APRIL 2, 2017  Jane’s Heart to Heart   ….Pastor’s Help Mate

PART TWO – HELEN BARTH

Helen was on  Aunt Theresa’s KYB (Know Your Bible) Club program, which was aired every Sunday on WMBI, Helen became known to children all over the greater Chicago area as “The Singing Lady”.  Throughout her years as a gospel singer, Helen was best known for her signature song, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” and “Constantly Abiding” and “He Giveth More Grace.”

Though Helen loved to sing, she was first and foremost a loving wife to her husband and a wonderful mother to her three children. She served joyfully, for almost forty-five years, alongside her husband, first as a pastor’s wife in Dowagiac and Kalamazoo, Michigan, and also in Chicago, IL.

In 1946, at the invitation of Alfred B. Smith, she began making gospel recordings.  Her 22 LP albums, which included four children’s records, have had a worldwide ministry.  On two occasions, the National Evangelical Film Foundation bestowed Christian Oscars on Helen for having been chosen the “Best Woman Gospel Singer” and for producing the “Best Children’s Album”.

From 1950 to 1955, Helen served with her husband overseas under the auspices of Youth for Christ International as a missionary to Germany. Throughout the 1960’s and into the 1980’s, Helen and her husband served the Lord together in an itinerant evangelistic ministry.  Her lovely voice and sincere interpretation of hymns and Gospel songs caused her to be much in demand as a soloist at sacred concerts, city-wide crusades, Bible Conferences, and local churches across the United States.

In 1997, Helen and her husband moved to Bristol, IN, to be closer to their daughter and granddaughters. Three years later, at the age of 81, Helen was crowned the 2000 Senior Fair Queen at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair!  There she had the opportunity to sing, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”, on Senior Citizen’s Day.

This wonderful experience as the Elkhart County Senior Fair Queen opened the door for her to travel and sing once again throughout the Midwest, East, and as far as the southern tip of Florida, with her daughter and granddaughters.  Together they were known as “The King’s Daughters”, three generations united in heart and harmony ministering in church services, Mother-Daughter banquets, sacred and holiday concerts, as well as in retirement homes and nursing homes.  Her final concert with her family was a Christmas Concert given at the Hillcrest Baptist Church in Mishawaka, Indiana.

Helen’s beautiful voice can still be heard daily over the local BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network) station, at 89.9 on the radio dial as well as on YouTube.  Helen dearly loved her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Her highest goal in life was to bring Him glory and point others to His saving grace through her life and music.

Helen McAlerney Barth, of Bristol, IN, went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Monday, February 27, 2017, at the age of 98, at Goshen Indiana.

Indeed she did that.   Ps.100:1    Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands……

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.

PART ONE – HELEN BARTH

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

PERFECT PEACE

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.

ARE YOU TRUSTING HIM!

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.

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

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

Friday morning, I awoke at 2 AM  with vertigo. 

Since March 2016 I have dealt with vertigo which at times is just losing my balance when I look up or move quickly and there are times it is so severe that I think perhaps it is the beginning of the end. 

I praise the Lord for the nights, which are most of them, that I sleep through the night.

I sat up for a few minutes and then felt sleepy, so I went back in quietly as not to disturb my dear partner of 61 years who has been so dear to me. As soon as I lay back down I knew that I would have to get up and sit in a chair since my vertigo was causing serious nausea.

Many times for nearly a year now I have had feelings that I would not be able to continue and yet I remember that the Lord would take me home to be with him immediately if my job here on earth was finished.  I would breathe a pray for the Lord to give me the strength for each task.

I am so thankful for this past year that I have been writing my Scriptures in journals and writing the Scripture Challenges,  These times have truly drawn me closer to the Lord and I have been reminded over and over of His Great Love and the fact that He is the strength giver. 

I am thankful for the privileges he has given me to lead our dear sister Teressa to trust the Lord as her Saviour.  I am thankful for those I have been able to pray for in their time of need or given an encouraging word or shared a Scripture Challenges along the way.

I just want to thank the Lord, I want to lift my voice in praise as He has continually kept me going when I felt I could not.  I also realize that these experiences have caused me to trust Him even more.

I thank God for his forgiveness when I doubted and thought I could not go on and for the restoration and mercy, He has bestowed on me every day as he gives me new direction.

Joni Earikson Tada shared in her devotional, The Spectacle of Glory’

The faithfulness of God — not our own faithfulness — is our great Hope.”

Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV)

22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

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

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

This Thursday  in  Our Daily Bread, I was  reminded the same day that I wrote these Scriptures of the truths that the thought for the day was..”God takes our broken lives and shapes us into His new creations.” 

Noah Purifoy began his work as an “assemblage” artist with three tons of rubble salvaged from the 1965 riots in the Watts area of Los Angeles. From broken bicycle wheels and bowling balls to discarded tires and damaged TV sets—things no longer usable—he and a colleague created sculptures that conveyed a powerful message about people being treated as “throw-aways” in modern society. One journalist referred to Mr. Purifoy as “the junkyard genius.”

“God takes our broken lives and shapes us into His new creations.”

Psalm 5:7-12   (KJV)

7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.

8 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.

9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.

10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.

11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

12 For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

For over a year I have been using Scripture Challenges from

rachelwoj.com  and the this passage I just read was for the same day of February.

Take time to read the above Scripture one more time….

It truly made me realize, what a junkyard genius our Heavenly Father is.

Sometimes  we try to make ourselves believe that it is too late for a spiritual change in our lives but perhaps it is because we are trying to fix ourselves instead of surrendering to Our Wonderful Sculptor.

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.     Is. 64:8

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


As I was praying concerning my Heart to Heart this week a  dear friend on Face Book asked me this question’

When the Bible says to take up our cross and follow him, does it just mean whatever we are going through at the time, our life’s circumstances, or does it mean more?

I really like this article that  I found by Billy Graham which will be most helpful.

What did Jesus mean when he said we have to carry our cross?

Q:     What did Jesus mean when He said we have to carry a cross? I’ve heard people talk about a problem they have and say it’s a cross they have to bear, but is this what Jesus meant?

A:     No, this isn’t what He meant—although it’s not necessarily wrong to refer to some problem we are having as a “cross” we must bear. In Jesus’ day, a cross was a symbol of suffering, and we all have trials and afflictions that may be very hard for us to bear—even with God’s help.

But Jesus meant something far deeper than this when He told His disciples to carry their cross. He said to them, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). In Jesus’ day, a cross wasn’t just a symbol of pain and suffering; it was mainly a symbol of death. What Jesus was telling them is that they needed to put to death their own plans and desires, and then turn their lives over to Him and do His will every day.

You see, Jesus doesn’t simply call us to believe that He existed, or even to believe that He can save us. He calls on us to commit our whole lives to Him—to trust Him alone for our salvation, and then to follow Him as His disciples. He said, “Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).

Is Christ the master of your life? Have you put to death your own plans and committed yourself to His will for your life? Don’t be satisfied with anything less, for there is no greater joy in life than following Christ every day.

February 5, 2017 Jane’s Heart to Heart…. Pastor’s Help- Mate

 A POEM OF GOD’S GRACE

 

I did not know His love before,

 the way I know it now.

 I could not see my need for Him,

 my pride would not allow.

 

I had it all, without a care,

 the “Self-sufficient” lie.

 My path was smooth,

 my sea was still,

 not a cloud was in my sky.

 

 I thought I knew His love for me,

 I thought I’d seen His grace,

 I thought I did not need to grow,

 I thought I’d found my place.

 

But then the way

 grew rough and dark,

 the storm clouds quickly rolled;

 The waves began to rock my ship,

 I found I had no hold.

 

The ship that I had built myself

 was made of foolish pride.

 It fell apart and left me bare,

 with nowhere else to hide.

 

I had no strength or faith

 to face the trials that lay ahead,

 And so I simply spoke His name

 and bowed my weary head.

 

His loving arms enveloped me,

 and then He helped me stand.

 He said, “You still must

 face this storm, but

 I will hold your hand.”

 

So through the dark and lonely

 night He guided me through pain.

 I could not see the light of day

 or when I’d smile again.

Yet through the pain and endless

 tears, my faith began to grow.

 I could not see it at the time,

 but my light began to glow.

I saw God’s love in brand new

 light, His grace and mercy, too.

 For only when all self was gone

 could Jesus’ love shine through.

 It was not easy in the storm,

 I sometimes wondered why.

 At times I thought,

 “I can’t go on.”

 I’d hurt, and doubt, and cry.

But Jesus never left my side

 He guided me each day.

 Through pain and strife,

 through fire and flood,

 He helped me all the way.

 

And now I see as ne’er before

 how great His love can be.

 How in my weakness He is strong,

 how Jesus cares for me!

 

He worked it all out for my good,

 although the way was rough.

 He only sent what I could bear,

 and then He said, “Enough!”

 

He raised His hand and said,

 “Be still!” He made the storm

 clouds cease. He opened up the

 gates of joy and flooded

 me with peace.

I saw His face now clearer still,

 I felt His presence strong,

 I found anew His faithfulness,

 He never did me wrong.

 

And now I know more storms will

 come, but only for my good,

 For pain and tears have helped

 me grow as nothing ever could.

 

I still have so much more to

 learn as Jesus works in me;

 If in the storm I’ll love Him

 more, that’s where I want to be!

 

author unknown

from Karen Wilson – Peris CA.

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

A story from Samaritan’s Purse Updates  (January 17,  BY Kaitlyn Lahm)

It’s my nature to ask questions, but I’ve learned that it’s never the question that leaves an impact. It’s always the answer. It’s the answer that gives you a glimpse into someone’s heart. As a writer, I’m normally the one asking the questions, and I count it a privilege when someone genuinely answers them and allows me to hear their story.

Khayla*, a patient at the emergency field hospital, gave me this opportunity. She welcomed me to sit at her bedside and hear her heart. Khayla was severely injured when she tried to escape Mosul. She was knocked unconscious and has no memory of what happened. Medical staff think she was likely involved in an explosion given the deep cuts and burns that cover her face.

Emergency Field Hospital Iraq

As we wrapped up our interview, Khayla turned the tables on me. She had a request—to ask me just one question and receive an honest answer. Having no idea what question to expect, I boldly promised to be truthful.

Khayla fiercely grabbed my hand and placed it on her face—a face covered in stitches, with one eye swollen shut and dried blood circling her lips, a face bearing the physical scars of the brutality of ISIS.

With desperation in her eyes, she asked her question—“Am I still beautiful?”

My heart ached with her as I saw the pain and desperation in her eyes, but I knew the answer. I knew she was still beautiful.  She is still beautiful.

Without a doubt in my soul, I saw her beauty. I saw past the bruises, blood, and stitches, and I saw a daughter of the King. I saw a woman created in the image of God. In that moment, I caught a glimpse of how Jesus sees us. He doesn’t see our scars. He sees our beauty.

He sees us as made in His image.

He sees us as fearfully and wonderfully made.

He sees us as His beloved.

Khayla’s entire identity was hanging on the words coming out of my mouth. Her question was raw and genuine—was she still beautiful?  As I knelt at her bedside, we wept together, and I declared Scripture over her life. She is beautiful because she is created in the image of God. She is beautiful because she is fearfully and wonderfully made. She is beautiful because Christ calls her His beloved.

Khayla clung to my hands as I spoke these truths. The promises of God washed over her like water in a desert. She asked the question, but she desperately needed to hear the answer.

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psalm 139:13-14, NKJV).