Notes from Jan

God’s Short LIst

April 3, 2017

Tough to get the movie, The Bucket List, out of my head , remembering crusty Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman checking off their list before checking out.

Blame it on yesterday’s adult Sunday School class, and classmate Paul’s suggestion of a “spiritual bucket list.”  Our teacher,  Dr. Jack Davis from Gordon-Conwell Seminary, walked us through “The High Priestly Prayer” of Jesus in John 17.

Christ prays for himself; for protection, unity, purpose and joy for the disciples and for us.

I am praying not only for these disciples but also for ALL who will ever believe in me because of their testimony.”(v.20 NLT)

That’s really Good News but my biggest takeaway from yesterday was Jack’s question.

“What’s God’s short list for each of us?

The Westminster Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?”

The  chief purpose of every person, ” to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

Jesus states,”I brought glory to you (the Father) here on earth by doing everything you told me to do.”(v. 4 NLT) Jack reminded us that Jesus didn’t heal all sick, feed all hungry, right all wrongs.

Jesus had a short list.

#1    To Die.

We’ve long lists, compounded by videos, texts, appeals through social media and relationships.  We struggle with cluttered minds, schedules and houses.


Tough knowing when to say,”No” or “Yes.”

To inform our choices, Jack recommended a book: Essentialism  by Greg McKeown, “the disciplined pursuit of less.”  It’s not about reducing clutter, but making better choices, “where to spend our precious time and energy.”

It’s Monday and my list for today and goals for the week loom large.

I need help, Lord of Time.

Today’s list  includes:  RED SOX Home Opener.

God, I sure hope you like baseball.












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  • Reply Dale Lefever April 4, 2017 at 1:20 am

    Thanks Jan and feel free to pray for the Tigers once you have Boston covered. God must have known tonight would not be good, so He brought the rains and spared the Tigers and opening night defeat.

    I like lists, but always want to be read for God to add a line. Not easy for an organized Mennonite boy.

    Blessings, Dale

    • Reply Shirley M Dubeau April 4, 2017 at 12:54 pm


      I always appreciate your book suggestions. Just took a peek at Essentialism. Looks like a timely read for us…

      As a wife of a Pastor the stuggle to focus on essentials is always a struggle!

      Just ordered 2 books. 1 for Tim & 1 for me to read together … I think it will be a quite providential read as we plan for the next phase of our lives.

      As always thanks for sharing and, of course, enjoy the game! Go Sox!!

      Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Marla April 4, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Oh Jan, I love your writings 🙂

  • Reply Shelly April 4, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Good word Jan! Ted is reading/digesting Essentialism and has really appreciated it. He shares bits with me as we have been working to simplify our lives both in activities and things…it is a challenge in todays world. Our sermon last week was on the sin of gluttony. If we have more than enough are we taking from someone else’s need? One of America’s biggest businesses is Storage Units…where people keep their excess. With God’s grace can we be satisfied with enough!

  • Reply wendy lane April 5, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    This is a constant challenge isn’t it?! Wrote a prayer several weeks ago asking God what He wants me to really focus on in this stage of my life. I’m so busy, but don’t want to just be “busy”! Thanks for sharing Jan!!

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