Archives for June 2017

June 25, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

June 25, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

Big Changes, All Good               

Greetings Family and Friends,

1. God sold our house! In preparation for transitioning to ministry at Camp Barakel, we listed our house for sale recently and in six days had a buyer.  We wanted to list the house in the spring thinking that this was a good time to sell a house in Mount Pleasant. But as we often do, we under-estimated what God can and would do. We praise the Lord for the quick sale of the house and believe this is the Lord providing for us. We praise Him!

2. We closed the sale of the house on Thursday, June 15 and on the next day, with much help from our family and church family, we loaded almost all of our belongings into the Camp Barakel semi truck and trailer. I got to use my new CDL to drive that beast – what fun! God safely saw me to Barakel by 3 PM last Friday the 16th to unload into storage at Barakel and with many helpers, at camp, the truck was unloaded with our belongings stored in two hours! I was on the road and arrived at our new temporary home in Remus, Michigan by 8:20 PM. We were done a day early. There was rain. But not until we were done loading or unloading each time. Once again God provided, giving gracious helpers and good weather.

3. Speaking of our new temporary home. We have been enjoying another provision from God. Chippewa Hills Baptist Church in Remus, Michigan,  west of Mount Pleasant, makes their parsonage available to missionaries for the cost of utilities. They are letting us stay there as long as we need to. Another provision from God!

4. Yes, God sold our house. God provided safety and help to move and a place to store our belongings at camp. And God provided a temporary place to live and at greatly reduced cost. All of this has given us the opportunity to now begin receiving the 69% support that has already been committed to us. And because of this we believed it was time for me to tender my resignation here at First Baptist Church, Mount Pleasant, Michigan effective August 1. This we believe will allow us to devote ourselves more fully to reaching 100% of our support need. And as soon as we are fully supported we will be able to move to Barakel and begin the work there.

We hope you will praise God with us over all these blessings, big changes and new opportunities. We are praying that we can share with you soon that God is bringing more support. We are so grateful for your prayers, encouragement and for your financial support.

We also want to pray for you. If there’s anything we can take to the Lord on your behalf we would be honored to do so. We have a mighty, prayer answering God!   

When you think of them pray for the boys as Jacob and Nicholas are volunteering all summer at Barakel.

Kevin A. Pierpont,  Camp Barakel Resident Missionary Staff Appointee

June 18, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….                    Pastor’s Help Mate

National Center for Fathering associated with

Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students)

The father absence crisis in America is real. When we talk about father absence, we mention the U.S. Census Bureau’s statistic that 24 million children—one out of three—live without their dad in the home

Ninety-two percent (92%) of parents in prison are fathers.

In 2007, 52 percent of prisoners were parents. This amounts to 1.1 million absent fathers and 120,000 absent mothers—impacting 2.7 million children—within the prison system alone. That’s more prison-induced, single-parent children than three times the population of San Francisco.

More than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father.  Millions more have dads who are physically present, but emotionally absent.  If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency.

Prison Ministry

Since prison is God’s will for the offender’s life, they may rest assured He has a plan for their life after they are released or even if they are in prison for life, and it is a good plan to give them a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11)

Since prison is God’s will for the offender’s life, they may not be bitter toward anyone who played a part in their incarceration (friends, family, law enforcement, judicial, the administration of the prison or correctional officers).

The answer to this is not more prisons.  It is not locking people up and “throwing away the key.”  It is not even the death penalty, as studies have shown that even this does not effectively deter crime.  The answer is the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the demonstration of power!

Prisoners need regeneration not rehabilitation–and Jesus has commissioned His followers to reach beyond the barbed wire fences and steel bars to touch the lives of men and women bound by the shackles of sin.

The mandate for prison ministry is clear in God’s Word, both by scripture and example.

SCRIPTURE: The greatest scriptural mandate for prison ministry is given in Matthew 25:31-40.  Jesus said: `…..for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  `I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’  Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, `Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  And the King will answer and say to them, `Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'”

EXAMPLE:

Jesus Christ Himself is our example for prison ministry.  One of the main targets of Christ’s ministry was prisoners: To open blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house.  (Isaiah 42:7)

Jesus declared: “eThe spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound”. . .  (Isaiah 61:1)

Even while dying on Calvary’s cross, Jesus took time to reach out in love and concern to a prisoner.   As a result, that convicted criminal experienced God’s love, grace, and forgiveness. During the time between His death and resurrection, we are told that Jesus ” . . . went and preached to the spirits in prison” (1 Peter 3:19).

Unfortunately, despite the clear Biblical injunction and Christ’s example to minister to prisoners, many believers prefer to pass by on the other side of the street, as did the religious leaders in the parable of the Good Samaritan (see Luke 10:29-37).

June 11, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

A STRONG FAITH?

For over sixty-one years I have taught children and young people in Sunday school,  many years teaching school, working with children, parents, and people in our ministries and various jobs. These experiences have caused me to desire to study counseling for many years. But even with all the studies of all the different techniques and theories about counseling, coaching, and psychology, I always have been drawn back to the Word of God and the fact that God’s Word has the answer to every problem mankind has or will ever experience.

When I taught Sunday School I always liked to help children understand faith by using the example of sitting in a chair.  I would place a chair in the center of the room and ask for a volunteer to come to sit in the chair.   Of course, children love an opportunity to participate in things, especially if it is easy and they are confident that they can do it without embarrassment or failure.

Little Joey, who was usually the first to volunteer to help, raised his hand grinning from ear to ear, and when I nodded permission, he jumped up from his place and hurried over to the chair and plopped himself into the seat and put his little feet up on the rungs and smiled confidently.

I thanked him for helping me and motioned for him to return to his seat and I  set about to reenact for the others what this brave child, did not do.

I pointed out to the other children that Joey didn’t tip-toe over to the chair quietly, cautiously, with fear that it would snap at him, or reach out and grab at him or harm him. He did not reach out slowly to make sure that it was not hot, wet, or rough,  which might cause him to ruin his clothes or get slivers in his fingers.   Joey did not turn the chair over to see if all the screws were tight or even take hold of the chair to test it first.  He also did not keep getting up and shake or recheck the chair to make sure it would continue to hold his weight.

In a humble way, this illustration describes faith. When we believe God, and take Him at his Word and accept Him into our lives as individuals, we need to trust Him to take care of us and we need not be fearful.

Acts 16:31 says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge  him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Perhaps your faith is weak because you are not faithful. The Word of God says, “Faith without works is dead.”   James 2:14-26  Study this passage,  this week.

Little Joey, raised his hand and volunteered, because he was on familiar ground, had sat in many of the chairs and was a frequent volunteer.   What are you doing to cause you to be more involved in serving your Saviour?  Have you experienced the JOY of serving Jesus? A strong faith comes through serving.  Ask pastor for a job.

Ephesians 2:8  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

 

Faith is just believing

what God says

He will do;

He will never fail us;

His promises are true.

If we but receive Him,

His children we become;

Faith is just believing this wondrous thing is done.

 

W. B. Liggett – 1947

June 4, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

June 4, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

Holiness?   JOY!

What do you think of when you think of holiness? Perhaps joyless, uptight, quiet, or even austere.   Perhaps you might even think that a person is no fun, otherworldly or untouchable, distant and cold in manner.  Is the idea of being holy, a burden to you?

Psalm 45:7 “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

1 Peter 1:15-16 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

When you say to someone that you are praying for them, do they feel you are insinuating that you are holier than they or that you want them to be like you? 

Perhaps it is because you have experienced the joy of holiness and want them to have that same peace  and gladness in their hearts. That you too have struggled with sin and indeed you are not ‘holier than thou’, but that you have indeed experienced God’s wonderful grace (unmerited favor), something you did not deserve.

The world wants us to believe that joy can be found in indulging in impurity and staying clear of righteousness.  Quite to the contrary, the real joy comes from a deep desire and determination to stay as far from sin as you can. Sin will drag you down and steal the wonderful peace and joy that is available to you in Christ.

As a born again child of God, He wants you to enjoy the sweetness of holiness as you walk with your heavenly Father and as you enjoy His presence in your life. Rejoice in the fact that He has shown you mercy and as you submit to Him he will give you clean hands and a pure heart and a clear conscience as you stand before the Lord unashamed.

“The awesome holiness of God that put Isaiah on his face  (Is. 6) becomes the holiness of God that puts the people of God on their feet — with hands raised in joyful praise. (Isaiah 126)    We do live in holy fear, but we don’t live facedown in the temple. We fear God in a way that leads us to raise our hands in joyful praise and glad confidence.”             -Tony Reinke.    desiringgod.org 

Why do we choose guilt over JOY?    Let us stand tall and love what God loves.

Is. 35:10  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.