“Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth…”
Ah, TRUTH! It can be so evasive… But a positive attitude and an open heart and mind Can make Truth more discernible. Seek it out with questions wise and kind.
Positive people are filled with curiosity; They never stop asking when and why. You can’t stop an intelligent child From asking, “Why?” even if you try.
So foster that curiosity! Appreciate it in your own design. You are a Child of God, you know, So embrace your uniqueness and SHINE!
Thank you for visiting JanBeek today. Your positive remark in the comments below Will add to my joy today. Let your positivity show!!
My last couple of posts dealt with the theme of shipwrecks and lifeboats. Today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church seemed to contradict the idea of jumping from the ship and hopping on the lifeboat. Or did it?
The boat in today’s scripture lesson was in a storm (“…beaten by the waves …the wind was against them,” Matt 14:24b). The boat was filled with the 12 disciples. Jesus was walking on the water to come to them.
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way[a] from the land,[b] beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night[c] he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind,[d] he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
In his sermon today, Rev. Steve Hundley took me on a new journey through that scripture. Instead of focusing on Peter and his desire to also walk on water – and his doubt which caused him to begin to sink, Pastor Steve invited us to take a closer look at the eleven disciples who remained in the boat. I had not done that before. In fact, I am not sure I even realized the boat was big enough for eleven of them to fit in there!
If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I have a habit of listening to the sermon and taking notes in poetry. That way I can share the message with Bob on our way home (since he has trouble hearing and following the sermon during church). Well, I did that note-taking today. Here is what I came away with:
Is this a story about faith? Is it about Peter’s doubt? Or, is it about the eleven who Stayed in the boat without a shout?
They saw Jesus walking on the sea. They thought He was a ghost. Jesus said, Never fear, it is I.” Peter: “… if it is You…” Not the eleven, though. Who believed most?
Peter doubted – and he asked to be Set apart so then he’d believe. Like the rest of us who ask For exemption – “Give me special power – relieve!”
Relieve my doubt. Let me ask for help. Do you have trouble asking for help? Do you like playing the hero? Unlike the eleven disciples, do you yelp?
Peter yelped, “Let me walk on water, too.” Jesus gave him the ability to walk. But Peter continued to doubt And so he began to sink. Walk the talk?
No, the church doesn’t need heroes. It needs disciples like the eleven were. Stay in the boat – Wait for Jesus to come. Don’t try to be a hero and cause a stir!
We’ve got a storm of constant change Going on all about us. We need To stay in the boat and pay attention To the eleven. Don’t be a Peter of greed!
The wind and waves stirring up change In our world can eat a person alive. It’s easy to jump ship, but Jesus says, Stay the course. Stay in the boat. Survive!
Take heart! You are not alone. I am with you in the boat. Sing! Know that this is your lifeboat. Wait for the peace and calm that I will bring.”
In his “Prayers of the People” after the sermon and a hymn titled, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” Pastor Steve prayed,
“Take us by the hand And rescue us in our darkest hours. It is You who rescues us. We pray You will not leave us alone. As we strain at the oars, protect us when we find ourselves adrift. Strengthen our hands when we are weak.”
I would add, “Strengthen our faith when we are weak. Keep us on the boat. It is not a shipwreck, not if You, Lord, are our Captain.”
Don’t jump ship! Life may be a shipwreck, but with Jesus as your Captain, your boat is a lifeboat! You can trust Him completely. Sing in the lifeboat!
Sing, “I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men…” (and of women, too!)
Thanks for visiting JanBeek this lovely Sunday afternoon. I hope you had a great day. Bee well, and Bee safe! And stay in the boat!!
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.
From Wikipedia: Living water … is a biblical term which appears in both the Old and New Testaments. In Jeremiah 2:13 and 17:13, the prophet describes God as “the spring of living water”, who has been forsaken by his chosen people Israel. Later, the prophet Zechariah described Jerusalem as a source of “living water”, “half [flowing] east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter” (Zechariah 14:8). The Pulpit Commentary notes that the city of Jerusalem “was, as we know, abundantly supplied with water by many conduits and subterranean channels; but standing, as it does, surrounded by hills higher than itself, it is physically impossible that the waters could literally flow as stated. The description is symbolical…” …”
“If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10).
In this Christian season of Advent, the season described in Britannica as “Advent, (from Latin adventus, “coming”), in the Christian church calendar, the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas and also of preparation for the Second Coming of Christ” it is appropriate that we consider who Christ is, why He came, and what His presence as the Holy Spirit means in our lives.
Living Water (an Elfchen = 1,2,3,4,1)
Living For Jesus A Loving Life Accepting His Cleansing Grace Water
I have a Bible that I gave to a friend years ago. When she died, her family returned it to me with a thank you. The Bible is titled, “Living Water.” Every scripture in it that contains the word “water” is printed in blue ink. All the photographs in the Bible are of water. It is beautiful!
The family wrote a note to me thanking me for this gift to my friend. In this Bible my friend found her salvation. Her family knows she accepted the “Living Water” into her heart – and accepted the gift of eternal life. We will meet again in eternity!
Sometimes reading the Bible can feel like looking at “muddy water,” especially the Old Testament when it gets into the wars, the sexual escapades, the genealogical lists… but stand still in the scripture; study it with a devotional written by a Biblical scholar, and the muddy water can become clear!
Inside the “Living Water” – for those who thirst – I copied a quote from D.L Moody: “This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.”
May you find peace this busy season – peace as you intake Living Water for your soul. My prayers are with you this day… and always. Thanks so much for following JanBeek. I pray you find here love, peace, joy, faith, and the invitation for UNITY in this world. Let’s just LOVE ONE ANOTHER!
I am headed to our local nursing home to help with Bingo today. I have a few Christmas decorations displayed in my home. A dear neighbor/friend came and helped me. God bless her! What will you do to spread your love to others today?
Peace be with you! Hugs, JanBeek
We’re surrounded by “Living Waters. Sometimes we feel like we’re swimming in them. They’re not murky! They are clear and calm. The Lord is swimming with us… He is our “Life Preserver!” Praise God!
It’s Thoughtful Thursday A day to step back – reflect What does today hold?
I won’t jump right in I’ll stand at the water’s edge Dip my toe in it
Think about the day Ponder possibilities Hear my soul speaking
Embrace Thoughtfulness Listen to thoughts as water Falls with purity
Pile rocks as you pray Putting important things first Each rock is a task
Choose them carefully Tasks are opportunities Order thoughtfully
Let your thoughts reflect Then allow them to emerge As a daily plan
Pause, pray and listen Plan, and then jump in with faith Embrace Thoughtfulness.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Have a calm, thoughtful, and a purposeful Thursday. See ya tomorrow. JanBeek
Do you ever wonder what’s real and what’s not? Do you wonder what’s truth and what’s fiction? Do you wonder why certain things happen? Do you wonder what tomorrow will bring?
What if you grew up with a dad Who was a Special Effects Artist? What would the world seem like To you if this was your daily reality?
Ever wonder what life would be like If you had not met the person who Is front and center in your life now? Who would be with you instead?
Ever wonder how God created The beauty of a rainbow or sunset? The colors of the variety of birds? Or every zebra’s stripes unique?
Ever wonder how He could make Each snowflake different? Each eye unique – unlike any other? Each voice to sound like no other?
Did you ever wonder if our eyes grow over our lifetime? When we’re born, our eyes are about two-thirds smaller than they’ll be when we reach adulthood. People’s eyes stop growing in length by the age of 20-21, when they reach about 24 millimeters. But the weight of the eyes’ lenses continue to increase over time. Isn’t that a wonder?
Ever wonder how I knew that? Used to be we had a huge set of encyclopedia that we bought from a door-to-door salesman. Encyclopedia Britannica. Outdated by the time it was published. Ask Siri today. Ask Alexa. Carry your encyclopedia in your pocket. Ever wonder how our kids could survive without their cell phones?… And about those voices:
Ever wonder what life would be like If the only thing we bothered to talk about Was the good that we see in others? This is a poem my mom had memorized:
Wouldn’t this old world be better If the folks we meet would say “I know something good about you,” And then treat us just that way?
Wouldn’t it be fine and dandy If each handclasp warm and true Carried with it this assurance, “I know something good about you”?
Wouldn’t life be lots more happy If the good that’s in us all Were the only thing about us That folks bothered to recall?
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.
Wouldn’t it be nice to practice That fine way of thinking, too? You know something good about me! I know something good about you.
(Louis C. Shimon)
Mom posted that poem along with many others on a cardboard that she had hanging inside her kitchen cabinet door. She gathered the poems as a new bride in 1937. They were cut from the weekly newspaper. I have that cardboard posted inside my kitchen cabinet door here in Montana. It’s fading fast and becoming harder and harder to read… but I have most of them memorized now, too!
Ever wonder what your life would be like If you were born to a different mother? You wouldn’t be you, would you? What if your mother had different attributes?
My mother loved poetry (obviously) – And so that love of words well spoken Rubbed off on me – and I wonder What would life be like without poetry?