Loving One Another


May your National Day of Prayer

be a day when your heart strings

are connected to God’s heartstrings

HeartStrings

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And may your prayers be answered

with all the love God, in grace and mercy, can muster.

Amen!

I’m Back!


About a year ago I stopped writing in WordPress. My email account associated with it was full and overflowing. The task of keeping up overwhelmed me. Something had to give. So, I just stopped blogging. It’s been a good reprieve.

Then, about a month ago I flew home to Montana from a family reunion in California and brought a cold virus with me. It turned into pneumonia and threw me for a nose dive! I was so zonked by it that whole days went by in my pajamas, too drained to get out of bed or off the couch! I had way too much time to think. My husband got the bug from me. The only difference between my pneumonia and his “walking pneumonia ” was that he was too stubborn to lie down! As soon as he felt better, he went skiing. Relapse! He spent a couple days in his pj’s, too. Then when he felt better, he went skiing again. After the second relapse, he gave himself a week before he was on a ladder, painting the eaves. I gave myself the full month … in fact it’s been five weeks. Finally, I am better. I feel like I am going to survive! God bless the friends who brought food, called, prayed, visited, shopped for me, found good books to keep me entertained and still, and sent cards of encouragement! I am so grateful.

During this time of forced rest, I had time to think. Time to evaluate my life. Time to reprioritize. Time to read one of my favorite WordPress bloggers, Janet Riehl, order and savor her newest book, Sightlines, and time to be inspired by her insights and talents enough to sign up for an eight-week Writers’ Workshop. I’m back! I’m committed to starting a writing project and finishing it. I’m ready to rejoin the world of the living and make my voice heard.

Stay tuned!

Reflections


My confession, admission, and plea to God today is this:

None of us lives to just self alone;
Each of us lives for the other.
Whatever we do, be it rosy or blue,
Reflects on our sister and brother.

None of us sits on the judgment seat.
We’re not assigned to decide
If someone’s dull or bright, wrong or right,
Sending them to a corner to hide.

None of us lives a faultless life,
Though we try our utmost to seek
The humble hill to fulfill Your will
In our deeds and the words we speak.

We stumble and fall and fail to be
Examples of the upright and strong.
Try as we may, we know that someday
We’ll have to account for each wrong.

We’ll each have to stand before Your judgment seat
And review how we’ve spent every minute.
So, Lord, help us give every day that we live
All the love and the grace You put in it.

Help us to generously welcome all
To be part of whatever we do.
None of us lives to ourselves alone;
We always reflect on You.

Amen?

Amen!

Let’s Do It!


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Let’s Do It!

God has entrusted us
With treasures of great worth.
Hope and inspiration are ours.
God gives us each other – and Christ’s birth.

God gives us, by His grace,
The gifts of immeasurable treasure.
He gives us the abilities
To use these gifts without measure.

We don’t get to choose
What treasures we receive,
But we are allowed to choose
What we do or achieve.

To fulfill our life’s purpose
Or to ignore our responsibilities
Is a choice we each make.
What are your possibilities?

We can double our gifts
Or we can ignore or bury ’em.
We can share our gifts
Or we decide they’re too heavy to carry ’em.

We will be rewarded according
To the return to  God on our gifts.
Our talents are ours to use or
We’ll watch dismayed as our reward shifts.

God will take from the selfish
The wonders He placed in their hands.
He’ll rebuke the ungrateful ones
Who ignore His service demands.

So, are we giving back double
The abilities God generously gave us?
Do we accept them and honor Him
By using the gifts that can save us?

He gave us comfort so we
Can return comfort to others.
He gives us perfect directions
For how to use our gifts for our brothers.

So, let’s do it!
Amen?

Jan Beekman

-based on a sermon by Rev. Jean Johnson
-reflecting on Matt. 25:14-30
11/19/17

Life’s Goals


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A life that exhibits wisdom

Is gentle

Displays a happy heart

Is patient

Walks upright and

Knows to listen.

 

A life that exhibits love

Is understanding

Displays kindness

Is pure in motive

Shows compassion and

Heeds correction.

 

A life that exhibits joy

Is cheerful

Shares Truth

Is encouraging

Gives generously and

Lives intentionally.

 

          Jan Beekman – 11/16/17

(Inspired by Proverbs 15)

 

Annihilation


Can our worlds

Blend without

The need to

Disintegrate?

Can I understand

Your hate without

Being the recipient

Of your violence?

Can our love

Exchange without

The need for me

To be there?

Can we live

Peacefully without

The need to

Kill each other?

When will violence

Cease without

The need to

Annihilate our brothers?

Open the Door


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(Photo by Charles Stanley – In Touch Ministries)

 

OPEN THE DOOR

Life is full of twists and turns –
Hardships faced and lessons learned.
We do things wrong; We make things right.
We work by day and we sleep at night.

While we are struggling to be good,
God is loving us – as He said He would.
He forgives our failures, lifts us up,
Sends us help and fills our cup.

He takes our sorrows as His own,
Understands our weakness, hears us moan.
He holds us close – draws us near,
Whispers gently in our ear:

“I am with you, never fear.
Life is hard. I feel each tear.
You’re not alone. You’re loved for sure.
There’s hope ahead. There’s life that’s pure.”

So, in the days ahead with us,
We hope you’ll rest and never fuss.
Don’t worry about what comes tomorrow.
He’ll help you find joy instead of sorrow.

Each thing in life is for a reason –
Each action has a God-given season.
You’ve had your summer and your fall.
New spring to winter – a welcomed call.

Let us surround you with love and care
‘Til Jesus calls you to a new place there.
The key to joy is around the bend –
Open the door to life’s wonderful end.

God Bless You!

ReJOYce


“Be Thankful to the Lord”

ReJOYce in the Lord,

Pray with thanksgiving,

Keep your heart in Christ –

And the peace of God will be with you.

ReJOYcing is a high calling.

God made us and called us.

He has provided for our life.

Thanks be to God.

Always be glad.

It’s a basic Christian attitude.

God gives us good reason

To reJOYce always.

Deep affection for God

Allows us to reJOYce in Him.

Christ made that affection

Possible through His resurrection.

ReJOYcing in the Lord

Makes a difference

In our lives everyday.

Love, peace, & contentment flows.

We don’t find our identity

Formed by the world or our troubles.

We live in the assurance

Of our Victory through Christ.

Paul, in prison, not only reJOYced,

But he called on all to

ReJOYce always in God

Who made, sustains, & loves us.

Let patience and kindness

Be your Christ-like trademarks.

Have no anxiety.

Do not worry – – – ever!

ReJOYce in the Lord.

Live in the Truth of God.

Pray with a faithful heart.

The peace of Christ be with you.

Amen?

Amen!!!

Changes


Life is change

Some come slowly

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Others come swiftly

In an instant

Nothing is the same

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Time stands still

Change continues

Life is change.

Childhood Memories


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I saw him approaching me
At the Historical Society’s event.
They were honoring our family,
So folks came to join us – or greetings sent.

He approached with arms extended
And I immediately recognized his face,
Even though I hadn’t seen him since
I’d moved from our homeland’s place.

I returned the hug and marveled
At the way I was transported
Back to when at four years old,
A little tuxedo he sported.

In my taffeta dress of sparkling white
And matching patent leather shoes,
I stood with flowers of yellow hue
In contrast to the bridesmaids’ blues.

Across from me carrying ring on pillow
Was my friend, Frankie, looking sharp.
We thought we were getting married, too,
As we stood and listened to the harp.

I backed up from our friendly hug
And stood looking at my friend.
My eyes glistened with tears of joy
As I was transported back again.

Back to the days when I would sit
Down on the living room floor
And try to duplicate his accordion’s sounds
On a small squeezebox, wishing for more.

More songs to play than that little box could,
More buttons to push on the left,
More keys to play on the piano side;
Wishing I could read the treble clef.

Frankie’s mother, whom I called Aunt Olga,
Although she wasn’t a blood relative at all,
Sent me home with the accordion saying,
“Play for your mom, then bring it back. Don’t fall!”

Across the rocky driveway I went
With that eight button squeezebox in hand.
My mom heard me play “Twinkle Twinkle”
And “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

“How did you learn to play that thing?”
I could tell she was impressed.
I played again so we could sing along
As I fingered the keys and buttons depressed.

Transported back to Mrs. Jensen,
Who gave me a lesson or two
Before she said, “This accordion isn’t capable
Of doing more than you already do.”

Transported back to Girl Scout Camp
In the Sierra Nevada Mountains so green,
To the day when my parents surprised me
With the most beautiful accordion I’d ever seen.

It had one hundred twenty bass keys,
And the keyboard reached down to my knees.
Pearly white with sparkling gold keys,
I took lessons until I could play the Dance of the Bees!

Frankie reminded me I paid for the small one
With the allowance I saved every week.
Twenty-five bucks was a lot in those days.
I smiled as we parted with a kiss on the cheek.

There is nothing more precious, nothing more sweet,
Than childhood memories, friends from days past,
Chances to reconnect with those you love,
Recreate memories – and make new ones that last.

Jan Beekman
9/14/17

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