Jan. 25, 2015    Jane’s Heart to Heart ……Pastor’s Help-Mate

Jan. 25, 2015 Jane’s Heart to Heart ……Pastor’s Help-Mate

Words of Love  #1

On August 24, 2000,  a 46 year old woman tossed a burning match onto the ground when she stopped by the road to light a cigarette.  As she confessed later, rather than putting out the burning match, she just glanced at it and left the area.

Over eighty-thousand acres of valuable timber burned.. Janice Stevenson, was arrested on suspicion of starting the fire. She pled guilty to second-degree arson, was sentenced to twenty-five  years in the South Dakota State Penitentiary, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $42,204,155.48 [CNN.com Sept. 2000].

Hearing this story we might say, How could she leave a burning match in a dry forest?”  Yet according to the Scriptures this is what we do daily when we do not guard our tongues. 

James 3:5-6  “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.      

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

Personally, I often talk without thinking how  the one receiving the words may feel. I may not intend to hurt, yet my words could cause great damage like the burned forest.  It might take years to restore.

Proverbs 15:4 “A gentle tongue is a tree of life but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”   Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Wholesome words give life.

Many times we are blind to the affect of our words. Let us pray that the Lord will open our eyes to ways that our words are hurtful or damaging. The next time you think to say something that might hurt… Pause, pray, and try to rephrase what you  say to uplift and encourage that person.

Proverbs 10:20-21 (NIV)The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value. The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.

Here I paraphrase Germaine Copland’s Prayers That Avail Much for Women

Lord, help me to let go of all bitterness and bad temper and  anger.  Thank you for being my Wonderful Counselor and thank you for helping me to be forgiving and with the help of Your Holy Spirit I can get rid of all bitterness. My desire is to be holy so that others can see You in me. In Jesus name, Amen

JAN. 18, 2015   JANE’S HEART TO HEART  ….PASTOR’S HELP-MATE

When I think of Charles Gordon I think of a man of God who had a great desire to influence his children to give their lives to the Lord to serve him faithfully and that is what Charles wanted to do himself.  In our prayer services he often expressed his desire as many of us do that he had been a better Christian example before his own family.  Sometime we wonder why the Lord allows us to tarry before we go home to be with him.

From a message The Mantle of Elijah, By David Wilkerson,    January 17, 2000 from “The World Challenge Pulpit Series.

“Second Kings 2, contains one of the most spectacular passages in all of the Old Testament. This chapter tells the miraculous story of the aging prophet Elijah and his servant Elisha. When we pick up the story, God has informed Elijah that his ministry on earth is over. Now he is to cross the Jordan River and go to a certain place, where a heavenly chariot will pick him up and translate him to glory. My First Question in Rereading This Story Was, 

Why Did Elijah Take Elisha On This Whirlwind Trip? Why did the older prophet want his servant to accompany him to Bethel and Jericho? Surely it wasn’t just a sentimental journey for Elijah, one last trip down memory lane. No – this wise, old man wanted to teach Elisha – as well as us today – our need for more of God’s power and anointing.  We Know This Trip Is Not for Elisha’s Sake Alone, But to Instruct Every Succeeding Generation”

There is a song I love to sing by: Floyd W. Hawkins (1962 by the Lillenas Publishing Company).

LET THY MANTLE FALL ON ME

1) Elijah was God’s prophet Elisha stood close by,

And ere the prophet left him,  He heard his servant cry:

Then Elijah made the promise that if faithful he would be,

His petition would be granted, And God’s glory he would see

3) As Elijah rose to heaven In a chariot of fire,

He did not forget his servant, Who expressed one strong desire.

4) In the Upper Room they waited — “Twas the faithful Christian band -

And their pray’r was heard and answered Over in the gloryland.

5) That pray’r of early Christians Long ago and far away

Is the cry of all God’s children; And He’s just the same today.

CHORUS:  Let thy mantle fall on me! Let thy mantle fall on me! (on me!)

A double portion of Thy spirit,  Lord, Let thy mantle fall on me!

Let’s all work together and pick up that Mantle ….and serve our Saviour as many faithful saints  have before us.

Mantle = a loose fitting cloak or shawl….  Old English word for   a role, responsibility or burden that one person passes on to another.

JANUARY 16, 2015… AS GIVEN TO THE DEACONS AND WIVES OF EVANGEL BAPTIST CHURCH (TAYLOR MI)

Introduction:  I can not think of a greater honor than to be able to speak to deacon wives. What a high calling this truly is.

This is not about climbing the social ladder of the church….not an elected office. This is about being a  servant/slave  in service with your life mate as his helpmate and supporting your husbands roll as servant.

“I Timothy 3:11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.”

The first qualification of course is that she is a Born again Christian and the one and only wife of a deacon. God has not called to “special service” those who have never answered the gospel call to service!

Have any of you ladies read any of Diana Davis books for Deacon Wives???  Such as… Fresh Ideas for Women’s Ministry

When I speak to ladies I always like to recommend reading materials for them that will help them in their ministry for Christ.

Just to give you a little idea about Diana – She is a deacon’s daughter and a Pastor’s wife, women’s speaker, writer, columnist, and has been the pastor’s wife to anywhere from 2 – 100 deacon wives in the life of their ministry together.

Let me begin with a quote from her book entitled, DEACON WIVES. Published by LifeWay.

(and I quote)   #1 Smile

A joyful heart makes a face cheerful…” Proverbs 15:13a

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (HCSB)

Got joy?

This story is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. I spent time each week discipling Janet, a new Christian. She had asked about the role of deacons, and she quipped, “Oh, I’ve figured out how to spot which ones are the deacon wives.” Curiously, I took the bait. “How?” “They’re the ones with the scowls on their faces!” My heart sank. As I sat there, picturing the deacon wives that she had met, I realized that their faces did hold a permanent frown! Janet didn’t know their kind hearts and loving ways. She merely saw their outward appearance. The next time I was with them, I related that sad story, and challenged them to smile.

Scripture challenges us to “Be joyful always” I Thessalonians 5:16.

As a deacon wife, set the pace for joy at your church. Does your countenance convey joy? Does your family and church know that you have joy? Do you do God’s work with joy? Do your words reflect joy?

Speak positive words. It was a weekly phenomenon. After Sunday morning worship, I’d stand beside my pastor/husband, and we’d greet worshippers as they departed the service. One person would say, “Pastor, we need to turn that air conditioning down. It was sweltering in there today.” The very next person in line would comment, “I nearly froze to death in there!” Many complaints have little to do with eternity. Is it really worth launching a campaign to argue about carpet color or the arrangement of furniture? Don’t be the constant complainer.

A constant complainer reflects poorly on her God. She deters friends. She hurts her witness and her integrity. If you’ve developed a habit of complaining at home or at church, change that habit! John put it succinctly:“Stop complaining among yourselves.” John 6:43.

Christians have something to smile about. The God of our universe has written our names on his hand. (Isaiah 49:16). He cares intimately for us. He knows every detail about us, right down to the number of hairs on our head. (Luke 12:7). He’s promised us a life “more abundant!” John 10:10. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. So smile.” (END OF QUOTE)

Now ladies,

I know first hand that smiling is not always easy…. As you can see…. I use a cane and sometimes a wheel chair….

A few years ago, I winced in pain and often when I got up from a chair or bent over and I would even groan out loud.

One of my young grandsons said, “Grandma, you scare me when you do that.”   Since that time I have prayed much that God would give me victory over whining and complaining and even showing pain on my face. I have to admit at times – not very successfully

I realized if this bothered a child perhaps this also would affect others around me in the church ministry.  I prayed and asked the Lord to forgive me and help me to show the JOY that I have in serving Him in such a way that it would be contagious to others. 

For over sixty years I have enjoyed that honor of “Singing His Praise”, and I have loved the ministry of music but in the past few years singing has become painful for me too and this truly has been the hardest thing for me to give up.

But, I praise the Lord that little by little He is helping me to say that I am “Still Singing HIs Praise in My Heart”.  He has not changed.  His love for me has not changed.  The song for Him is still inside of me.  Often I still start to sing around the house but have to stop after a line or two.

Can you say that you have JOY in your heart and does it show on your face….. Pray about this. This leads me to my second point.  Really this is your most important ministry.

# 2 Prayer

I have learned that praying about everything is the most important thing we ladies can do for the honor and glory of the Lord in the church – PRAY.

Now I am not just talking about you personal prayer time and Bible reading what we would call our personal devotions.  That should go without saying.   We of all people should be having our own personal quiet time with the Lord. 

But I find in ministry while serving in the church Sunday School classes, services, at funerals, weddings, picnics. RIGHT – every function of the Lord’s work needs people praying.

I have had people say to me I didn’t get to talk with you today because (fill in the blank)  you were playing the piano,  you were talking to those new people….or you were busy.   Right – doing the Lord’s work.

We need to be above that….   Call your pastor or his wife,  write them and note….. But pray for and with them as they minister. Ultimately you too will be doing ministry with an understanding heart.

How to pray for the Lord’s work in HIS ministry..

Pastor & His wife (filling of the spirit, wisdom &   strength), Deacons & wives, Church Officers(clerk, treasurer, Music leaders, cleaners, decorators, tech. Support people, etc.) when things aren’t going the way that you think they should  - PRAY

Winning the lost to Christ, Evangelism by each Christian in the church by name and their daily witness and life for Christ – PRAY

During the service when you see or hear a young mother struggling with her baby or young child, if something goes wrong causes a distraction in the service that could be distracting, for the pastor, the soloist or musicians, for those running the sound system. What a privilege we have to have immediate access to the Heavenly Father. He is able to solve those problems in a moment – PRAY

For our young people in the worship service, for an attentive heart and the Holy Spirits work in their lives. – PRAY

For our college and career age for direction and obedience to HIS will. -PRAY

For parents whose lives are filled with activities, their jobs and children’s lives that they will be able to accept God’s will for them. -PRAY

For those sitting around you as you participate with JOY in the service. -PRAY

Just think of the power of  PRAYER  scattered all around in the various ministries in God’s church.

What a  privilege to be a part of that heritage

#3 I would encourage all of you to memorize I Cor. 13….

Smile and Pray & Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Listen to this paraphrase from The Living Bible

1 Corinthians 13 Living Bible (TLB)

13:1  If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise.

If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do? Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love.

If I gave everything I have to poor people, and if I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn’t love others, it would be of no value whatever.

Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud,

never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.

It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.

If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.

All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever. Someday prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge—these gifts will disappear.

Now we know so little, even with our special gifts, and the preaching of those most gifted is still so poor.

10 But when we have been made perfect and complete, then the need for these inadequate special gifts will come to an end, and they will disappear.

11 It’s like this: when I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became a man my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childish things.

12 In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face-to-face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now.

13 There are three things that remain—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Living Bible (TLB)

Jan. 11, 2015   JANE’S HEART TO HEART   …Pastor’s Help-Mate

Jan. 11, 2015   JANE’S HEART TO HEART   …Pastor’s Help-Mate

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, born 1834 -died 1892 at the age of 58. He was a British Particular Baptist preacher. Spurgeon remains highly influential among Christians of various denominations, among whom he is known as the “Prince of Preachers”.            

I would like to read excerpt from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1888

“Are you afraid that preaching the gospel will not win souls? Are you despondent as to success in God’s way? Is this why you pine for clever oratory? Is this why you must have music, and architecture, and flowers and millinery? [fancy speaking, the performance of music,  the building or how we dress?] After all, is it by might and power, and not by the Spirit of God?

I have shown you nothing but the cross, the cross without flowers of oratory, the cross without diamonds of ecclesiastical rank, the cross without the buttress of boastful science.   ……We beseech the people of God to mark that there is no need to try doubtful expedients and questionable methods. God will save by the gospel still: only let it be the gospel in its purity. This grand old sword will  split a rock in halves.

Do you see the scabbard of artistic work, so wonderfully elaborated? Full many keep the sword in this scabbard, and therefore its edge never gets to its work. Pull off that scabbard. Fling that fine sheath to Hades, and then see how, in the Lord’s hands, that glorious two-handed sword will mow down fields of men as mowers level the grass with their scythes.

There is no need to go down to Egypt for help. To invite the devil to help Christ is shameful. Please God, we shall see prosperity yet, when the church of God is resolved never to seek it except in God’s own way.”

I love that way of thinking, because our generation is so me-centered. It’s all about me; it’s about how I feel, what’s happening in my life, my circumstances, my problems, my desires, my happiness.

Elisabeth Elliot, These Strange Ashes   

“Christ is sufficient. We do not need “support groups” for each and every separate tribulation. The most widely divergent sorrows may all be taken to the foot of the same old rugged cross and find there cleansing, peace, and joy.”

Help us Lord to keep our eyes on the Cross and hide His Word in our hearts so that we will always be ready to tell others what Christ has done for us on the CROSS.

I Corinthians  1:18 “For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us that are saved it is the power of God.”

January 4, 2014     Jane’s Heart to Heart  …Pastor’s Help-Mate

January 4, 2014 Jane’s Heart to Heart …Pastor’s Help-Mate

God’s Expectations of Us vs Our Expectations of God?

As a Christian teacher I have often taught young people and adults various skills, such as voice, handbells, piano and the academics.  Often certain students were weak in Math but very gifted in  Art. Likewise some  did not seem to have any creative skills and were very successful academically.

I had a high standard for conduct and appearance during performances because family and parents would be in attendance and I desired a positive experience for both student and parent. The appreciation was as great for each performance of lesser or greater difficulty levels.

There was a time when I would wonder if some would ever be able to accomplish the task. The more experienced I became the more I realized that each person is created to be what God wants him to be.  Some students have to work very hard to maintain an average grade at best and others seem to be able to succeed in every area with ease.  Does that mean that we should not challenge either to higher expectations.

Having raised a budding  concert pianist we have attended countless recitals where as  he was the first pianist on the program rated as to his ability level and in later years sitting through the whole program  to hear him as the  last person on the program. Some of the times as his parent, even though he did well, we knew it was not his best. Just a few weeks ago we were brought to tears over his obvious dedication to the task.

Does God want us to be satisfied with status quo in our lives?  Of course not… Colossians 3:23 [in the Amplified Bible] says: “Whatsoever you do, do it heartily, for the Lord,, and not for men. Knowing that from the Lord you will receive an inheritance as a reward, Christ is the Lord for whom you work as a slave.”

Often we do the same thing in our thinking about God with respect to our public worship….it is natural and right of course that it should be of highest quality and that we should give Him our very best.  Yet, we do not want to come to the conclusion that God is not honored by our humble efforts as compared  to a highly professional performance. The real issue is God wants our best. We are His servants.

Our God has the capacity to hold both Big and Small in His mind.  We need to do our part to honor Him is everything that we do for HIS Glory, not for our own glory. He knows if it is our best.

One day a young man proudly strutted up to the platform to speak and did an inferior job and came down with his head held low..

An elderly lady said to him later….  “Sonny, if you had gone up like you came down, you could have come down like you went up!”

DEC. 28, 2014   JANE’S HEART TO HEART   … Pastor’s Help-Mate

DEC. 28, 2014 JANE’S HEART TO HEART … Pastor’s Help-Mate

 MY 2015 CHALLENGE

This is for me first and then I post it as my signature in emails and letters and share it with those with whom I correspond during the year of 2015.

“WHEN WE PUT OUR LIVES IN GOD’S HANDS

HE PUTS HIS PEACE IN OUR HEARTS”  (ODB) 

Isaiah 26:3-4 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.   Trust ye in the Lord forever: for the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”   and Romans 15: 13 “ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” NIV

Our choice this year should be to have a heart of gratitude and praise. “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”   Ps. 34:1 

This praise need not be just when things are going well, but in the times of trial too. Yes, giving thanks in all things is not easy and it may not change your circumstances, but it will put you in a frame of mind to experience God’s richest blessing that He desires for you through your trials.

If we continue without praise in our trails we give up peace and contentment, we give up JOY.  We make things even worse when we remove ourselves from His grace and fellowship during these hard times by whining and complaining.           

  “Let us counsel and train our hearts by being obedient and offer a sacrifice of “Thanks” and let God’s truth lift and sustain your spirit.”  (DeMoss)

Christian contentment is that sweet, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”  (Jeremiah Burroughs)

Being joyful is not what makes you grateful

Being grateful is what makes you Joyful

Dec. 21, 2014    Jane’s Heart to Heart  …Pastor’s Help-Mate

Dec. 21, 2014 Jane’s Heart to Heart …Pastor’s Help-Mate

Saeed Abedini’s Christmas Letter.

Rajai Shahr Prison 2014

Merry Christmas!,   These days are very cold here. My small space beside the window is without glass making most nights unbearable to sleep. The treatment by fellow prisoners is also quite cold and at times hostile. Some of my fellow prisoners don’t like me because I am a convert and a pastor. They look at me with shame as someone who has betrayed his former religion. The guards can’t even stand the paper cross that I have made and hung next to me as a sign of my faith and in anticipation of celebrating my Savior’s birth. They have threatened me and forced me to remove it. This is the first Christmas that I am completely without my family; all of my family is presently outside of the country. These conditions have made this upcoming Christmas season very hard, cold and shattering for me. It appears that I am alone with no one left beside me.

These cold and brittle conditions have made me wonder why God chose the hardest time of the year to become flesh and why He came to the earth in the weakest human condition (as a baby). Why did God choose the hardest place to be born in the cold weather? Why did God choose to be born in a manger in a stable, which is very cold, filthy and unsanitary with an unpleasant smell? Why did the birth have to be in such a way that it was not only hard physically, but also socially? It must have brought such shame for Mary and her fiancé that she was pregnant before marriage in the religious society of that time.

Dear sisters and brothers, the fact of the Gospel is that it is not only the story of Jesus, but it is the key of how we are to live and serve like Jesus. Today we like Him should come out of our safe comfort zone in order to proclaim the Word of Life and Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and the penalty of sin that He paid on the cross and to proclaim His resurrection. We should be able to tolerate the cold, the difficulties and the shame in order to serve God. We should be able to enter into the pain of the cold dark world. Then we are able to give the fiery love of Christ to the cold wintery manger of those who are spiritually dead. It might be necessary to come out of the comfort of our lives and leave the loving embrace of our family to enter the manger of the lives of others, such as it has been for me for the third consecutive Christmas.

It may be that we will be called fools and traitors and face many difficulties, but we should crucify our will and wishes even more until the world hears and tastes the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas means that God came so that He would enter your hearts today and transform your lives and to replace your pain with indescribable joy.

Christmas is the manifestation of the radiant brightness of the Glory of God in the birth of a child named Emmanuel, which means God is with us.

Christmas is the day that the heat of the life-giving fire of God’s love shone in the dark cold wintry frozen hearts and burst forth in this deadly wicked world.

The same way that the heat from the earth’s core melts the hard stones in itself and produces lava, the fiery love of God, Jesus Christ, through the virgin Mary’s womb came to earth on Christmas to melt the hard heart of sin and wickedness of the world and removes them from our life. In the same process, the work of the Holy Spirit is a fiery rain of God’s Holiness and Mercy that flows into our body, soul and spirit and brings the light of Christ into us and through us making this dark, cold, wintry world into radiant burning brightness. He is turning our world into a world full of peace, joy, and love that is so different than the dark, cold, and wintry world that we used to live in. Hallelujah!

So this Christmas let the lava-like love of Christ enter into the depth of your heart and make you fiery, ready to pay any cost in order to bring the same lava love to the cold world around you, transforming them with the true message of Christmas.

Pastor Saeed Abedini

Soaking in the lava love of Christ

http://aclj.org/persecuted-church/american-pastor-saeed-writes-heartwarming-christmas-letter-from-hard-cold-prison

Dec. 14, 2014  Jane’s Heart to Heart   … Pastor’s Help-Mate

Dec. 14, 2014 Jane’s Heart to Heart … Pastor’s Help-Mate

Dec. 14, 2014  Jane’s Heart to Heart ….Pastor’s Help-Mate

Todays article is from Paul Harvey’s site…….   http://www.rubysemporium.org/harvey_birds.html

The Man and the Birds      (Paul Harvey)

Each CHRISTmas day at 12:00 noon where ever Paul Harvey’s Program is played on the radio, Paul tells this story in such a dynamic way that it is sure to touch the heart of any person who listens to it.

Unable to trace its proper parentage, I have designated this as My Christmas Story, of “The Man and the Birds”.

You know, “The” Christmas story, “God born a man in a manger”, and all that, escapes some moderns. Mostly I think because they seek complex answers to their questions, and this one is so utterly simple. So for the cynics and the skeptics and the unconvinced, I submit a modern parable.
Now the man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind, decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men, but he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas time. It just didn’t make sense, and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus story about God coming to earth as a man.

“I’m truly sorry to distress you”, he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas eve”, he said he’d feel like a hypocrite, that he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. So he stayed and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later, he was startled by a thudding sound. Then another. And then another; sort of a thump or a thud. At first, he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.

Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter if he could direct the birds to it. Quickly, he put on a coat and goulashes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn.

He opened the doors wide and turned on a light. But the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow making a trail the yellow lighted, wide open door to the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them. He tried “shooing” them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms. Instead, they scattered in every direction except into the warm lighted barn.

Then he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could let them know that they can trust me. That I’m not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led, or “shooed” because they feared him.

“If only I could be a bird”, he thought to himself “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to the safe warm ———-

(Sudden recognition) —- to the safe warm barn, but I would have to be one of them so they could see and hear, and understand.”

At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. He stood there listening to the bells, Adeste Fidelis. Listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas.

……. And he sank to his knees in the snow.

Dec. 7, 2014   Jane’s Heart to Heart   … Pastor’s Help-Mate

Dec. 7, 2014   Jane’s Heart to Heart   … Pastor’s Help-Mate

TREACHERY AT ITS WORST!

Seventy-three years ago this morning one of the worst acts of treachery ever foisted upon a body of people was carried out by the naval forces of the government of Japan: December 7, 1941.

At precisely eight o’clock on that Sunday morning hundreds of heavily armed Japanese aircraft swung in over our giant naval base in Honolulu in the Hawaiian Islands.

Though many warnings from various sources had been known to numerous American authorities in Washington as well as Hawaii, they were not taken seriously. It was thought nothing as audacious was within the capabilities of the Japanese. The entire Pacific Fleet of America was berthed there and American fire-power was assumed to be overwhelming.

In secret Japan had been working for years to develop military forces, far greater than any nation in Asia. Their aircraft were superior to those America possessed. Their pilots were among the best trained in the world.

The devastation left behind after hours of attack by the aircraft of the Rising Sun left the entire fleet of battleships of the American Navy either badly damaged or sinking. Nearly 3,000 Americans perished. Our government was left with years of rebuilding in the midst of a fight to the finish with Japan.

Forty-four months of war ensued with Germany and Italy joining on the Japanese side in the western world. World War II was a fact, the most costly in money and lives in the history of humanity. These treacherous allies of Japan were beaten first.

On September 2, 1945 representatives of the Japanese government filed aboard the American Battleship “Missouri” and before an old mess table on her main deck surrendered that government to ours “unconditionally.” The most treacherous act ever perpetrated against America was now but a matter for apology by the Japanese. Millions of innocent people had died.

As a result of this heinous sin against America, what did our country do to repay the Japanese for their unspeakable deed? Does anyone still remember? The answer is that our country rebuilt their nation and today it is a peaceful and secure democracy, the strongest in the eastern world. And why did we do that? Because of our Christian heritage, let the record show. 

II Chr. 7:14 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Nov. 30, 2014   Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help-Mate

Nov. 30, 2014   Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help-Mate

Praise and Thanksgiving….for Delayed Blessings.

Often on Face Book I come across and connect with dear friends, parishioners and students from past ministries Pastor and I have been privileged to know.  Sometimes it is a sad reunion when I find that some of them are not serving the Lord at all and their lives are ruined.  But many times it is a JOY to connect with those who are still faithfully serving our Lord and raising their families for Christ.

A few months ago I was able to connect with a former  student of ours and a pastor’s daughter. She is teaching in the public school and is an adjunct professor at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. She has a sweet testimony and in the course of our conversation she wrote this note to me. 

She very respectfully said, Mrs. Pierpont, your husband gave me a “motivational speech” when I was goofing off in high school (imagine that) and it really meant the world to me.  He said some very positive things that I still remember, and it really inspired me to get my act together, earlier.  I’ve been married for 25 years (with God”s grace) and have four children.  I met my husband in college, and he is so wonderful.  My parents both passed away in the last couple of years.  My dad was in poor health for quite a while, he had a bad heart from his youth.  My mother died unexpectedly in her sleep, she was 82.  I miss them both terribly.  As we have such a big family, I am quite young to have lost both parents.  However, I rejoice in the hope of heaven and “I don’t sorrow as those who have no hope” (I Thess. 4:13). 

I would love prayer for my oldest son who was honorably discharged from the Navy due to illness, but it was a huge blow to his self-esteem and now he is “searching” for who he is.  Definitely struggling with the Lord and with us  - parenting young adults who don’t live with you is hard!  Would greatly appreciate prayer- you raised three sons too so I know you understand!  Thank you for praying!! 

Then she added, “How can I pray for you?”  This was encouraging to me because it told me where she was herself, spiritually.  Someone desiring her loved one to be right with the Lord and concerned and praying for others  - wonderful!

Perhaps another time I can share other examples of those who are faithfully serving the Lord that we have been honored to influence for Christ’s Glory   Thank you Lord for such delayed blessings!