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.

Read More

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.”

Read More

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.

Read More

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.”

Read More

"Carried Along"...

I've never been a dare devil!  When I was a teenager, I do remember going on the roller coaster at Palisades Park.  But said coaster was nothing compared to what exists today.  Even on those momentous birthdays (like 40, 50, 60), I never even considered para-sailing, sky diving, zip lining, scuba diving, etc.  I guess you would say that I play it safe.  But I know I miss out!

Recently two of my friends were shocked that, at my age, I didn't know how to swim.  In my defense, I never had opportunity to learn as a child...and even more than that, some bratty kid at a community pool had held my head underwater for what seemed like an eternity.  So to this day, I have a hard time yielding myself to water, to just float and be "carried along"...even on a raft or inner tube.

Another area I have difficulty with is dance.  My secret desire is to be able to dance my heart out.  But aside from dancing with my toddler grandsons, I just can't abandon myself to dance...except maybe in private.  My daughter recently posted on facebook:

I’m so stiff. In dance at University of Dayton I remember the instructor saying that true dancing came after learning the steps and just letting it flow. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to do that in dance or life.

My niece is a dancer, and I so admire and envy her. She at a young age learned to abandon herself to the dance and "just let it flow."

But even though physically I have a very difficult time letting myself be "carried along,"  there is one area where I am learning and growing in this kind of abandonment.  And that is in my relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.

For much of my Christian walk, I've been stiff and unyielding, not on purpose, but mostly out of ignorance.  I've  thought I was supposed to live a godly life, minister to others, etc. with God's help...which He would give if I prayed correctly etc.  But now I know that as I abandon myself to "His dance," so to speak, HE will carry me along in the flow of HIS purpose and pleasure.

I've been doing some writing lately to finish a book project.  A spiritual mentor of mine said that he was praying for me that I would be "carried along" by the Holy Spirit as I write.  Here is the verse he shared:

...men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21b ESV

The cool thing is that this word in the Greek is the same one used in Acts 27.  This passage is the account of Paul being taken as a prisoner to Rome.  As the ship carrying him and others encountered a severe storm, the sailors knew not to fight it but rather yield to the wind.  They allowed the ship to be driven along without their control:

...and when the ship was caught in it and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and let ourselves be driven along. ...fearing that they might run aground on the shallows of Syrtis, they let down the sea anchor and in this way let themselves be driven along. Acts 27:15,17 NASB.

What a great metaphor for life in the Spirit...not resisting but letting ourselves be carried along in His empowering stream.

This also makes me think of Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus:

Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. John 3:7-8 ESV

The movement of the Spirit is a powerful thing...amazing, beyond comprehension...a mystery.  And those who yield to His flow experience "skill beyond their skill," "words beyond their words," "love beyond their love," "fullness beyond their fullness."

So what does it take?  Jumping into the "Ocean that is God," yielding to His indwelling life, and letting His Spirit carry you along for His purpose and pleasure.

Holy Spirit, living Breath of God,
Breathe new life into my willing soul.
Bring the presence of the risen Lord
To renew my heart and make me whole.
Cause Your Word to come alive in me;
Give me faith for what I cannot see;
Give me passion for Your purity.
Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me.

Holy Spirit, come abide within;
May Your joy be seen in all I do-
Love enough to cover ev'ry sin
In each thought and deed and attitude,
Kindness to the greatest and the least,
Gentleness that sows the path of peace.
Turn my striving into works of grace.
Breath of God, show Christ in all I do.

Holy Spirit, from creation's birth,
Giving life to all that God has made,
Show your power once again on earth;
Cause Your church to hunger for Your ways.
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise.
Lead us on the road of sacrifice
That in unity the face of Christ
Will be clear for all the world to see.

You might also like:  Resurrection Dance...let it flow!

images-1.jpeg

Living from a Reservoir

Dr Hendricks
Dr Hendricks

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.

roosevelt dam overflow
roosevelt dam overflow

So in a very real sense, whether it's parenting, teaching, "friending," "neighboring," working, ministering to others in a physical, emotional, or spiritual sense...you can NOT impart what you do NOT possess. And you cannot possess anything of real, spiritual value unless it is received from the Giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).

When I was teaching preschool at Xenia Christian in the late 1990's, one of the perks I loved was Teacher Devotions.  I'll never forget the verse that a colleague shared one morning before class:

open Bible
open Bible

The Sovereign LORDhas given me an instructed tongue [tongue of a learner], to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. Is 50:4 NIV

It's so easy to give out and give out and give out again...only to find ourselves running on empty.  I think especially of moms...talk about pouring yourself out for others!

How do we have what we need for whatever comes our way? Our usual way is to try to figure out what to say and do...or go get advice from a friend or expert, instead of going to Him who has the words of life (John 6:68-69).

While meditating on Is 50:4 one day, the Lord gave me a practical way to apply this truth to my life. It's by remembering 3 W"s -- Waiting, Weaving, and Working:

WAITING on the LORD. The verse begins with theSovereign LORD being the Giver.  That means that we are the receivers! So waiting on Him is key...rather than running around frantically to every other "source". And He has a tremendous promise for those of us who wait on Him:He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

WEAVING the LORD and His WORD throughout our day. It starts out morning by morning -- listening to Him. We awaken with thoughts of Him, giving up the day to His care. It ends with thanksgiving and trust for what came our way that day. In between, there can be short, sentence prayers...practicing the presence of Christ through out the day by conversing with Him, our best Friend -- listening and even journaling as we go through our day.

Tevye
Tevye

One of my fictitious heroes of all time is Tevye, the father in the film The Fiddler on the Roof.  The reason I love him so much is because of his relationship with God portrayed in that film.  He so easily talks with God -- being very real with Him about his frustrations and desires, truly weaving Him throughout his day.

The classic Tevye is especially seen in his dialog and song "If I Were a Rich Man."  There's a little section of that charming song where Tevye reveals to the Lord that the sweetest thing about being rich would be:

If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack To sit in the synagogue and pray. And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall. And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day. That would be the sweetest thing of all.

Tevye longs for the Word of God in ever growing depths.  Is that our desire too?  As with Tevye, it may be difficult for the longer times of devotion and Bible study, though it's well worth the effort to make that a high priority.   But what about also leaving the open Bible on the counter-top, desk, end table...grabbing snippets of the Word during those "open spaces" in the day?  Playing Christian music (instrumental and otherwise) and Bible teaching in the car, at home, in the classroom, at the gym, on walks/runs could permeate our days with peace and richness that come from thoughts of our Lord.

I love this verse: Open your mouth wide and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10 "Lord, I'm opening my mouth and my ears, fill them as You promised."

WORKING by HIS strength, wisdom, and insight Then with the instructed tongue, the tongue of a learner, we will have the words to sustain the weary oneswhether in the home, the classroom, the neighborhood, the workplace, the grocery store, on the telephone, on facebook -- wherever God may place us that day. This will be true because it won't be us, but HIM through us -- as us, His students/disciples living from the Reservoir of the Word in relationship with the Living WORD!

Oswald Chambers, in his classic devotional My Utmost for His Highest (September 2) speaks to this point:

He that believeth in Me . . out of him shall flow... .John 7:38

Jesus did not say - "he that believeth in Me shall realize the blessing of the fulness of God," but - "he that believeth in Me out of him shall escape everything he receives." Our Lord's teaching is always anti -self-realization. His purpose is not the development of a man; His purpose is to make a man exactly like Himself, and the characteristic of the Son of God is self-expenditure. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain, but what He pours through us that counts. It is not that God makes us beautifully rounded grapes, but that He squeezes the sweetness out of us. Spiritually, we cannot measure our life by success, but only by what God pours through us, and we cannot measure that at all.

When Mary of Bethany broke the box of precious ointment and poured it on Jesus' head, it was an act for which no one else saw any occasion; the disciples said it was a waste. But Jesus commended Mary for her extravagant act of devotion, and said that wherever His gospel was preached "this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her." Our Lord is carried beyond Himself with joy when He sees any of us doing what Mary did, not being set on this or that economy, but being abandoned to Him. God spilt the life of His Son that the world might be saved; are we prepared to spill out our lives for Him?

"He that believeth in Me out of him shall flow rivers of living water" - hundreds of other lives will be continually refreshed. It is time now to break the life, to cease craving for satisfaction, and to spill the thing out. Our Lord is asking who of us will do it for Him?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:16-17

For further study look at Luke 6:39-49.  List everything the Holy Spirit "highlights to your heart" about teaching and being a "learner" (disciple).


Teaching from a Reservoir

Dedicated to my fellow teachers...no matter the level, subject, or circumstance.

...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." I knew what he meant in the context of our conversation.  He taught his theology and Bible classes from a plethora of Scriptural knowledge and doctrine as a result of years of study and teaching.

But as I continued to reflect on this statement in the following days, I realized that the reservoir that Dr Mayer taught from was not just that of Bible truth, but rather truth in relationship with Him who is Truth Himself. I recalled Dr M's classes and the prayers he prayed and the hymns he sang, while we joined in. :)  His passion for the God he taught about was so evident to us students.

A few years later in the midst of a conversation with my daughter about motherhood, the Lord brought to mind a verse that was for me an obscure one.  This verse beautifully illustrates the exact point about teaching from the reservoir of truth in relationship with Him who is Truth.

He said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings forth out of his treasure things new and old." Matthew 13:52 NASB

The scribes were the teachers/experts in Scripture truth, who may or may not have had a personal relationship with the God about whom they taught.  But in this verse, Jesus says that if a person knows the Scriptures well AND becomes His disciple (which means being attached to Him the Teacher, not just His teaching), he will have a reservoir or treasure [same Greek word] from which to draw in teaching and ministering to others -- new truth added in with known (old) truth, whatever is needed at the time. And all in relationship with Him who is the Truth.

It's kind of like my kitchen cabinet.  Because I have that treasure/reservoir of pottery, I can go in there and pull out some of my new Polish pottery and arrange it on the table to make a beautiful setting with an old blue and white pitcher.

What about YOU, dear teacher/ home school mom? What is the reservoir YOU are drawing from?

Is it your slick methodology, your fancy hi-tech curriculum, your astounding expertise?  All of those may be wonderful, but ONLY if you are a disciple of the MASTER TEACHER Himself, submitting to Him and His Word.  Then you will be teaching from the vast reservoir of truth found in relationship with Him who is the Truth!

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.  Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2Cor 3:4-6

...God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge....For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him...  Col 2:2b-3,9-10

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2Tim 3:16-17

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

More to come in the next post Living from a Reservoir.

For further study look at Luke 6:39-49.  List everything the Holy Spirit "highlights to your heart" about teaching and being a "learner" (disciple).

Kingdom Academy

shepherdess and sheep
shepherdess and sheep

Do not be afraid, little flock, for the Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  Luke 12:32

I look at the framed picture hanging on the wall in my bedroom. It's a classic painting of a shepherdess with her sheep.  And I remember my preschoolers 1998 and their moms.

I think of the privilege I have had to be that shepherdess pointing them to the Chief Shepherd, Who Himself also is the Good Shepherd.  Jesus is the Great Shepherd...and Guardian of their souls and mine!

So when it was my turn to lead teacher devotions that year, I knew I had to share about my preschoolers.  They had become my Kingdom Academy... not primarily because they learned so much spiritual truth through me, but because they taught their teacher (a.k.a. shepherdess) about the simplicity of devotion to Christ.

There were many ways they taught me.  But I'll just share three...the simplicity of prayer, the simplicity of forgiveness, and the simplicity of blessing.

Prayer

Early in the year, I taught the children the Bible story of the storm at sea and how Jesus came, walking on the water, to His disciples who were in the boat.  I explained that Jesus got into the boat when the disciples invited Him in.  Then He calmed the storm and rode with them the rest of the way to shore.

I then told the children that our classroom was our "boat."  We could invite Jesus into our classroom to be with us.  One of the children said, "Well, let's do it right NOW!"  And he burst into prayer!

tree huggers
tree huggers

So there in the hallway, I laid my hands on them one by one and prayed over each in turn...unique words and blessings for every child.  I wish I had journaled the blessings...alas! I didn't :(

But what I'll never forget are the eager little faces...as each child waited his turn to be blessed!  No dry eyes for me...and a lesson learned in the value of blessing others!

So dear sweet ones, I bless you and say that your lives are full of promise...as you face your futures, walking with your Savior.  Honor HIM, for He is worthy!

Carson
Carson

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

I Am A Promise I am a promise I am a possibility I am a promise with a capital “P” I am a great big bundle of potentiality And I am learnin’ to hear God’s voice And I am tryin’ to make the right choice I am a promise to be anything God wants me to be.

Brian
Brian

I can go anywhere that He wants me to go I can be anything He wants me to be I can climb the high mountains I can cross the wide sea I’m a great big promise you see!

I am a promise I am a possibility I am a promise with a capital “P” I am a great big bundle of potentiality And I am learnin’ to hear God’s voice And I am tryin’ to make the right choice

Andrew
Andrew

I’m a promise to be anything God wants me to be Anything God wants me to be!


Pre-school 1998...HS Graduation 2012

Yes, it's that time again...graduation! Some of you may have read my post last year when my Dream Team graduated.  If not, you may want to take a look at that PK story.  It tells how a teacher like me, who emphatically doesn't DO preschool...ended up DOING preschool...and LOVING IT!

But now Graduation 2012 is a new year and a new group of graduates.  This is the year that my last PK group graduates from high school.

You may wonder how I think of this group, if the other was my Dream Team (after all, how many Dream Teams can one have?).  Let me just say, I remember these five precious four-year old's as my Free Spirits.

At times, these little ones seemed to bounce off of every wall...not in a bad way, mind you...but in a four-year old way! My Free Spirits kept me on my spiritual toes.  And that was good!

In fact, as the year went on, I came to think of this little group as my Kingdom Academy.  Why, you might ask?  Because God in His grace did some very special things...amazing to this "non-preschool DO-ing" teacher!

But I'll leave that for my next post.  In the meantime, let me introduce you to this year's graduates from Mrs. Loyd's preschool:

First there's the princess and only girl in the midst of four boys...Amy.  Amy was always smiling, caring, helping.  In fact, when the boys started telling her, "Amy, get me this...put away that," I had to jump in to rescue her from the chauvanistic  :)  males of the group.  Seriously though, Amy is an only sister in a family of boys, so enough said!

Then there is Carson.  Carson would read my bulletin boards as I put them up.  When I asked him who taught him to read, he said , "No one!"  And I believe it!  Carson had a sensitive conscience and often struggled with what was right and wrong...a smart little guy.

Brian was our budding artist.  He loved to draw and color.  He didn't love when there was too much "upheaval" in the classroom...a man after my own heart!

David was the pray-er of our group.  Often when I would say, "Let's pray," David would burst into prayer.  He often didn't give me a chance to lead out as I had intended.  David was very spiritually sensitive and repented easily when he did the wrong thing.

Last but not least is Andrew Andrew joined us in the middle of the school year.  I remember his grateful spirit.  Shortly after he joined us, Andrew said to me, "Teacher, thank you for letting me be in this class!"  He also thanked the Lord in prayer one day for "Mr Potato Head, my cat peeing and pooing in the litter box, and even for my teacher!"

In the next blog, I'll tell some more about these dear ones...

But right now, I want to thank you, dear Amy, Carson, Brian, David, and Andrew, for enriching my life with your free spirited innocence and love and life!

Your names and little faces :) are forever etched in my heart!

See, I have written your names in the palms of My hands... Is 49:16a

 

LIVING from a Reservoir

my men
my men

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.

roosevelt dam overflow
roosevelt dam overflow

So in a very real sense, whether it's parenting, teaching, "friending," "neighboring," working, ministering to others in a physical, emotional, or spiritual sense...you can NOT impart what you do NOT possess. And you cannot possess anything of real, spiritual value unless it is received from the Giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).

When I was teaching preschool at Xenia Christian in the late 1990's, one of the perks I loved was Teacher Devotions.  I'll never forget the verse that a colleague shared one morning before class:

The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue [tongue of a learner], to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. Is 50:4 NIV

It's so easy to give out and give out and give out again...only to find ourselves running on empty.  I think especially of moms...talk about pouring yourself out for others!

How do we have what we need for whatever comes our way? Our usual way is to try to figure out what to say and do...or go get advice from a friend or expert, instead of going to Him who has the words of life (John 6:68-69).

While meditating on Is 50:4 one day, the Lord gave me a practical way to apply this truth to my life. It's by remembering 3 W"s -- Waiting, Weaving, and Working:

WAITING on the LORD. The verse begins with theSovereign LORD being the Giver.  That means that we are the receivers! So waiting on Him is key...rather than running around frantically to every other "source". And He has a tremendous promise for those of us who wait on Him:He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

WEAVING the LORD and His WORD throughout our day. It starts out morning by morning -- listening to Him. We awaken with thoughts of Him, giving up the day to His care. It ends with thanksgiving and trust for what came our way that day. In between, there can be short, sentence prayers...practicing the presence of Christ through out the day by conversing with Him, our best Friend -- listening and even journaling as we go through our day.

One of my fictitious heroes of all time is Tevye, the father in the film The Fiddler on the Roof.  The reason I love him so much is because of his relationship with God portrayed in that film.  He so easily talks with God -- being very real with Him about his frustrations and desires, truly weaving Him throughout his day.

The classic Tevye is especially seen in his dialog and song "If I Were a Rich Man."  There's a little section of that charming song where Tevye reveals to the Lord that the sweetest thing about being rich would be:

If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack To sit in the synagogue and pray. And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall. And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day. That would be the sweetest thing of all.

Tevye longs for the Word of God in ever growing depths.  Is that our desire too?  As with Tevye, it may be difficult for the longer times of devotion and Bible study, though it's well worth the effort to make that a high priority.   But what about also leaving the open Bible on the counter-top, desk, end table...grabbing snippets of the Word during those "open spaces" in the day?  Playing Christian music (instrumental and otherwise) and Bible teaching in the car, at home, in the classroom, at the gym, on walks/runs could permeate our days with peace and richness that come from thoughts of our Lord.

I love this verse: Open your mouth wide and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10 "Lord, I'm opening my mouth and my ears, fill them as You promised."

WORKING by HIS strength, wisdom, and insight Then with the instructed tongue, the tongue of a learner, we will have the words to sustain the weary oneswhether in the home, the classroom, the neighborhood, the workplace, the grocery store, on the telephone, on facebook -- wherever God may place us that day. This will be true because it won't be us, but HIM through us -- as us, His students/disciples living from the Reservoir of the Word in relationship with the Living WORD!

Oswald Chambers, in his classic devotional My Utmost for His Highest (September 2) speaks to this point:

He that believeth in Me . . out of him shall flow... .John 7:38

Jesus did not say - "he that believeth in Me shall realize the blessing of the fulness of God," but - "he that believeth in Me out of him shall escape everything he receives." Our Lord's teaching is always anti -self-realization. His purpose is not the development of a man; His purpose is to make a man exactly like Himself, and the characteristic of the Son of God is self-expenditure. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain, but what He pours through us that counts. It is not that God makes us beautifully rounded grapes, but that He squeezes the sweetness out of us. Spiritually, we cannot measure our life by success, but only by what God pours through us, and we cannot measure that at all.

When Mary of Bethany broke the box of precious ointment and poured it on Jesus' head, it was an act for which no one else saw any occasion; the disciples said it was a waste. But Jesus commended Mary for her extravagant act of devotion, and said that wherever His gospel was preached "this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her." Our Lord is carried beyond Himself with joy when He sees any of us doing what Mary did, not being set on this or that economy, but being abandoned to Him. God spilt the life of His Son that the world might be saved; are we prepared to spill out our lives for Him?

"He that believeth in Me out of him shall flow rivers of living water" - hundreds of other lives will be continually refreshed. It is time now to break the life, to cease craving for satisfaction, and to spill the thing out. Our Lord is asking who of us will do it for Him?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:16-17

For further study look at Luke 6:39-49.  List everything the Holy Spirit "highlights to your heart" about teaching and being a "learner" (disciple).


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." I knew what he meant in the context of our conversation.  He taught his theology and Bible classes from a plethora of Scriptural knowledge and doctrine as a result of years of study and teaching.

But as I continued to reflect on this statement in the following days, I realized that the reservoir that Dr Mayer taught from was not just that of Bible truth, but rather truth in relationship with Him who is Truth Himself. I recalled Dr M's classes and the prayers he prayed and the hymns he sang, while we joined in. :)  His passion for the God he taught about was so evident to us students.

A few years later in the midst of a conversation with my daughter about motherhood, the Lord brought to mind a verse that was for me an obscure one.  This verse beautifully illustrates the exact point about teaching from the reservoir of truth in relationship with Him who is Truth.

He said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings forth out of his treasure things new and old." Matthew 13:52 NASB

The scribes were the teachers/experts in Scripture truth, who may or may not have had a personal relationship with the God about whom they taught.  But in this verse, Jesus says that if a person knows the Scriptures well AND becomes His disciple (which means being attached to Him the Teacher, not just His teaching), he will have a reservoir or treasure [same Greek word] from which to draw in teaching and ministering to others -- new truth added in with known (old) truth, whatever is needed at the time. And all in relationship with Him who is the Truth.

It's kind of like my kitchen cabinet.  Because I have that treasure/reservoir of pottery, I can go in there and pull out some of my new Polish pottery and arrange it on the table to make a beautiful setting with an old blue and white pitcher.

What about YOU, dear teacher/ home school mom? What is the reservoir YOU are drawing from?

Is it your slick methodology, your fancy hi-tech curriculum, your astounding expertise?  All of those may be wonderful, but ONLY if you are a disciple of the MASTER TEACHER Himself, submitting to Him and His Word.  Then you will be teaching from the vast reservoir of truth found in relationship with Him who is the Truth!

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.  Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2Cor 3:4-6

...God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge....For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him...  Col 2:2b-3,9-10

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2Tim 3:16-17

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.... If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:4-5,7

More to come in the next post Living from a Reservoir

For further study look at Luke 6:39-49.  List everything the Holy Spirit "highlights to your heart" about teaching and being a "learner" (disciple).

Then...and NOW

PK HS graduation 2011
PK HS graduation 2011

This is a sequel to my last post.  Some of you have wondered about those little 4 year-olds and what they must be like now.  So here is bit of past, present, and (potential) future. Look, read, enjoy, and PRAY for these dear young people...that they will each fulfill God's purpose in [their] own generation. Acts 13:3

XEC - PK 199704
XEC - PK 199704
Sarah Lusk...now
Sarah Lusk...now

Sarah says, "I plan on going to Cedarville and double majoring in Psychology/Nursing for the first semester or year. After that I'll either go on to get my PHD in Psychology or maybe become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. And that's as far as I 'know' right now!"

XEC - PK 199703
XEC - PK 199703
David McNeely...now
David McNeely...now

David says, "I'm attending Anderson University in the Fall and, for now, the plan is to major in business administration with a minor in entrepreneurship. I've been interested in investment real estate for the past 6 years. Though I have not begun my career in that, I feel as though it is my passion. I feel as though it's what I'm supposed to do. Call me crazy, but it's what I love!"

XEC - PK 199702
XEC - PK 199702
Mackenzie 2011
Mackenzie 2011

Mackenzie plans to study either Psychology or Social Work.  She will attend a community college and then complete her degree at Wright State University.

XEC - PK 199701
XEC - PK 199701
Patrick.jpg
Patrick.jpg

Patrick will be coaching Athletes in Action (AIA) Youth Basketball this summer.  He is planning on attending Johnson University in Knoxville, TN in the fall to study Preaching and Youth Ministry.

XEC - PK 199705
XEC - PK 199705
Jared Smiles
Jared Smiles

Jared says, "Next year I plan to attend Wright State University, with my major still to be decided. I am working full time this summer as an STNA CNA for United Church Homes Trinity Community in Beavercreek and enjoy that very much."  As far as careers go, Jared considers counseling as one of his possibilities.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

When I was preparing for the birth of our first child, I came across a book of proverbs for children.  I framed several of them for the nursery.  My favorite is Proverbs 16:1 (LB):  We make our plans, but God has the final word!

I've found that to be so true in my own life over these many years. As you walk with God, at times you never know where He is taking you...

XEC - PK 199706
XEC - PK 199706

..like teaching preschool at Xenia Christian School in 1997-98...

And I wouldn't have missed it for the world!!!!!

So my dear graduates, may this song, sung by Chris Tomlin, be your song also now.. and throughout your entire life:


Preschool 1997...H.S. Graduation 2011

Back in June 1996, I "retired" from homeschooling.  Beth had graduated from my 8th grade and was then attending Xenia Christian High School.  Jeremy was already a freshman at Grace college.  So I was "foot-loose and fancy-free" (relatively speaking)! Then in December, my friend Donna called to tell me that they needed a preschool teacher at Xenia Christian Elementary for the second semester.  The current teacher was having a baby.

I told her immediately and emphatically, "I don't do preschool!"

But she coaxed me with, "But, Jan, there are only 2 four year old boys in the class."

My daughter Beth said,  "Mom, you've got to do it...you still have lots more mothering left in you!"

I thought, "Wait a minute!  I love four year olds.  That's my favorite age!  I can sort of 'homeschool' 2 four year old boys!" So I took the job, insisting to the principal Bob Colaner that I was only going to take the job till the end of the school year.

Well, guess what happened!  I fell in love with those two little boys, Geoff Evans and Adam Bealert!  And I was hooked for the next two years!

That leads to the next school year 1997-1998...and the group I affectionately refer to as my "Dream Team":  Sarah Lusk, Mackenzie Nestor, Jared Holloway, David McNeely, and Patrick Penewit.

And these precious persons are graduating from high school this very year.  How could that be?  How did they grow up so fast?  I know you parents of these dear ones are asking those very questions.

You might ask why I think of this class as my "Dream Team"?  This was a group that I could do almost anything with -- they were so cooperative and enjoyable!

One of my favorite things was to go on field trips. [I always say that I was a "field trip mom" when I was raising my own kids.  They accuse me of making every family vacation into a field trip...and I did!]  Well, with just five children who were cooperative, we could go lots of places and do lots of things:  Bowman and Landes Turkey Farm, Sugarcreek Preserve, the library, and others.  At every place, I remember people commenting on how cooperative these 4 year-olds were.  Music to a teacher's heart!

Now, lest you think these children were rigid and boring, I want you to know they each had a unique personality.

Mackenzie was a born leader-type;

Sarah, sweet & gentle;

Patrick, lively and "Tigger-y";

David, somewhat serious but with a dry wit;

Jared, positive and fun-loving.

I recorded in my journal an interesting conversation three of us (I'll let you guess who) had on the last day of school that preschool year.  We were eating scrambled eggs (not green!) and toast.

One of the children said, "We are a present to Jesus." Another answered, "What we DO is a present to Jesus." I said, "Who we ARE is a present to Jesus." [see John 17:20,24; Ephesians 1:18] The first one said (with a little glowing face), "Yes, who we ARE is a present to Jesus!"

And that's how I think of you dear students, now young adults.  You are presents to Jesus, to your families and friends, to the world...and to Mrs Loyd.  Thank you for enriching my life with who you each ARE.  The memories of that year together stay with me.

And I thank you and your families for your love, prayers, and support during our family crises that very year when my son had cancer and my daughter, surgery.  God used you all in important ways in our lives that year.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,...for I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-4,6

When I was at my grandson's preschool Grandparents Day in February, the children sang a wonderful song that would be just as fitting for my Dream Team's graduation.

So this song comes, dear Sarah, Mackenzie, Jared, David, and Patrick, with wishes and prayers for a future bright with God's promise and blessing.  May each of you follow HIM every day of your lives...because HE IS WORTHY!

I Am A Promise

I am a promise I am a possibility I am a promise with a capital "P" I am a great big bundle of potentiality And I am learnin' to hear God's voice And I am tryin' to make the right choice I am a promise to be anything God wants me to be.

I can go anywhere that He wants me to go I can be anything He wants me to be I can climb the high mountains I can cross the wide sea I'm a great big promise you see!

I am a promise I am a possibility I am a promise with a capital "P" I am a great big bundle of potentiality And I am learnin' to hear God's voice And I am tryin' to make the right choice I'm a promise to be anything God wants me to be Anything God wants me to be!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBBui-sT2Hk&feature=related[/youtube]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL3adt7K58M