Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘writing’

Embrace Borrowing


Today I read a story that so inspired me that I borrowed it. I hope Alicia Bruxvoort doesn’t mind!

I posted a link to it on my FB page and I am embedding it here for your enjoyment and inspiration.

Do take time to read it. You will be glad you did… and then put on your Jesus glasses and see the world, your life, and others through the eyes of love and grace!

Thank you, Alicia, for sharing your writing talent and your faith with us.
God bless you!

Picking up on that theme of “Jesus, I Wanna See What You See,”
I decided to check out You.Tube for “Seeing Through God’s Eyes.”

Look at what I found…
this is an amazing video –
Guaranteed to help you apply
the ideas Alicia shared in her story!

Yes, as Alicia concluded,
“We can just see better when we borrow our Father’s eyes.”

As you embrace borrowing,
what have you read or seen or heard lately
that you can pass along to inspire others?

Hope you’re having a beautiful Thursday.
See ya tomorrow…


Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Stepping Out


Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Have Faith and Step Out

Don’t overlook your life’s importance
or minimize its worth.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on
an allowance or Social Security.
No matter where you are in life,
you have so much to give.

The vital part of your life
never disappears or fades away.
Each of us is vital to God.
He gives us the courage to go out and live,
to heed His call, and step out in faith
on a new journey today.

In faithful obedience, lean forward
to hear Him. He doesn’t shout.
His call is quiet and personal.
Get serious. Listen carefully.
Are you up for a new journey?
Have faith and step out!

I wrote the poem, “Have Faith and Step Out” in 2002 while we were still living in California. I had officially retired from teaching in 1999, but daily I was looking for new direction, new purpose, new adventures. The International Library of Poetry published the poem in its 2002 Anthology of Poetry and sent me a dozen greeting cards with the poem printed on the front of them. Today I am using one of those cards for a friend who is stepping onto a new path.

The poem has become more meaningful in the nearly 20 years since its creation. The older I am, the more I realize, “No matter where you are in life, you have so much to give.” Your age doesn’t matter. Your place doesn’t matter. What matters is your mindset, your faith, your motivation.

It’s OK to be petrified.
Sometimes God takes us to
the edge of adventures
where we feel unprepared.
With faith,
He will remove our fear,
put us on a bridge,
and send us the Light to follow.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Quote from Deuteronomy 31:6

Today Bob is out on Lucille (our red-headed ATV on which we have a “Ball”)
with his former student, Victor, who is visiting from Alabama.
Victor was Bob’s wrestling student back in the 1970’s.
He reminded us that Bob also was
his Drivers Education teacher.
They are on an adventure –
going to a lake above Sheridan.
Our Boston, TazE, is with them.
Ah, yes, step out in faith.
Have fun!

Where He leads me,
I will follow!

Remember,
no matter where you are in life,
you have so much to give.

Where are you being called to go today?
What are you being called to do?
Whatever it is, step out in faith.
He will give you grace and glory…
He’ll be with you all the way!

Have a Fabulous Friday!

Love and Hugs,
In Faith,
JanBeek

Embrace Shortness


I’m five feet nothing.
That’s short.
But, I embrace shortness.
It’s fun!

However,
No one ever says
I’m beautiful
That’s reserved
for the statuesque.

But – cute?
Yup!

Photo by Anastasiya Gepp on Pexels.com
“Cute as a bunny”
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com
“Cute as a button”

Belly button??

It’s not just people and buttons and bunnies that are sometimes short.

Your temper can be short.

No one embraces a short temper!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I came across a short today…
One that I want to embrace:
It’s an invitation to a short story –
Really short –
Six words!

https://figmentsofadutchess.com/category/six-word-stories/

On her post, Marion Driessen
invited her readers to try it…
try writing a six word story.

Oh, I discovered later that the invitation
was posted on Posted on .
Do you suppose it still is valid?

I’m going to try it…
just a short trial.
I can embrace the fun of it…
Even if it is out of date!

She challenged her readers,
Write a story about SUPERSTITION in just six words.
Let a photo or image inspire you to write a story.
Or first write the story,
and then make or search
for a picture to go with it.

Then she suggested,
Publish your Six word story on your own website/blog
and paste the link to that post
in a comment to this one here at Figments. 
I will include your contribution in this post, forming a list of stories.”

OK… here’s mine!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Black cat crossed my path –
Doomed!

Photo by Isabella Mendes on Pexels.com

Yup, I’m doomed!
No way this short post
is gonna end up on
Marion’s website.

But, oh well,
it was fun anyway.
My blog is all about
spreading HOPE.
We can hope, can’t we?

You wanna try a six word short story?

Go ahead…
just for the fun of it!

Embrace Shortness!

Embrace Creativity


When are you the most creative?
Where do your creative juices flow most freely?
What’s your God-given creative talent?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I am not a painter.
I may have some latent talent there, but I have never developed it.

That’s Bob –
He’ll tell you he developed
his painting skills by
painting beehives for 30 years!
Now he’s painting the pastor’s house!!

Do you have hidden talents that you have not fully explored?

Photo by Roman Koval on Pexels.com

When children are given the tools
and the examples early in life,
often that becomes the springboard
for a life of artistic talent shared.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

No one told me that my scribbles
might lead to a creative talent
that would be appreciated by others!

But, I was encouraged to sing as a child.
That was a talent that did not go unnoticed.
How could you ignore it when
I was a 3-year-old singing
“Appo-Tee, Appo-Tee, AppoTee”
all the way through the hymns at church.
Singing loudly and joyfully!

Hah!
It was during the time of WWII
and a popular song was
“Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree
(with Anyone Else But Me).”

You’re probably not old enough to remember it!!
Go ahead, click on it here.
You’ll love it!!

So how did my “Appo Tee” singing
graduate into a full-blown creative talent?
Like any talent, it takes
involvement,
participation,
practice.

I have been a member of a choir
for as long as I can remember…
… always in school, then in church,
and eventually our community choir.
I am not a soloist,
but I love singing in a duet
or trio or with a large group.
Recently our church choir
was able to start up again…
it is such a joy!


Once I even got to sing
with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
during one of their dress rehearsals
for their Christmas concert!

The rendition below of
“The Lord Bless You and Keep You”
was sung by the University of the Pacific Choir
at Bob’s and my wedding 2/11/62.
Here is the Mormon Tabernacle singing it.
I love it so much!

If your talent is not singing or painting,
maybe you developed a talent in another area –
like cooking or woodworking or metal sculpture.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Of course, one major talent I forgot mention
Is instrumental music …
the piano or a woodwind or string or brass instrument…
Such talent brings so much joy to the player
as well to a world of listeners.

I played the accordion and the clarinet
as a child and continued to do so
until just recently.
My accordion is not functioning,
there’s a hole in the bellows.

Perhaps I will find another
small accordion that I can handle…
and will resume that creative endeavor.
The children at the day care center
and the residents at our local
Nursing Home enjoyed it!

Here’s just a small clip –
(it’s only 10 seconds!!)
of me playing for the residents
at my sister’s place in PA
a couple of years ago.
(I won’t burden you with too much of this!)
Hah!

My cousin always used to send me comic strips
about the accordion.
One was a guy entering heaven
and the angel said,
“Welcome to Heaven,
here’s your harp.”
The other was a gal entering Hades.
The angel greeted her and said,
“Welcome to Hell,
here’s your accordion.”

Hah! I miss Cliff and those jokes!!




The question remains:
What are your God-given talents?
Have you developed an area of creativity?

I forgot to mention writing!!
Us bloggers imagine ourselves to have that talent
or else we wouldn’t be posting here on WordPress, right?

But, even this writing talent
doesn’t improve without practice, right?
Never stop learning and trying to improve –
regardless of the area of creativity…
gardening & photography (Derrick) –
poetry (Dwight, Richard, Pat, Rahul, etc.)
cooking (Andre’ & Caralyn)
You know who you are…
and what you need to do!

Our library was having a book sale last week.
For a dollar, I was able to buy this wonderful book.
Copyrighted 20 years ago, it’s never outdated,
and I can never stop learning how to be a better writer.
Like any talent, it takes practice, study, and more practice.
And feedback always helps!

Roses are red.
Violets are pink.
I’m an emerging poet.
Man, don’t I stink?

No, don’t badmouth yourself!!
Keep workin’ at it…

Embrace Creativity!
Tell me about yours…

Thanks for sharing!
See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Multiplying


Daily Guideposts 2021 devotional today inspired this blog topic. After I chose “Multiplying” as my EMBRACE theme today, every place I looked, I saw evidence of answers to my question, “But what needs to be multiplied?”

When you hear/read the word “multiplying” what comes to mind? I asked Bob that question this morning after my devotional time while we were chatting at the breakfast table.

“Increasing comes to mind. Numbers come to mind,” he answered.

What comes to your mind?

In her blog this morning, Marva Seaton wrote about multiplying. She didn’t use the word, but the concept definitely was there.



It’s the love that is multiplied!

You can read the rest of Marva’s blog by clicking here: marvaseatonMake a Difference In The World

The first devotional that inspired this theme was in Daily Guideposts. The scripture passage was:

John 15:12 (MSG)

Love one another the way I loved you.

The prayer at the bottom of the page for today, June 24th read:

“All loving God,
we thank You
for those You’ve graced us with,
who offer
encouragement,
inspiration,
and hope.

Amen”

Embrace the people
who share that encouragement
with you.

In my mind,
that’s what needs to be multiplied:
faith
(in God and the Holy Spirit in you),
self-confidence,
strength,
hope,
and
love.

You have to believe in yourself.

Multiply your self-confidence.

Multiply your prayers.
Multiply your requests to God.

He is there to listen,
to respond,
and to make you great!

You can live your dreams…

What you need is all in you!

You can multiply your power
if you understand
God’s power is in you!

Starting last week,
her first week on the job,
our new pastor,
Mary Grace Reynolds,
sent out a “Weekly Word.”
It will be e-mailed to us every Thursday.

In it, she gives the congregation
glimpses into what the week will hold.
She shares announcements
and then she shares a scripture
and her “take-away” from that passage.

Today’s “Weekly Word” message fit right in to
the “Multiplying” theme:

Yes,
Embrace Multiplying!

Multiply your faith.
Reach out and touch. Share.
Believe in the power. Take courage!
Multiply the love, the affection, the healing, the embracing.

My hugs are included in this post to you.
Have a beautiful day!

See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Your Passion


Embrace your passion –
Figure out just what it is,
Then LIVE your passion.

Yesterday I lived –
I lived passionately –
But I did not blog.

Even though blogging
Is an important passion,
I did not write it.

Sometimes you need to
Set aside pen and paper –
Set aside writing –

And LIVE your passion!
I listened to the Spirit
And followed its voice.

Photo by Prashant Gautam on Pexels.com

My most important passion is what this blog’s sub-title spells out: spreading love, joy, peace, faith and unity.

In the process of living out my faith, I spend time every morning in my “SanctuAiree” among the angels, Bibles, devotionals, birds level with me in the trees, and the Holy Spirit alive and well. surrounding and in me. I listen for that still small voice – and try to obey its directives.

As the contact person and secretary for our Pastor Nominating Committee, I have worked consistently for over a year – collaboratively with my wonderful, dedicated team – to find the pastor we think God has in mind for us. We see a light at the end of the tunnel … and are praying for wisdom and discernment. Yesterday I worked on that project. I am passionate about helping to find the “right” person to lead our congregation into the future. It is a huge responsibility – and we take it very seriously.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Do you have a project about which you are passionate? Are you living that passion? Do you see a light at the end of your tunnel? I’d love to hear about it.

Have you defined your purpose in blogging? Are you feeling like your purpose is being fulfilled? Are you passionate about it? Cristian Mihai in “The Art of Blogging” tells us often that unless we are writing about things we are passionate about, our messages will fall flat.

Sometimes I feel that my messages are not resonating with my readers. When I get that feeling, I have to back up and ask myself, “Who are you writing for?” If one or two of you respond, if I have reached into the heart of just one other blogging friend out there, that has to be enough. It’s not a numbers game! YOU are the only reader who matters. I am sharing my passion with YOU.

My passion is to LIVE in such a way that at the end of the day, I can say to myself, “I did what the Holy Spirit called me to do today, and I did it with gusto. I did my best – and now I can rest.”

My daddy and my Holy Father in Heaven said,
“Well done, Jan!”
Their voices matter!

Embrace Your Passion!

See ya tomorrow
(God willing)…
JanBeek

Embrace Shadorma


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Click click click
The sound of typing
Is silent
There’s no click
Tapping on today’s keyboard
I miss it. Don’t you?

I love learning new poetic forms. Today Rahul Gaur introduced me to the shadorma. His example of it is superb. You can find it here: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/84993506/posts/3274493365

Smoke Words Every Day Tumse Na Ho Payega

The roaring
Of an angry cat
Who’s hungry
Tells you “Run!”
Especially a lion –
Not a pussy cat!



The shadorma is a six-line, 26-syllable poem (or a stanza – you can write a poem that is made of multiple shadorma stanzas). The syllable count by line is 3/5/3/3/7/5. So, like the haiku, the lines are relatively short. Rather poetically, the origin of the shadorma is mysterious.

Embrace Shadorma
Give it a try!

Embrace Grace


Photo by Jacob Kelvin.J on Pexels.com

My hands are dirty –
And my heart is soiled, too.
Time for spring cleaning!

This season of Lent is a time for cleaning –
Cleaning out our hearts in preparation
For the arrival of Easter when we can
Embrace God’s grace through Jesus’ sacrifice.

Today’s sermon on our ZOOM worship service
Was titled, “Holy Ground” as our pastor,
Steve Hundley, recounted his trip to
The Holy Land back about 20 years ago.

My feet are dirty –
And my heart is soiled, too.
Time for spring cleaning!

Holy Ground

What was it like to be able
To walk in the footsteps of Jesus?
What was it like to stand
On Holy Ground? Spiritually renewing?

I was expecting each site to be charged
With such power that holy goose bumps
Popped up all over my body.
But I was a bit disappointed.

It was hard to feel the grace of the risen Christ
In this historically preserved place.
How do you feel Jesus breaking bread
When all you’re seeing is the top of a rock?

It’s important to protect these sites,
But looking through plexiglass makes it
Hard to feel the reality of Jesus.
The garden tomb remains open, though.

It’s helpful to see without obstacles
That distort the original places.
We have our own expectations of
What we’ll feel imagining holy faces.

Jesus and the money changers
Were there on the temple floor
Where I stood on that visit.
But I couldn’t feel Jesus’ anger.

I wondered if maybe those men
Were in fact offering a service.
He told them they could tear it down
And He’d rebuild it in three days.

They didn’t know He was referring
To His body, not the building.
Buildings are not what we worship.
We worship God’s nature in spirit and in Truth.

We are often tied to the
Rites and rituals to define us.
But our traditions must not
Rise above the Christ we adore.

It is not the place that matters.
It is the love in our hearts
That counts when we join together
In worship… thanking God for His grace.

Thank You, God, for Jesus, for Easter,
For the meaning of the cross,
And for the sacrifice of Your Son’s life
So we might EMBRACE GRACE.

The HOPE of EASTER
Is in the grace of the cross.
Let’s engage in some spring cleaning
In preparation to stand on that Holy Ground…
At the threshold of our eternal cleansing.

Embrace Grace.

AMEN

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
See ya tomorrow.
I’m headed to do some spring cleaning!

Embrace Writing Poetry


In my devotional time this morning, I read an article that spoke to me of the way poetry fits into my life … a life that is filled with the wonder of poetic healing. I am impelled to share it with you because I hope it will inspire and validate your poetic instincts the way it did mine.

Before you read it, you may want to scroll to the bottom here and click on Laura Sullivan’s piano music. Listen to it as you read Jacqueline Suskin’s inspiring article.

Finding the Poetry in Everyday Life

by Jacqueline Suskin
From – Posted on Jan 25, 2021
A professional poet provides tips on healing your life by adopting a poetic mindset.

Poet Jacqueline Suskin; photo by James Adam Taylor

There’s a saying: “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” These days, the battle feels especially hard. From everyday challenges to the forces dividing our nation, it’s fair to ask: How can I bring more joy to my life? More peace?

My answer: poetry.

I’m a professional poet. For a decade, I earned a living doing a project I called Poem Store… I wrote a story I wrote a few years ago for Guideposts about how poetry can be a vital part of someone’s prayer practice …

What is it about poetry that makes it such a powerful, universal language?

Poetry reveals beauty in the smallest details of creation. It finds light in the darkest shadow. It is a guide and a teacher, reminding readers that life is a miracle, something to be celebrated. Good poetry tells deep truths about joy and pain, triumph and grief. Like the Psalms, poetry explores every aspect of human experience, shying away from nothing and expressing gratitude for everything.

That’s why I believe poetry can be healing for anyone. You don’t have to be a professional poet.

Here are some suggestions for cultivating a poetic mindset, gained from a lifetime of writing, teaching and finding my place on this planet:

1. Be in awe of everything.
A dictionary definition of awe is “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.”

… The poetic mindset starts with the idea that nothing is an accident. Everything is interrelated and plays a part in a greater whole. Therefore, everything deserves notice and even celebration.

The signs are everywhere. Autumn leaves swirling in wind. A luminous raindrop on your window. The sight of someone you love peacefully asleep. Stars on a clear winter night. (And I, JanBeek, have to interject here: the sight of snowflakes dancing outside on your patio)

Even on your hardest day, a glance around will reveal something miraculous. When I focus on the intricate grandeur of nature, I feel myself relax. My mind unclenches from my problems, and I know that something larger is present, no matter what happens.

Awe is easy to cultivate. Close your eyes. Now open them. What is the first thing you see? Look closer. Ask yourself: How was this thing made? Where did it come from? What does it look like, feel like, smell like, maybe even taste like? What is good about it? What does it remind you of? Does it bring happy thoughts or sad ones? Why? What does it tell you about yourself or the divine?

I’m willing to bet your randomly selected object is full of meaning. A poetic mindset helps you tune into that significance whenever you want. It’s an inexhaustible source of healing, refreshment and inspiration.

2. Make pain your teacher.

Are you brokenhearted and angry? There’s a poem for that…

A poem is a place where you can pour out your hardest feelings. Make the words shout, burn. Don’t be afraid. You can always throw the page into the fireplace once you’ve filled it. Or seal it in an envelope and come back to it later.

Poetry can be a repository for everything difficult in your life.

But there’s more. I find that when I write about something I’m struggling with, my negative feelings begin to ebb. By writing, remembering, I am forced to admit that not everything is so bad. The world is complicated. There is darkness and light. Forgiveness comes into view.

The more I put everything on the page—the whole truth, not just an edited version—the more I ask why things happened. If I could have done things differently. Whether my poem is trying to teach me something. Here’s part of a poem I wrote while I was grieving a loved one.

You were a shining man
always giving us a reason to rejoice
and so you still are, you always will be.

Writing about grief helped me widen my perspective. I learned that memories are emblems of ongoing life after death. That doesn’t end my grief. My grief teaches me a healing truth.

3. Seek what inspires you.

Life isn’t perfect, but you can live with love and trust anyway.

Poetry helps us remember this essential piece of wisdom. What comes from God is good, and there is always goodness to be found once you train yourself to look.

Poetry to me is a form of praise. I build poems from things I see, people I meet and thoughts and feelings found deep inside. As I present those treasures in poetic language, I am celebrating what is good in them. My poems have an innate optimism. Poetry looks for the bright side of life, whatever is inspiring and beautiful even in the midst of hardship.

To see the world as a poet is to be aware of beauty wherever you go. A poet believes that beauty is a clue to the essential nature of existence. Pay attention to that feeling of joy as you spot a delicate tracery of dew in a spider’s web on your morning walk. The beauty, and your joy, are helping you see something deeply true about life.

4. Open yourself to a new perspective.

Few objects are more humble than the pencil. Yet, for me, a pencil is holy. Every pencil is special because I imagine the thoughts and images that it can be used to create and communicate. What are the holy objects in your life? A poet looks for what is beloved in everything, no matter how ordinary.

That is what makes poetry a force for healing. When you look for what is beautiful, good, true and holy in everything around you, you are really looking for God. When you write down what you see, you are engaged in a deep form of prayer.

When your mind and your heart develop this habit of poetic prayer, you cannot be overcome by the world’s troubles because you carry a treasury of goodness inside yourself.

Your poems don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to rhyme. They don’t have to impress anyone. All they need is a new perspective, that of a poetic mindset.”

Plan to write at least one poem a day.
Let your awe or pain or dreams inspire you.

Thank you, Jacqueline Suskin.
Your Guideposts article inspired me.
I hope it inspires my WordPress friends, too.

EMBRACE WRITING POETRY

Here’s a poem
from a fantastic musician,
Laura Sullivan,
who also dabbles in poetry.
If you’re unfamiliar
with her music,
do yourself a favor
and click on
the YouTube
at the bottom here.

Thanks for visiting JanBeek

Do you have a poem to share?
I’d love to have you
share something poetic
in the comments section here.

See ya tomorrow

Embrace One Another


My word for 2021 is “Embrace.”
Each day during my devotional time,
I am prompted with a word or two
that tells me what to embrace today.
Yesterday it was “Silence.”
Did you miss me?
I was silent.
No blog.

Today
I am prompted to say,
“Embrace One Another.”
You may be thinking, “But…
How can we embrace one another
in the midst of this pandemic
when Social Distancing
is required?”
How?

Is there someone in your life
that you can hug like that today?

However,
I am afraid that
many people will respond,
“No, I can’t hug anyone like that right now.”
So, are there other ways to “Embrace One Another”
besides hugging? Think about that!
What can you do?
Write!

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

You embrace me when you
embrace my ideas,
respond to my post,
send me a text,
smile at me,
affirm
me.

How can I embrace you
without being able
to come close and
hug you tight?
I’ll pray for you
and text you.
Respond.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Send me a picture of a flower
e-mail jan@janbeek.blog
Send me a comment
telling me that
you do care!
Embrace.
Now!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Thanks for visiting my blog today.
Will you take the next step?
Embrace One Another.
Embrace me!
God Bless
You!

See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

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