I AM a Sanctuary ... Revising a favorite worship song

I AM a Sanctuary ... Revising a favorite worship song

In worship on Sunday, we sang a song I haven't thought of in years. I've always really liked the song. But this time, I heard the lyrics as if for the first time. And my heart cried out, "NO!"

In the song, we are basically asking the Lord to do what He has already done through our faith in Christ. I thought, "We need to be thanking Him instead of asking."

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Living from a Reservoir

Living from a Reservoir

You cannot impart what you do not possess!

This was a favorite saying of Dr. Howard Hendricks of Dallas Theological Seminary.

John & I had the privilege of sitting under Dr. Hendricks' teaching in the 1980's at DTS. No matter the class, whether it was "Bible Study Methods" or the "Christian Home," this profound little truth would punctuate the "Prof's" lectures.

In my last post, we talked about Teaching from a Reservoir.  If Dr. Hendricks' statement is true, then teaching (or whatever we are doing) from a reservoir presupposes LIVING FROM THE RESERVOIR -- the reservoir of truth in relationship with Him who is the TRUTH.

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Teaching from a Reservoir

Teaching from a Reservoir

…Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37-38

In the early fall of 2000, John & I were blessed by a visit from Dr Marvin Mayer and his wife Shirley. Dr. Mayer had just retired from many years of teaching Bible and Theology at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.  John & I were students at MBI in the 1970′s.  Dr. Mayer fast became one of my favorite professors and “spiritual father,” with a continuing relationship over the years.

On this particular visit, I got up early so I could walk with Dr M in the morning before he and Shirley left to return home to Illinois.  As we walked and talked, he spoke of his years of teaching and made a statement that grabbed my attention:  “I teach from a reservoir.”

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Because the Bully Never Gives Up! (Part 2)

Because the Bully Never Gives 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 (Part 1)

The Bully of Bullies (Part 1)

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

I'm wearing down, feeling low, on the edge. The past few months have taken an emotional toll on my soul. In the midst of it all, the Lord reminded me of another time I was feeling this way (though very different circumstances). So I am revisiting the truths surrounding His past deliverance from the Bully of my soul. Because truth like this is never learned one time and then "set in concrete." (Oh how I wish it were!) No, it is learned and embraced in each and every today. And so today, here I am again ... 

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Growing Old with the Ancient of Days

Growing Old with the Ancient of Days

"This is getting old" was my early morning greeting to my husband the other day. John agreed. Waiting on surgeries and recoveries and at the same time being sick and relapsing were wearing on us.

I'm not bored, not even discontent [OK, just a little] but what can I say? It all was getting OLD! Why? Well for me it just isn't fun not to be able to do my usual stuff or go where I want to go (like to New Jersey to visit my sister on the beach before she moves to Florida!) or accomplish my long list of projects. Did you notice the "operative words" here -- do, go, accomplish? 


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Soul Care: Just Breathe

Soul Care: Just Breathe

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  Genesis 2:7 KJV

Ah! How to care for our soul, our inner person? We so often neglect our inside self until we are ready to go over the edge with anxiety, exhaustion, depletion, hole-ness ... often caused by failing to read the signals in and around us.

So my friend and guest branch Mary Petzinger returns today with her helpful insights into this very issue.

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Quiet Places

Quiet Places

In his book The Way of the Heart, Henri Nouwen spoke of silence as a portable cell or sanctuary, a place of transformation that can be carried into ministry. Yet true as that is in active ministry, my ministry now is mainly to family and those that God brings across my path. Even when I’m with family, my heart longs for a quiet place in the midst of chaos. In my oldest daughter Karen’s home it is her sunroom, decorated in a nautical theme. I search for things in the beach painting in front of me – the shapes of the clouds, the rocks at the edge of the water that soothe my soul and help clear my mind.

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LIFE Overflowing!

LIFE Overflowing!

Today my dear grandson Carter turned 10. 10! Double digits, a full decade! Oh how time passes too quickly and here we are.

As I've thought of this precious life, I had been been asking the Lord to give me a verse to pass on to Carter from HIM. First I went one way in my thoughts, and then I went another. But nothing felt totally right, totally it. I was trying too hard instead of letting my heart receive it from the Spirit.

Then it came ... and it was totally perfect!

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Bits of Grief!

Bits of Grief!

My babies are gone. They left this morning to go back to their home ... to the place that Uncle Sam assigned after the birth of their fourth child, their first daughter (after three awesome, lively sons). This was the third time that the military transferred them immediately after the birth of a baby. Now that baby was celebrating her first birthday.

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The Smile that Destroyed my Religion!

The Smile that Destroyed my Religion!

Much of my life I lived under the "frown of God," or so I thought. I wasn't a bad kid; in fact, I was quite religious and moral. But I wasn't perfect for sure. (For one thing, I was a terrible big sister, mean and self-centered toward my siblings.) But I knew God required perfection, so I was always working my way down a spiritual "to do list" of some kind (depending on the Christian group I was with. They each had their own, you know).

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The Dance of FAITH: Moving with His Life-giving Flow

The Dance of FAITH: Moving with His Life-giving Flow

A few years ago, my husband and I were at some friends’ house.  This couple liked to gather miscellaneous people who knew them but not each other. True to form, they asked a great icebreaker question.  The particular question that evening was, 

If you could do anything other than what you currently do, what would that be? Your secret ambition?

 

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In Sorrow: Redefining Death ... and Life!

In Sorrow: Redefining Death ... and Life!

A wise person thinks a lot about death,
    while a fool thinks only about having a good time.

Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 NLT

Death! 

The word puts terror in our bones! We know it's coming but we ignore it when we can, and we act like we will live on this earth forever. But then there's the health crisis, the loss of a loved one, the thoughts in the darkness of night, the day-mare or nightmare. And the realization of the truth of where we are all heading (some of us sooner than later) comes sneaking or crashing in. And then we have to face the inevitable or drown it all out with some artificial comfort.

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Sorrow's Refining Influence: His Peace-filled Presence

Sorrow's Refining Influence: His Peace-filled Presence

This is scary. This is hard. But I have Jesus!

I was on my way to the hospital to pick up a CD and written report on my CT scan done several days ago.  Something suspicious had showed up in a previous test. I wanted to find out, but I didn't want to know.

Walking from the parking lot, I sensed the Holy Spirit give me my "Jesus Prayer."

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