2012 ANNUAL CHALLENGE – Sing a Song of JOY

REAL JOY

As I have been thinking in the last few weeks about choosing a Key verse and song for the year 2012, I thought of the struggles that I have been having with a lot of pain from degenerative disc disease and also the fact that I am not able to sing as I have in the past. I have always signed my letters and named my web site, and recently ordered our grave markers and had engraved by my name, the phrase, “Singing His Praise”.

Since singing for me is much harder, and the pain and inability to do many things that I once did easily, I am finding that satan would steal my JOY. I share this so those who have similar situations may be encouraged.

When I was just a young child we sang a song in Sunday School and week day Bible Class that met once a week after school.

My good friend Beverly Smith (Yokum) and I would use our study hall to write the memory verses for our Bible class teacher.

I have determined to make this my theme song for the year 2012… and rejoice that I can still Sing His Praise in my heart and not allow self pity.

Along with that little song is an important message that we so need to keep in mind.

“J-O-Y”

Jesus and Others & You
What a wonderful way to spell J-O-Y
Jesus and Others and You.
In the life of each girl and each boy.

J – is for Jesus, for HE has first place,
O- is for other, we meet face to face.
Y – is for You in what ever you do,
Put yourself last and spell JOY.

The way to have real JOY in our lives is to follow the rules to this little song.

Philippians 2: 2 – 51 will be my verses for 2012 to help me “Forget about (myself) and concentrate on Him and worship Him.” (“We Have Come Into His House” 2).

“…make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vein conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5. Your attitude should be that same as that of Christ Jesus.”
In my counseling ministry I encourage those who struggle with discouragement and depression to follow this bit of advice, I am giving myself, and read I Corinthians 13 (THE LOVE CHAPTER) every day for one month and journal how those verses have helped them at the end of the month.

1 New International Version, Harvest House, 1995

2 “Celebration of Praise, Rick Powell, P. 27, Zondervan, 1980.

Intercessory Prayer And Waiting On The Lord

In 1996 while Ken and I were in ministry in Michigan one of our dear ladies asked us to call on her brother who had a terminal illness. After calling a few times Ken had the wonderful privilege of leading his wife Lily to receive Christ as her Lord and Savior. Then a few months later her husband also trusted Christ as his Savior. After he went to be with the Lord the wife came faithfully to the S.S. but due to her poor health and inability to get around easily she was not able to join the church but was faithful and loved the Lord. Eventually she was house bond and for several years confined to her bed.

In 2007-2008 we had moved to Ohio to a ministry south of Zanesville, OH in Zion. We loved the people and the ministry and I especially enjoyed the little back porch where I had my swing (a gift from my parents). The porch was in the shade almost the whole day and I spent many hours crocheting and reading. I also started my “Chats With the Pastor’s Wife” on this site.

We often corresponded with Lily and she was very faithful to write, send birthday wishes and prayers for us and our ministry.

One afternoon the phone rang in the parsonage and it was Lily. She was excited and asking us if we thought we would be interested in a job that was available at the little retirement Village where she lived and where we had called on her many times.

The job consisted of an opening for a “sitter” at the village there in Michigan and she described it as “being responsible for setting up and managing the emergency phone system. which included our housing in exchange for our services”. This necessitated our having a key to access the apartments of the residents in times of emergency.

We were happy where we were in Ohio and loved the folk there and had no thoughts of leaving there and so we thanked Lily and told her that we would pray about it and that we would get back with her soon.

Ken and I talked it over and prayed about it and had pretty much decided to turn it down. and dismissed it from our minds and a short time. Then we began to think that we should consult with our children. We really did not wish to retire from the ministry but we also realized that it was quite a hardship for the children to come so far to visit us and they were concerned about our advancing years and some health issues that Ken was having at the time.

We the children an email asking for their advice and in no time we received emails back from them all saying that they felt it would be a nice thing for us and it would be a somewhat central location for them to come to visit us and visa versa. Prior to our moving to Ohio they had all let it be know that if we every needed a place to stay we were welcome in their homes.

We contacted Lily and she put us in touch with the management. After a few interviews on the phone, our back ground checks, an agreement that we would be available pretty much around the clock, and that we would want to be able to be free to attend church twice on Sundays and prayer meeting on Wednesday nights we set up an appointment to be interviewed. We were hired and arrangements were made for us to move in July 2008.

We began sorting our belongings, threw away or gave away many of our treasured items since we would be moving to a one bedroom apartment in the village. When we arrived we had to rent a storage place because to still had too much “stuff”. Over a period of a month we were able to persuade some of the children to take some things off our hands and fit a few things into the apartment.

The day after we moved in we were scheduled to go with the providers of the “alert phone system” and show us how to program them. I stayed in the apartment while Ken ran when with the service man and each time the program one of forty phones the phone would ring in the apartment which I would answer to confirm that it was working. In the intervening times about every 10-20 minutes I was trying to get settled and unpacked.

Of course we were all happy because her apartment was right across the street from ours.

Many times while we lived there we were able to go over and visit and have a time of prayer and devotion with Lily… I often would pray with or sing to her.

While we worked there we also had opportunity to volunteer our services distributing the monthly and quarterly commodities (which got to be quite a job in itself), I loved doing it as far as the paperwork and interaction and friendship with the other volunteers but it was way to hard on me physically.

Also, when the alert phones rang in our apartment we would respond and determine whether an ambulance was needed. We were not required to help them physically but at times it would be something that we could do for them (such as their phone needed maintenance or their was a strange sound in the apartment) and often serious emergency needs which required our calling 911 and open the apartment for them to enter. We helped with holiday meals for the residents and I also worked for a time in the office answering the phone.

Being there for 22 months we met a lot of dear folk and established some lasting friendships and of course found the need to pray for many of them and considered it an honor to pray for them and do little errand or acts of love as you would in any neighborhood.

We were especially concerned for one lady who was very limited and had many needs We tried to be neighborly and encouraging to her and we were also concerned because she needed the Lord in her life. I would stop in and Ken would check on her often to make sure that she was o.k., since she had fallen several times and was not able to help herself.

I volunteered to start a Bible Study in the community room and several of the ladies attended. One of the ladies (Jenny) who attended the Bible study was a member of the South Litchfield Baptist Church and they were in need of someone to preach for them while looking for a pastor. She knew that Ken preached at several surrounding churches to fill in for area pastors. She gave the pulpit committee Ken’s number and we were contacted. and in September of 2009 he filled the pulpit for the first time and several times after that until January when they asked him to be interim pastor.

During this time Lily’s health was deteriorating rapidly and her family made the decision to begin to make the arrangements to move her to a nursing home in the Fort Wayne area where she would be closer to her son.

As things progressed at the church they decided to call Ken as their pastor and he gave his notice at the village and Lily moved to Fort Wayne about one week before we moved to the parsonage.

The one lady that we tried to help and prayed much for was moved recently to a nursing home and when we heard of it Ken began including her in his calls to the nursing homes.

This past Tuesday, when he called on her after three years of prayers she trusted Christ as her personal Savior sweetly praying in her own words to receive Christ.

The Lord used Doris who was concerned for her brother’s spiritual needs and prayed and asked the pastor to call on him.

Donald & Lily trusted Christ because of those faithful prayers and concern.

God used Lily to be instrumental to bring us back to this area, in His wisdom he used Jenny to share with the pulpit committee of our availability and now here we are involved in the ministry to which he has obviously lead us.

We have had the privilege of ministering with this dear congregation for two years since Ken first filled the pulpit until now and we have grown to love them. We are so happy in the service of the King and so thankful for his wonderful provision of a place to serve him.

Wait on the LORD… He is in control and knows so well what is best for each of us. Thank you Lord.

ISAIAH 40:31

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

I Thessalonians 5:17
“Pray without ceasing”

2011 MOTTO – HIGHER GROUND

TRUE HAPPINESS AND PEACE  DO NOT EXIST

APART FROM GOD   ISAIAH 26:3

Listen to Higher Ground

Still Singing His Praise – PROVERBS 2:3-5 “If you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.”

This is my choice of Scripture for 2011…. and my song is “Higher Ground”

Each New Year, as many do, I like to think about what I want to happen in my life.

The Lord has burdened me for the lost and I would love to win some souls to HIM this year…..

I have selected the above Scriptures and Hymn for part of my goals for this year.

There are so many around us who need the LORD in their lives. Even some who profess Christ as their Saviour, yet deep in their hearts they know that they need to draw closer to HIM and be more faithful and obedient to HIM.

Are you reading the Word of God every day and are you praying for guidance every hour of the day? Are you attending a church where the Word of God is preached faithfully?

My personal desire is to point others to Christ. Either to introduce them to the LORD or help those who know him to grow and love serving HIM daily in a way the they too will ultimately win others to HIM.

Perhaps you have stress or anxieties that you deal with and that gets in the way of your faithfulness and obedience to God.

Let me pray for you. Leave a comment.

Those who are reading this and know the LORD, please pray with me concerning lost souls and that I may win those with whom I come in contact.

I do not want to put a number down because I do not want to limit myself nor the work of the Holy Spirit in lives.

So, I am praying for many lives to be brought to a saving knowledge of Christ or a closer walk with HIM in 2011 because of my witness.

2011 ANNUAL CHALLENGES REAL JOY

TRUE HAPPINESS AND PEACE

DO NOT EXIST

APART FROM GOD

ISAIAH 26:3

Higher Ground

Lyrics: Johnson Oatman, Jr.
Music: Charles H. Gabriel

I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

Refrain:
Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s tableland,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where those abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.

I want to live above the world,
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.

I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray till heav’n I’ve found,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

… do you get a little nervous up on the HILL?

Our choir loft is three steps up to the platform and three steps into the choir loft…
I noticed that some of the members were a bit nervous about being up there and perhaps singing a solo or a special part in the choir or even just singing in the choir.

TODAY FOR CHOIR PRACTICE…
I gave this devotion to them

I asked them….
Do you get nervous…up here on the HILL?

Then I reminded them of Matthew 5:14
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

People will look up to us and see our good works and though we all know and say it is “all about HIM” they may not be willing to look at HIM but will look at you.

When we are up in front of people taking part in our church services we are like the city set on a hill, How does your light shine?

Matthew 5:16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

We who are in the Choir / Praise team, soloists, Pastors, leaders, have a huge responsibility to live our lives in such a way that other will follow us to the Savior, so that we can show them to trust HIM and look to HIM instead of us….

Author and composer Bruce Ballinger penned these words in 1976

We Have Come into HIS House

1. We Have Come into HIS House and gathered in HIS name to worship HIM
2. So forget about yourself and concentrate on HIM and worship HIM.
3. I will lift up holy hands and magnify his name and worship HIM.

{my version of the 3rd verse is}
I will give my heart to HIM and magnify his name and worship HIM
Worship HIM Christ the LORD.

Next time you are uneasy or nervous about serving in the choir or special music remember this little acrostic.

P= Pray without ceasing
E= Entrust yourself to HIM
A= accept your weaknesses
C= Concentrate on HIS STRENGTH
E= Expect a blessing

He will make you strong as you submit to HIM. He gave you talents to use for HIS glory. Certainly HE will strengthen you for the task.

THE THIMBLE HAT & THE BOOK

I MADE THIS LITTLE THIMBLE HAT
WITH LOTS OF LOVE AND PRAYER
JUST FOR YOU ON THIS SPECIAL DAY
FOR YOUR MENDING, SO BEWARE!

NOW DON’T PUT THIS IN A HIDING PLACE
SO YOU CAN’T FIND IT IN A HURRY
OR YOU WILL LOSE THAT PRETTY BUTTON
AND CAUSE LOTS OF WORRY.

IF YOU PUT IT ON A LITTLE SHELF
OR HANG IT UP SOMEWHERE
YOU WILL NEVER HAVE TO LOOK AGAIN
FOR A NEEDLE FOR REPAIRS.

SO AS I SEND THIS LITTLE GIFT
I PRAY THAT YOU WILL KNOW
THAT THE WORD OF GOD NEEDS TO BE
IN A PLACE WHERE IT WILL SHOW

THEN WHEN YOU HAVE A SPECIAL NEED
YOU’LL KNOW RIGHT WHERE TO LOOK
TO SEEK WISDOM FROM ABOVE
AND FIND PEACE IN THE “BOOK”.

ISAIAH 26:3 – 4
“HE WILL KEEP IN PERFECT PEACE
ALL THOSE WHO TRUST IN HIM,
WHOSE THOUGHTS TURN OFTEN
TO THE LORD.
TRUST IN THE LORD GOD ALWAYS,
FOR IN THE LORD JEHOVAH IS
YOUR EVERLASTING STRENGTH.” LB
by Jane A Pierpont 8-27-10

“TRUE HAPPINESS AND PEACE
DO NOT EXIST APART FROM GOD”
(I wrote this little poem to give with the “Thimble Hats” that I crochet for my dear friends. See the link on this site. http://jane.wpatch.com/2008/11/17/crocheted-thimble-hat-needle-holder/)

Nathaniel Bruce Pierpont’s First Sermon at Age One

First Sermon

Monday morning, March 22, 2010, Jennifer, (Nathan our youngest son’s wife), called to inform us that her mother and dad, Bruce and Dawn Giehl, were coming from Ohio and she wanted to invite us to come for the evening meal.

Ken was on the road and I suggested that Nate give him a call to see if that would work with his schedule and then Ken called me and said that we could, if it could be worked out with the management to cover for us here at Friendship Village while we were away. We are the “Alert” phone workers.

I was expecting the manager to be back around 2:00 PM. I gave the manager a few calls on her cell phone hoping that maybe we could get away a little earlier, but I was unable to reach her.

The mail usually comes between 12:30 and 1:15 PM, about the time that Ken usually gets home from driving. While I was waiting I went out and got the mail and there was a sweet “Thank You” note from Jennifer’s mom and dad, which said….

“Sometimes God brings special people into our lives
and gives them a home in our hearts.
You’re one of those people and you’re celebrated
with love and thanks to God today.”

and they added a note…. We are so thankful God brought your family into our family.

Dawn and I have established the habit for over a year now to pray together for our children whenever we happen to see one another on chats and it usually works out two or tree times a week at least. It has been such a blessing to see those prayers answered.

When the manager got back in the office at 2:00 PM she returned my call and I asked her if she could stand in for us and she assured me that we could go and wished us and nice time.

We set out immediately for the hour and a half drive from Litchfield, MI to Kalamazoo and safely arrived at Nathan and Jennifer’s home where the boys and men were outside on the blacktop drive playing basket ball.

When we arrived we were warmly greeted and hugged. Then we all went into the house together to greet the rest of the family including Giehl’s black and white Cocker Spaniel dog, Patches.

As we gathered around the table for the meal our son Nathan made the statement,”let’s pray”….but while we were finishing our conversation and joining hand with one another, Little one year old Nathaniel Bruce got a little impatient and with his head bowed and peeking around the table, started mumbling to himself little prayerful words that sounded like “Thank….   Thank….” After we all chuckled a little his father began his prayer of thanks for the meal and fellowship.

It did not take long to figure out where Little Nathaniel learned the word “thanks” nor the idea of prayer before he ate.

Matthew 21:16 (King James Version)
And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

After the meal and clearing the table we all adjourned to the living room where every one sat around the room and chairs were pulled into the living room from the dining area to accommodate the size of our crowd.

The little people of course were playing on the floor and were in and out some with their toys and we also had the honor of seeing Patches do some tricks for us.

We had such sweet fellowship with our dear family and as it drew close to the time for us to leave little Nathaniel went over to one of the large vacant dining room chairs and with much struggle, climbed up until he was on his knees, then finally got turned around and sat down and got his little legs to hang over the edge.

As his grandmother, I was watching him closely as everyone in the room was conversing. I was afraid that he might fall off the chair, but then I began to realize that he was purposely getting set, just like every one else and though he can’t talk was making little sounds and looking around at everyone and making little gestures with his hand and smiling happily at every one. I glanced over at his Grandma Giehl and she looked at me knowingly.

At that moment we realized that Little Nathaniel Bruce in his prayer at the dinner table and his little conversation on the chair with all of us looking on, had preached his first sermon to all of us.

That sermon was  “I love to do what you love to do.”

It was obvious, all of a sudden to everyone there that he was copying the rest of us.

It caused me to think…..
What if we had been arguing or swearing….
What if we had been drinking… smoking…. overeating….

You fill in the blanks to what is really important to you.__________

I know I certainly have had to do that myself lately…

What is really important to me and what are my descendants going to copy.

Lord, help us to be the example that we should be and be more like YOU, that we may nudge our dear ones closer to you.

Joshua 24:15
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

PRAYER IN COUNSELING

Though there is some value in this I do believe that far too much emphasis is placed on digging up the past and dwelling on the details of those incidents.

I personally believe there is no substitute to pointing that person to the one and only person who has the answers to all problems and that is  Jesus Christ.

Pointing them to Christ and his saving grace and teaching them the need to pray (talk to God) and know that He cares and answers prayers and to stay in the Word of God daily for direction for their lives is the most important counsel one can receive.

Church attendance in a solid Bible peaching ministry is of significant importance in the life all Christians.

Wading through all the methodology of counseling without the sure knowledge of  Christ and His forgiveness of sin can only serve to give that person deeper distress.

GOSSIP – DOES JESUS CARE

Does Jesus Care

In the last few months, I have had two people come to me and specifically state, “I don’t know if you have heard the gossip about me, but I just want to tell you myself what is true and what is not true.

This has caused me to ache deep in my heart for them and caused me to have mixed emotions.

One of honor that that person cared that I know their business and the truth about them.

Second, the great realization that what God thinks is far more important than what I think of them.

My first reaction is to hold up my hands to stop them and tell them that they  do not need to feel that they owe me an explanation and that it really is not my business.

In both cases those dear ones went on to explain to me their heartaches and concerns,

In the course of the conversation I tried very hard to help them understand that it was important for them to be sure that they talked with the Lord (both told me they were Christians)  and make sure that He knew there heart and to seek His leading and will about the whole situation so that He would be glorified.

Are you having a conflict with someone who has maligned you and your heart is aching.
“Tell Jesus, Tell Jesus, He will listen He will heed”. “Does Jesus Care?”

Yes, Jesus does care.

Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart… “

Go to Him in prayer and lay your burden at His feet and tell Him your great desire to do right and honor Him with your life and then if necessary set things right  with the Lord (I John 1:9), then  between yourself and those who seem to be offended.  If they will not accept your attempts to make things right, give it all to the Lord and let it go.  Do what you can to make your own situation honorable before the Lord and then go on with HIM doing all in your power to dispel any false accusations and make sure there is no reason for the perceived situation.

God is faithful and He loves you… TRUST HIM today.

“Does Jesus Care”
http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/d/o/doesjeca.htm

Snow Sculpture Trophies – Great job all of you

I wish I could have made a Trophy for everyone…

The Snowman Trophy went to the Pierpont Family at Higgins Lake.. for their huge tunnel.   Great Job!

The Angel Trophy went to Luke Pierpont for his Giant Marshmallow.

The Bunny Trophy went to Deborah Johnson in WABunny Trophy

If you scroll down you can see the entries.

I do understand that there was another entry which I never received which was posted on the Butters FaceBook  which I will show as soon as I get it.It is a snow Easter Basket made by Kassedy and Aubrie Evans for Riley and Wyatt.

Thank you to all who participated.  That was great fun for me.