BECK BULLETIN

We are on a journey, sojourners on this earth. Let us share with you the highs and lows of our lives. Heaven is a sweeter place now that we have two beautiful granddaughters waiting there for us.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Our Texans

 Being back in Texas this past week has been wonderful...
 ...not just because we get to spend lots of time with these four,
 but because the weather is summer-like for us coming from the 'Wet Coast'.
 There are lots of trees to climb,
 and projects to work on outside.
 The older girls had the week off school
 for their Thanksgiving Break.
And we are so thankful...
 for such as these!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Backyard Visitors

From the chairs in our den, we are often entertained by our backyard visitors.
This summer we invested in a bird feeder
and hung it from a tree that could be easily seen from the Den.
 Although our first visitors were sparrows,
they were soon joined by other species of birds.
 Some, like these Black-capped Chickadees enjoy the bird feeder...
 ...while others like this Dark-eyed Oregon Junco prefer the seed off the ground.
 Although we had goldfinches earlier in the summer,
they have flown south and now we just see these house finches, 
both male and female like here.
Now we see robins, crows, downy woodpeckers, the occasional  Gilded Northern Flicker
and a pair of these Rufous-sided towhees.
But this Red-breasted Sapsucker was one of our most unusual visitors,
along with a Cooper's Hawk who scared everyone else away.

Friday, November 11, 2016

In Flanders Fields


In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.


John McCrae, May 1915

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

No Ordinary Morning


It started out like any other ordinary fall morning,
two young teens getting ready for school,
each in her home
with her own family,
 but looking forward to getting to school.

Saying goodbye, who knew
that this wasn't an ordinary morning...
...saying goodbye to family
they had no idea what the day would hold,
only that they were going off to school.

Were there any words left unsaid?
I love you,
Have a good day,
you are an awesome daughter,
and an amazing friend?

The girls were glad to meet at school,
going to class 
and reliving again 
the memories they had made 
at the Youth Retreat the past weekend.

They were inseparable,
at school,
at church,
in their youth group,
on missions trips.

When other students walked by them
that day in the Rotunda,
they smiled and assumed they were just doing homework
but no,
these two had something else on their minds.

They had an assignment all right,
but a song from the weekend was going through their minds,
and they decided to write out the words,
 a poem,
about God's amazing grace. 

This is Amazing Grace,
This is Amazing Love,
That you would take my place, 
that you would bear my cross,
You laid down your life that I would be set free
Jesus I sing for all you have done for me.

When evil walked in and attacked,
one got away, stabbed but safe...
but the other?
she laid down her life for a friend.

It was no ordinary morning the day Letisha died,
this girl who loved Jesus,
who sang amazing grace
who got to meet her Saviour
and be welcomed with well done!

She loved her Jesus,
and sang his praises,
she was his hands and his feet,
to the children and the homeless,
and she finished well.

A week has passed since that day
.....a community still in mourning
more aware than ever that no word should be left unsaid,
.....a church family that grieves but with hope
because of God's amazing grace. 

Many of us are still singing that song,
humming the words as we grieve,
the loss of one so young
one so in love with her Jesus...
This is amazing grace!

***Written in memory of Letisha Reimer, fatally stabbed at her high school on November 1, 2016.
For more about how her church responded read here.


Thursday, November 03, 2016

Present Over Perfect

She had me at the title....
and my dear husband knew it 
when he picked the book up at a conference he attended!

It was like it was calling to me to be read,
never mind everything else on the pile of books
(and yes, if you know me you know that I always have a pile of books).

Present over perfect,
Leaving behind frantic 
for a simpler, more soulful way of living.

As I read the forward I knew that this was a book for me,
one that would cause me to over and over again say,
YES!!! That's exactly how I feel(felt).

"Stop.
Right now.
Remake your life from the inside out."
(page 17)

This past year of living in intense pain
feels like that has been exactly what has been happening,
God has been remaking my life from the inside out. 

He has taken this busy Grandma
who worked hard to make everything look just perfect
and changed me from the inside out.

My life is marked now by quiet, connection, simplicity...
there is a peace that defines my days,
a settledness, a groundedness.
(page 27) 

God brought me to a full stop
and in the sitting still he has filled my soul with peace
...this is what He has for me for such a time as this.



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Just Because

She knew that I had gone through several days of incredible pain,
and in particular one really rough day,
so she sent home this precious little bouquet,
just because......
Just because...
....she is thoughtful and kind
....she puts her thoughts into action
....we are friends who don't see each other enough
.....she is the hands of Jesus
and reaches out to the hurting...

Just Because....
and I am so blessed as a result!

Friday, October 14, 2016

An Unwanted Calling



 
”My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”(II Corinthians 12:7

She had written to me because she was suffering with constant pain and really didn’t know if life was worth living this way anymore. As I prayed about what to say in my reply, God reminded me of the truth of his unique calling in my life….a call to suffering. Over the course of my life I had heard his call to ministry of various kinds in my life. But now it was different.

Much like Paul who prayed and asked God to remove the thorn in his flesh 3 times(2 Corinthians 12:7,8), I had asked God to take away the pain. Others had joined in that prayer, but his answer was always ‘not now my child, my grace is sufficient for you’. Friends and family alike struggled with that answer.

But as I sat in front of the computer that day I realized anew that God’s calling on my life right now was unwanted, yes, but still very real.  I could say like Paul, ‘Most gladly, therefore I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”(vs 10). His promises that his grace would be sufficient and that I could be content with that are a daily reality.

The pain has not left. But neither has my Heavenly Father. Christ in me means that I can choose joy and be at peace knowing that ‘when I am weak, then I am strong’(Verse 10b) His call on my life during this season is to shine his glory through a cracked and broken vessel and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has not forgotten me and very definitely still has things for me to do, a role to play, prayers to pray.

How about you? Is God’s call for this season of your life unwanted? Are you having trouble seeing his purpose and plan for your days? Remember that God hasn’t changed and still very much at work, indwelling you with the power of Christ each and every day!

Heavenly Father, thank you that I can know that Your power indwells me and Your grace is always sufficient for me. May I remember that when the circumstances of life threatens to overwhelm me. Amen.


Action Step:
Have you been resisting God’s call on this season of your life? Have you been grumbling and complaining, demanding that God change it? Take a moment to thank him that his grace is always sufficient even now and that he will be at work in and through you as you are faithful to that call.