pray that you’re feeling blessed, too.

Cheers!
Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow…
Happy Day Before…

Love to you and your family,
JanBeek

Remember November


Dig deep in your brain
Remember November now
It’s gratitude month


In Novembers past
Remember who you shared with
Then count your blessings

Time has changed a lot
Large gatherings here are gone
I hope they’ll return

Family is so precious!

Family: the people you choose to love

Remember the yummy spread of food?
Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina Food Photographer/Stylist on Pexels.com

Remember the days
When decorations were seen
All around the house?

Will we still create
A festive mood this season
Without the big crowd?

Don’t cry for me!
We won’t gather round this table this year
for our Thanksgiving celebration…
but we will be with dear friends –
and our son will be with family
in a lovely California destination.

My heart goes out
to family and friends
who will experience
The Empty Chair
this year.

Several of our friends
Relate to the empty chair
Missing who was there

If you’re only two
And the group is not around
Be grateful for two

Thank the Lord you have
One another and rejoice
Then join friends of choice

Have a Memorable and Blessed November!

God bless You!
Lotsa Love,
JanBeek

God Bless
My “friend of choice!”
I’m so grateful to have him here…
(That was our 60th anniversary photo!)

Embrace Planning


It is the season
Plan the next celebration
Decorating time

Half the mantle’s orange
With green snowflake and some snow
It’s transition time

Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

Toasting the season
Planning for the one to come
Hanukkah – Christmas

Some shopped Black Friday
Frenzied present selections
I prefer waiting

Choose slowly for each
Plan your days so you stress less
Avoid rushing crowds

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Plan time for some fun
Share time with some precious friends
It’s a time to love

Make great memories
Invite your loved ones to join
Combine plans with them

Carol and I planned
A day for painted Santas
On little fingers

Planning is a way
To ensure you get things done
And go where needed

Listen to your heart
Call on the Lord for guidance
Follow in His Way

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Philippians 4:6

Never Fear

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

Asking God for help
As you plan the days to come =
Definitely wise!

Pondering options
Setting your priorities =
Trusting God’s answers


Just keep on trusting
Keep on planning days ahead
Happy Holidays!

God bless your planning!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
What’s your plan?

Embrace Planning!
Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Illumination


Illumination
Shining your light on others
Sparkling every day

Illumination
Letting your inner light shine
Knowing your light’s source

It is Thanksgiving
Designed to reach out in love
Share your gratitude

We are so grateful
For Nicky & Celine here
We’ve had fun with them.

It was great to go
And see the dinosaur bones
A super display!

Illumination
Learning about the fossils
Just fascinating!

Illumination
Eating excellent sushi
Embracing cultures

MMMmmm, it was good!
We loved sharing – comparing
Naming – Enjoying!

Illuminate Home
Get ready to share your meal
Thank God for your friends

I thank God for you
I pray for health and safety
For each one of you.

Tell me about your Thanksgiving.
I hope your day is filled with good food,
Good friends, and lots of great conversation.

I am sorry that some were unable to come
Because not all are vaccinated and some
Feel vulnerable with this darn COVID-19
Still threatening to infect even those with Boosters.

I pray for an end to this pandemic
And for all who can do so to go and get the vaccine.
Embrace illumination – shine your light on healthy choices!
But, it is not for me to judge… if you choose not to,
You have your reasons – and I love you anyway.

Just BEEEEE SAFE!
And Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Missing my sis…

Keeping you in my prayers.
Thanks for visiting today.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)…
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Cards


Do you save some of the cards people send you?
Are you inspired by the things your friends and family say to and about you?
I have a bulletin board on the back of the door that leads to my laundry room.
Each year I save the birthday cards I receive and post them there.
If ever I feel myself moving into a funk, and I need a spirit lift,
just reading a few of those cards definitely raises me up!

In my sanctuary, I have a bookshelf with my collection of Bibles and various devotionals. On it, I have a card that my friend, Terry, sent to me several years ago. I see it every morning and it is a marvelous source of encouragement and inspiration. Living up to the sentiment it expresses, being the person this friend sees in me, are daily challenges – daily goals. You can see why I have saved and I embrace this card:

Last year when my dear friend, Phyllis, died, I inherited a bagful of cards she had kept during her last year of life. Living in the nursing home during COVID-19 when visitors were not allowed in, the cards were a lifeline to the outside world. Never underestimate the value of the card you take the time to select and send to a friend. They are more precious than gold!

I am going to select some of the most meaningful of these cards and send them to Phyllis’ daughter(s) … knowing their messages will live on in the hearts of my friends’ family members, just as they live on in my heart.

With Thanksgiving coming, that USA holiday dedicated to an attitude of gratitude for our many blessings, I went to the Family Dollar Store yesterday. For $1.00 apiece, I picked up a dozen beautiful cards with lovely sentiments. With precious family and friends in mind, I selected carefully. Today I wrote a personal note of appreciation on each, addressed, and stamped them. Bob took them to the post office. They are on their way to special people who make my life better – just because they are a part of my world.

Letter writing and card sending does not need to be a lost art. Cards can be expensive (those same ones would be between $2.50 and $4.95 at a stationery store). But, check out your local dollar store! Don’t let the expense deter you! Get a few cards today. Find some time to write a personal note to the people who make your life better. Send them off to brighten someone’s day. Let your light shine through your words and thoughtfulness! You never know, your cards may be keepers, too!

Embrace Cards.
Embrace the Expressions of Appreciation you receive from others.

Send yours out tomorrow…
Be the friend everyone wishes they had!

Let your light shine
all the way to
where your loved ones are…


There’s still time for your cards to be received by Thanksgiving!

Good friends- Terry & Elaine –
So blessed to have these as “Keepers!”
Their light shines in my heart everyday!

Thanks for visiting.
Tell me – are you a card saver, too?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love ya,
JanBeek

I dare you to listen to this song without smiling!!

Global Gratitude


Sue Dreamwalker wrote this today, “I will be joining the Global Day of Gratitude. This Thanksgiving we need to give thanks for family and friends, and grow our New soul family as we reach out and create New Connections all over the World… As we reach out with our hearts to create Unity and Peace.”

Sue DreamwalkerWalking The Storm

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The day called “Thanksgiving” has drawn to a close this challenging year of 2020. But as Dwight Roth reminded us in his post yesterday, it is not just a day to be reminded to be grateful for all our blessings, but it also is a day called “National Day of Mourning for Native Americans.” Check out his informative and poignant post:

rothpoetryBlinded By Comfort

Photo by Gabriela Custu00f3dio da Silva on Pexels.com

In the midst of plenty, I am reminded of the suffering of many. I am reminded of the sacrifice of many. I am mournful as I realize the injustices that brought me to the place of comfort where I am today. I apologize to my Native American friends … and yet I know nothing I can say or do today can erase the truth of what white people did to these dear people. I want to be thankful for what I have – (and I am) – but I recognize the cost… and I am humbled in my position of plenty – and trying NOT to be “Blinded by Comfort.”

I hope your Thanksgiving Day was a day of small gatherings … not the big family crowd we are used to on this day. I hope you kept it intimate and safe. We did. Just four of us. But in our hearts we included you all… and thanked God for your presence in our lives. WordPress is a wonderful community – and I am thankful for your shared thoughts, your insightfulness, and your faithful visits to JanBeek.

Our table in Montana

Throughout the day, we texted with our family in California and Maryland and Switzerland and bemoaned the fact that we can’t all be together this year. But, we thanked God for our health and our many blesssings. With the magic of WhatsApp and Messenger and FaceTime, we shared pictures. I hope you were able to do the same thing.

Our son’s table in California
Our son, Ty, at the end of the table.

Monika is taking the photo. Her parents were able to join them along with our grandson, Sam, on the left and our granddaughter, Faith and her husband, Kyle, on the right. Two other of our grandchildren are missing here. COVID says, “Keep it small.” Tough task!

Relaxing after dinner

We feel blessed to be able to share this important day with our pastor, Steve, and his wife, Elaine. Thank God for friends near and far who can join us in these days of social distancing and masks and fear – and can help us feel less alone!

Thank you, Elaine, for being such a dear friend!

I hope you were able to share the day with loved ones, too… and that you had reasons to count your blessings in the midst of this very unusual year.

My joy and gratitude overflow.
I hope it spills out globally –
and it is contagious!

I hope you had a safe and happy Global Day of Gratitude
while remembering our Native Americans …

Happy Native American Day!
God bless the Indians!!

Tell me about your Thanksgiving Day.
What did you do?

God is Great! God is Good!


Thank you for checking in with JanBeek today.
If you are one of the newbies here, welcome!!

You may not know that I take sermon notes in poetry most Sundays,
and then I share them here.
I do…
and I enjoy helping you hear
what I heard through my poetic filters.
Comments always appreciated.

Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina Food Photographer/Stylist on Pexels.com

Sermon by
Reverend Steve Hundley
Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana
Notes by Jan Beekman

God is Great, God is Good!

Thanksgiving celebrations
Have a history with friends.
This year with COVID,
Most will find unwelcomed ends.

Reunited old relationships
Were important to reflame.
Old traditions are important.
What’ll we do to reclaim?

What can we do to overcome
This year of so many deaths?
How can we truly be thankful
When so many breathed last breaths?

Remember to give thanks
For life – no matter how short.
Help the family say good-bye,
And trust God. Give no retort!

There is no way we can
Make whining acceptable.
Suck it up and give thanks
For life! … Be respectable.

Praise and give thanks to God
For the daily gifts He gives.
Blessed be the Lord of all.
Blessed be our God. He lives!

Psalm 100 gives praise
No matter the troubles and strife.
Remember the password to God:
“Thank You!” God, thank you for life!

Rev. Steve told a story about a family Thanksgiving a few years ago where his mom ALWAYS asked him to be the one to provide the blessing. But on this particular Thanksgiving, his four-year-old second cousin interrupted and said HE wanted to say the blessing this year. Steve’s mom told him he could, assuming Steve would follow up with the REAL blessing.

The four-year-old cleared his throat and declared, “God is Great – God is Good – Amen!”
Steve’s mom asked, “That’s it?”
And the boy responded emphatically, “Yes! That’s it!”
Then she turned to Steve, expecting him to expound further.
Steve simply said, “Amen!”

Yes, that’s it … that’s all we need to know: “God is Great! God is Good! Amen!”


Steve’s opening prayer this morning: “Father in heaven, we give You thanks for life and for all of the experiences that life brings us.  We give You thanks for joy, hope, peace, and answered prayers, but we also give You thanks for our trials, sorrows, and pain.  We give You thanks for our land, for the beauty of the landscape, for the riches it provides for our living, for the people and cultures among us.  Above all things, we give You thanks for our hope in Christ, for the life and freedom that will ultimately be ours.  Teach us to cherish all Your gifts.  Teach us also to use all these resources for the good of society and for glory to You.  Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

*AN AFFIRMATION OF THANKSGIVING

I believe in the God of fruit time and harvest, who makes the land to bear gifts in its time and fills our tables with the bounty of His hand.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who was the first fruit of those who slept, and brings us to spiritual tables where our cups overflows.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, who causes us to remember all things for which we are grateful and teaches us to see a relationship between our gifts and the Giver.

I believe in the world as the arena of my spiritual life, where I am to share my table with the poor and my hospitality with the stranger; for in so doing, I shall fulfill the desires of my great and good God who has given me everything, and of His Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.   

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you for joining me for our Sunday service.
If you find yourself in Ennis, Montana on a Sunday morning,
do come and join us at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church.
308 W Hugel St, Ennis, MT 59729
(406) 682-4355


May the Lord Bless and Keep You safe
now and always.

See ya tomorrow.

Preparing for Thanksgiving


As you are preparing for Thanksgiving,
That annual day when THANKS is clear,
Don’t forget to put an extra chair
At your Gratitude Table this year

I am thinking of Carol Orr
and Marcelle Zufferey
and our angelic ancestors
during this Thanksgiving season.
I thank God for their presence in our lives.

Who will you imagine to be at your empty chair this year?

Back in Jodie’s kitchen in Sewickley PA.
I’m preparing tonight’s dinner for the family. What are you up to today?

See ya later.

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