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.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Just Do What He Says

 


His mother said to the servants, ’Do whatever he tells you.’(John 2:5)

With both my husband and myself working from home, we are privy to each other’s online conversations. I had heard him share this example many times before, but on this particular morning it struck me in a new way.

 

He was sharing the familiar story of Jesus turning the water into wine at the wedding in Cana and he asked the person on the other end of the call, to read the verses out of John 2. Mary was very blunt – “just do whatever he tells you!”

 

I heard my husband ask, “So what do you think the servants thought when they were told to fill the ceremonial water jugs with water?” I didn’t hear the rest of the conversation as my mind reflected on my response to the things that Jesus tells me.

 

The servants must have wondered what in the world Jesus was thinking. They needed wine to serve, not water in jars meant to hold water for their ceremonial cleansing. But Mary had been fervently clear about being obedient to Jesus commands – “Do what he says!”

 

I thought back to when our children were small and we told them that delayed obedience was disobedience. This was usually in response to their promise that they were going to do something we had told them to do, but they just hadn’t done it yet.

 

How often do I hear that still small voice telling me to pick up the phone and call someone, or to drop a gift of flowers off for a friend going through hard times. But then as the day goes on, I get busy, and the task is never done. Or in answer to a prayer I have prayed, I get an answer I wasn’t prepared for, or didn’t like.

 

How about you? Have you been obedient and then later found out how God worked in someone’s life as a result? Or have you struggled to follow through and then wished that you had just done that thing God had impressed upon your heart?

 

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you that you still speak to me today. Help me to recognize your voice and then just do what you say. Give me ears to hear and a heart to obey. Amen.

 


Monday, January 25, 2021

God is in the Details

 


“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”(Matthew 6:25)

After several days of torrential rain, a break in the clouds propelled us to get out and take a walk. Parts of the path were flooded, a visual reminder of the past year which at times was overwhelming and seemed totally out of control. We were headed one way but suddenly our plans were changed.

 

In the midst of the flooding, we just had to stop and be amazed at the beauty of the wood ducks swimming where the path was supposed to be. As I pondered God’s incredible attention to detail in creating these beautiful birds, I was in awe of his handiwork.

 

Each feather had to be in the exact right place to make the designs and colours perfect. The lines were distinct, not blurred or running together. The same was true of the colours, so vibrant and vivid. The green feathers were with the green, the white with the white, and so on, exactly according to plan.

 

I couldn’t help but be thankful that God’s attention to detail also extends to every part of my life as well. He isn’t just concerned with the broad strokes of my life, but he is watching over the smallest details. If he not only feeds the birds, but also makes sure that the colours and lines on a tiny duck are exact and meticulous, how much more so does he watch over me and the details of my life?

 

How are you doing with trusting that God is in the details of your life? Are you lying awake at night trying to figure out how it is all going to work out? Are you sweating the small stuff and feeling overwhelmed by it all?

 

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you that you aren’t just concerned with the big things in my life, but with the smallest details as well. Just as you created the birds with each feather in place to make the beautiful designs, you also feed them and take care of them. Help me to trust you to also take care of each detail of my life today. Amen.

 

Throughout this Day:

What details of your life have you been worried about? When thoughts of those things threaten to overwhelm you today, remind yourself of this verse. God’s got this!

 

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Take Courage

 


“when they saw him walking on the sea, they … were terrified. But immediately he spoke with them and said to them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped and they were utterly astonished.” (Mark 6:49-51)

Several years ago I was challenged to pick a word or thought as my word for the New Year. One year I chose ‘joy’ and another, the word ‘amazed’. As I thought about this for 2021, this familiar passage came to mind.

 

I was reminded of how similar I have been to the disciples in this account. In the midst of this storm called Covid-19, it is easy for me to be overwhelmed as the disciples were, even terrified at times! But Jesus’ words to me remain the same, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

 

Moving into 2021, Jesus is reminding me that he is here in the midst of everything I am going through, the challenges, the isolation, the longing to have the storm subside. His desire is to climb into my boat and calm my fears with the simple reminder that he is the one that is still in control, who by his very presence stopped the wind and calmed the seas.

 

What is God asking you to trust him for this year? What is it that threatens to capsize your boat? Are there areas where he is telling you to take courage? Remember that as he gets into your boat, he wants to replace your fears with peace and you will be astonished. He’s got this. Trust him.

 

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank for the reminder today that as I start this new year which is still fraught with uncertainty, I just need to keep my eyes on you and take courage. You want to get into my boat and calm my heart in the midst of this storm called Covid-19. Amen.

 

Throughout this Day:

 

What terrifies you today? Remind yourself often that Jesus is walking with you and wants to climb into your boat and calm your racing heart. Take courage, keep your eyes on him, and be utterly astonished.

 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Pay Attention

 



Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.” (Haggai 1:5,7)

One of the things that I love about reading through the Bible every year is that I read books that I wouldn’t read otherwise. Which is how I ended up reading the tiny book of Haggai last week, written to the Israelites while they were in Babylonian captivity. The phrase above is used 5 times in just 2 short chapters. God was asking them to pay attention to what he wanted them to do, which was to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.

As I underlined the same words in my Bible five times, I was stopped short. What do you want me to give careful thought to today, Lord? What do I need to pay attention to? For days afterward, that little phrase kept popping up in my mind - give careful thought to your ways today, my daughter.

I was reminded that I needed to be more aware of what God has already done for me, to rehearse his faithfulness to me and to my family in the midst of all that is happening around us. But then I felt like he was also asking me to look around me and see what he was already doing in the world. Where could I join him in those things?

Your life probably doesn’t look like you thought it would right now. But what is God asking you to pay attention to today? Where can you join him in what he is already doing? Stop right now and give careful thought to your ways. And then be still and listen so that you can hear what he is telling you.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the reminder today that I need to stop and give careful thought to my ways. Help me to pay attention to what you are doing in my life and around me. Amen!

 


 

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Hitting the Reset Button

 


”For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

‘I am so sick of this pandemic.’ As I read these words in a message from a good friend, I couldn’t help but agree. How many times have I said the same thing in these past weeks and months or heard them repeated by friends and family around me.

 

I wonder if the Israelites said the same thing when they were in captivity in Babylon? ‘I am so sick of living in captivity! I just wish my life could go back to normal.’

 

It is exactly into this situation that God gave these words to Jeremiah. He had plans for them, for their future and a hope. Earlier in the chapter they were told to get married, build houses and plant fields. Yes they were in captivity, their normal lives a faint memory, but he was asking them to hit the reset button and carry on with their lives, remembering all the time that God was still trustworthy.

 

In the same way, God is asking us to hit the reset button and carry on. Our lives don’t look the same way that they did, and ‘normal’ may be a faint memory. But the words of this verse apply just as much to us today, right now, ‘For I know the plans I have for you’. Not only has God has not changed but he will fulfill his promises.

 

How about you? Have you told someone this week that you too are sick of this pandemic, this virus and everything that goes along with it? Do you need to be reminded today that God is trustworthy? That he is still has your welfare in mind and wants to give you a future and a hope?

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you are the still trustworthy and will fulfill all of your promises. Help me today to hit the reset button and carry on, knowing that I can depend on you for my future.  

Amen!

Friday, August 07, 2020

In Spite of All This

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”(Habakkuk 3:17, 18)

These verses in Habakkuk have long been among my favorite in all of the Old Testament prophets. In spite of the famine and hardship that the Israelites were experiencing in the midst of impending invasion by the Babylonians, the prophet makes a choice in verse 18, ‘Yet I will rejoice in the Lord.’

 

As I read these verses this week, I couldn’t help but identify with Habakkuk but my list of things that I was facing looked very different.Though I haven’t been able to see loved ones for months because of Covid Isolation and lockdowns, and I haven’t been able to visit our daughter and our grandchildren because of border closures and travel restrictions, though we haven’t been able to meet as a church congregation because of limits on public gatherings and there are long lineups where there were no lineups before, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

 

I was struck again that regardless of the circumstances that I am currently facing because of this global pandemic that won’t be ending any time soon, God has not changed.  He is still the same God that spoke the world into being and spoke and calmed the wind and the sea.

 

How about you? Do you feel discouraged because you are so done with all the restrictions that you have been facing? Are you exhausted and just want life to return to what it once was? Maybe what you need to do today is just what these verses say, choose to change your focus. ‘Yet I will rejoice’, a matter of choice!

 

 Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you haven’t changed and you are the still the same God as you always were. Even though I feel like my world has changed so much, you haven’t changed and so today in spite of everything I will choose to rejoice in You, Lord. I will be joyful! Amen!

 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Want What You Have



“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”(1 Timothy 6:6,7)

Early on during the covid pandemic lockdown, I noticed two different kinds of people emerge. There were those who were bitter, angry and grumpy about all the things that they could not do or could not have. But then there was a second group who somehow seemed to thrive even though their lives had also been dramatically affected by the changes in our lives.

As I observed people’s responses, I wondered what made the difference when during a zoom call, a friend shared that she was learning to want what she had. That phrase struck me. She was content to stay at home and let others provide for her even though it meant that she was unable to go out and see her friends or do the things that she loved to do with others.

As I reflected on these verses today, that phrase came back to me once again. Am I so focused on what I don’t have that I am missing out on all that I already have? What would my life look like if I learned to actually want what I have?

How about you? Have you like Paul learned to be content in whatever circumstances you are? (Philippians 4:11) Can you honestly say that you want what you have? Which of the two groups of people that I mentioned do you belong to?

Not sure how to get started? Contentment grows out of a thankful heart. Begin to cultivate that in your life today.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for your amazing faithfulness and goodness that you show to me in so many different ways every single day. Help me to in fact want the things I already have so that I might learn to be content in every way. Amen