Posts by Jani James

Christmas Baby

Posted by on Dec 19, 2017 in Stories

Christmas Baby

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 NASB) My thoughts are full of babies these days. My grandkids, ages 1 and 3. Isaac baptized and Joshua and Sol-Nicole dedicated before us all. And my baby bumpkin boy, now 36, is coming home for Christmas. I can kind-of picture Jesus as a baby in this august company. Human, baby, got it. But, whoa. “There has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord… a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:11,12 NASB). As soon as I...

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Lessons from Literature

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in Stories

Lessons from Literature

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there, If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. (Psalm 139:7-12 NASB) Some years ago, a favorite missionary preached a sermon on...

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Persist in Prayer

Posted by on Oct 4, 2017 in Stories

Persist in Prayer

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge...

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A holy manikin—NOT!

Posted by on Sep 13, 2017 in Stories

A holy manikin—NOT!

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 NASB) My mama is a great walker. An avid hiker, she couldn’t imagine a day passing without a good striding walk or hike. Now, at 98, she’s one of two walking women in the skilled nursing facility. Using her walker, she strides around and will even run a few steps playfully. Mama passed her love of walking on to me. When I get out from under a ceiling and the world opens up, my body wants to move. My arms and legs literally rejoice when I’m striding off,...

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Sweet Coincidence

Posted by on Aug 8, 2017 in Stories

Sweet Coincidence

O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. (Psalm 139:1-3, 6 ESV) Have you ever experienced one of those coincidences that delight you? Like finding the perfect parking place when you really need it? I had one of those happen to me recently. On Wednesday, July 26th, to be exact. Here’s what happened. I’ve written before that Kerry Bacon and I...

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Sing and Believe

Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 in Stories

Sing and Believe

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9 NASB) I grew up Lutheran, so my faith sprouted and grew in the soil of liturgy—the practice of reciting, often in song, Scripture in public worship. Although I’ve been in non-liturgical churches ever since, liturgy and...

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Honor Thy Father and Mother

Posted by on May 9, 2017 in Stories

Honor Thy Father and Mother

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you. (Deuteronomy 5:16 NASB) My friend Kerry and I have been doing a Rapid Bible Read Thru (thanks Keith Ferrin!) using the chronological bible scheme from the Blue Letter Bible, with hopes of finishing the whole Bible in four months. Last week we finished 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles and associated Psalms. The Old Testament histories are rich in detail and touch us with their plainly told stories of birth, growth and death, especially since we’re getting into our autumn of life. Kerry and I are blessed to still have our parents...

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Like a Seed

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Stories

Like a Seed

Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. (John 19:30 NASB) Dying and death have been on my mind for weeks. At Creekside, we’ve pored over the Scriptures and prophecies about Jesus’ death on the cross in Sunday sermons. We’re preparing for Good Friday and believe that Jesus’ death is good, even gloriously good. Yet human dying is all around us, and it doesn’t seem good at all. How can Jesus’ death be good and all the other deaths not be good? Is death less of an enemy and more of a friend than my instincts tell...

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Whole Food

Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 in Stories

Whole Food

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.” (Isaiah 55:1-2 ESV) Food—glorious food. The crunching and slurping, sipping and chomping. The baking, chopping and roasting, filling a basket with greens, reds, oranges and yellows in the produce department. I so love food that, living in this land of...

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Render Unto Caesar

Posted by on Jan 18, 2017 in Stories

Render Unto Caesar

“What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, or your ways to that which destroys kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to desire strong drink, for they will drink and forget what is decreed, and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. … Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.” (Proverbs 31:2-5, 8-9 NASB) For the past couple years, I’ve been thinking about civic...

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