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.

September 24, 2017    Jane’s Heart to Heart    Pastor’s Help Mate

Scripture Memory

When I was attending Calvary Bible Church in Dowagiac MI during my Jr. and Sr High school years the teacher of the week-day Bible class which met after school one day a week, assigned myself and other teens in our youth group to write out the Scripture  memory verses and cut them in strips to hand out at the class.  Of course, she had an ulterior motive.  That motive was to help us learn the Scriptures ourselves.

While Ken was in seminary we attended Second Baptist Church in Grand Rapids where he was the Sunday School teacher of the college-age class. We had two children and near the Easter season Melony came and presented us a note from her S.S. teacher asking us to teach Melony (age 3-4)  Matthew 28: 5-6.  I was excited about teaching her the Scripture and right away began working with her and to my surprise, she learned it much faster than I ever learned Scripture in my teens.  I tried to teach her the verses with expression and her time came to say her part in the Easter program,  all dressed up in her special dress I made her for the occasion.  She stepped up to the microphone and I can still hear her little voice speaking those words. 

“Matthew 28:5-6  (KJV)

5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.   6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

I have never forgotten that Scripture to this date, and while we were learning I began to realize the huge responsibility before me to help my children and other children to memorize the Word of God while they were young.  For many years I have used Bible Memory Association and started with the ABC Memory Book

This week I was talking to Melony on the phone and she mentioned that her daughter in law, Lisa was helping her son  Skylar learn Eph. 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourself, it is a gift of God.  Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

There is nothing more important to teach our children, grandchildren and yourself then the Word of God!

https://scripturememory.com/Here are just a few of the major reasons you should memorize Scripture:

1  It grows our love for God.

2  It’s God’s command.

3  It heals and comforts.

4  It saturates our hearts with truth.

5  It offers spiritual success.

6  It equips us for spiritual warfare.

7  It fuels our witness.

Another link   http://www.fbma.net/ – There are many sites online that have great aids for memorization.

September 17, 2017    Jane’s Heart to Heart    ….Pastor’s Help Mate


Ann Graham Lutz, interviewed her mother, Ruth Bell Graham, regarding her (end of life) advice to mothers and Christian women.

She said that raising children is like training a dog…. reward them, not with food, but a pat and always encouragement. Keep the emphasis on high moral issues, truth, modesty, kindness, obedience, and purity. but not on non-moral issues; spilled milk, Immaturity, or a lack of wisdom.  Train them in the Scriptures, devotions, church, etc.  Then as they mature in their teens, listen to them and know when to turn loose, like learning to ride a bike or water skiing.  Then as they mature and become adults, college, or marriage, encourage them.

Remember, mothers, that miracles are not in our department. Leave that to the Holy Spirit. We often want our answers yesterday and we need to learn that we must give it to the Lord.  Guilt and self-doubt are a terrible burden. What I should have done or not done. Ask God to overcome mistakes and claim His promises.

John 17: 19  The Lord’s prayer in the garden before He was crucified; “And for their sakes, I sanctify myself, (set himself apart) that they might be sanctified through the truth.” We need to put the children on hold!  All God’s promises are on your side. Trust Him and run to Him and set yourself apart for His glory. Concentrate on your own holiness with God and He will take care of the rest

Ladies, Stay in the Word and pray daily….  not on your knees, but on the hoof”  talk to the Lord as you work, He is there…. all day long.  He is there whether we realize it or not….   Pick up the baton and practice that reality daily.

Malcolm Muggeridge said that he experienced the reality of good in the tough times.  She went on to share many trials that helped her spiritually.      

You take care of the possible, and trust Him for the impossible.

While you are cooking, sewing, cleaning, He is a very present help in trouble.  Hunger and thirst after righteousness. To teach children how to eat is let them see you enjoying your food. It is the same spiritually.   Show them how much you enjoy serving God and having devotions. The spiritual things are far more important than things and activities, but things with eternal value.

As a child, Ruth grew through the hardship of being separated from her parents. One of her Chinese caretakers always said, “simple kindness greases the wheel.

Prepare to pass the baton and, young ladies, today is the day to begin planning and preparing for taking the baton.   Enjoy growing old and look forward to the faithfulness of God through life’s joys and hardships.

September 10, 2017    Jane’s Heart to Heart    Pastor’s Help Mate

If I Were the Devil

If I were the Prince of Darkness I would want to engulf the whole earth in darkness.

I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree.

So I should set about, however, necessary, to take over the United States.

I would begin with a campaign of whispers.

With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whispers to you as I whispered to Eve, “Do as you please.”

To the young, I would whisper “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that “man created God,” instead of the other way around. I would confide that “what is bad is good and what is good is square.”

In the ears of the young married, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be “extreme” in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct.

And the old I would teach to pray — to say after me — “Our father which are in Washington.”

Then I’d get organized.  I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull, uninteresting.

I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies, and vice-versa.

I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing, less work. Idle hands usually work for me.

I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could, I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction, I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the Devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions; let those run wild.  I’d designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts and I’d get preachers to say, “She’s right.”

With flattery and promises of power, I would get the courts to vote against God and in favor of pornography.

Thus I would evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, then from the Houses of Congress.

Then in his own churches, I’d substitute psychology for religion and deify science.

If I were Satan I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg  And the symbol of Christmas

a bottle.

If I were the Devil I’d take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. Then my police state would force everybody back to work.

Then I would separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines and objectors in slave-labor camps.

If I were Satan I’d just keep doing what I’m doing and the whole world would go to hell as sure as the Devil.

“If I Were the Devil” is a form of social criticism, an essay that postulates what steps the devil might take in order to corrupt human civilization (and the United States in particular) and lead it down the path of darkness — before delivering the catch that all the steps listed are phenomena that are already taking place in the world today. It was written and popularized by national radio commentator and syndicated columnist Paul Harvey, who from the mid-1960s onwards featured it in both media many times over the course of his long career, periodically updating it to incorporate current trends.  The oldest genuine Paul Harvey version of this piece we’ve found so far appeared in his newspaper column in 1964:

  This is tame compared to what is happening now…


September 3, 2017    Jane’s Heart to Heart    Pastor’s Help Mate

When I taught the first grade, I would give the children an assignment to write about what they did on the weekend.  It was fun to see how children perceived things and then tried to write them in a story.   Here are some of the examples.

  •   shrawberries = strawberries
  •   mice-cream  =  ice cream
  • 4thajuli  = 4th of July   (all one word)
  •   nap kens = napkins

One little girl wrote that she had “shrawberries and mice-cream” and one of the boys wrote that he saw the 4thajuli fireworks.

When our eldest son Ken, was little he did not like naps and did everything he could to escape one.  When he would begin to tire and get a bit testy I would say, “Do you want a nap, Ken?” –meaning that would be the next step. 

While his dad was in seminary I made napkins out of scraps of fabric from the clothing I made. When we were eating I would often offer little Ken a napkin by saying, “Would you like a napkin”, and he would shake his head  and say, “No” I am a slow learner and it took me a while to realize that he thought I was asking,  “Do you want a nap, Ken?” 

Four-year-old Hudson Kenneth listens very carefully and often asks us to define words.  He heard me say, “it pays to be prepared’  and he asked, “What does ‘prepared’ mean?” While we were there he asked me what several words meant. Often children do not understand us when we are talking, but may not verbalize their confusion and misunderstanding.

When children misspell words, they don’t do it to be naughty, or funny.  They think they are right or are at least doing their best.  Kenny was not being naughty or rude about taking a napkin but all the time he thought I was asking him if he wanted a nap. Have you ever seen a little boy who wanted a nap?

Often in our day to day interactions with other Christians, we have confusion because of differences in our background or way of saying or doing things.  It is not intentional but may cause misunderstandings.  It is possible that the other person may be a younger Christian than you or vice versa and do not understand the teaching of the Word of God.

When children misspelled words, I would carefully explain that perhaps phonetically their word sounded right, but that there are rules to learn that would help them to spell correctly or I would say the word more clearly, so they could spell it right themselves. As a child grows up he must become more accountable. We would certainly be troubled if adults spelled like children because no one corrected them when they were learning. We learned last week, the importance of following the example to form letters.   Correction and instruction in the Christian life are imperative for young Christians to grow spiritually.  How does that correction come?   It comes by attending a church where the truth of the Word is taught,  by watching other believers model the way a Christian should conduct herself and by seeing their obedient walk in and away from church just as the little girl who thought she heard ‘micecream’ and younger Christians need to ask questions like Hudson, so others can know  when they don’t understand things.

Hebrews 12:6   “For those whom the Lord loves  He disciplines and He scourges every  son  whom He receives.” 

2 Timothy 3:16   “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction,  for training in righteousness.”


The week while preparing for my Heart to Heart this thought came to me…

What are my bullet points for this new year in my life?

What is really important to me?

Birthdays to me, are like a New Year. A challenge to move forward.   

I was born on August 26th, and August 28th is my Spiritual birthday.  It is the day as a small child that my sister and I accepted Christ as our personal Savior, while attending a Vacation Bible School of the Bertrand Bible Church, in Niles MI., in a huge tent meeting about a block from our house and that church had a bus ministry.  They followed up with my sister and me and began picking us up for Sunday School.

To me, it is a lot like New Years Day when folk reflect on the old year and consider changes they might want to make in their lives for the better.

I would like to think seriously about making it a special time to Challenge myself to consider, what my ‘bullet points’ are for this new phase of my life.

  • Have I won anyone to the Lord Jesus Christ since my last birthday?
  • Do I have someone in mind whom I might be able to impact for Christ in this next year of my life?
  • Do I have something in my life that I should change that would make me a better Christian example to my children, siblings, parents, other relatives, grand children, fellow believers, neighbors, co-workers? clerk in the store, teacher, etc.
  • When I consider giving gifts to others on their special days, do I give spiritual gifts such as Bibles, Devotional books, or even a prayer, written out and perhaps framed so that that person knows that you I praying for him or her?(and make sure to pray.)
  • Can I say that this Scripture is a good description of my heart for Christ and influencing others for Christ?

Please read this thoughtfully and again this week and pray the following prayer as your commitment to challenging yourself to a  sincere walk this year to make a spiritual difference in the lives of other for His Glory.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (KJV) 20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,  21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

“Father, I want to speak for You today. Bring me across the path of someone who needs to hear there is a God who loves and cares for them.  If I can’t give the whole gospel story, help me to at least point them toward Jesus, Speak through me —- through my words and my smile with Your words and Your smile.  Help me to forget about my own selfish will and desires. Today, I will I surrender to you.”   That is my prayer.

If we who read this today, are not willing to make this commitment, there will not be any growth in our circle of influence nor in our ministry here.

A special prayer.

“Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes

All my own desires and hopes

and accept Thy will for my life.

I give myself, my life, my all

Utterly to Thee to be Thine forever.

Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit

Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt

And work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost now

and forever.”

~Betty Scott Stam

On Dec. the 7th, 1934,  John and Betty Star were captured by the Chinese communists and were beheaded for the cause of Christ. They had hidden their little baby, Helen Priscilla, just 3 months old, and she was rescued and taken out of the country by Chinese friends.

Tim Sisk, Professor of Intercultural Studies at Moody Bible Institute said “We often fool ourselves into thinking that the command to make disciples across the globe can be done with little or no sacrifice,” Sisk said. “The story of the Stams reminds us that it is a war and that the evil one will oppose those who go to make Jesus known.  Their story should remind us all of the cost, but also challenge us to wholehearted obedience as the Stams modeled for us.”


While teaching in Christian schools I liked to have a high standard for each student as they began to learn to write in manuscript.  I am sure that you all remember when you first began learning to form the letters you were expected to copy several lines of the example of the new letter you were learning.   Some of the first attempts of my students to form those letters were not that great, I would praise them for those I could give praise for and not be critical of all the letters but just pick some of the last few the student had written. Because it was common as the student continued,  the letters would begin to take on a different shape. I would remind them to always copy the example letter and not their own. I would choose a  few letters and ask the student to erase one or two and make it more like the first letter they were supposed to copy with a smile to remember not to copy their own letters, but always look at the example on the chalk board or in the text book.  If there was an improvement at all I would praise them or say, “Wow, you really worked hard on this”  and then I would have them continue.  Each time I corrected their work I would raise the standard always praising where I could.  Perhaps the child formed the letter in the wrong direction or in cursive the tail would be backward.  I would show them the reason for writing a certain direction and then showed them how much smoother it would flow if they wrote it in the correct direction.

Actually, one year I taught a class of 27 first graders in a Christian School that used Bob Jones materials which taught precursive to teach the alphabet, and I had to learn along with the students, how to form the letters as illustrated on the front of the bulletin.

Even a little girl with deformed fingers came to our Christian school, and somewhere along the line, previous instructors let her use a typewriter. It is hard as an instructor to insist on high expectations when a child is handicapped, but I also told her the story of my great, great Aunt Mary who taught school without hands at all and she had beautiful penmanship.  I brought her pictures to school and a sample of her penmanship and had a devotional about how the Lord can use you if you commit yourself to Him.

After a few days of pouting and stubbornness, my disabled student gradually began to make more attempts to do better.  Even my fellow teachers were a little leery of my strong stand and firmness with Amanda,  but by the end of the year, she had very nice handwriting. The pastor of our church school would see her running around on the playground on her heals and he would tell her that she was going to ruin her shoes. Ken was the principal at that time and he kindly took the pastor aside and explained that she had no toes – she had to use her heels!

When it came time for the Christmas program practice I approached her about doing the part of a rag doll in the Christmas program.  She looked just like a rag doll with footies on and just heels.   She did a beautiful job and sang a beautiful solo in the program.  By the end of the year, her parents and grand parents came to me and thanked me for the strong stand I took to help her succeed.

I believe that children need to be challenged and so do adults who are children in Christ. That is why I want to challenge you, ladies, to become more aggressive in evangelism, and outreach for this community.  Do you invite others to church or offer to bring them?  Have you ever led a person to Christ as their Saviour?  Challenge yourself to do what you know God wants you to do. We can all do better.


Prayer Needed

This article was posted by Franklin Graham on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017,   as reported by  Africanews.com.

Thirty-four adults and children were killed in a horrific bus crash on their way to a church service in Madagascar a few days ago.There are reports of entire families being lost in the carnage. Samaritan’s Purse has worked in this country for many years. We just heard yesterday that 8 of those killed were local volunteer teachers in our Operation Christmas Child The Greatest Journey discipleship program and 12 were children who had just recently graduated from the program. I’m thankful they knew the Savior and are now in His presence. Would you join us in praying for those who are grieving their loved ones and for the many injured?

“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Prayer Reminders:

·   Praise God for the 16 countries that have received shoe boxes and volunteer teams

    who are now working hard at Outreach Events to share the Good News with over

    1.65 million children.

·   Pray for the over 9.47 million shoe boxes still en route on ships to children in 49


·   Pray for tax exemption of shoeboxes in ten countries.

·   Pray for customs clearance of sea containers filled with shoe box Gospel                   

    Opportunities in three countries.

·   Praise God for the miraculous tax exemption received for over 152,000 shoebox

    gifts in Tanzania.

 –  Operation Christmas Child-

Donate $9 online and receive a tracking label to Follow Your Box and discover the destination of your shoebox gift.

Most recommended items to pack in your Operation Christmas Child shoebox:

  • school supplies – chalkboards with chalk, pencils, scissors
  • toys – soccer ball with pump, dolls
  • make-your-own crafts – add your personal touch
  • non-liquid hygiene items – bar soap, toothbrush
  • clothing accessories – tops, shoes, socks, hair bows, gloves, scarves
  • a personal note from your family – if you include your name and address it’s possible that the child could write you back!

Items that should not be included in your shoebox:

  • Candy
  • toothpaste;
  • used or damaged items;
  • war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures
  • chocolate or food; fruit rolls or other fruit snacks; drink mixes (powdered or liquid) liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins
  • breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

This year, National Collection Week will be November 13–20

August 6, 2017      Jane’s Heart to Heart    Pastor’s Help Mate

Pastor’s Pen—by Wayne Muri, was the interim pastor at Cambria Baptist.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

“Complaining? About What?”

Here’s a humorous essay by someone complaining about all the complaining…

When I was a kid, we had a rotary phone. You had to stand next to it and manually dial. You know how primitive that was? You were making sparks. And you would hate the people who had zeroes in their number because it took so much longer. And then if you called and they weren’t home, the phone would just ring lonely by itself.

If you wanted money you had to go in the bank—and it was open for like three hours, and you’d stand in line and write a check. And then if you ran out of money, you’d just say, “Well, that’s it until payday.”

Now we live in an amazing world, and it’s wasted on a generation that doesn’t care. They’ve got this incredible iPhone that does more than a whole room of computers used to do, and they gripe, “why is the connection so slow?” Give it a second! It’s going to space. Will you give it a second to get back from space? Is the speed of light too slow for you?

I was on an airplane, and there was high-speed internet. They announced, “Open up your laptop, you can go on the internet.” I mean, how amazing is that. And then the thing malfunctions, they apologize that the internet’s not working right now and the guy next to me says, “Man, this really stinks.” He’s totally bummed about not being able to do something he never knew existed until ten seconds ago. People come back from flights and it’s always a horror story. “It was the worst day of my life. We have to wait over twenty minutes to board. Then we sat on the runway for another forty minutes. It was awful.” And I ask, “O, really, and what happened next? Did you fly through the air like a bird in an object the size of an apartment building? Did you partake in the miracle of human flight?” Everybody on every plane should be screaming, “WOW! We’re flying. We’re sitting in chairs up in the sky! People say there are “delays” on flights. Really? New York to California in five hours! It used to take three years to do that, and a bunch of people would die on the way.

Try to make it through the day today without whining, murmuring, complaining, or griping. Jesus never did any of that and neither should you. Be thankful instead.

Pastor Wayne

The morning evotion is a ministry

of Lakeshore Baptist Church, Grand Haven, Michigan

Philippians 2:14-16 (NKJV)  “14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”

July 30, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate


By Nathan Shipley Pierpont, copyright 1993

“I started writing this on Wednesday, the day after Elisabeth was born and managed to finish by Sunday in time for her first church service.Those of you who have experienced it know what I felt when I discovered the most natural love in the world, the love of your own child.”

Lissy’s Song

Look into those eyes, touch those tiny hands.

Her precious smile can lift a weight more than her daddy can.

As I hold her in my arms at night  and stand to pace the floor,

I look outside with tear-stained eyes and thank my gracious Lord.

“Sweetheart, Why are you crying?” I asked my wife to say.

It seemed so strange to see her tears on our little girl’s second day.

But she looked up with a smile and wiped the teardrops from her eyes,

And said, “The only tears I’ve shed today have been sacred tears of joy.

“I don’t know how to explain it.” my brother said one day,

“The feeling I get when I see them smile or sit and watch them play.

Or when daddy comes through the door at and night,

To hear them laugh and scream with delight,

I guess you”ll have to find out for yourself.”

They always said, there is nothing like it, now I know it’s true.

The sound of your sigh, the smell of your blanket, your heartwarming coo.

They always said there is nothing like it, now I know it’s true.

I could not see how I could love you much more than I do.

Oh, she’s Daddy’s girl, and Momma’s pride and joy.

Yet, sometimes I find I take the time to pray for someone’s little boy.

‘Cause it may be that God can see somewhere in this world

A little boy who will someday come and take the hand of Daddy’s little girl.

So guide his feet and save his soul, and protect him from this wicked world.

’Til the day he comes and wins the heart of Daddy’s little girl.


And I look up in the sky at night and thank the Father of all that’s right

‘Cause Jesus heard your daddy’s prayer and gave me one like you

Jesus heard Mom and Daddy’s prayers and gave us one like you.