Love, Grace, and Mercy
Gifts given through Jesus Christ
Presents for each day
Love, Grace, and Mercy
Gifts given through Jesus Christ
Presents for each day
How Open Are You?
Not just Open House
But open YOU to the world
How Open Are you?
Was your home so full
At your Thanksgiving dinner
You added more chairs?
Is your spare bedroom
Filled with a loved relative?
If not, then why not?
We were gifted to
Give of our many blessings
Open up and give!
Well, my friends, it is Sunday. As such, you know I attended church this morning. Listening carefully to the message from Rev. Jean Johnson, I did my usual: I took my notes poetically. The sermon was based on Mark’s account of the disciples’ conversation with Jesus shortly before His death. In Mark chapter 10, verses 34-45, Jesus delivers His famous message of “The last shall be first and the first shall be last.” The story unfolded this way:
Jesus told the disciples
His destiny: the cross.
He warned of His death.
They couldn’t accept the loss.
He told them of the cruelty
That would precede His rise.
So why did all that followed
Come as such a surprise?
James and John asked Him
If they could sit left and right
Of Him in His glory
(Requests that proved them not so bright!).
They didn’t see the meaning
Of the future Jesus faced.
They didn’t see the torture
And know how the pain would taste.
Jesus tried to redirect
The thoughts of James and John.
He tried to reexplain
The path the Christ was on.
The other disciples were jealous
That the two made their pleas first.
They thought James and John
Would be first to end their thirst.
But Jesus rebuked the ones
Who jockeyed to be at His side.
He told them their requests
Showed unsightly, unhealthy pride.
“He who would be first,” He said,
“Must be willing to be last.”
The disciples puzzled at this
Until long after the first Easter had passed.
The way of Jesus is a path
Of downward mobility for all
Who come to serve and give
Their lives in answer to Christ’s call.
Don’t try to read the notes on the bulletin cover below… they are what I typed above. I just am posting them here to show you the form in which they first appear from Jean’s sermon to my ears through my fingertips to the bulletin cover. Yes, I listen and write simultaneously. I am often asked, “How do you do that?”
My only answer is, “It’s a gift.” I hope you appreciated my sharing it with you today. It was a sermon that spoke to my heart because indeed, I have come to serve and to give and to answer Christ’s call to share my talents.
This is Day 5 of my A-Z series on “What Makes Me Happy?”
Like Christmas, Easter has been commercialized to the point that most images depicting this special day of the year are Easter eggs, bunnies, baskets, and parades with ladies in their Easter bonnets.
I told you, my blogging friends yesterday that I’d try another new (to me) poetry form today. The Punnett is a 9 line poem. It’s supposed to have a biological topic. I’ll do that with doves of peace after the Easter punnett. No rhyme scheme. First line part of or an offspring of the last line. Word count on the lines: 1/2/1/2/4/2/1/2/1
What about Jesus Christ?
Is that all Easter is? Has it been so commercialized that people don’t realize its connection to Christmas? Jesus Christ came for Easter! Our Savior was born on Christmas to die on that Easter morning and rise again three days later that we might be free!
What Peace I have in knowing the true meaning of Easter! Free from sin! Guaranteed eternal life! What joy I receive daily in the Promise of Peace!
Here is my punnett with a biological topic:
joined together for life
Oh, sorry about that! But you did laugh, right?
I was looking for a picture of a dove.
I found ducks and turkeys, bluebirds and eagles, swans and long-necked cranes,
but no doves! Can you imagine that?
The dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit
that lives joyfully in our hearts.
God sent the Holy Spirit as our guide,
our reminder of all Jesus taught
as He lived a life of love and light
during His ministry on earth.
May the joy of Easter’s true meaning bring you peace every day.
May the Holy Spirit live in your heart!
Thank you for visiting JanBeek! Thank you to the many who have added your names as followers. I appreciate getting to know you through your comments.
What “E” word makes YOU happy? If you’d like to, try responding using a Punnett 🤪✌🏽
(Notes from a sermon based on Romans 8:12-17 delivered by Rev. Jean Johnson. Many of you know, to listen more intently, I take notes on Sunday mornings while listening to the message from the pulpit. Sometimes they are recorded in poetry. Last Sunday was one of those times.)
We all are God’s children.
Some call God, “Our Father.”
But, some folks choose to ignore Him.
They balk and say, “Why bother?”
God speaks to us in Romans,
To us who’ve already heard.
It’s not for the unknowing
Who think the Gospel’s absurd.
Those led by God’s Spirit
Are children of our Lord.
We show our Love and faith
By living in One Accord.
To live in One Accord with God,
We worship, study, love, and pray.
Our witness shows The Spirit
At work in us each day.
We’re living out the reality
Of what already is in us.
Be who you already are
Without works or trouble or fuss.
We used to belong to sin,
But Jesus came to the rescue.
We have reason for joy and acceptance.
Isn’t this Good News to you?
We have assurance of this reality –
This adoption is done, signed and sealed.
We sing praises to God, our Father.
Our case clearly has been appealed.
Knowing God as Father is possible
By Christ’s life, His Word, His death.
That evidence is proof enough;
We affirm it with every breath.
I believe in God, The Father,
In Jesus Christ, my loving Lord.
Thank You for Your Saving Grace.
Now, let us live in One Accord.
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!
-based on a sermon by Rev. Jean Johnson
-reflecting on Matt. 25:14-30
I am excited to be taking an eight week writers’ workshop. It started last week with five of us ladies signed up to work with an amazing young woman named Allyson Adams. My friend, Lexi Sundell and I are trading off the driving responsibility. It’s about fifteen miles up the hill to Virginia City from where we live here in Ennis, Montana. A lovely drive, usually, but it snowed big time last week when it was Lexi’s turn to drive. I lucked out and had a gorgeous spring day yesterday when it was my turn to drive. Sharing the driving has the added bonus of quality one-on-one sharing with a fellow writer as we traverse the mountain and exchange ideas on what we’ve been writing or what we just learned and intend to do with it. Lexi is writing her memoirs. I am writing a book to honor my seven grandchildren (and ultimately their parents, too, I hope) and to share the wisdom my grandchildren are helping me gain on this amazing path called LIFE. Our goal is to start and finish this project in the eight-weeks of the workshop. Ambitious? Maybe. Lexi had a head start. She began her memoirs some time ago. My book is evolving as the class progresses.
The working title of my book is “Lessons My Grandchildren Are Teaching Me.” It started out in the past tense… Lessons I Have Learned… and has changed to the present as it dawned on me that the learning is an on-going, life-long process. The grandchildren, who all are now between the ages of 20 and 24, live in California and Switzerland, except for one. One is right here in Ennis. She moved here a year ago, coming to live with Grammy and Grampy for a much needed “fresh start.” Her name is Hope, and she has been the initial inspiration for this book project that is now consuming me. She also is one of the reasons that I stopped blogging about a year ago. Life got in the way! Something had to give as we focused our energies on being sorta parents again at the ripe, rich age of mid-seventies! So, I set aside WordPress and dug into helping a grandchild grow from 21 going on 12 to a bonafide young adult, capable of wise decision making, independent living, and being the responsible citizen she is becoming. We all are a work in progress. I am no exception!
It’s been a challenging year. Sharing the love of family, the joy of giving, the recognition and development of our spiritual gifts, and the confidence to grow from our mistakes and go on to make new ones and learn from them, too, has been an amazing experience. Our Hope has evolved from a beat down, introverted, jobless and homeless child to a confident, outgoing, employed and independent young woman. Her 22nd birthday is Mother’s Day. We’re going to celebrate with her and we’re here to continue the love and support and watch as she continues to make great strides. Hers will be the last chapter in my book. Hope for Hope! Stay tuned!
(Here is Hope – in yellow – at about age 17 – with her siblings – before she decided she was tired of family rules and decided to go it on her own. Two years later, she was ready for her “Fresh Start.” And the story continues… My book is about these four PLUS my three grandsons who live in Switzerland. I’ll tell you more about my project in my next entry. Thanks for visiting.)