Invisible People ... Seeing or Not Seeing

Invisible People ... Seeing or Not Seeing

I was chatting recently with a fellow senior citizen (OK, old lady like me). We had both been at  the same social situation recently. Interestingly, as we compared notes, it turns out that each of us had the same experience there. We both marveled at how unfriendly many of the younger women were toward us. Neither of us were unknown to them, so it was confusing. 

Then I remembered words that I had heard out of the mouth of an older man in a movie years ago. (I wish I could remember which movie):

The older you get the more invisible you become.  

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Memes ... Food for Thought

Memes ... Food for Thought

My grandson Kaden just received his first smart phone. He is so excited! And so we have been having some fun texting back and forth. One of the topics that has come up is memes and how much he loves memes. What is a meme, you might ask? (I had to look it up myself). My original impression was that it was a visual with a superimposed verbal message. However, it turned out to be a too limiting definition. 

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Remembering Scripture in Ocean Sunrise & Song

Remembering Scripture in Ocean Sunrise & Song

For several years before my mom went to Jesus, I spent lots of precious time with her on the coast in New Jersey. I remembered this blog I wrote after a sweet summer with her at my sister's house in Belmar. One of the highlights has always been my early morning walks along the beach at sunrise. So maybe you need some peaceful reflection today. Why not join me as I "go to the beach" and enjoy the glory of our great Creator in pictures, Scriptures and song. Blessings, my friend. 

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The Depth of You and Me, dear Sister!

The Depth of You and Me, dear Sister!

I swore off marriage books a long time ago!

Getting married in the early 1970's kind of ruined it for me as far as Christian marriage books. It was all about the submissive wife stuff, not much about the sacrificial love and leadership of the husband -- a reaction I think to the Christian feminism coming into the church ... But recently "by accident," I came across a quote that really grabbed me. And this quote expresses the truth of what life on this earth as a believer is and must be, not just for those of us who are married...

 

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A Pantry for my Soul

A Pantry for my Soul

Are you in the midst of a long stretch of life when you feel like you have nothing? It has been survival day after day. Maybe you are a mother of multiple preschoolers; a person in chronic pain; a cancer patient going through chemo; a husband or wife, a son or daughter, a sister or brother grieving the sudden death of your loved one; or maybe a caregiver of some kind. You don't have enough time or energy or mental clarity to replenish your own resources. And yet, somehow you are making it!

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HUG a Military Family ... TODAY!

HUG a Military Family ... TODAY!

Hi Friends,

This will be short, but I want to share how convicted I feel.

In the past I've taken it for granted when hearing about military families getting transferred by Uncle Sam. Yes, I've thought it must be hard ... and what an adjustment it must be for the kids to change schools etc. But since my personality has always loved change and new opportunities, I haven't paid much attention to the possible hardship of it all. Yet many, if not most, of our career military go through incredible change and hardship multiple times in the life of their growing families. 

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Holes in my Soul

Holes in my Soul

Do you ever feel like there are holes in your soul? I do. In fact, right now I feel a bit like a piece of Swiss cheese. And I don't mean "baby swiss." No, the real holes kind.

The interesting thing is that nothing bad is going on right now in my life. It's all good stuff! But the constancy of the schedule with a newborn (darling first granddaughter!), a two year old (energetic boy, I might add!), two older boys (awesome, each one!), plus sleep deprived young parents (getting ready for a military move next month, I might add), and two aged, also sleep-deprived, grandparents (John & me!) has been hard and delightful at the same time. But to be honest, we adults are all living "on the edge" of something (I just drew a blank as to what).

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Pressing on ... no Matter the Age

Pressing on ... no Matter the Age

Back when we were in our late thirties, John & I moved our young family from Dallas to Dayton, Ohio because of a job change. At that time we became a part of a fellowship called "Believers' Assembly." In those days, we were among the older folks because the congregation had been formed of college kids who had come to Christ and were spiritually growing under the ministry of young Rennes Bowers. So there was lots of life in that congregation.

I'll never forget the songs in the "blue songbook."** I'm not sure where these songs came from ... whether original to the group or not. But I do remember them being enthusiastically sung to guitar music.

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Facing my Mortality ... Reflections on Turning 70

Facing my Mortality ... Reflections on Turning 70

Facing my mortality is good for my soul.

And my "decade-turning birthday" does give me pause, unlike any other. I don't care that they say that 70 is the new 60. Who are the "they" anyway? It's wishful thinking ... just like all the other decade-turning birthdays were. For some reason in our culture, we think we should be above aging!

Yes, there are amazing advances in medical and health sciences that keep pushing the survival rate higher and higher. But what about the "soul's survival rate"? What about the quality of the inner life that transcends the outer?

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Spiritual Parenting (a.k.a. Mentoring/Discipling): How not to Blow It!

Spiritual Parenting (a.k.a. Mentoring/Discipling): How not to Blow It!

Lately, there has been a lot of talk in Christian circles (at least the ones that I'm involved in) about mentoring ... in particular, older women mentoring younger; older men mentoring younger. 

And hasn't that always been true, no matter the term used? Discipling, spiritual parenting, sharing the Lord ... Of course, we think of Jesus with His disciples, then Paul with his Timothy (and not to forget, Mom & Grandma with their Timothy), also Naomi with her Ruth, etc. You get the picture.

But as we transition from May the month of moms, to June the month of dads, I would like to share about my all time favorite Biblical example when it comes to mentoring.

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Casting or Carrying? My Choice...and Yours too!

Casting or Carrying? My Choice...and Yours too!

If you have been following my last few blogs, you know that I have become more aware of the enemy around us as we walk out our life in Christ. He and his minions are not so thrilled when we are walking in peace and rest. And so, there are those dark forces around us that seize any and every opportunity to distract us, discourage us, disturb us and cause us to distrust the Lover of our Souls.

This week, our beloved son Jeremy told us that he was scheduled for a biopsy in the area where he had thyroid cancer almost 20 years ago. 

 

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The Bully Doesn't Give Up! (Part 2)

The Bully Doesn't Give Up! (Part 2)

Bullies don't often give up. They just look for another opportunity in a different place of vulnerability, changing tactics and catching the victim off-guard.

And so true to form, the Bully didn't take long to regroup and sneak up on me in another situation. (See the previous post) It sent me into a tailspin of emotion...trying to choke back tears and keep on doing life. But thankfully, my Hero, the Holy Spirit of Christ broke through the emotional cloud I was churning in.

"Ok Jan. Resist! Stand! Say NO! Remember that? Now look at the entire passage and park yourself there."

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The Bully of Bullies...Resist! (Part 1)

The Bully of Bullies...Resist! (Part 1)

The devil and his demons are bullies. But in the presence of Christ, they become wimps.
Pete Briscoe

I love the old Westerns. Whenever I am home in the afternoon and have some time to relax, I turn on Me-TV and enjoy Gunsmoke or The Rifleman or Rawhide. What is it about these shows?
Yes, they take me back to my childhood.
Yes, they speak of a simpler time when right was right and wrong was wrong.
But also, and maybe above all, the good guys always win. 

Often there's a scenario where the poor dirt farmer in the story gets bullied and threatened by some heartless, powerful, rich rancher or tycoon of some kind ... maybe to sell or give up his land at some ridiculous price. Why? For the water rights or the railroad access or ... You get the idea. But eventually, and often not till the end of the story, the ultimate "good guy" rescues the underdog by standing up to the bully and overcoming him. The bully then wimps out or is destroyed. I love that!

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Abba's Little Girls: Mama-sisters

Abba's Little Girls:  Mama-sisters

Motherhood is a Sisterhood...unrivaled by any other (except perhaps, Grandmother-hood). So if you are a mom, you are my beloved sister...

And sometimes we mama-sisters just need to be daughters...Abba's (Hebrew for Daddy) little girls.

So this Mothers' Day, let us hear these restful words of promise from our Abba:

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The Emptying of Motherhood

The Emptying of Motherhood

Motherhood is filled with emptyings -- from the emptying of the womb in childbirth to the emptying of self in child-raising to the emptying of the nest, the ultimate goal. The stripping is hard, every step along the way.

And eventually, it may mean being alone on the day when moms have always been lauded and honored. This happened to me early on in the empty-nesting process. It could have shattered me were it not for my Abba Father's loving gifts to this hurting mama. 

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The Secret Place of Communion

The Secret Place of Communion

Where do you go to commune with your God? 

Do you go to a chapel or a church?  to a favorite place near a stream, at a mountain retreat, or on a beach? Do you go to a "prayer closet," a special place in your own home?

But maybe you are frustrated because there never seems to be a "place" where you can go. Maybe you're a mom with young children or a special needs child. Perhaps you are a working mom or a worker who needs to moonlight at a second job to make ends meet. Maybe you or a loved one has a handicap or serious illness that takes you to services and medical places that seem to consume your life. Where is the place for you?

I have good news for all of us ... 

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Arrested by the Risen Christ: Brenda's Story

Arrested by the Risen Christ:  Brenda's Story

Every Easter I think of family and friends who have died in Christ.  Somewhere and sometime on their earthly journey they each met the Risen Christ in a unique way...some quite dramatically, some softly and quietly.

During this Easter week, I'd like to tell you about a friend who was arrested by the Risen Christ.  She's virtually unknown, except by those whose lives she touched.  Her name is Brenda.

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