Archives for April 2016

April 24, 2016 …Pastor’s Help Mate

KAREN WILSON’S STORY

A New Path

Most of us don’t like change. We don’t like new things and starting over. Simply stated, we don’t like the idea of changing the status quo. And yet God is forever stirring up our nest and redirecting our steps, and changing our circumstances. Change can feel good, and it can feel catastrophic at times. But through all of it, hopefully, growth happens, God gets the glory, and Jesus reflects more in our faces having walked that journey.

Philippians 4:11, 12, 13,
“Not that I speak in respect of want (Paul says) for I have learned (better translated, I am learning), in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

God has a vision for everyone. He has each day of our lives all scheduled for us before we even get started! (Psalm 139) One of my mother’s favorite sayings was this: “We make our plans, and then life happens.” And I’m grateful that a sovereign and a loving God is in control of that “life” and will walk with us each step of the way.

When I was in high school, I prayerfully made the decision to become a registered nurse. I took the classes in high school that would help me for college and then went to a good college to become a nurse. And I believe I became just that! A good nurse! I loved my career, and I loved the patients and the families. I remember working hard, often going the extra mile and doing the extra thing to make their lives better. I preferred working in geriatrics; felt it was my calling in life. I had a compassion for the elderly and a heart for the spouses and children of the old relative that had now become incapacitated. Many times I prayed with families, and even more, times prayed with the residents and ministered to them at their bedside during their final days.

Also, the simple fact I was a nurse, had a license, gave me the ability, “the power” to make life better for many, to see good things happen. It made me feel good, and I was rewarded so many times by the love and gratitude that was returned to me. I remember thinking, “Wow! I can really ‘be Jesus’ to these people, in a significant way!” And indeed, I was. And that was my projected plan for life. And yes, Mama, I made my plans, then “life happened.”

Circumstances as they were in my life, things got out of control. Big changes happened big losses. Big regrets and big tragedies. And I won’t make my list here. One of my most recent changes is I quickly became deaf. My “job” as a nurse, a healer, a Jesus-doer had ended. And I felt like a failure and useless. And I grieved about this! I remember being angry at God for allowing this. Finally, and by the grace of God, I had to come to a decision. I felt God say to me, “Karen, you have a choice here. You can curl up and die (which I already had tried a few years previous to this) or you can choose to LIVE, by My Grace.” So, trusting God, I made the choice to live, and to love, and to serve. No, I wasn’t going to be a nurse. I wouldn’t be making big money, and bringing forth change because of my college degree. But I could still love people, serve people, and touch people’s lives in a simple way.

God showed many comparisons about Himself to me. Yes. He is the God of the universe that can snap His fingers and galaxies are created. One morning before breakfast He spoke the world into existence. His magnificence and power can be seen by all. But He is also the God whose gentle tenderness can soothe a tired soul, He weeps with us when we hurt, and He’s also a God who isn’t afraid to roll up His work sleeves right alongside us, and serve. And I believe that is what He has called me to do. He gave me the vision of becoming the “odd job girl.” And the jobs can get pretty odd! Pulling weeds, cleaning houses, pet-sitting your dog. And let me tell you! The work is often very hard, and my back hurts plenty by the end of the day and I more times than not come home looking like a drowned rat with mud plastered to my face. But I have a peace in my heart that has been missing a long time! I feel useful and needed. And no, the pay doesn’t compare to what I made as a nurse, but that doesn’t matter! I am becoming RICH in what really does matter.
I believe that working in this “common way” I’m touching lives of people that might be intimidated or put off by a college degree or someone with letters and titles after their name. But Karen; deaf, and sweaty? Yep. She understands! And people open up to me. And I’m still touching hearts and loving others. And I pray that I’m being that “everyday Jesus” to them. And I want God to always get the glory!

What is God calling you to be? To do?

Remember, it’s not the super talented, but the super dedicated that God uses. 1 Corinthians 1: Paul says, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.”

God uses us because we are available and we’re clean; we’re anointed, we’re surrendered, and we’re dedicated to His purpose. God’s love is infinite, and He has a wonderful plan for our lives.

He wants people dedicated to loving and serving. He cares about changed lives for the sake of Christ, and that the good news of the gospel is shared.

In the life of a believer, nothing happens by chance, fate or fortune. There is nothing such as coincidence. There’s no such thing as luck. We are God’s servants and God has ordained us to look like His Son, Jesus. And we do not determine a man’s greatness by his talent, or his wealth as the world does, but rather, by what’s inside. I encourage each of us to continue on in Christ, to persevere, and to ever keep our eyes on Jesus.

May our lives make lasting footprints and a difference in the lives of others!

April 17, 2016   JANE’S HEART TO HEART    ….. PASTOR’S HELP MATE

FOX NATION 5th ANNIVERSARY CLASSICS: FLASHBACK: Paul Harvey,1965: ‘If I Were the Devil’ (Warning for a Nation)

If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would, of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about, however, necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.”   To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”.  In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . .

If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work  because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and  thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them.

If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If  I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing.

Paul Harvey, Good Day.

You’ll never be a victorious Christian until you understand your enemy, Satan, the father of lies. In his vital message, “Satan’s Four spiritual Flaws?, Dr. Rogers exposes four of Satan’s biggest lies and how each one assaults the character and nature of God. This message is a “must” for every believer.

Hebrews 12:2  (KJV)   Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

April 10, 2016,   Jane’s Heart to Heart    …Pastor’s Help Mate

On Friday,  David Jeremiah shared a story his teacher used to tell in one of his college classes.  There was a little boy who was sailing his little boat and it got out of reach.  He was pretty sad when a man came along and asked why he was crying.  Then he told the boy he would be glad to help him.   He picked up some rocks and began to throw  the rocks one at a time, at the little boat and when the little boy questioned him about throwing rocks at his boat the man told him to just wait and watch.   The man keep throwing the rocks just beyond the boat and gradually the ripples that the rocks made in the water began to push the boat closer and closer to shore.  When the little boy joyfully retrieved his little sail boat the man reminded the little boy that sometimes it looks like God is throwing rocks at you, when he really is just trying to get you back home. Sometimes God needs to send rocks our way to get us closer to him.

The News, FaceBook, Twitter and basic conversations are focused on caustic dissension and problems. Worldliness has taken the place of Godliness. It is immensely important that we as Christians began again to adorn ourselves with the doctrine of our God and Saviour. (Titus 2:10 (KJV) “Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.” (def.not stealing).

Being lovely and beautiful in our daily habits and temper, has been far too much overlooked.  People in  the world rightly complain that people who claim Christ are often worse than those who make no claims to  Christianity.

Sound Doctrine is useless if it is not accompanied by a holy life.  It is actually harmful. It is considered unreal and hollow and causes contempt.  Satan knows well the power of true holiness and the injury which true attention to it can do to his kingdom. We are therefore pleasing satan when we choose the world rather than the leading of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps all the evil around us will  stir a desire in us to search the Scriptures, pray more and become more diligent in trying to find out what “the mind of the Spirit” is. 

Galatians 2:20 (KJV) “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

I am sure you have heard the line,  “I can’t do anything without my coffee?”  What about my filling of the Holy Spirit.  Look at the Sermon on the Mount.  Mat. 5….this afternoon or look at the later Epistles of Paul. to see what the Christian’s priorities should be. With the emphasis on prayer we need to keep in mind  Psalm 37:4  “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” 

Can we truly expect an answer to prayer without the prerequisite of “Delighting in Him” more important than what big event is coming up in our lives,  where we are going on  vacation, or our next “cup of coffee”,  Help us, Lord!

“The chief danger that confronts

the coming century will be

religion without the Holy Ghost,

Christianity without Christ,

forgiveness without repentance,

salvation without regeneration,

politics without God,

heaven without hell.”

― William Booth the founder of the Salvation Army 1829-1912.

April 3, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart…  Pastor’s Help Mate”

April 3, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart…  Pastor’s Help Mate”

Romans 8:28 (KJV)

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

A Precious  Letter given to Pastor and me last Sunday.

I would like to take this time to thank you and the congregation for prayer, on my cousin George Geer’s behalf. Within a few days of being hospitalized his condition changed, from probably needing a heart transplant to an improvement that allowed open heart surgery instead.  He is home now and vowing to follow all doctor instructions to the letter.

I also need to thank you, Pastor, and the congregation of South LItchfield Baptist for kindness and warmth toward a new attendee. 

It was not easy to walk out the doors of St.  Joe Baptist, a church I returned to after years away.  A church, in which I shared a pew with my mother, sitting among neighbors.

St. Joe Baptist had a heart beat I grew to know.  I knew the patience  of Pastors’ wives with the children.  I knew the sound of Catherine’s Bible during the service, hitting the floor, when she fell asleep.  I knew that if Clare gave the final  prayer, no matter how hard we tried to hear his softly spoken words, only the “amen” would let us know he had ended. The Amen was always strong.

I knew that none of us would be mistaken for professional singers, but a joyful noise was still made.  I knew the stories of St. Joe. The Story of the man who moved the church to its current location, and when finished reduced by half the amount he had intended to charge.  My father told me the story of the member who, when he had no money, put a button in the collection plate.

I miss the heartbeat of St. Joe Baptist, but I found another church, South Litchfield Baptist.  It had a strong and welcoming rhythm with its own history and stories.  Thank you for the time I spent, sitting on another church pew and listening to the heartbeat. I have heard that God is in the details.  Thank God, He is in the heartbeat.

Thank you,     

Kolleen Geer