December 3, 2017    …JANE’S HEART TO HEART

December 3, 2017 …JANE’S HEART TO HEART

My Mother’s Ceramic Tree, a Gift of Love.

WHAT IS CHRISTMAS GIVING?   

(Christ – Birth Giving)   

Christ was Born to Die for the  Love of the World!

Real  giving is not:

  • wrapped in lovely paper with beautiful ribbons and a name tag.
  • is not just for special occasions like birthday, wedding, shower, graduation, or Christmas.
  • is not out of obligation or because we will get something in return.
  • about the cost or value of time spent, the labor of hands or great sacrifice.
  • nor to expect a  return gift of equal value.
  • to prevent feeling guilty.

Giving is a privilege and honor to express our love for the Lord by showing love for others as we are directed in the Word of God.

Proverbs 22:9 ESV Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.

Deuteronomy 15:10 ESV    You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.

Hebrews 13:16 ESV   Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Missionary Amy Carmichael, who saved many children  from a life of slavery, wrote a little booklet called “If”, 2012 and she shares in the the front how “If”came to be written.

“One evening a fellow-worker brought me a problem about a younger one who was missing the way of Love.  This led to a wakeful night, for the word at such times is always, “Lord, is it I?  Have I failed her anywhere?  What do I know of Calvary Love?    And then sentence by sentence the “If’s” came, almost as if spoken aloud to the inner ear.

The next morning they were shared with another (for they had been written down in pencil in the night), and then a few others shared.  After this one copies were printed on our little handpress for the Fellowship only; and that led to this booklet.

At first when it was asked for, we felt, “no, it is far too private for that.” But if it can help any to understand what the life of love means and to live that life, them it is not ours to refuse.”

This would be a great book for you to purchase for yourself to glean A few excerpts….

If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an inpatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love  — For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even on drop of bitter water however suddenly jolted (p.13).

If I cast up a confessed, repented, and forsaken sin against another,

and allow my remembrance of that sin to color my thinking and feed my suspicions, then I know nothing of Calvary love (p.10).

If I have not compassion on my fellow-servant even as my Lord had pity on me, then I know nothing of Calvary love(p. 7).

If I belittle those whom I am called to serve, talk of their weak points in contrast perhaps with what I think of as my strong points;  if I adopt a superior attitude, forgetting “ Who made thee differ? And what hast thou that thou hast not received?”    Then I know nothing of Calvary love (p. 7).

If my interest in the work of others is cool; if I think in terms of my own special work; if the burdens of others are not my burdens too and their joys mine, then I know nothing of Calvary love (p. 16).

Jon Swanson calls himself “St. John of the Mall”. 

He posted Friday on Facebook “Jesus suggests that helping someone in need is Just like helping Him.  During this Month of Advent look at a person, you know as if they are Jesus.”

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

WANTED: OCC VOLUNTEERS

The key in our hand to unlock hearts is OCC Shoe Boxes of Samaritans Purse

Today we are remembering our Veterans and honoring them for what they have done for our country and this is important, but we need also to look forward and consider who will take the place of the veterans of our church.  When one of our members goes to heaven we should be concerned who is going to step up and take their place.

This is the day that we collect our small amount of boxes and after church Pastor will take them to the collection center at College Baptist Church in Hillsdale, MI.

Have you thought about what the Lord wants you to do for Him right here in Litchfield Baptist Church and this community?   If you don’t know what to do speak to me or the pastor and we will explain the steps that are necessary to take,  to be qualified to minister in this church, such as salvation, baptism, church membership. I am sure that we could give you some choices to prepare you for a way to serve the Lord. Ask yourself, am I spending more time on my interests and hobbies than I am for the LORD.

If you know Christ as your Saviour you have a mandate, the authority to carry out a course of action found in Mat. 28, The Great Commission.  “GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE.” Operation Christmas Child/Samaritans Purse could become the KEY in our hands to unlock hearts all around the world beginning right here in our small world.

I want to challenge you today to begin today by committing your heart to this worldwide ministry. Volunteer to be the person who will organize this ministry or be a helper. Meet one day a month or even quarterly to organize and plan how to get this project before the people in our community and become a collection point right here.

If you are God’s child you need to share the truth.   You just need to have a burden for the lost and a  willing heart and God will do the rest.

OCC is also a way to grow our local ministry by involving the community and reaching out to local businesses, and social groups to help fill these boxes.     To be a worker in this church you need to be saved, baptized in obedience to the Word of God, and a member of this church.   You can’t teach a class or hold an office without being a member.   You cannot vote or make decisions about the ministry here without that important step.

I am so THANKFUL today that God isn’t looking for people with a big head, but with a heart for service.  God wants hearts that are willing to serve Him now; not waiting until this or that event passes or till someone else does it. Let’s not be on the outside looking in.

Ask yourself,  if everyone does just what I am doing,  where will this church be in the next few years.   Don’t wait until you become a memory.  Let’s get involved today?

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

A SWEET THANKSGIVING STORY

 FROM HOLLY DOLLY

Let me suggest that you think of a way to win someone to Christ this Thanksgiving season and set in place a reason to be thankful that God is using you for His glory.

When our Granddaughter Holly was little I made her a Holly Hobby , it was an adorable little rag doll made from a white sock and the hair was made with mohair yarn which I curled with a steam iron while the yarn was wrapped around a pencil.   I guess that is why I have always called her “Holly Dolly”. (The little doll with yellow hair at the top is the one I made for her).

This week she messaged me on Facebook sharing that she was able to go over and witness to her neighbor who is on hospice and not expected to live much longer.  Holly shared that her visit went amazingly well and that the lady could hear her but couldn’t talk at all.  Holly was able to thank the lady for gifts she had given them and told her that if she believed in Jesus she could go straight into the presence of God. Her family all listened and cried and cried. Holly believed it was Jesus who opened the door.

She shared that she really never feels adequate at times like that but that she knew God could use her and she went on to say, “I wish I would have been a better neighbor.  I would have visited her more and just been a friend.”

I shared with Holly that this conviction is also a way the Lord grows us and builds us for our next witness opportunity. Then I shared this story with Holly.

My pastor’s wife, Mrs. Robbins, who was also my Sunday School teacher, shared with the class one day how she felt so bad that earlier that week she was busy helping a visiting missionary unload her car and preparing the evening meal. Then she noticed her neighbor and said hello to her and asked how she was doing. And the lady said, that she had been felling very discouraged. 

Mrs Robbins told her she was sorry and thought to herself, “I am so busy with the missionary and supper. I will go call on her tomorrow.”   My dear pastor’s wife shared with us what a hard lesson it was for her to learn, but she would never forget because her neighbor took her own life that evening.  She shared that illustration to help us to realize that we need to use every opportunity to witness to others for Christ or pray with them as needed.

Let’s be thankful for opportunities to point people to Jesus and pray for wisdom to use those opportunities to pray for and witness to people in times of need.  

By the way that could be anytime. Often when you least expect it.  Be prepared with gospel tracts, a good Scripture memorized and then ask God to give you openings.   Then jump right in and seize the opportunity.

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man who asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”

I Peter 3:15

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

REJOICE EVERMORE

This is the first week approaching Thanksgiving…

I Thessalonians 5:16 -18  (KJV)     “16. Rejoice evermore.  17. Pray without ceasing.  18. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  That is just not possible is it?   What is the difference of being thankful in everything or being thankful for everything?   In Philippians 2:14 -15 Paul tells us to: “do everything without grumbling or arguing,”    God would not ask us to be thankful for everything…..  He wants us to be thankful in everything.

Why?   “For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Have you ever noticed that some people never seem to be content, while other are easily contented and have a positive attitude flowing out of them continually. 

  

Why is it that nothing can touch our lives that God does not allow?  As Christ’s children we need always to look for the blessing in those trials and rejoice.   When we rejoice  in times of trial it becomes a  sacrifice of praise.    Even when it seems difficult, God wants us to have a thankful, grateful spirit.  What is God allowing in your life right now that requires an attitude adjustment?

In A Second Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Rev. John R. Ramsey tells how in one church a certain person provided him with a rose boutonniere for the lapel of his suit every Sunday. At first he really appreciated it, but then it sort of became routine. Then one Sunday it became very special.

As he was leaving the Sunday service, a young boy walked up to him and said, “Sir, what are you going to do with your flower?” At first the preacher didn’t know what the boy was talking about. When it sank in, he pointed to the rose on his lapel and asked the boy, “Do you mean this?”

The boy said, “Yes, sir. If you’re just going to throw it away, I would like it.”

The preacher smiled and told him he could have the flower and asked what he was going to do with it. The boy said, “Sir, I’m going to give it to my granny. My mother and father divorced last year. I was living with my mother, but she married again and wanted me to live with my father. I lived with him for a while, but he said I couldn’t stay; so he sent me to live with my grandmother. She is so good to me. She cooks for me and takes care of me. She has been so good to me that I wanted to give her that pretty flower for loving me.”

The preacher’s  eyes filled with tears, He had been touched by God. He said, “Son, that is the nicest thing that I’ve ever heard, but this flower is not enough. In front of the pulpit, you’ll see a big bouquet of flowers. Different families buy them for the church each week. Please take those flowers to your granny, she deserves the very best.”

Then the boy made one last statement, which Rev. Ramsey said he always will treasure. The boy said, “What a wonderful day! I asked for one flower but got a beautiful bouquet.”  That is a thankful spirit. Especially his love for his Grandmother.

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

A JOURNEY OF FAITH

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.

JAMES I:2-4

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)

 

WE NEED EACH OTHER

“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.

OCTOBER 8,2017      JANE’S HEART TO HEART   …PASTOR’S HELP-MATE

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.

 

http://www.rbmministries.org/

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.