Archives for October 2017

October 29, 2017 Jane’s Heart to Heart  …Pastor’s Help-Mate


When Pastor and I first came to Litchfield his job was at the Friendship Village.  The job title was “Sitter”  which was an interesting description of the fact that we were to answer the Alert phones when a resident pressed the alert button on the necklace which was issued for use in an emergency.   When the phone rang in our apartment it was our responsibility to determine if that resident needed our help or needed an ambulance.  Often all Pastor needed to do was go the apartment using the entrance key and go in.  Sometimes they only needed assistance getting up off the floor. One of our first calls was a dear lady who tried to get out of her recliner and slipped on to the footrest and was not able to get up.    Other calls were more serious which needed medical attention. Part of the time we were there I helped in the office answering the phone.  Other things we did was volunteer to help with the commodity program, help out if they had a special dinner or event for special holidays.

I decided to start a ladies Bible study and Jenny Caldwell  was one of the first ladies to come.  She brought her Bible and  always had requests for loved ones and friends and offered to pray.  When she learned that I took sewing she would ask me to alter things for her and one day she admired a crocheted table-cloth which I had and hired me to make one for her so that it would match her couch.  She also enjoyed it when I would have a special time of devotions in the Word with her.

When Jenny realized the Pastor was preaching for other pastors for their vacation, sickness, or other events, she asked me if he would preach at her church since  they did not have a pastor. He gave her his business card for to give to the leaders.   This eventually led to our ministry here for over seven years. Praise the Lord.

She loved to go to the Gordon’s home where we had Sunday evening Bible Studies and a snack afterward.  She loved the fellowship and the meal and always brought a special dish. She often struggled with digestive problems and would be careful about what she ate but would still sometimes become ill on the way home.  She often rode with us and loved to be in church and Pastor often brought her even after we moved to the parsonage and always appreciated it when we called on her.

A few years ago  we were coming through Litchfield and decided to stop and see Jenny.   We would often ring the bell and open the door carefully to save her having to come to the door.  I opened the door and looked in  and she had fallen on the floor and was not able to get up…. The Lord  sent us.     

Not long ago when we talked on the phone she was excited to tell me of things Scott had shared with her about a preacher whose ministry he followed.  That was  such a blessing to her. 

This dear lady has suffered a lot with much sickness and  difficulties, but she always seemed to be able to bounce back and be cheery.  In spite of her illnesses she was so strong that when we went to her home or she came to church when I would greet her she would give me such a tight hug that I always had a hard time to stay upright even the last time  we greeted on October the 1st

Consider it a great joy, my brothers,

whenever you experience various trials,

knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

But endurance must do its complete work,

so that you may be mature and complete,

lacking nothing.


October 22, 2017 Jane’s Heart to Heart  …Pastor’s Help-Mate


LUNCH HOUR IN UTICA, OHIO                                By Kenneth L. Pierpont, © 2002

If my life were a movie I would fast-forward though Junior High. My Junior High years were painful. Like every Junior High kid I was dealing with awakening sexuality, and struggling with who I was and how I would make my mark in life. But I was sure I was alone with these strange feelings.

I was trying and failing in a number of things. I wanted to excel in athletics but was not quite sure how.  I wasn’t academic enough to spell academic  I remember suffering the rejection of most of my peers, being cut from the basketball team, failing to play football that I so wanted to play. It was a time of questioning how girls saw me and wanting so much to be loved and accepted. To be loved and accepted seemed to me at the time something I could never in all my life achieve.

During that time I would go through the cafeteria line and eat alone feeling unloved and unnoticed. As spring came one day I was starting out the door and complaining that I had no one to eat with. Mom said to me; “If you want you can come home for lunch.” That day when lunch came it was a beautiful spring day in the hills of central Ohio. The bell rang at noon and I bolted from the school and ran across the little village home to eat. I wondered if my mom would remember. When I got there mom was getting a little chicken pot pie out of the oven for me. It was a very humble lunch. It was just one of those four-for-a-dollar pot pies with little diced pieces of chicken, frozen peas and carrots, in some chicken gravy.  Mom set a cloth napkin beside my plate at the end of the table just beneath the window. I sat at our humble kitchen table in our tiny white rented home on Maple Street in Utica. Mom listened to me while I talked about whatever was on my mind. In about 15 minutes my time was up and I ran back to school.

That was in about 1972, thirty years ago. My mom was in her early thirties. She seemed so old to me then and thirty-year-olds seem like children to me now. She sat across the table for about 15 minutes and looked at me and listened to me and three decades later I remember those times with fondness. She just paid attention to me. It’s a powerful thing to pay attention to people.  Home is a place where you don’t have to sit alone and eat. Home is a place where people don’t ignore you and avoid you.

Home is a place where it doesn’t really matter that much what’s on the menu, simple things are sweet to the taste in an atmosphere of love and security and acceptance. Moms are people who listen to you when no one else is interested. And Moms don’t ever think the small mundane things you do don’t matter. Moms don’t laugh at your dreams. Good moms pay attention. Great moms fix you something warm to eat and pay attention.

I’m not sure what was happening at the time but I know those little chicken pot pies were not worthy of a sprint across town. With the clarity of vision that the years bring, I now know that I needed a friendly place of warm acceptance for a few minutes a day. I didn’t need my stomach filled as much as I needed my emotional fuel tank refilled. And refueling an emotional fuel tank is a good mother’s specialty.

Oct. 15, 2017 Jane’s Heart to Heart Pastor’s Help-Mate

This is Jon Swanson’s “300 Words” from Oct. 12, 2017  (our Tom Kies’ SiL)



“I help people figure out the next step and how to take it. That’s a way to describe what I do as a chaplain. It’s a way to describe how I approach a couple kinds of consulting I do.

On Wednesday afternoon, I presented the final report in a project completed by the Arbor Research Group. It’s a project that reminded me how much we need each other to accomplish the work that we have in front of you.

Terry Linhart (PhD, Purdue University) is an author, speaker, consultant, and professor of Christian ministries at Bethel College in South Bend, Indiana. He is founder and leader of the Arbor Research Group and hosts the leadership podcast.

On this project Arbor had people with expertise in statistics, Human Resources, focus groups, editing, leadership, and writing. We had people who could fill in after catastrophe, people working around the world, people with strong minds and deep hearts. Our team offered challenge and encouragement and affirmation to each other.

And none of us could have done this project alone. I discovered that in the middle when I needed clarity and courage and the skills of the rest of the team. They were ready and expecting to do the parts they were equipped to do.”

“When Paul talks about the body of Christ having different gifts and different capacities and different needs, he’s not trying to create a metaphor. He’s talking about survival. We are invited by Jesus to love each other. We are invited by Jesus to feed people who are hungry and to clothe people who are naked and to give shelter to the homeless.

When we try to figure it all out on our own, we inevitably complicate because we are each massively incompetent about everything we aren’t massively competent in. But when I ask you for help and you ask me for help, we can help. Just like it took four friends to lower a fifth friend in front of Jesus. Compassion plus eye-hand coordination times four got a man healed.

We don’t need each other to feel better.  We need each other.”

This article was a helpful reminder to me this week.  How about you.

I Cor. 12:

5.  If the foot shall say,

Because I am not the hand,

I am not of the body;

is it therefore not of the body? …

26. And whether one member suffer,

all the members suffer with it; 

or one member be honoured,

all the members rejoice with it. 

27.  Now ye are the body of Christ,

and members in particular.

CHILD’S  LAMB STOOL   – Crocheted


This is a new project to ad to the Lamb family…

This lamb is named Ben Tson  –  Hebrew word for ‘a young lamb of the flock’.

Especially designed for our grand daughter Elisabeth who will join Ty Perry In marriage  this Saturday….  Oct. 14, 2017 .

Grandpa often tease about our Lamb Arnie   Greek for  little lamb  or Arnion.  when ever we have a little disagreement we say, “Arnie, did it.”

Now Ty and Lissy can say, ” Bentson did it.”

Bentson has Ty and Lissy’s birthstones on his colar…

We also have a story to go with the Lamb to read to any future children…


My earliest memories of Rural Bible Mission were when my family became members of the Dowagiac, MI Bible Church. Uncle Bob (Duane Jacobs), directed our VBS and also drove the bus that took our youth to Gull Lake Christian Youth Training Camp each summer.

Rev. K. Duane JACOBS, age 84, of Vicksburg, died April 13, 1999 Duane was born near Jones on November 10, 1914. He graduated from Three Rivers High School and attended Denver Bible Institute. He joined the Rural Bible Mission, Kalamazoo in 1940 and began his ministry in Calhoun County. He moved back to Cass and St. Joseph Counties in 1949. Affectionately known as “Uncle Duane”, he ministered to children until his retirement in 1979, then served as SW area Director until 1983. During that time he also served as Pastor of several ministries.

While Ken and I ministered at the Bedford MI, Bible Church we established a Christian school and “Uncle Al” Ross came and spoke at our chapel services once a month…  Al Ross  served as the Branch/Calhoun Co./W. Jackson Co..W. Area Director.

When Ken and I moved to the ministry of Jonesville Baptist Church in 1994  Uncle Paul” Spotts brought the bus from the Jonesville Elementary School and  there were 65 children in the first class. Over the years we worked along side of Paul wherever we could and his classes grew to well  over 200.  He is now the Director of Field Development & Missionary Recruitment.  Often when Pastor and I would go shopping boys and girls would point us out to their parents, saying, “Look, that’s my Pastor” …

though many came only once a month to Release Time Classes.

South Litchfield Baptist Church has supported Uncle Matt, Studer, who took Paul Spotts’ position, and now today we are just getting acquainted with the Rodifer family and we welcome you and pray for God’s blessings as you continue to raise your support.

My sister and I trusted Christ in 1946, at the Vacation Bible School of the Bertrand Bible Church, in Niles, MI.  The bus ministry  and the Sunday school teachers of that church, and  when we moved near  Dowagiac Bible Church, played an important roll in our hurting family.  Because of my sister and my prayers, my parents and brother were saved  and grew  in the Lord. RBM Ministries  impacted my life to the point that after I married and began to have a family, I had back yard Bible Clubs  weekly.

I started a subscription to Child Evangelism Magazine ( 30 + years) and used their center fold visual aids  and instructions for teachers , for many years as my training. I also used Teacher Swap Shop /Sacred Literature Ministries , a free resource that was a great help to me.   I began teaching my own children and as many neighborhood children as we could round up.  My key purpose was to teach my own children to win others to Christ and realize the importance of evangelism.

RBM Ministries also gives children who already know the Lord a chance to learn evangelism by inviting their class mates who would otherwise never learn of the Word of God.

October 1, 2017    Jane’s Heart to Heart    ….Pastor’s Help Mate

This article was posted on FaceBook September 28, 2017, on Touching Lives  by Pastor James Merritt on his:

Morning Inspiration with Pastor Merritt

I have two brothers that I love dearly and we really do have the kind of relationship that brothers ought to have. However, of the three of us, the brother that is the most different is the middle brother, Mike. If you don’t know Mike he sits on the front row of our services every Sunday morning at 9:30 am. Mike is hearing impaired, but he wasn’t born that way.

When he was just a baby he developed a fever that went so high that it cooked the nerves in his ears and left him almost 100% deaf and somewhat mentally disabled. My mom and dad sacrificed an unbelievable amount of money and material things taking him to schools from Georgia to Florida so he could learn first to speak in sign language and then learn to talk.

Because of those disabilities, his brothers have had opportunities he hasn’t. His brothers have been able to do things he can’t. Doors have been opened to us that won’t be open to him. Physically and mentally we have advantages he doesn’t.

What amazes me about my brother is not what he has not been able to accomplish, but what He has. He could have easily said, “Life hasn’t been fair to me” and made a strong case. He could have moaned and complained when he looked at his healthy brothers and then looked at himself and simply said, “What happened to me was just plain wrong!”

Yet, all of my life my older brother has been a hero to me. He has never dwelt on what went wrong. He has always focused on what has gone right. He has never complained about what he can’t do, but he has always concentrated on what he could do.

There is a reason for that. All of his life he somehow managed to look for the right behind the wrong. My brother has taken some of the toughest shots life can deal out, but he is still standing.

Share this with a friend. Give them the gift of God’s inspiration.