Posts By Janice Daynette

14 Mar 2013 JaniceDaynette

No Room in New Bern

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Regent University - Winter homeAs part of our Christmas events, the children of our church participate in La Posadas, a nine-day celebration of Mary’s nine months  carrying the baby Jesus. The children follow Mary and Joseph door to door, asking for room to stay for the evening. As one of the homes participating (actually it is my office, conveniently located across the street from the church), I was ready this particular Sunday morning to respond to the homeless couple. Mary and Joseph asked, “Do you have room for us to stay for the night?” For those of us answering the door, our line was “I have no room.” Mary and Joseph then walk to the next location and finally arrive at a church nativity scene. This simple reenactment brings the Christmas story to life for the children and adults in our church each year.

Last year, I had unlocked my door and was waiting for Mary and Joseph to arrive. Before they came, another couple appeared at my door. I wasn’t open for business, but a young couple walked right in. I was expecting Mary and Joseph, so I was a little confused to see this modern couple at my door. Read more

20 Feb 2013 JaniceDaynette

Sharing Joy

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Regent University - EllieI love seeing my church family on Sunday mornings. The opportunity to worship God with my church family blesses me each week. Each Sunday, the early morning praise team gathers to briefly run over the service order, the songs, and to pray together. After we prepare for the service, there’s about 15 minutes of precious time when we can walk around the sanctuary to meet and greet guests and members before our service begins. On two particular Sundays, I had the pleasure of speaking to two little girls who happily witnessed the act of discipleship and connected me to His joy. Read more

16 Oct 2012 JaniceDaynette

Facing the Goal

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Regent University - soccer teamSoccer season is officially over, at least in my household. It has been a fun year for my daughter who moved up to the varsity team. The coach approached her at the beginning of the season and asked her if she would consider playing on the varsity team. You see, she was a ninth grader and junior varsity was where she was to play. She is a good athlete. When she asked my advice, I wanted her to consider the possibility of less playing time, since she would be the youngest player on the team. I allowed her to make the decision and she chose to play with the older girls. As I suspected, she had little playing time, but she enjoyed the season and the games. My daughter has a wonderful temperament and is truly a team player. She never complained about her limited playing time on the field. When she played, she played hard. The coach surprised the parents with this wonderful photo and I knew from the moment I saw this photo that I had to share it. It is my current screensaver and my main Facebook photo. It gives me so much joy to look at this photo. Look at it closely, what do you see?  Do you see the colors and the uniformity of the team? Do you see their pony tails moved to one side so that you can see their names? Do you see the team? It’s funny. I see the team, but I also see each individual girl. Maybe because I watched them play during the season. Maybe it’s because I talked to their moms and dads during the season. We cheered, laughed and carpooled together. Each girl contributed her skill and gifts for the benefit of the team. There were some losses, some injuries, and even a few miscalculations. But more importantly, there were precious moments these girls shared together as a community, linking arms with those who supported them and joined them to face their goals. Maybe I like this photo because to me, it represents each new day and the communities that are a part of our lives. Every day I make sure I am facing in the right direction and I am not alone.

So what does this look like from the field, from the stands, and from the opponent’s team? As a seminary graduate student, I am surely on the field. I understand what I am supposed to do, but there are times when I just can’t get a good kick to the net. Life is pretty busy and that busyness appears as obstacles. Sometimes, just sometimes, it feels harder to focus and time is moving on. Even so, I keep running while keeping my eye on the ball and realize I am playing for the team.

From the stands, I see my friends and family who are supporting “the game.” They help whenever I need them; they just can’t play. I am thankful for their support. From the opponent’s team there’s another strategy. My opponents are trying their hardest to make sure I don’t connect with the ball and score for the team. Opponents are everywhere. I am equally thankful for them because they are making me a better player. God led me to seminary because He knows we (He, my community and I) can kick it so the net. So be reminded in all you do: Embrace those who encourage you, expect opponents, keep your eye on the ball and take the shot!

02 Jun 2012 JaniceDaynette

7 Best Talks for 1st Year Seminary Students

1 Comment Church, School

Regent University Group PrayerWhat’s your deepest secret? Obtaining an M.Div. degree was mine.  I didn’t share it with anyone, didn’t talk about it and certainly didn’t write down any goals to complete it.  Life was happening around me just fine.  Then along came a few bumps in the road, I won’t get into that now, but I can tell you this: when life changes, whether you expect it or not, you adjust.  It could be your surroundings, the people in your life, or even your circumstances.  Either way, they all have the ability to change you.

I think many of us do not appreciate the opportunity, but as you will soon know, I am someone who embraces shifts.  I don’t just wait for things to happen, I encourage it.  I believe change is growth.  I always tell my daughters that if you’re working on something and you feel like it’s a little over your head, it is a good sign.  It means you’re growing, learning and changing.  When I decided to listen and pray about the call to attend seminary, I didn’t understand all the changes that would take place in my life.  I didn’t even understand how it could possibly happen considering my busy lifestyle.  Two teenage daughters, active with sports, a fulltime business to run, commitments with church, family, etc.  Where would I find the time for this change in my life?

Fast forward, I am thriving in my third semester at Regent. The process has been awesome.  During my first two semesters, I met other women who were undertaking the same commitments.  Full schedules, families, work and even a nail appointment or two (when we can find the time).  We were all juggling our schedules while adding master’s classes to the mix.  I soon learned their similar journeys.  We spent countless hours Talking and listening to God – before, during and after the semester. Each class will remind you to, “Begin with prayer that the Holy Spirit will guide your study and give yourself wholeheartedly to the course assignments that involve spending time in prayer.”

So what other conversations are essential?  Here is the remaining list of the 7 Best Talks for 1st Year Seminary Students…and each year till graduation.

Talk to your pastor. You will need a mentor or two during this journey. Ask for prayer. Prayer for all you will accomplish now and in the future.  Meet on a regular basis and share your growth.  You are growing the Kingdom and it is a blessing!

Talk to your family. You can’t do it alone.  Change requires everyone in the family to change something.  In my case, it was my daughters understanding that Mom needed to be home right after the soccer game for a Wimba class and designating some nights as “Post Night.”  I shared with my family my dream and how God is moving in my life.  I asked them to change with me.  I am so blessed they are a willing part of this journey.

Talk to your co-workers/staff. A time will come when you will have that crazy look in your eyes (usually driven by a major paper assignment due date). Let them know how they can support you.

Talk to your professors.  I know it sounds easy enough, but I’m a first year M.Div. distance education student and it was a difficult call to make.  Touch base with the professors, say hello, ask a few questions and let them know what’s happening in your neck of the world.   I admit I was hesitant (my fault, not theirs). Each time I pick up the phone, it’s the best call I can make.

Talk to fellow students.  This is important and I don’t mean on Facebook.  Find others to connect with.  In my case it was for women from my first semester Spiritual Formation class.  We’re getting together this summer to meet face-to-face and enjoy a casual retreat.  These women are awesome, and we have encouraged and prayed for each other many, many times.  I am thankful for Professor West, who told us to hold on to one another.  She was right, again.

Talk to yourself.  Really?  Yes, really.  When the professor says, keep up with the reading, follow this advice.  Help yourself to stay on track, look ahead and carve out time to read and write.  Take time at the beginning and the end of your day to evaluate what’s happening in school and how this is changing your life.  In the midst of it all, encourage yourself, enjoy the journey, and continue to pray.  And remember….enjoy the change.

Wishing you Grace upon Grace!