Author Archive for Diane Chandler

Diane Chandler
Diane Chandler serves as an assistant professor in the Regent University School of Divinity. She has a passion for equipping ministry practitioners and emerging leaders in their respective callings. Through a commitment to facilitating the spiritual and holistic growth and development of men and women, Diane also desires to live and lead primarily through example. She continues to invest in the lives of women to fuel their God-given dreams and visions. With a heart for the nations, Diane joins her husband, Doug, in serving overseas, whenever possible. Oh…and one last thing. She loves a good movie!

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 by Diane Chandler

I am so excited to invite you to The Holy Spirit & Christian Formation Conference to be held at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia over Fri. and Sat., March 20-21, 2015! Sponsored by the Regent Center for Renewal Studies with the support of the Regent University School of Divinity, the School of Psychology and Counseling, and the College of Arts and Sciences, the conference will draw those within the church and the Christian academy.

With a renewal of interest in Christian formation blossoming within the church, the Christian academy and published literature, what is readily apparent is that the Christian life is integrated and holistic in nature, as directed by the Holy Spirit, yet requiring our cooperation. This conference will address several dimensions of Christian formation: spiritual, ethical, emotional, relational, intellectual, vocational, and physical health and wellness.

How does the Holy Spirit shape us into the image of Jesus?Renewal Dynamics graphic

What is the role of the emotions and psychological well-being related to overcoming emotional wounds and gaining emotional freedom?

What role do relationships in the family, friendship, and the body of Christ play in shaping believers into Christlikeness?

How does intellectual formation (i.e., the mind) contribute to Christian formation?

Why does one’s sense of life purpose and calling impact vocational development and direction?

Why is care of the physical body a vital component of Christian formation?

Four plenary speakers will address key topics relating to Christian formation. Best-selling author and protégé of Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, James Bryan Smith will address spiritual formation. Psychologist M. Elizabeth Hall will address the role of suffering in emotional formation. Stanley Hauerwas will discuss how the Holy Spirit ethically develops believers as it relates to holiness. Stephen G. Post’s presentation will focus on the pneumatology of health and healing related to the body, mind, and spirit within the context of godly love. Plus over thirty parallel paper sessions likewise will address strategic formational dimensions.

For more information and to register, go to The Holy Spirit & Christian Formation website. The early bird registration deadline is Feb. 15. So register today!

Fasting and the Spiritual Life

Thursday, August 8th, 2013 by Diane Chandler

fastingbreaksthechainThroughout Christian history, fasting has been a spiritual discipline with a focus on seeking God.  Including medieval figures, others like Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, and Charles Finney engaged in the practice of fasting.  Rarely today in our Western consumer-driven culture, however, do we hear much about the practice and benefits of fasting.

Yet as we look into the pages of Scripture, we see multiple examples of those who abstained from food in order to seek God.  Moses fasted for 40 days atop Mount Sinai before the giving of the Law and again during another 40 days in repentance for Israel’s sin.  Esther called for a 3-day fast on her behalf in order to preserve her people in a spiritual emergency.  In repentance, David fasted after the death of his son.  Daniel and his three friends fasted for 10 days in order not to defile themselves by eating the Babylonian king’s food.  Later after reading Jeremiah’s prophecy regarding the destruction of Jerusalem, Daniel fasted for 21 days, repented for personal and national sin, and contended for the future of his nation.

Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights prior to beginning His ministry.  The prophetess Anna, who worshipped God daily in the temple with fasting and prayer, was able to see Jesus when his parents presented him in the temple.  This is to say nothing of Ezra, Nehemiah, Cornelius and Paul – each of whom fasted as a means to focus on God.

Reasons for fasting may vary:  (1) deepening intimacy with the Lord; (2) personal and/or corporate repentance, cleansing, and consecration; (3) divine guidance, empowerment, revelation, or deliverance; (4) intercession resulting from a specific burden, circumstance, or godly cause; (5) spiritual warfare and breakthrough for self or others; (6) God’s purposes for individuals and groups; and (7) local, national, and global concerns.  

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Vocation and Life Purpose Discovery

Monday, July 9th, 2012 by Diane Chandler

This past May, 2012, another group of divinity graduates received their diplomas from Regent University. Some currently hold fulfilling jobs, while others who are employed dream of moving into more satisfying employment.  Others are in transition or may be unemployed.  Times of transition are often wrought with anxiety which raises several questions:

-what is my life calling?

-what are my unique gifts and talents, and how can I steward them for God’s glory?

-how can I serve God in what I’d like to do, yet still make a living?

-what job would be most fulfilling to me?

-is what I am doing significant, and even more probing, am I significant?

These questions take time, experience, discernment, reflection, prayer, and input from others to address. No matter what our life season, we occasionally circle back to these basic questions.  However, we must remember that vocation is not to be equated with a job. Vocation first begins as a general call to follow Christ, followed by a specific call that is unique to each individual in contributing to Christ’s mission in the world, followed by an immediate call involving the duties at hand, such as family responsibilities. All three coalesce into our discipleship journey and reflect loving and serving God and others. God promises to guide us and does so each step along our journey. How God guided Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), German Lutheran theologian, musician, and medical doctor, offers some key principles!

In his riveting autobiography, Schweitzer wrote about a developing sense of call in the chapter entitled “I Resolve to Become a Jungle Doctor.”[1]

He chronicled how his sense of calling morphed from theology and music to include becoming a medical doctor. Although few will be called by God to serve as a medical doctor in Africa, the path that Schweitzer followed is equally as compelling today as it was during his lifetime. Notice the progression that carried him along in life purpose discovery and subsequent decision making.

While focused in academic studies and music, Schweitzer developed a growing empathy for others “struggling with sorrow and suffering.”[2]

Identification of one’s calling often begins with a burden of compassion to assist others. Then at age 21, Schweitzer realized that he could not accept his good fortune relative to university study, scholarship, and organ proficiency as “a matter of course” but determined to “give something in return.”[3]

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The Cross

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 by Diane Chandler

On January 3, 2007, a 50-year old construction worker from Harlem was waiting to catch the NYC subway.  As Wesley Autry waited on the subway platform with his two daughters, ages four and six, he noticed a young man beginning to go into convulsions from an apparent seizure.  Along with two other women, Autry attended to him.  After the 20-year old film student, Cameron Hollopeter, stood up, he wobbled dangerously close to the platform drop-off and then tumbled onto the subway tracks below.

Wesley Autrey

With the subway fast approaching, Autry left his two daughters on the platform and jumped onto the tracks, hoping to pull Hollopeter to safety. With the subway mere seconds away, Autry threw his body over Hollopeter’s frame, as it nested in the 12-inch depression between the tracks, in order to shield him from moving until the subway passed.

Although the subway conductor tried to stop the subway, he could not do so prior to passing over the two-tiered bodies.  In fact, five subway cars passed over them. Through bystanders’ frantic screams and screeching brakes, the subway finally came to a halt. Amazingly, both Autry and Hollopeter emerged from the tracks unscathed. The distance between the top of Autry’s cap and the subway above was less than the length of a subway ticket.

Calvary's Cross

Why would a complete stranger do something for someone else at such great risk to his own life?  Answer:  In that split second decision, Autry valued this young man’s life above his own.  As we think about Calvary’s cross, why would God send His only Son to die for us?  The Bible tells us that, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).  Paul wrote to the Roman church: “At just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). Paul declared to the Galatian church: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law”  (Galatians 3:13). The reason God sent His Son to die for us is that in eternity past, God knew that all humanity would need to be restored into right relationship with God through forgiveness of their sins.  Jesus came to take upon Himself the sins of the entire world.  The One who knew no sin became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21). Although many were involved in Christ’s death (i.e., the betrayer Judas Iscariot, complicit Jewish leaders, the Roman soldiers, and Pilate), the Scriptures makes clear that Jesus voluntarily gave Himself to fulfill the Father’s will “so that by the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19b).

In his book The Cross of Christ, John Stott puts it simply (pp. 63-66). First, Christ died for us as the Good Shepherd laying down His life for the sheep. Second, Christ died for us that He might bring us to God through salvation, as we believe in Him. Third, Christ died for our sins (1 Cor 15:3), taking upon Himself the punishment for our sins.  And fourth, Christ died our death.  The Bible makes clear that the penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23). The sinless Son of God died the death that we deserved.

Like Cameron Hollopeter, I was laying helpless on the subway tracks with the subway fast approaching.  Jesus sacrificially jumped on the tracks of my life (leaving the 99 sheep to reach the one, who had gone astray), just as Autry left his two daughters on the subway platform to save Hollopeter.  Jesus shielded me from certain death. 

In preparing for Easter during this Lenten season, how do you respond when you think about Christ’s forgiveness of sin and His sacrifice on the cross for you personally?

Arab Spring Movement and True Human Freedom

Monday, January 30th, 2012 by Diane Chandler

Genuine freedom involves more than viable democracies and economic stability.  Genuine freedom signifies the innate desire in the human soul to exercise choice in determining one’s future in all domains of life including the political, economic, educational, and spiritual arenas. 

The Arab Spring 2011, which has bled into over a year, has shown the world the fundamental desire of the human heart to exercise choice.  Paths have been burned to topple autocratic regimes which have consistently violated fundamental human rights (e.g., “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”).  For more on the Arab protest movement, view this interactive timeline.

What is the surest sign of true freedom in the Arab world?  How does the life and message of Jesus Christ inform such understanding?

While Arab regimes began to crumble, beginning with Tunisia on January 14, 2011, followed by Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, other nations such as Syria remain doggedly resistance to relinquishing power.  This domino-effect of opposition within Arab nations to longstanding autocratic governments that have violated human freedoms might be attributed to what Malcolm Gladwell refers to in his book, The Tipping Point, as (1) the law of the few, (2) the stickiness factor, and (3) the power of context.

As an educated 26-year old Tunisian and street vender, Mohamed Bouazizi catalyzed the revolution by setting himself ablaze after police confiscated his produce stand for not having a permit.  After his death, Bouazizi’s mother commented, “My son set himself on fire for dignity.”  With his dignity stripped and only source of income withdrawn, Bouaziz lost all hope.  The ultimate culprit was not only the police who confiscated his vendor permit but also the very system that drove him to utter despair.  Without opportunity, there is no freedom.  Without freedom, there is no life. Bouaziz’s death signified the law of the few in that it took a few people to light the fire of opposition.  In less than 30 days, the stickiness factor and the power of context (most Arab nations have dictators as presidents) contributed to revolution movements moving to Egypt and then Yemen, Libya, and Syria.

What is the surest sign of true freedom in the Arab world?  How does the life and message of Jesus Christ inform such understanding? The surest sign of true freedom in the Arab world will not come through political democracy, although this is certainly a start.  True freedom will come to the Arab world when Arabs can choose their own belief system, including their religion.  True freedom comes from knowing and responding to the truth.  And knowing the truth will set us free (John 8:32).  Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Muslims throughout the Arab world are having supernatural dreams and visions of Issa (Arabic: Jesus) who is showing them that He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).  For true stories of Jesus supernaturally appearing to Muslims in dreams and visions and how their lives have been radically transformed, see these video vignettes on the More than Dreams website.  Stories feature those from Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran, and Turkey.

What is your perspective on the Arab freedom uprisings? 

Considering that Jesus never led by coercion, how might we view Jesus’ liberating message of spiritual freedom relative to the Arab world through Gladwell’s (1) the law of the few, (2) the stickiness factor, and (3) the power of context?


Saturday, November 26th, 2011 by Diane Chandler

I’m reminded of the power of healthy friendships and how they infuse life into our discouraged hearts.  With friends, life is invigorated with breath and hopeful in outlook. Without friends, life becomes suffocating, hopeless, and nondescript.  Friendship involves sharing privileged information and is like fuel added to an empty tank.  Friendship is also proven and enriched during times of crisis.  

In his book Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship, author Jon Meacham recounts the deep friendship that developed between U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II.  Interesting, Roosevelt had quite a negative impression of Churchill when they first met twenty-one years earlier.  Roosevelt was running for a state senate position and made a visit to London. He found Churchill brusque.  What brought them together years later as president and prime minister was Adolf Hitler.  However what kept them together was friendship

Throughout WWII, they exchanged nearly 2000 letters, spent over 100 days together, and celebrated holidays with one another.  They encouraged each other in the midst of dark times.  In the last 24 hours of Roosevelt’s life, he penned these words for a speech that he would never deliver: “Today we are faced with the pre-eminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships.” [I’ll resist the temptation to discuss the lack of friendship and collegiality, which characterizes the political atmosphere in Congress at present.  However, I do wonder if friendship is one of the missing ingredients in solving our nation’s problems.]

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