Today in church, the choir taught the congregation a new hymn. At least it was new to us. About verse three, the congregation couldn’t hold – they had to (simply HAD to) join in… and the message resonated with everyone there.
I was reminded of the slogan at Bloom in the Desert where we attended several different Januarys when we vacationed near Palm Springs, CA: “We welcome all who welcome all.”
Wouldn’t it be grand if all people could exhibit that level of inclusivity?
Hallelujah! Love is grown in this place! I am so happy to worship in a place where “All Are Welcome.” I just wish we could cultivate more diversity in our little corner of Montana. We came from California 15 years ago. Our community in CA was made up of people from many ethnicities. I miss that! Montana does have a large Native American population, though. I wish more of them would move into southwest Montana!
Meet a couple of very talented brothers:
What can we – as diversity-loving citizens – do to encourage more of that “We Welcome All” attitude in our world?
Share some ideas with me.
I send my love to you. See you tomorrow (God willing) Love, JanBeek
My cast insures that I’ll wear red whether I want to or not!
Tomorrow the pins will come out and the cast comes off!
Then my prayer is that the swelling decreases & flexibility begins to return.
That will be a time to celebrate. Don’t you agree? Wheeee!
Oh, but why “Wear Red” You ask? It’s Pentacost!
Tongues of fire Descended on the folks Gathered at the Temple
The tongues of fire Were the Holy Spirit Entering the Disciples
Here’s how the story goes:
At the Last Supper, Jesus instructed His disciples to go out into the world to minister and heal the sick on their own. Fifty days after Jesus’ death, the Holy Spirit (with tongues of fire) descended onto the disciples, allowing them to speak in tongues. All the people from all parts of the world who were gathered there were able to hear the Word in their own language as the apostles (filled with the Holy Spirit) spoke to them. Some explanations say that it was the “Pentecostal experience” that allowed the apostles direct communication with God. The PBS News Hour explanation of Pentecost says, “That signaled a major shift in the religious landscape and laid the foundation for what would become Christianity.”
Pentecost shares roots with the Jewish holiday, Shavu’ot. Since that holiday’s liturgical color is red, to symbolize the apostles “tongues of fire” and also the blood of martyrs, sometimes Christians will dress in red or decorate churches with red. Many churches hold baptisms and confirmations on that day, as well. (Our church was decorated in red and we held a fellowship hour after church celebrating the graduation of three of our young people from elementary to high school – and from high school to college.)
Many artists have tried to depict what that day of Pentecost must have been like for the people there.
This is one of my favorites:
Here is another favorite… It shows the people from various cultures, each of whom speak a different language, receiving the Holy Spirit. God’s sign of UNITY through and within our diversity.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all could have a “Pentecostal experience” where we understand every language as if it were spoken in our own tongue? No more language barriers?
How are you celebrating Pentecost today? Are you wearing red? Let’s all celebrate UNITY through and within our diversity.
God bless you. See you later… After the pins come out!
Do you ever doubt your niche? Yesterday I posted excerpts from Gottfried’s Banter, a blog whose niche is humor. No, I wasn’t suggesting that my blog should try to fit that niche. Humor like Gottfried’s doesn’t come naturally to me like it does to him.
No, it’s not numbers, It’s my purpose that dictates My niche and my style.
It’s my gifts that spell The reason for my blogging. How about your niche?
What’s your intention? Do you need one hundred one Questions to find out?
The Art of Blogging, Cristian Mihai, has questions Yes, one hundred one!
Yesterday’s post had to do with service: Focusing on Veteran’s Day and military service. I alluded to the fact that there are many ways To serve, but I didn’t elaborate on that.
Did you read that line and pause? Did you think about the expanded meaning Of service – the act of serving – and its Relationship to Christian living?
I did! But, I decided to wait until today To embrace the myriad of ways We enjoy and benefit from serving. We are encouraged to “Be Servants!”
Scripture calls us to serve others in love as Galatians 5:13 says, “For you were called to freedom, brothers [and sisters]. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
Having a servant’s heart means to help others in love without expecting something in return, serving in appreciation of the gifts God has already given us.
Helper Divinely guided Opening my heart Aware of God’s calling Servant
In my Daily Word from Unity.org today, I was inspired by the message of “Guidance.” In it, the writer embraced serving, reminding us that as we prepare to do so, we need to listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit within us.
“There are many ways of connecting with Spirit, but the first is by letting go. I must first release the situation I want guidance about.
With my human self out of the way, I stop my mind from trying to figure out the answer.
After letting go, I meditate, enjoy some devotional reading time, and become aware of God’s [presence]…”
Jesus was the consummate servant. His Holy Spirit puts in each of us a servant’s heart. Serving others is one of our main purposes in life!
“38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.
Pray With Me
“Heavenly Father, keep my focus on the one thing You have commanded: that I love others as You have loved me. Give me a servant’s heart that I may love in word and action” Amen
EMBRACE SERVING TODAY, MY FRIENDS. What will you do today to demonstrate your love in action?
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Living peacefully Brings out the best in others – Invites harmony.
Beautiful to see – Guys who live in harmony – Enjoy company.
The relationships Born of friendship and shared joy – Beautiful to see.
Beautiful to be Playing harmoniously – Embracing friendships.
As my outer world Reflects my inner spirit, Harmony abounds.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
My friend, Elaine Forsberg, recently left this earth for her eternal home. The memorial service for her was last weekend. She was a woman who raised her children to love God, follow Jesus, embrace harmony, and play harmonically. She did all those things herself. She taught by example.
Her son, Jim, plays the guitar and the saw! Her daughter, Peggy, also plays the saw… and the violin (magnificently). If you had attended Elaine’s service, you would have come away knowing this was a woman of great integrity – a woman who loved God – a woman secure in her destiny.
The Gandhi quote above fit Elaine Forsberg to a tee!
Besides loving God, Elaine loved music. She played the piano and made it possible for her children to appreciate the beauty of harmony.
The video below with its beautiful harmonies and gorgeous scenes of nature would be a favorite of hers. It’s a favorite of mine, I sang in the A Capella Choir all four years at the University of the Pacific. It was one of my favorite activities in college – and those harmonies still live in my heart.
To survive in peace and harmony, united and strong, we must have one people, one nation, one flag.
O Lord, may we learn to live in harmony. May our world embrace harmonious unity. Help us, God of Creation, to learn to follow Your commandments. There is no better way, we know, to live peacefully. Help us “Embrace Harmony” and spread its beauty to all we meet. Today we focus on harmony, peace, wholeness, and joy. Embrace us, O Lord, as these thoughts flower in our consciousness – and bring our dreams of world-wide harmony to vivid life. Amen.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
May you feel the peace of harmony in your heart today.
These two little darlings exude happiness, confidence, pure joy… I can’t help but smile when I look at them. (I bet you’re smiling, too) I’ve been saving this photo for just the right time. Today is it!
In my devotionals this morning, I read an article by Brenda Wade, Ph.D. Brenda is based in San Francisco. She hosts a radio talk show, “Modern Love” and she facilitates trainings on relationships. Her article in the Jan.-Feb. Unity magazine, Daily Word, is titled, “Overcoming Racism, Healing from Shame, Opening to Love.”
“The love and peace we want to know in our lives begins inside of us,” Dr. Wade wrote. “This has been on my mind lately as I’ve dug deeply into … my work, leading anti-racism trainings.”
In her article, she went on to describe an incident in her life that deeply affected her self-image. She was only 6-years-old.
“One day at school, my classmates and I were told to line up two by two and hold hands. I extended my hand, but the girl standing next to me refused to take it. ‘I can’t hold your hand,’ she said matter-of-factly. ‘My mother told me your skin is brown because it’s dirty.’ I was confused. My skin was brown, but it certainly was not dirty.”
It took years for that little 6-year-old to deal with the hurt. Her young brain just didn’t understand. She felt immediate rejection, pain, and the sting of shame. The notion that there was something wrong with her kept her from telling the teacher or her parents. She just carried that message of inferiority with her and it was reinforced by a high school principal who ignorantly expressed surprise that someone of her color could score so high on her tests.
It was further reinforced in graduate school when a department chair “was more interested in my race than my qualifications” – and as an adult when “a landlord candidly admitted he was denying me housing because I am African American.”
How does someone overcome such prejudicial treatment and regain the confidence that ALL PEOPLE deserve?
That is the question Dr. Walker deals with in her profession. She conquered it in her own life with “years of psychological work, spiritual practice, self-care, and healing.”
Dr. Brenda Wade wrote, “When we feel too hurt or afraid to let ourselves out, it becomes impossible to let others in.”
Embrace the confidence that there is hope and a future and a return of self-confidence when self-insight and self-love can be applied.
The pain of those early wounds go deep.
We know that we ALL have a responsibility to respond to one another in love, with compassion and respect, and to stand together hand-in-hand to obliterate oppression and prejudice.
Embrace that future with confidence and determination!
Yesterday during our ZOOM church service, our pastor, Steve Hundley, offered the following prayer. It is just what I needed to hear as I embrace with confidence the power of prayer and the belief that God hears, God cares, and God answers us when we cry out to Him:
“How many times in Your earthly ministry, O Lord, did You touch the fevered brows of those who were ill; or, the trembling hands of those who were afraid; or, the sagging shoulders of those bowed down in grief?
Walk among us now, we pray, and touch us for the same reasons… * Let those who are ill in body or in spirit feel the power of Your presence, and sense that healing is taking place. * We pray for all those sick with COVID throughout our nation and world… * Give those who are constricted by fears and anxieties a feeling of relaxation in Your grace. * Let peace flow over them like a river, carrying them away from self-preoccupation and into the openness of love and sharing… * Pour out the hope of Your resurrection upon those who are grieving the loss of loved ones… * May they walk the Emmaus Road with You and feel their hearts strangely and wonderfully warmed… * In the chaos and uncertainty of the coming weeks and months, give us confidence of faith in knowing that You are Lord of our lives and Lord of this world, and that You are working Your purpose out… * As Your children, O Lord, You know how often we recoil from those things that should not frighten or upset us in this world. Comfort us with Your presence, and teach us so to live within the disciplines of faith, so that, we are never without You.”
Embrace with Confidence, my friends, the knowledge that you regard all God’s Children as equals… and determine never to inflict on anyone the pain of rejection or the sting of shame.
As God’s children… Let us live as One. Let’s just walk around makng the world a better place! Embrace Confidence!