I have to say with Billy Graham….”Growing old has been the greatest surprise of my life”. Someone else said, “Old age is not for sissy’s”.
Now I do not want to be a Whiney, Wimpy Woman, so I will not dwell on my losses, but with me perhaps some of you have experienced some of your own losses or you are realizing that you just don’t have the stamina that you once had: Sunday School teaching, teaching school, leading choral and handbell choirs and musicals, singing solos, walking and standing, dressmaking, crocheting, carving. Losses like having to be separated from your dear children, grandchildren, parents
and siblings, these loses can define who we really are.
Be faithful in prayer for your children and grandchildren. Keep in touch on a regular basis. They are God’s gifts to you. Think about the impression that you will leave. Write to them, give them your time even if separated by miles they need to know you are a person of prayer and faithful in service for the Lord. ”Encourage one another and build each other up” I Thes. 5:11. That verse says encourage, not lecture. Mend broken relationship if you have any. Daily we can wait upon the Lord and look forward to what He has in store for us by staying in the Word and focusing on the promises found therein. Then we we can truly say, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10: 27-28 KJV). It is like when the phone rings and it is a member of the family or a close friend. You know their voice, because you talk together a lot and they belong to you. You will know the Lord’s voice when you stay close to HIm.
J. Pierpont Morgan, perhaps the most influential banker in history. penned these words into his will in 1913.. “I commit my soul into the hands of my Saviour, in full confidence that having redeemed it and washed it in His most precious blood, He will present it faultless before the throne of my Heavenly Father; and I entreat my children to maintain and defend, at all hazard, and at any cost of personal sacrifice, the blessed doctrine of the complete atonement for sin through the blood of Jesus Christ, once offered, and through that alone.” What powerful dying words.
Remember the greatest legacy you can give your heirs is not your money nor the things you have accumulated in your lifetime but your character and your faith and your testimony of JOY in the Lord to the very end.
Old age does not exempt us from fulfilling our purposes in Life. “When I am old and gray-headed,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation.” Ps. 71:18
Pastor Saeed Abedini wrote this letter to his daughter for her 8th birthday, which was on September 12. This is the third birthday of Rebekka’s that Pastor Saeed has missed while he languishes in an Iranian prison for his faith.
My Dearest Rebekka Grace, HAPPY 8th BIRTHDAY!
You are growing so fast and becoming more beautiful every day. I praise God for His faithfulness to me every day as I watch from a distance through the prison walls and see pictures and hear stories of how you are growing both spiritually and physically.
Oh how I long to see you. I know that you question why you have prayed so many times for my return and yet I am not home yet. Now there is a big WHY In your mind you are asking: WHY Jesus isn’t answering your prayers and the prayers of all of the people around the world praying for my release and for me to be home with you and our family. The answer to the WHY is WHO. WHO is in control? The LORD JESUS CHRIST is in control. I desire for you to learn important lessons during these trying times. Lessons that you carry now and for the rest of your life. The answer to the WHY is WHO. The confusion of “WHY has all of this happened?” and “WHY your prayers are not answered yet” is resolved with understanding WHO is in control…LORD JESUS CHRIST, our GOD!
God is in control of the whole world and everything that is happening in it is for His good purpose, for His glory, and will be worked out for our good (Romans 8:28). Jesus allows me to be kept here for His glory. He is doing something inside each of us and also outside in the world. People die and suffer for their Christian faith all over the world and some may wonder why? But you should know the answer of WHY is WHO. It is for Jesus. He is worth the price and His plan to be glorified through our lives.
Please read the book of Habakkuk. He had the same question as you. But see that the Lord answered him in Habakkuk 2:3, “for the vision is yet for the appointed time, wait for it.” Mommy and I always had big desires to serve Jesus and had great vision to be used for His Kingdom and for His Glory. So today we pay a cost because God, who created us, called us to that, so I want you to know that the answer to all of your prayers is that God is in control, and He knows better than us what He is doing in our lives and all around the world. Therefore declare as Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-‐Nego did in Daniel 3: 17-‐18!…” If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”… learn and declare as Habakkuk did that even if we do not get the result that we are looking for, God is still good and we WILL praise His Holy Name. Then my dear beloved daughter Rebekka Grace, I pray God will bring me back home soon. But if not, we will still sing together as Habakkuk did, HALLELUJAH, either separated by prison walls or together at home.
So, let Daddy hear you sing a loud Hallelujah that I can hear all the way here in the prison! I am so proud of you my sweet courageous daughter. Glory to God forever,
Amen. Kisses and Blessings, Daddy
Amy Carmichael, an Irish missionary and writer who spent fifty-three years in south India without furlough was called to missions as a young woman, she responded joyfully first traveling to Japan, then China, Ceylon, and finally, India. There she founded the Dohnavur Fellowship, a work for children in moral danger. Elizabeth Elliot shows how one woman offered up her singleness for God’s service and found true fulfillment. Elisabeth visited Dohnavur Compound in India where she had access to Amy’s correspondence and photographs. Through research and interviews and forty years of reading her books, she became intimately acquainted with this devoted soldier of God. The result is a reverent biography, which traces the entire life of this missionary to India entitled: A Chance to Die, The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael.
On my little lap desk, hand painted in 1993, by our daughter-in-law, Lois Pierpont, I penned this poem (inside the cover) by Amy, who saved many from a life of slavery, whom she called her children.
FOR OUR CHILDREN
Father, hear us, we are praying, Hear the words our hearts are saying; We are praying for our children.
Keep them from the powers of evil, From the secret, hidden peril; Father, hear us for our children.
From the whirlpool that would suck them, From the treacherous quicksand, pluck them; Father, hear us for our children.
From the worldling’s hollow gladness, From the sting of faithless sadness, Father, Father, keep our children.
Through life’s troubled waters steer them; Through life’s bitter battle cheer them; Father, Father, be Thou near them.
Read the language of our longing, Read the wordless pleadings thronging, Holy Father, for our children.
And wherever they may abide, Lead them Home at eventide.
I decided today to talk to you about why I feel Christian Biblical Counseling is so important. Having been in the ministry for over 50 years and while working in education and administration in our Christian schools I decided to pursue additional training in the Christian counseling area to better equip myself to the task of counseling parents, children, friends and family.
My goal as a Christian counselor is to empower the counselee to live a life of enduring commitment to Christ, faithfulness to the Word of God, moral integrity, intellectual growth and a lasting contribution to spreading the Gospel. My heart’s desire is to encourage and help those who want help in their walk with the Lord.
Commitment to Christ, as displayed by:
–Acceptance and acknowledgment of Christ as Lord and Savior
–Unreserved worship of God –Pursuit of Christlikeness in word, deed and attitude.
The first of these, knowing that that person has accepted Christ as his or her own personal Saviour and Lord. Secondly, that that person is determined to worship God by faithful church attendance as a testimony to others and a means of outreach. Thirdly, to live a life above reproach so that others watching will see Christ in the way he or she talks, behaves and responses to others.
Often the world view of things overlooks the spiritual while some “worldly authorities” are beginning to come to the realization that true counsel needs to also address the spiritual level and even prayer. Yet, if the counselor is not born again and does not know the Word of God it is impossible for true spiritual counsel to take place. I Cor. 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 …hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? Chap.2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
This is why it is important for the Christian counselor to be as well informed as possible yet realizing that the information learned must be Scriptural…. In other words in harmony with the Word of God. Anything that does not clear that criteria is not truth and should not be used.
Often the unsaved and even the professing Christian resists receiving counsel from Christian Counselors such as their pastor or pastor’s wife because they do not want to make the necessary changes that becoming a Christian involves or as a Christian are not living the Christian life according to the Scriptures and don’t want to change, which often can be the reason for the need for counsel.
It is also important for Christians to pray fervently for their fellow Christian when they have times of depression, discouragement or times when they are just not right with the Lord…. This is not a time for talking about them but praying that God will help them in their need.
I would truly like to encourage each of you ladies if there is a topic that you would like to have me cover in my Heart to Hearts, please send a short note to me and I will respond as soon as possible. Your name will not be published.
You may read the comments on these topics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A REAL CHALLENGE – BE AN ENCOURAGER
Reviveourhearts.com has published several 30-Day Challenges. Here is the plan… Pray for your Pastor or Pastor’s Wife, Prayer for you Husband or your Wife, 30 Days of Gratitude ( just be thankful intentionally for 30 days). You can choose your own challenge. Here we go…. Wow, I thought to myself, I think I will do this, because I considered myself a good and loving wife and I can do this.. Write it down or give that person notes.
You can’t say anything negative about that person… To that person… or to anyone else, about that person.
You must say something that you admire or appreciate about that person every day! OK let’s get started.
This is just the beginning of these very insightful challenges….
Well to tell you the truth I had good intentions when I did this and I proceeded with the idea that I was going to be able to change my husband into the ideal man by doing this and I will say that it definitely made a big difference in his response to me over time, but some years later I thought I would go through it again because I wanted to do better, but this time I realized that it was me who really had changed my attitude and my thinking about him and yes, I needed to do even better.
You have heard of the expression “Stink’n Think’n “? Well this was what I began to realize. I became convicted about my own need to change completely how I thought about him. I was doing a lot of negative thinking even though I had prayed that God would help me to be loving and kind. I realized that I had a critical spirit. This challenge helped me to see the positive things about my husband which were hidden behind my critical spirit making it hard for me to find things I really appreciated.
That person you choose could be your husband, your child, your parents, a neighbor, a fellow Christian, your employer, a customer, fellow student, roommate, sister or brother. Greet that person in a positive way and think of positive things to say to encourage them during the day. Sometimes it will be hard. It might be wise to write out a few things before hand. Be honest and don’t flatter. If you blow it, Don’t give up.
The real issue is to change completely how we respond to the people with whom we interact. “Through love serve one another” Gal.5:13b. Of course we know that this is a pure Christian love with the motive of becoming more like Christ and more able to encourage someone else to grow in the Lord or come to faith in Christ. Often we have such a negative response to people and life in general, that it is no wonder that our outreach for Christ falls on deaf ears. Let’s set out today to encourage someone with our life. There are many practical things you can praise.
Eph. 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
I would encourage you to go to reviveourhearts.com and look up those challenges and begin one and see what a difference it makes in your life, personally.
When my children were young they would often ask me what I wanted, as a Holiday or my Birthday was approaching, They often remind me that I said, “I want you to BE GOOD.” Truly, my hearts desire was for them to live for Christ and I don’t remember my exact words I used, but I did make it clear to them that more important to me than gifts was that they live for the Lord.
A few weeks ago I heard one of the boys preaching on his church’s web site and he said, “Whenever we asked my mother what she wanted for mother’s day or her birthday she would always say she wanted us to ‘Be Good’.” Now that is not exactly what I said… Isn’t it interesting that they interpreted “obedience to God and being in the center of God’s will” as “Being Good”. Praise the Lord they got the message.
Sometimes they would say, “Why don’t you ask for something easy”. Our son Ken, recently called me for my birthday and said, “ Happy Birthday, Mom, I am being Good!!” They all know that is my greatest heart’s desire, for myself and all of God’s children.
“TRUE HAPPINESS AND PEACE DO NOT EXIST APART FROM GOD”
Why do I say that so often, have it on my little hand outs which I place in cards and letters and post it on my emails and website? Because I need to continually remind myself of this important truth. God says, “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me.” This implies that knowing and following Christ is a process of learning, making mistakes, correcting those mistakes, little by little, not perfection. The Lord says, “Come unto me,.. my yoke is easy and the burden is light.” Mt.11: 28-30. The ultimate goal is to become more like God. Our faith is not an escape but a refuge in Christ. True faith in God and His grace is our great strength, not a crutch..
If you want REAL JOY you will follow these Scripture truths.
Deut. 6:5…”..And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deut. 10:12,11:1,19:9, say,“..love the Lord thy God and walk ever in his ways..”
Duet 30:6 “And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”
Mt.22:37 ”There is none other commandment greater than these.”;
Mark 12:30 “ And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
God’s WORD is very clear that this should be our priority.
It is Never Too Late to Change the course of your life….
Matthew 28: 18 Then Jesus came to them and said,“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, bap-tizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Ken’s father gave His life to the Lord in his 50’s and began studying for the ministry, was ordained, and served as a pastor for 17 years. He preached from a chair the Wednesday night before his weak heart gave out he following Wed. He spent himself for His Saviour.
My brother-in-law and his wife in their retirement years took their RV and gave their lives to the Lord for His service as volunteers for a Christian organization that built churches. His wife Bille fixed meals for the workers for YEARS. Then Bill managed the camp grounds for Wycliff Bible Translators and Billie volunteered in the office for a while and then did alterations for people for a donation to the mission. They sang together also at various meetings. (I had the privilege of donating my commercial sewing machines to Wycliff which she used). When she developed Alzheimer’s they had to return home where they still were faithful as lay-workers in their local church. While they were able they did what they could to win people to the Lord.
My mother in her retirement years was a faithful caller in the nursing homes and also took the leadership of A Women’s Bible class for several years until her heart became too weak. My sister took also began teaching a Bible class and she also has a ministry of her own to nursing homes. She is faithfully trying to win people to Christ and bring them to a closer walk with Christ.
My younger adopted Brother had many shortcoming in his youth, and as an adult surrendered to Christ. Today he is volunteering his life with the Christian Motorcycle Association seeking to win others to Christ.
It is never too late to serve the Lord and become involved in winning people to Christ… Are the things you do a true ministry for Christ? Have you ever led someone to a saving knowledge of Christ? Ask yourself …Are the things I do from day to day a service for the Lord. What will these things that I do count for in eternity?
Whatever it takes, learn to share the gospel and lead others to the saving knowledge of Christ before it is too late.
Go ye into all the world and teach the Gospel. Matt. 28:18-20.
This is the great commission to Christians to share the Gospel.
What is the Gospel? That Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again and is coming again. Let’s not keep your faith a secret.