Archives for March 2017

March 26, 2017  Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help Mate

I would like to share today about this dear pastor’s wife, Helen Barth, who influenced my life and was used ultimately, as an instrument,  to win my parents to Christ.


When I was just a young child my sister and I attended the Calvary Bible Church in Dowagiac, MI.  I vaguely recall attending a children’s weekday Bible club that Rev. Reinhold Barth and his wife Helen, (who started the church) were conducting.

When my parents moved to Indiana my sister and I attended a VBS sponsored by the Bertrand Bible Church in Niles, MI. They met in a huge tent just in sight of our home on the Indiana State Line. This was where we came to know Christ as our personal Saviour. During the time we lived there my parents divorced and my mother took us to live again in Dowagiac. There at Calvary Bible Church,  my mother and dad got right with the LORD, there I was baptized and there, Ken and I were married.

Helen Lillian McAlerney,  was born on November 3, 1918, in Moline, Illinois and On May 20, 1944,  she married Rev. Reinhold Alexander Barth, at Moody Church, in Chicago, IL, with over 1,750 guests in attendance.

She is survived by,  3 children, including 2 sons, Dr. Timothy (Bona) Barth, of Ann Arbor, MI, and Stephen Marc, of Atlanta, Georgia; one daughter Sharon Schaubert, and three grandchildren of Bristol.

From Helen’s earliest memories, she loved to sing as a preschooler, and often sang along with the old family Victrola. Helen Barth started her musical career as a Blues singer in a dance orchestra, providing entertainment in minstrel shows through the YWCA. During those years her chief passion was working with children who aimlessly wandered the city streets.  In her free time, she would teach them Bible stories, sing songs with them, and provide them with craft activities. Desiring to go full time with the YWCA, went to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL, where she became a Christian Education student in1939. During freshmen orientation, she heard young ladies share their testimonies of how they had come to know Christ as their personal Savior. God spoke to her heart through their vibrant testimonies and, for the first time, she realized the weight of her own sin and her need to know Christ’s forgiveness and cleansing.  A few nights later, she knelt by her bed, confessed her sin and, by grace through faith, received Christ as her personal Savior.

She said, ”The Lord gave me a new song; a song of peace and praise.” From that time on, she devoted her mellow contralto voice to communicate the Gospel of Christ through sacred song, a ministry which on six occasions took her to many European countries, as well as coast to coast in the United States and Canada.

While at Moody Bible Institute, she sang with an ensemble over WMBI, their Flagship station, and was later asked to join WMBI as a staff soloist. She continued following her graduation from Moody in 1942. All of the programs were broadcast live and Helen had several 15-minute solo-time programs, as did  George Beverly Shea, also sang songs by request on the Shut-In Hour and the Birthday Hour.      (to be cont.)

March 19, 2017 Jane’s Heart to Heart …Pastor’s Help Mate

March 19, 2017  Jane’s Heart to Heart   

Our son Ken posted this quote on his FaceBook a few weeks ago.

“Spending this quiet evening with an old friend, Fred Craddock.”

I was curious who that was and did a google search on my computer.  Fred Craddock was Bandy Distinguished Professor of Preaching and New Testament Emeritus in the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He was an ordained minister of the Christian Church from rural Tennessee. Disciples of Christ. Fred  Craddock, was called a ‘preaching genius’, He died at 86 in 2015.  He had a way of saying the most profound things like this nugget:

“I know I need to be scolded. I need to be corrected. I need to be instructed and exhorted and I need to be called to repentance. But I also need for you, the preacher, to take me by the hand and let me walk off the size of my inheritance as a child of God. I need every now and then to run my fingers through the unsearchable riches of the treasury of God’s grace, sing the doxology, and go home.”

I know personally, that I love to be in church. I don’t like to look at the clock or think about the time. I like to apply the words of the songs to myself.  I love the fellowship of my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ.  I love to hear the Word of God preached.  I love to pray for the pastor and the musicians and the congregation for the filling of the Holy Spirit during the service.

But on the other hand, I also do not want to be guilty of just being a sponge. Let me ask you, Are you doing your part to make it possible for someone else to be in the service?  Have you offered to bring them to church and take them out to lunch after church? Are you thinking or praying for someone that you know needs to be in church?  Have you ever prayed during the service  that someone will put their trust in Christ or perhaps someone will renew their walk with Christ?  Would you come forward with them?   What do you do each week to pray, invite, or encourage others to come to Christ?

This is the real reason we need to be in church.  Not just to soak it in, but to share it with others who need Christ in their lives.

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

March 12, 2017  Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help Mate


Devotional by Tom Simcox of “Friends of Israel Today”,  February 22, 2017

I’ve heard the word peace since I was a child. I grew up in the 1960s and ’70s, and the desire for peace figured prominently into the psyche of that generation. Peace symbols were everywhere: on pants, jackets, signs, and posters, to name a few. Even song lyrics and television commercials spoke of peace.

Yet, like today, there was little peace in the world. There were riots on our college campuses, demonstrations at our nation’s capital; racial tension plagued America. Many prominent political and social leaders were murdered. Sounds like today. Our world desperately craved peace, begged for it, and sang about it. But what everyone claimed to desire the most is still noticeably absent from the world—and from most lives.

The prophet Isaiah lived in the late eighth century BC, before the birth of Jesus. His message was true when he recorded it; it was true in the ’60s; and it is still powerful and true today: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you” (Isa. 26:3).

The Hebrew word for “peace” here is shalom. It is the traditional greeting for hello and goodbye in Israel. The Lord, the God of Israel, is telling the world peace can only come from one source: Him. “You [God] will keep him [anyone who trusts in the Lord through a personal relationship with Him] in perfect peace.” How does such peace occur? If our minds are “stayed on” Him (completely resting and firmly trusting the Lord, without reservation). We obtain peace by focusing on the Lord.

The world is looking for peace, but it’s looking in all the wrong places. What we need is simply to turn toward the one true God and to trust in Him, as small children trust their parents.

When my youngest daughter was a toddler, she would often greet me as I walked in the door, shouting, “Daddy!” Then she’d jump off the stairs into my arms, fully expecting I would catch her. She trusted that her daddy would not drop her or let her get hurt.

As adults, we take a seat without questioning if the chair will hold us. It’s a chair; it’s designed to hold people. So we sit. We trust the chair. We need to trust in the Lord with our hopes, our dreams, our families, our future, our lives. Only then will we have shalom, the peace we so desperately long for.


March 5, 2017  Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help Mate

March 5, 2017  Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help Mate

The other day while I was surfing through FB I saw a familiar name which I had not seen or heard of for over 28 years…. Hockenberry is not really that common. So I clicked on that name so that I could look at the names of her friends hoping to see the name I was thinking of.  Sure enough, there it was, Carrie Hockenberry.

When we were ministering at the Maple Grove Bible Church in  Marshall and renting a  house on Exchange Street. Ken was the pastor, and working in the Christian school and I had a small ad in the local shopper and was taking in sewing and alterations.

Ken’s mother was struggling with serious health issues and we prayed much about how we could help her from Michigan.  We made the decision for me to go and stay with her and help her where she lived in a small assisted-living village.   So I would go stay with her when she had surgery and Ken continued at the church.  Every few weeks he would come and I would be in Marshall for a week or two and then I would go to be with Mother in Newark.

After a while, I realized that I could also run an ad in Newark and take sewing there while helping Mother Pierpont.  So when I was in Newark, Ken would take the number of people who called about sewing and I would return their call and arrange to do their sewing. While I was in Marshall, Mother would answer the phone for my ad while I was away and I would call them and arrange appointments with them. I even managed to make dresses for a wedding party while running back and forth.

While with Mother, we attended the Newark Baptist Temple and just two weeks before school opening in the fall they asked for prayer about their need for two teachers for grades one and six. Immediately I thought if Ken and I could do that we could move to Newark and help Mother.   To make a long story short we were hired, Ken resigned from Maple Grove and we rented a house with Mother in Heath, near the school.  I had twenty-seven children in my first-grade class and loved every minute of it.  After a few months, Ken also accepted a call to pastor the Maple Ave Christian Union Church there in his hometown of Newark. It was amazing how the Lord was providing for us and for Mother’s needs.

One morning, during the devotions with my class, fourteen children responded to my invitation to receive Christ as their personal Saviour.

Carrie Hockenberry was one of the students, who at Christmas, time gave me a cute little basket that she and her mother had made for me.  It had little lambs painted on the side.  I  put her name and date on the bottom and have used it for many years. As I do with ornaments on our tree, I have the practice of breathing a prayer for each gift giver, that Christ will be glorified in their lives. She studied at the Nazarene College, in Mt. Vernon, OH.  and is married with two children and is a school teacher at Licking Valley Schools there.

Praise the Lord. This is such a JOY to my Heart.

Jeremiah 29:11 11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.