In these days of national crises, It’s easy to feel powerless. It’s easy to duck our heads and hide. It’s easy to take the role of cowardice.
Our uncertainty about the future Stirs in us anxiety and fear. But stronger yet is our faith. We take courage. God is here.
This letter from Amy Klobuchar, A politician I have come to admire, Came to me in today’s mail. Her message calms the fire.
Today’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. comes at a time when his work and his message are more important than ever. The forces of division that are trying to convince us that our neighbors are our enemies have been loud in recent months — but I still believe as I always have that there is still more that unites us as Americans than separates us.
Our nation is coming together to reject violence and authoritarianism. This is the spirit that we must bring into the future. We must heed the words of Dr. King, that we are all “tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Thank you, Amy
Turning to the wisdom of the scriptures, We can gain resolve and be brave. We can shine a light and be courageous. God tells us how to behave.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave or forsake you.”
“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit this land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”
The rioters at our nation’s capitol last week were intent on “taking back the country” by overturning the Biden/Harris election. They were convinced that the election was fraught with fraud. Hundreds of court cases were brought against election officials. Each case lost or was thrown out. Even judges appointed by President Trump found “no fraud existed.”
The actions of the rioters were not what Martin Luther King would have sanctioned. They were not what God in His scripture advocates. Paul, in his letter to the people of Corinth said what we need to hear today:
1 Corinthians 16:13
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”
He was not speaking to rioters. He was speaking to give courage to the people of Corinth to stand against oppressors.
Part of today’s problem in the USA (in my humble opinion) is that there is a host of Americans who have decided the people on the side of the law are the oppressors. They have painted Donald Trump as their liberator. A huge portion of our citizenry still is convinced the election was stolen. For only the second time in our history, the outgoing president will not be there at the inauguration to wish the incoming president well – and to encourage a peaceful transition of power. It is sad, indeed!
The most important thing we can do as a nation – and in fact, as a world – is to pray. Ask God to give courage and steadfastness to those people who have been elected to lead us forward. Join together in asking for a peaceful transition. There are (hopefully) many such prayer meetings occurring today and tomorrow. Here is one of them:
As we EMBRACE COURAGE and stand in the power and love of Christ, we must be discerning. Listen for the voice of God’s Truth. Try not to believe misleading rhetoric. Be sure we stand in God’s Will as we act by His strength.
2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. Embrace Courage, my friends. See ya tomorrow.
… we need to embrace God! We need to lean on Him and let Him enfold us in His loving care. We need God now more than ever! Feel God hugging you as you reach out to Him.
Today during our ZOOM worship service, Rev. Steve Hundley delivered a powerful Pastoral Prayer. As he explained to us (the two dozen members of the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, MT who logged in) during his introduction to the prayer, “I am relying heavily on the prayers of the Reverend Dr. Peter Marshall, who was elected Chaplain of the United States Senate on Jan. 4, 1947.”
“We know, Almighty God, that in this desperate hour, we as a nation need You. We need Your strength, Your guidance, Your wisdom. These are problems far greater than any human wisdom can solve, for what shall our leaders do in such an hour? May Your wisdom and Your guidance come upon the President, the President elect, the Senators and Congress men and women, to whom have been entrusted leadership. May the responsibility in the midst of this pandemic and civil unrest lie heavily on their hearts, until they are ready to acknowledge their helplessness and turn to You. Give them courage, and the moral integrity to confess that they don’t know what to do. Only then can they lead us as a nation beyond human wisdom to You, who alone has the answers.
Strengthen the courage of all our elected representatives—sincere men and women who want to do what is right, if only they can be sure what is right. Make it plain to them, O Lord. And then, start them out on the right way, for You know that we are hard to turn.
Forgive them for the blunders they have committed, the compromises they have made. Give to them to courage to admit mistakes. Take away from us, both as a nation and individuals, that stubborn pride which, followed by conceit, imagines itself to be above and beyond criticism.
Save our leaders, O God, from themselves and from their friends—even as You have saved them from their enemies.
Let no personal ambition blind them to their opportunities.
Help them to give battle to hypocrisy wherever they find it.
Give them divine common sense and a selflessness that shall make them think of their call to service and not gain.
May they have the courage to lead the people of this Republic, considering unworthy the expediency of following the people.
Lord, we pray for the families of the thousands who have died this week alone of this terrible and relentless virus. We pray too, for the families of those who lost their lives and were injured in our nation’s capital. Bring an end to the violence that would cost just one of our citizens their lives. We pray for a peaceful transition of leadership, in our nation’s capital in the coming weeks.
We pray for those within our own community who have contracted and been exposed to the Corona virus. Heal them and protect them from any long-term effects of the virus.
We pray too for those people whose needs You place on our hearts. Hear and answer, we pray, that You will forgive us all our unworthiness; cleansing us from every ignoble thought and unworthy disposition that we may be renewed in spirit and mind and heart, through Jesus Christ, our Lord… Amen.”
Thank you for visiting JanBeek today. I will post my sermon notes a little later.
I’m quoting Kim from Writing in North Norfolk. “I’m welcoming dVerse poets to Prosery, when we ask you to write a very short piece of prose that tells a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end, in any genre of your choice: flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction.
As it’s a kind of flash fiction, we have a limit of 144 words; an additional challenge is to hit 144 exactly. The special thing about Prosery is that we give you a complete line from a poem, which must be included somewhere in your story, within the 144-word limit. You may change punctuation but you are not allowed to insert words in between parts of the quotation.
We see Ole Tom with his bent shoulders and thinning torso We see his wind-weathered face and his thinning gray hair He sits in my living room strumming his guitar Singing the fourteenth verse of an old folk song He has a thousand such songs tucked into his head Along with the entire books of Matthew and Acts We see him as an ancient sage We look at him through the wrong end Of the long telescope of Time His mind is sharper than mine ever was And he shows no signs of stopping Each Christmas Ole Tom recites the Christmas story From the book of Acts, never reading, just expounding Amazing the congregation with his masterful memory He is the epitome of a wise man: Ninety-three going on thirty Never see him as old and never underestimate Ole Tom Turn that telescope around!
What fun to participate in dVerse poets’ invitation to Prosery. It’s a challenge to come up with a 144 word poem, but not when you have such a delightful subject as Ole Tom. How we loved him!! He will live in our hearts forever.
Do you have an ole Sage in your life? Count your blessings if you do… and consider joining the fun at dVerse Poets!
Were you able to find the “complete line from a poem” that I was required to insert as part of my Prosery? Which do you think it was?
See ya tomorrow. Have a Terrific Tuesday! Love, JanBeek
A satisfied life Is one that applies knowledge In constructive ways.
Use knowledge wisely. Then your mind, soul, and heart will Find satisfaction.
Today our daughter, De, in Switzerland shared some pictures of the renovating and decorating and menu planning they are doing in preparation for the Grand Opening of their new restaurant in Vissoie. I am so excited for them! De and Andre’ are using all the knowledge and wisdom they can muster to create an inviting ambience and delightful dining experiences.
Our grandson, Mike, is a great photographer. DeAna does a wonderful job, too. They have chosen some of their best shots taken in and around Valais and created a delightful, inviting entrance to the dining room and bar.
Now, take your knowledge And with wisdom apply it. Gain satisfaction!
Do we have an obsession with image? More concerned about the outside than the inside? As a nation… as a world?
Are you fed up with it? Do you feel it is robbing us of our sense of purpose and our wisdom?
These are some questions I gleaned from Scilla Elworthy, the elderly South African woman in the Ted Talk above:
Are you fully alive in your body? Do you have energy and attractiveness in your soul? Are you content with what is? Can you remove the mask, let the wrinkles show, and still like yourself?
Self-acceptance is a great, great gift!
Obsession with image is tiring… Yes, I believe that!
What makes you feel electric? Does the world see your energy? Do you have real aliveness?
Health, exercise, purpose, usefulness… those are the keys!
Many people struggle to find purpose in life. Scilla Elworthy said, “Most people fear pain and loneliness.”
We worry about what will happen when we are no longer able to care for ourselves and must rely on other people.
Dementia is a real fear for me. My mother was diagnosed with it before she died. My sister is in a home today – a nursing home – being cared for because she has Alzheimer’s. It is in my family. Is it in my future? I cannot dwell on that! I must live in the NOW and love myself so I can love others. The keys are:
prayer and meditation,
time in nature… being outside with things that are alive
What about death? It is inevitable. Approach it with curiosity. Think through it. Know that death is not finality.
What are the gains of growing older? We can speak out! Dare to speak up about those things that we think are wrong! Stand up for those things! Make a contribution by making a difference – by being true to ourselves.
Know that with age comes wisdom. Wise, experienced leaders are a gift to the world. As we age, we can be that older, wiser person who sees beyond the horizon. The world need us!
But age and wisdom are not synonymous. Wisdom does not come automatically. We can’t live in a foxhole and gain wisdom. We need to go out and risk adventure. Risk rebuke. Risk the world hating you. We need to be true to ourselves as we lift our heads to what is happening around us and seek the solutions to the challenges we all face. We can’t be ostriches with our head in the sand.
A friend of mine said she has decided that the best way to avoid dissension is just to avoid having an opinion. “I try to remain totally objective – with no opinion expressed. Opinions just garner arguments,” she said.
We can’t let ourselves live in that kind of fear! Avoidance invites stagnation.
“Whoever is free from all fear will always be safe,” Scilla Elworthy said in the Ted Talk above. So, we must let go of any fear we have of speaking out.
What do you care about? What’s your opinion about aging? Let’s hear it!!
I’m not afraid of growing older. Just don’t call me old!! See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
This list of wisdom gained through the ages is beautifully done. I know you will appreciate it as much as I do. Click on the word “ages” below and tell SJ at “Change Therapy” how much you appreciate her blog, too.
“Throughout the Ages Age 6: I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night.” Age 7: I’ve learned that our dog …
Have a great Sunday afternoon, my friends. We just returned from a wonderful worship service outdoors on this beautiful day. It was predicted to be cccccold – and we were told to dress warmly. But, God is good! It was a comfortable morning in the mid-60s with the sun peeking in and out of clouds.
I video-taped on my phone some of the special music with Jim, Jaime and George singing; Jaime on the keyboard and Jim playing his saw! And of course, I recorded the sermon in my typical poetic fashion. Will share them with you later this afternoon. Come on back!
What does S.O.S. mean to you? It’s an urgent message for help. But yesterday, a Facebook friend said, “It means Same ole Shit!”
Oh my! I had not heard that before! She was referring to a message I posted On Facebook about the U.S. Postal Service. She is convinced it’s all legit – not “shit” at all!
The post received 66 responses within a few hours And it deteriorated to the point where I Called a “Truce” and wished I had not started it. But, hey, ya gotta stand up for what you believe, right?
And we have a responsibility to fact check. Yes, some of the removed boxes were being replaced. The guy in charge of our postal service now, DeJoy, Has spread his “S.O.S.” and intelligent people believe him.
Other equally intelligent people weighed in on the conversation. “I worked for the P.O. and I know these claims are false.” “The sorting machines being removed are not being replaced.” “This has been going on routinely for decades. Why blame Trump?”
I don’t care who is to blame, I just care about our U.S.P.S. And I want to speak up to defend our right to vote by mail. I need all the boxes protected and all the sorting machines left. I need to know our election in November is not being compromised.
So, I came out of my box of comfort and said, “Stop!” I came out and expressed my outrage at what’s happening. Enough other people have expressed their concern that DeJoy Announced he will stop this nonsense until after November elections.
“I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.”
We need to TRUST God’s Word and expect the best. We need to pray to God for His wisdom And for our courage to step up to the plate When His perfect time comes.
But, before we grab the bat And swing at the falsehoods, We need to ask the SUPREME COACH To guide us, teach us, and give us TRUTH.
We need to persevere in the face of the S.O.S. People throw at us – and don’t be deterred. We need to listen to His voice and grasp As clearly as we can His purposes for our stand.
STAND UP FOR WHAT’S RIGHT! Silence is no longer a viable option!! I love you, even if you think I’m wrong. Let’s exchange ideas with respect.
Some GOOD people will disagree with me. May my optimism about a brighter future be contagious. Let’s draw on the Word and promises of God. Stand up and carry on with perseverance!
“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Send me a love letter!
In my GuidepostsMornings with Jesus today, Jolynn Strandberg wrote:
“Even when I am surrounded by people who do not understand my convictions, I hope I will always have the courage to stand up for my beliefs.”