We are called to empower others to exercise their gifts.
Help others experience the Father's heart!
Diane Rae (Wallahan) Barber, age 53, of Branson, MO, passed away Friday, August 14, 2015, at Cox Medical Center Branson less than 12 weeks after being diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer.
Diane was born March 21, 1962, in Shakopee, MN, to Franklin J. and Mary Jane (Goodin) Wallahan. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to Rapid City, SD, where Diane grew up and discovered her love for the arts. Graduating from Stevens High School in 1980, she was very active in acting, singing, dancing, and performing music, studying both piano and guitar. At the Academy of Dance in Rapid City, she learned ballet, tap, jazz, and modern, and eventually worked there as an instructor and choreographer. After high school, Diane performed as a featured singer and dancer at Worlds of Fun Theme Park in Kansas City while earning a B.M.E. Degree in Music Therapy and Voice from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS, in 1986.
Thirty years ago, on September 7, 1985, Diane married Jim Barber, another Rapid City native with a love for the performing arts. The couple resided in Nashville, TN, for two years before relocating to Bucks County, PA, where she earned her M.Ed. in Dance Education from Philadelphia’s Temple University in 1989. After receiving her Master’s Degree, Diane worked as a registered Board Certified Music Therapist for Kardon Institute of Music for the Handicapped through 1995.
She remained active in musical theater, devoting several years of acting study in New York City with the Lee Strasberg Institute, Terry Schreiber Studio, as well as professional vocal training under the direction of Patricia Carey and Robert Marks. As an actress, Diane played leading roles in many theatre productions in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, South Dakota, and Branson, Missouri. Her favorite roles included Maria in “The Sound of Music,” Eliza in “My Fair Lady,” Dolly Levi in “Hello Dolly,” Kathleen in “A Christmas Snow – Live” co-starring with actor Muse Watson, and an ensemble player in the world-premier musical “Texas Flyer” written by and starring country music artist Larry Gatlin.
In addition to the performing arts, Diane was a skilled seamstress, costume designer, and award-winning, licensed Certified Interior Decorator, owning and operating her own Decorating Den Interiors business for 17 years.
In 1999, Diane and Jim moved to Branson, MO, where Jim had worked in previous years. Since that time, they have been active members of the community in a variety of ways. In 2001, Diane gave birth to their daughter Jessica, now 14, and has consistently fed her mind and spirit to live an “I’m third lifestyle,” putting God and the needs of others as most important. Diane exemplified this philosophy through her participation in development and leadership of Vacation Bible School and youth Chorister programs at First Presbyterian Church in Branson the past several years. Sharing her faith with area youth through the arts was a very personal mission for Diane, and she is proud of each and every individual she had the pleasure of mentoring.
Diane is survived by her husband Jim Barber and daughter Jessica Barber, both of Branson; her mother Mary Jane Wallahan of Forsyth, MO; sister Kim Wallahan of Branson; brother Jay (Kim) Wallahan of Rapid City, SD; in-law parents Glenn and Ardie Barber of Rapid City, SD; sister-in-law Nancy Evans of Truckee, CA; brother-in-law Bill (Kristi) Barber of Rapid City, SD; nephew Leslie (Ashley) Sees of Stowe, PA; niece Leilani Sees and her son Aiden of Branson; nephew Taylor Sees and his daughter Zoe of Branson; niece Kayla Evans of San Diego, CA; niece Jamie Evans of San Francisco, CA; as well as her “adopted” family Ginny and Bill Hamble of Kansas City, MO; Sabrina Hamble of Wichita, KS; and Heidi Hamble-Pulford of Shawnee Mission, KS. Diane was preceded in death by her father Franklin J. Wallahan.
Diane’s Life Celebration will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 22, 2015, at First Presbyterian Church of Branson. Rev. Tom Willcox will officiate. A private graveside service will be held in Ozarks Memorial Park Cemetery. Flowers may be delivered to First Presbyterian Church of Branson.
Arrangements and cremation are under the direction of Cremations of the Ozarks.
The Skaggs Foundation has established the Diane W. Barber Palliative Care Memorial Fund in order to realize Diane’s wish of developing a quality, palliative care facility for the Branson Tri-Lakes Area. To honor Diane’s memory, in lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made via WeLoveDiane.com.
Yesterday we got a little bit of down time in the afternoon. We went on a boat ride on the lake here at Danyang (pronounced “Toung Young”) South Korea. The mountains here are both rugged and beautiful. Though the land is more severe than in the Ozark Mountains, the lake reminded me of Table Rock Lake at home in Branson, MO.
We just finished what feels like a marathon of a day. I taught every teaching session today, designed and helped lead the lab time after dinner. Practically non-stop from 7:40am to 10pm.
And, I get to teach the one teaching session tomorrow morning as well.
The pastors and ministry leaders were amazingly well engaged through a huge amount of material and then still had the energy to work hard at application in our lab time tonight. Today was all about ground level or personal level spiritual warfare. This is a combination of discipleship, healing and deliverance. For some, we gave them a systematic way to understand many years of ministry experience. For others, this was their first introduction to the concept of setting people free from the wounds and bondage of the enemy. I can only imagine what God is going to do in the coming weeks, months and years here in South Korea through these pastors & ministers and the congregations they serve.
Tomorrow morning I’ll give them a brief overview of high level or strategic level spiritual warfare. There is great interest and hunger for this part of the workshop but precious little time to teach on it. Then, it’s off to Seoul for the evening and then home on Saturday.
Today we spent our time laying the foundation of Biblical truth and understanding upon which the practice of Spiritual Warfare for Kingdom Advance must be built.
Before I get into that I have to comment on an interesting experience I just had at dinner. We sat down to a dinner of seafood soup. In this case the featured seafood was octopus. Last year I managed to “enjoy” the same dish despite some significant misgivings. Tonight I remembered that it wasn’t so bad last year. So, I dug in. AND, I LIKED IT! I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. Oh well. Back to the Dunamis workshop.
We started this morning with a discussion of the Kingdom of Satan (doesn’t that sound like fun, and I got to teach that session). We don’t want to dwell on or glorify the enemy but we do want to understand the nature and “whiles” of our spiritual opponent. I mentioned that one of the many reasons that General Patton beat General Rommel in the North African desert campaign in World War Two was that Rommel had written a book describing his tactics and strategies for armored desert warfare after the first World War and Patton had read Rommel’s book. Patten studied and understood his enemy.
We went on to study how we as Believers should prepare for our participation in spiritual warfare. Our emphasis is always on drawing close to Jesus Christ and on walking in the light. Clearing sin and healing woundedness is also an important aspect of preparation.
Our last teaching session took a look at what the Bible says about attacks that come against us from outside forces. We first drew a distinction between such forces as our own sin and fallen nature, forces from which we might experience warfare from within and forces such as the Devil, the world and the structures of society that can become a source of attack from without.
Father Ben Torrey has done a magnificent job with the teaching yesterday evening and today. The rest of the teaching, tomorrow, Thursday and Friday morning is all mine.
Pray for me!
This last weekend was a wonderful time of relaxation and restoration at Jesus Abby. Jesus Abby is a community of Christians committed to loving God and each other while serving the world. It is hard to describe the experience of being a guest in a community who speak a language I don’t speak or understand and yet feeling welcome and like I
belong. On top of the wonderful community experience it was a beautiful weekend in the mountains with the trees turning brilliant orange, yellow and red.
Today we kicked off the Spiritual Warfare workshop, the fifth in the Dunamis series here in Danyang, South Korea. There are seventy participants and an additional fifteen leadership team members. As usual, these are pretty “high power” pastors and ministry leaders. Most come from larger congregations. It is always amazing to see such folks carving a full week out of their busy schedules to learn about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. I love getting to interact with such high quality men and women of God.
We started with a general introduction and with a discussion of the Kingdom of God. Tomorrow we will start with a careful look at the kingdom of Satan, so that we can understand the enemy. Then we will begin to explore how the war is won on an individual basis.
No, that’s not me in one of the para-sails, but don’t I wish, sigh.
In some ways I feel right at home here in Danyang. This is a tourist destination for folks in South Korea just as Branson is in the USA. Danyang sits alongside a beautiful, man made lake, just as Branson does. Danyang was empty and quiet when I was here in June, when they are “off season” just as Branson is in January and February. This is currently the busy season here in Danyan as folks come from all over East Asia to see the beautiful countryside and the fall colors, just now starting to turn.
Yesterday and today we are exploring how the Korea Dunamis Network (KDN) can move toward becoming a full fledged regional expression of PRMI. Very exciting.
This morning we will be talking about developing the board for the new Dunamis Publishing Company. We will also be talking with some folks from a university that wants to include an English language MDiv course about their desire to use the Dunamis materials in the curriculum. There continue to be promising discussions about a partnership with YWAM about outreach to the Chinese from here in South Korea through the use of the Dunamis materials.
This weekend I will get to spend a couple of days at Jesus Abby, which always blesses me.
Next week Fr. Ben Torrey and I will be teaching Dunamis #5 on Spiritual Warfare. The prayer coverage here is always excellent but we can always use additional intercession for a Dunamis track, especially Spiritual Warfare.
After approximately 22 hours of travel I made it to Seoul. Friends picked me up and delivered me to Danyang. Once in Danyang we stopped at a “famous” restaurant that specializes in garlic. We had a greater assortment of garlic dishes than I knew existed. It’s a good thing I love garlic.
The days ahead will be exciting as we work toward the creation of a new PRMI Regional Expression here in South Korea, develop a fledgling “Dunamis Publishing Company”, visit Jesus Abby and that’s just between now and Sunday evening.
Starting on Monday morning we get to teach the Dunamis workshop on Spiritual Warfare. Yippee Ki Yay. Keep us in prayer.
Jet lag is beating me about the head and shoulders so, that’s all for now.
I just read a great article and I want to share it with you!
Brad Long, Executive Director of PRMI has written an article in the latest edition of PRMI’s Moving With The Spirit that encouraged my heart and bolstered my resolve. Brad writes in a clear and concise way, describing the work that Jesus did at a recent event in New York State. The power of God was clearly seen as people were healed and set free.
Do you wonder if God still does miracles? Do you wonder if God can overcome the things that tear us up inside? Do you wonder if God still cares? This article shows that God’s love and power are very much at work in the world today.
Additionally, this article is filled with fantastic, basic teaching about the work of the Holy Spirit and about cooperation with the Holy Spirit.
To read the article, go here: http://prmi.org/wordpress/jesus-still-casts-out-demons-today.
After delivering his people from slavery in Egypt, God now pursues his heart’s desire, to be in intimate fellowship with his people. To this end, God gives us his Rules of Engagement. Not rules for engaging an enemy but rules for an intimate engagement with a Holy God.
God’s desire to be near his people is just as passionate today as it was in Moses time. God wants to be with you! Just as God made and revealed a way to be with God, a place to be with God and how to overcome the greatest obstacle to being with God to Moses and the people of Israel, God also wants us to learn the way to be with God, the place to be with God and how to tear down the obstacle that stands between us and God.
This Sunday, October 6th, come learn about the way, place and power that will make it possible for you to experience God’s presence in your life.
When we began planning use of THE STORY in our congregation’s life we started with looking at Resurrection Sunday on the calendar in 2014 and counted the weeks back to determine when to start in 2013. Actually, Meredith figured that out for us, go Meredith. At the time it had not occurred to me that our resulting start date, this Sunday the 8th of September, would be the first Sunday of the Jewish New Year!
Rosh Hashanah (literally “head of the year” in Hebrew) is the Jewish holiday celebrating the start of a new year for the Jews. It is the only Jewish holiday that is universally celebrated over two days. This year it begins in just a few hours at sundown this evening, the 4th of September, and it ends at sundown on Friday the 6th.
Rosh Hashanah, in Jewish tradition, is also considered the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of mankind’s role in God’s world.
Rosh Hashanah emphasizes the special relationship between God and humanity: our dependence upon God as our creator and sustainer, and God’s choice of us as the ones who make His presence known and felt in His world.
Rosh Hashanah is the season of God’s judgment, a season in which the Jewish people believe God considers each person and if their name will be in the Book of Life. In Jewish tradition it is understood that “Each year on Rosh Hashanah, “all inhabitants of the world pass before G‑d like a flock of sheep,” and it is decreed in the heavenly court “who shall live, and who shall die . . . who shall be impoverished, and who shall be enriched; who shall fall and who shall rise.” But this is also the day we proclaim G‑d King of the Universe.”
Praise God that we can know that our names are forever written in the Lamb’s Book of Life because of the saving love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Lk. 10:20, Rm. 10:9)
So this Sunday begins a new year for all of us in the First Presbyterian Church family. A new year of Experiencing the Father’s Heart. A new year of being Engaged, Equipped and Empowered. A new year of finding our stories in God’s Story.
It’s going to be a great year!