Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Little Christian Lady Who is Big in the LORD!


C:\Users\Royce Harms\Pictures\2017-03\Moms Camera\IMG_20160801_164419.jpg

The Petite, Mighty Lady Who is Big in the LORD

I think Jan Bracken is one of God's women He had in mind when He created "A Woman of God".

Why am I writing about Jan?  As I was driving to see Jan at her new house, the LORD put her on my heart with a couple of ideas as I was driving to see Jan her.  When I arrived there, I saw this darling tree in the front yard, and how absolutely adorable Jan appeared to me.  I thought, I must write this posting and freeze this time, so to speak, with her picture!  So be it.  It is a work of love, and Jan makes it easy to love her.

Christians Can Have Fun!

Whoever said- whoever in the world said- that Christians do not have fun?!!  This lady is the exact opposite of not having a good time!  Full of life, the important stuff of true Life in Jesus, Jan engages you.  She is interesting as you sit to talk, go on an outing, and when she teaches, expect wonderful things that she will share!  Likewise and even more so, Jan is a great listener.  Is not this a key to a great friend, a caring and wise individual?  She is eager to hear what the other person is saying. In fact, Jan puts herself second, often, in relationship to other people, and certainly she does for her Beloved LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Teaching and Jan- there are several items- and more- to mention regarding her love for and ability to teach.  I was a teacher, so I believe I can fairly say that Jan is a teacher's teacher.  As we go forward today, I have substantiation about Jan's teaching penchant and abilities.

Our Relationship with Jesus- Jan-Style

For Jan, it all begins with the LORD Almighty.  First and foremost, she loves God.  Even as a girl, Jan believed in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, as her personal LORD and Savior.  Jan believed the Truth of the Word of God, The Holy Bible, that Jesus, the only Perfect Lamb, had died on the cross for her, and she believes in His resurrection.  Jan made her decision... (each one understands and prays, telling God the Father that she or he believes in His Son Jesus Christ)... at the young age of 6 years old.  Then, Jan was baptized as an outward demonstration of her Christian faith.  Jan has taught Sunday School throughout her life, beginning when she was 12 years.  She believes it is important to keep journals from her Bible readings/devotionals, prayers, and activities; Jan has over 60 prayer journals, a living and ongoing record of her walk with Jesus!

Jan's life has been about letting Jesus be first and asking the Holy Spirit to guide and to lead her daily for goodness and purpose.  God has a plan for her! (***See the verse below).  Jan also loves her Bible! It fits in her purse, and she carries it everywhere she goes- always prepared to find a passage or verse that is important to the person, group, or need at the time.  Of course Jan has many Bibles at her home: they are located within the bags she carries and upon her heavily-laden book shelves.  She finds the right book, Scripture, teaching method, whatever is needed related to God, and with a helpful spirit, gives the needed inspiration to people in her circle of influence for the LORD.

I wish that you could see all of the materials Jan has at her disposal and available to use to teach people about our One God, Triune in Three Persons: God the Father; Jesus Christ~ fully Man and fully God~ Who is the Son of God; and the Holy Spirit of God.  Through many years of teaching Sunday School, loving the Lord God, searching online or in second-hand stores, it is something to see the resources that Jan uses!  Have I mentioned yet the materials she has created!? (A second part for  some of Jan's creations about God, will be following soon- a direct link to that will be at the end of this posting as soon as the second is ready.) Jan has shared so much with me over the 14 years that we have known one another~ well, I have learned such a great deal from Jan that I feel I just might be able to equate it to a theology degree, not kidding...  :+)

Love, Power- Jan says, "We love that power of God and what He accomplishes!"  Jan created this poster, and she has made a great array of poems, hands-on tools for children in Sunday School, and creative folders about the LORD God.










Jan's Background 
(also see the poem about her (&&&)


Jan was at the Ogden Church (Kansas) for years... I was able to see her early church and to meet some of her still dear friends in Manhattan, Kansas, or here in the Kansas City area when we attended the Extraordinary Women's Conference at the Baptist Church in Raytown, Missouri, some years ago.  Jan has a friend named Yves, who is a missionary, whom our church now has a relationship, also!  Life in Christ is full of never-chance relationships!

Jan is an elder at our church, Community Life Church of Shawnee, Kansas, U.S.A.  She is always helping with the work of the church, including leading Bible studies for women, helping greatly with KidzLife and communion, and whatever is needed!  As far as tithing is considered, Jan believes the Bible that we are to give 10% of the first fruits of our monies to His work.  This comes with a promise from God- that He will open up the floodgates of Heaven for us!  I would be hard-pressed to share all of the Scripture passages and verses of the Bible, and the teachings that Jan has shared with me during our friendship.  She has taken her precious time (but what better could Jan do for her sisters and brother in Christ?) to teach and mentor me very personally with innumerable times at coffee nooks, the church, on the telephone, wherever~ to give me one-to-one tutelage with love about God and the Bible.  We have "huddles,"  just like a football team but far more worthy than diamonds and rubies.

The following poem came to me via Jan.  It is one of the most profound writings I know that surely must spur us on to tell our family and loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and even our enemies about the Sacrificial Love and Resurrection of Jesus Christ- open to ALL people- each one just needs to repent and turn to God!  Reading this rather kicks me in the stomach that I might have missed opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people.  We should be shouting the Good News of Christ Jesus everywhere we go.  When my son-in-law Eric and I were talking once, he said, if this is true- the Gospel- (paraphrased)...then why aren't we pounding on people's doors and
  shouting it in the street that the Way to God is only through His Son Jesus Christ, Who died on the cross for each of us, taking away our sins?!  It is strange and very sad, indeed, that people shout and hoot and holler about a concert or football game, but when it comes to church, baptism, or anything Christian related, some of us- actually many of us- act as though it is of little importance.  Please read on.

My Friend,
I stand in Judgment now,
And feel that you’re to blame somehow.
Never did you point the way.
You knew the Lord in truth and glory,
But never did you tell the story.
My knowledge then was very dim;
You could have led me safe to Him.
Though we lived together on the earth,
You never told me of the second birth,
And now I stand this day condemned,
Because you failed to mention Him.
You taught me many things, that’s true.
I called you “friend” and trusted you,
But I learn now that it’s too late,
You could have kept me from this fate.
We walked by day and talked by night,
And yet you showed me not the Light.
You let me live, and love, and die,
You knew I’d never live on high.
Yes, I called you “friend” in life,
And trusted you through joy and strife.
And yet on coming to the end,
I cannot, now, call you “My Friend.”

Sobering, indeed!  When I share it now, many people hardly say a word because it reminds every Christ-follower of the heavy price we are assigned by Jesus Himself before He left to go to the Father's right hand.

Matthew 28:18-20 
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” 

Does Jan have problems/issues with which to deal?  Of course.  Do we hear about them very often?  No.  I am making Jan out to be perfect, which of course we cannot be here on Earth as it is now.  But in Heaven!  Yes!  Cannot wait to go to our Home in Heaven, the New Jerusalem, the New Heaven and New Earth, our permanent Home where all true believers in Jesus Christ as our LORD and Savior will go one day.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord: 
We are full of courage and would much prefer to leave our home in the body and be at home with the Lord.   

Both Jan and I agree on that count, but we also agree that we have much work to do here still for our families, beloved, and friends; the church who are the people of the church; and to plant seeds to help in the Holy Spirit's work of drawing every individual to Himself to come to accept a belief in the God Almighty, the One God, Triune in Person and Spirit.

Has Jan had significant hardships?  You bet she has.  You get the idea~ along with the many, many life-affirming happenings~ in Jan's Life, in the Happy 75th Birthday poem coming up here.

Facebook- Jan has over 1,000 friends, acquaintances, and people who have "friended" her there. She shares many postings, online encouragements, and ones specific to the LORD God, Who is our Father, His One and Only Son- our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ; and of course, the Comforter, Truth-teller, and closest Companion, the Holy Spirit of God, Whom Jesus sent to help every true believer in Christ Jesus.

The only thing that can quiet Jan's busy and bustling Life in God is God Himself.  There will be a day, no one knows when, when Jesus comes in the clouds to call His own.  They/we will be raptured into the sky and on to Heaven. Alternately, ahead of the Rapture, God may call Jan Home, to her ultimate Home in Heaven~!

Jan's daughter Valerie and son-in-law Tim had a gala 75th birthday party for Jan two years ago.  Here is the poem I wrote for her:

HAPPY 75TH BIRTHDAY AND COUNTING-

JAN BRACKEN, OUR BELOVED




Tried and true


From the time of a girl,

Twelve, to be exact-

This honestly

Loving-of-the-Lord child,

Did not go through

What many do

Of resisting, nor fighting

Sweet Jesus.



Innocently,

From the start,

She was refreshed of God.

Then, taking her faith

In Christ, alone,

He accepted her~

Then and forever.



Brought up by her parents and grandparents,

Many prayers over her and with her,

Those years before-

They gave her The Legacy of Jesus,

Oh, how fortunate she is!



With her little crew

Of students anew,

Teaching Bible

And Sunday School.

Same age as Jesus~

Wowing the priests

At the Temple…

Only Jan, she was warming the Lord Himself

With her young faith.



 Jan traveled with her husband for the

U.S. diplomatic corps,

Hosting many dinners

And times with African and

Mexican diplomats.



  Fascinating peoples and places,

But much alone time with their daughter Val

In a strange land or two,

While the husband and father

Traveled all over and

Jan was in charge of all at home.



With much strife and discord,

Fighting for family,

Then became

 Single mom, with sweet Val,

Jan strived and lived.

Teaching Val and loving her,

To help become the woman,

Whose likeness in Christ,

(Likeness of her mom)

Is now so apparent.



Her daughter, most loved,

Along with her Tim, like her own,

Reaching out to Tim’s parents,

Such close friends, no~

They are  family.

They traverse this Kingdom,

Together, ‘til Heaven adorns.



Jan’s Manhattan College

Christian degree,

She did achieve it,

Enjoying the learning

Yet, easy,

It was not, in total.



Continuing Church in Ogden,

So many friends still now,

Her contemporaries~ they helped so many!

She Facebooks her Kids,

Who now as Parents and

Loving the Lord…

Remembering Miss Jan and thanking her~

The torch goes forward.



A beautiful girl, then woman, and

Now into 70’s, midway,

Jan epitomizes

A Proverbs 31

Woman of God.



Exalting Him, her Most Highest- First,

Second, loving her neighbor, as she loves herself.

Create in me a clean spirit, O Lord,

And let me rest and abide in You, alone.



Still teaching to make her way,

And for Him…

Very wee ones

On their future, the computer~

She prays over each head, hand

To His Heart

For one another’s life and salvation.

This is what she does for 63 years

And does not depart!



Even, still she finds teachers and people

There and at Wal-Mart Hair,

Everywhere!

To encourage and give wisdom:

When she speaks, we listen,

Her words are few, to the point, and profound.



Assisting and leading with many hats,

KidzLife must have her to go forward.

For the Church and God’s People,

Jan ALWAYS has time to LISTEN and CARE.



How she befriends, teaches, and mentors her gal pals,

One of many, but second semester of James-

That senior pastor of Jerusalem,

Cool and strong for the church, us!

New group formed even now…

Going forth in the Joy in the Lord!



Must now close,

Thought there is surely more…

Jan’s favorite saying now is:

But……….God!

Meaning, we know:

That high or low, happy or sad,

Difficult or easy,

We can make it-

But… for God!



We love you and thank you dearly.



Donna and Friends, February 2015

(More to be said and added one day… Africa; elder of the church; an only child, but the best sister, mom, daughter, granddaughter, wife; never gives up or on her Lord.

Took care of parents as they aged; mentors many younger women from the workplace; and keeps our gal crew purring at church...)

Donna M.
Slightly Modified September 2017 

JAN'S EARLIER POSTINGs ON THE HEALING IS ALWAYS CHRIST!



Coming up! We are putting together a second part of Jan Bracken's favorite teaching materials about Jesus and many about God- our Loving and Forgiving Father, the LORD and Savior- Jesus!, and the Incredible Holy Spirit!
Praying that you have accepted Jesus Christ as the LORD and Savior of your Life!!!  He is the Only One Who died for you and your sin- reconciling you to God forever and has that Resurrection POWER as the Lamb of God, Pure and Holy- fully Man and fully God- Who redeems you and me from our sin problems...He is the blessed Redeemer, the One Who expiated sin, the Substitution to make each person whole again; you only need tell God that you accept Christ Jesus as your personal Savior, repent and turn to God!  You will never, ever regret it, and you will have eternity to spend with other saved loved ones and new friends in the Light and the Love of God!  You will Life unsurpassed in no sad or hurtful stories or ways!

A Simple, but All-important Prayer that, If You truly mean it from your heart and mind, You Can Say for Eternal Life with God in Heaven

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for sending Your Son Christ Jesus to save us.  You sent Him to die upon the cross taking all of our sin heaped upon Him, as the Lamb of God, the only perfect Person, fully holy God and yet never-sinning, Man. 
Please forgive me, God, I know that I have done wrong things- hurting others, myself, and You, LORD- but You forgive all of that and completely remember it no more because of Your Love for Your children and my faith in Jesus.  I accept You and want to walk with You daily forevermore!  I will be with You in Heaven some day!  Thank You forever and ever! 
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
***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
Jan has touched thousands of children and grown people in her Life in Christ Jesus!
Have a good and Godly day, Friends!  If you have given your Life to Jesus Christ as your LORD and Savior, you have done the most full-of-Life and complete good for your Life into eternity that you ever could.  If you had fallen away and came back to accept and to walk daily with Jesus, hooray!
Donna M.