Archives for July 2016

July 31,  2016   Melony’s Blog   …Preacher’s Helper

Article by our Daughter Melony Evans

“Little children, keep yourself from idols. “

This was the verse that kept playing in my head. It started earlier this week while we were on vacation.

Maybe the primitive living conditions of camping in the wild had gotten my attention. Whatever it was I wanted to know more about this verse. I took some time to read the other verses of this passage to help get a clearer picture of what God’s Word was presenting.

I was surprised to find this verse was at the very close of the chapter. It is the finale of  the book of 1 John.

For me, this verse was a warning, even a rebuke. It was saying to me, “Keep idols, keep the junk out of your life.”

An idol is anything that I am absorbed with. Whatever I spend my money on. Whatever consumers my thinking.

I need to focus instead on the One who is to be my all in all. I need to rip away all the things that I think about more than Him. I need to turn away from all the things I give myself to, dream about, worship more than Him. My other focus needs to be the lost and hurting people who are all around me. I dare not turn away!

Earlier in the book of 1 John there are repetitive directives about what real love is.  Real love for God is keeping His commandments. Real love is not a burden when it comes to obeying God’s commandments. We do not obey Him out of fear but because we truly love Him. Real believers really love. Real lovers of Jesus love others. The measure of our love for Him can be measured by the love we have for others.

Verses 16 & 17 of chapter 3 says, “By this we know love, that He laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide on him?”

Scary stuff. Am I really so connected to my Saviour that I can give up my life, my health, my happiness, my stuff, my time, my comfort for my brother who has a need? Do I really love Him? Or do I spend my life stockpiling goodies that I can enjoy with my children and closest friends?

My prayer is that God will be able to change my selfish heart. I pray that God’s Holy Spirit will take away all my foolish pretense and give me a hunger and thirst for a life that is free to follow God, free to give away what I hold dear, free to get to know those around me, free to lay down all the idols and be all I can be; be like Jesus.

July 17, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help Mate

Ruth Bell Graham….  says, in the preface of her book, “Sitting By My Laughing Fire”, that the poems in this book could well be termed the footprints of a pilgrim.

Ruth said, “I am, obviously, not a true poet and these poems were never written for publication.

However, I have always loved poetry.  As a child in China, I used to practice my piano scales while reciting, “Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight.” by Rose Hartwick Thorpe (1850–1939). http://www.bartleby.com/360/2/227.html

Her missionary father would often read to them after his hospital rounds, from Scott’s “The Lady of the Lake”.”

“China is  veritably  a country of graves…”   — Ruth read from an old book on China.Then she penned these words. A beautiful rendition is available on Utube that you might enjoy viewing.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoPNPE8fkn4

Think of this Scripture as you listen to this poem…

” For the wages of sin is death,

but the gift of God is eternal life,

through Jesus Christ, our LORD.”

Romans 6:23

Look o’er the fields about you—

riveted, hilled with graves;

no one can count the number

of those who perished as slaves;

slaves to the sin they were born in,

knowing not God or His Light;

died without God’s great salvation,

died in the darkness of night.

Look o’er the people about you—

faces so furrowed with care,

lined and hardened by sorrow

sin has placed on them there;

think of the evil they live in,

hopes none and joys so few;

love them, pray for them, win them,

lest they should perish, too.

I, personally, am deeply troubled about the community surrounding Litchfield and often ask myself —    Are we as a church truly making a difference.  Are we busily shaking our heads at their lost condition, rather than praying and asking God to show us how to help them in their lost condition?

A song I love to sing….

The Peace Prayer …. by Saint Francis’s

http://www.shrinesf.org/franciscan-prayer.html

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is error, the truth;

Where there is doubt, the faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled, as to console;

To be understood, as to understand;

To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

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

A PSALM OF SWEET PEACE

Psalm 4 (KJV) has been a balm to me this past week….

1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah. [Definitions: leasing: lies or falsehood.  Selah:  a word that escapes a clear definition… but perhaps is like a break in the music or Psalms…  A musical term… indicating a pause. or an Amen.]

3 But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear  when I call unto him.

4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.

6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.

7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.

8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

This first verse of this Psalm is like singing a song of God’s faithfulness to us,  in hearing as we call out to HIM for rest and mercy in our times of trouble.

If you are like me, in the past year, I have had to call out to the Lord,  many times, when our dear loved ones have gone on ahead of us.

The Second: the word ‘leasing’  refers to falsehood, vanity or folly;  a reminder of how we hang on to things we cannot keep: material things and personal relationships and things we idolize above our relationship with Christ alone.

The Third:  We who are  Godly are set apart unto Him and He hears our prayers.

The Fourth and Fifth:  Remind us not to tremble or sin by not Trusting His wisdom.

The Sixth and Seventh::  When many of us question His judgment and fear for our future and then remind the Lord of our JOY when we prosper.

The Eighth: And at last we can say to the Lord, I will trust in you and be able to lie down and sleep. 

  Ah! Yes, Lord, You alone give us PEACE….

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

A PRAYER FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY

God bless America

And keep us safe and free,

Safe from “all our enemies”

Wherever they may be.

For enemies are forces

That often dwell within,

Things that seem so harmless

Become a major sin.

Little acts of selfishness

Grow into lust and greed,

And make the love of power

Our idol and our creed.

For all our wealth and progress

Are as worthless as can be,

Without the faith that made us great

And kept our nation free.

And while it’s hard to understand

The complexities of war,

Each one of us must realize

That we are fighting for

The principles of freedom

And the decency of man,

But all of this much be achieved

According to God’s plan.

And teach us So help us as Americans

To search deep down inside,

And discover if the things we do

Are always justified. to walk humbly

And closer in Thy ways,

And give us faith and courage

And put purpose in our days.

And make each one of us aware

That each must do his part,

For in the individual is where peace

Must have its start.

For a better world to live in

Where all are safe and free,

Must start with faith and hope

And love deep in the heart of “Me.”

~ Helen Steiner Rice ~

If my people, which are called by my name,

shall humble themselves,

and pray, and seek my face,

and turn from their wicked ways;

then will I hear from heaven,

and will forgive their sin,

and will heal their land.

II Chor. 7:14

SCRIPTURE WRITING TOOLS

SCRIPTURE WRITING TOOLS

Ideas for writing the Scriptures….

This year of 2016 I decided to write Scriptures…. even in Nov. of 2015 I began writing in a journal the suggested Thanksgiving 30 Day Scriptures Writing Plan.   and then the Christmas Plan .

Then after writing those, I decided to begin in January 2016  Writing Scripture as part of my daily Bible reading Plan.

I was also directed by a friend to try Journibles which I truly loved but decided on my budget that I would just purchase a quantity of composition books on sale for 50 cents each.

Along with writing, I also tried a bit of calligraphy and art but with my tremor that did not work out..

In March I developed a serious bout with Vertigo and I have had to reduce my writing to about 6-10 Scriptures a day.  Yet, I still enjoy this exercise in the Word so much.

My vertigo has made it hard for me to find my place and today I made a template, to frame the verse to make it easier to focus on the verse I am writing.

THY WORD HAVE I HIS IN MY HEART THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST THEE.

PSALM 199:11