July 16, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

July 16, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

Occasionally I like to share from 300 Words

by Jon Swanson

(Nancy Kies Swanson’s husband – our Tom Kies’ son-in-law).

 

Asking for Wisdom.

July 3, 2017 Bible reading Jon Swanson

Here’s what James might have been saying in James 5:5-8:

 

James 5:5-8 (KJV)  5. Ye have lived in pleasure on 

the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.  6. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.  7. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.  8. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.“If anyone lacks wisdom, go ahead, ask God. Not for the answer but for the insight to weigh the answers, the capacity to decide. As my brother, our Savior, Jesus said, ‘ask and you will receive.” What I’ve discovered every time I’ve asked, is that God doesn’t scold me for asking. He doesn’t hold out on me or tease me. He simply gives wisdom.

Sometimes it’s in the next conversation I have. Sometimes it’s the next thought that comes to mind, an idea that I have neverhad before. Sometimes it’s like walking into a clearing in the woods and being able to think more clearly, to not be beset by the press of the trees. And in that moment of brightness, I can make a better choice.

“But If I don’t quiet myself to listen, if I ask and then keep running around asking everyone else. Or if I keep filling my mind with noise. Or if I keep pushing back from the table because I’m afraid of what I will hear, I get nothing.

“And here’s the thing. If I don’t pay attention, it’s gone. If I don’t move on that insight, if I don’t make a decision and follow through, if I linger in the space of being of two minds, I’m in trouble. Not ‘God will hate me’ trouble. But stuck trouble. Paralyzed trouble. Unable to move forward or backward trouble. I’ve never heard it said this way but it’s like being double-souled.”

After thinking about the confidence that James expresses about asking for wisdom, I have a challenge for us. What if we agreed, you and I, for the next week, to ask for wisdom and then act.

I don’t know your chaos, you don’t know mine. But we could try it for a few days. To get up in the morning, pour a cup of coffee and say, “I lack wisdom. I’m struggling to make choices. I’m asking.”

 

Proverbs 9:10

The fear of the LORD

is the beginning of wisdom,

and knowledge

of the Holy One

is understanding.

July 9, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

Saviour, Like A Shepherd Lead Us

One Christmas Eve, Ira D. Sankey was traveling by steamboat up the Delaware River.

Asked to sing, Mr. Sankey sang the Shepherd Song. After the song was ended, a man with a rough, weather-beaten face came up to Mr. Sankey and said: “Did you ever serve in the Union Army?”

“Yes,” answered Mr. Sankey, in the spring of 1860.

“Can you remember if you were doing picket duty on a bright, moonlit night in 1862?”

“Yes,” answered Mr. Sankey, very much surprised.

“So did I,” said the stranger, “but I was serving in the Confederate army. When I saw you standing at your post I said to myself: ‘That fellow will never get away from here alive.’ I raised my musket and took aim. I was standing in the shadow completely concealed, while the full light of the moon was falling upon you.”

“At that instant,” continued the singing, “ just as a moment ago, you raised your eyes to heaven and began to sing. Music, especially song, has always had a wonderful power over me, and I took my finger off the trigger. ‘Let him sing his song to the end,’ I said to myself. ‘I can shoot him afterward. He’s my victim at all events, and my bullet cannot miss him.’”

The singer continued: “But the song you sang then was the song you sang just now. I heard the words perfectly:

          

  “We are Thine, do Thou befriend us.  Be the guardian of our way.”

“Those words stirred up many memories in my heart. I began to think of my childhood and my God-fearing mother. She had many, many times sung that song to me. But she died all too soon, otherwise much in my life would no doubt have been different.

“When you had finished your song it was impossible for me to take aim at you again. I thought: ‘The Lord who is able to save that man from certain death must surely be great and mighty’ and my arm of its own accord dropped limp at my side.”

Saviour Like A Shepherd Lead Us

1. Saviour, like a shepherd lead us;

Much we need thy tender care;

In thy pleasant pastures feed us;

For our use thy folds prepare.

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,

Thou has bought us thou we are.

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,

Thou has bought us thou we are.

2.  We are Thine, do Thou befriend us,

Be the Guardian of our way;

Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us,

Seek us when we go astray:

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,

Hear Thy children when they pray;

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,

Hear Thy children when they pray.

3. Thou hast promised to receive us,

Poor and sinful tho’ we be;

Thou hast mercy to relieve us,

Grace to cleanse, and pow’r to free:

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,

Early let us turn to Thee;

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,

Early let us turn to Thee.

4. Early let us seek thy favor,

Early let us learn thy will;

Do thou, Lord, our only Saviour,

With thy love our bosoms fill.

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,

Thou hast loved us, love us still.

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,

Thou hast loved us, love us still.

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

A SPECIAL 4TH OF JULY

In the summer of 1954 the plant closed where my dad worked and  a co-worker and Christian friend at our church in Dowagiac, MI, gave my dad a lead to a job in Evanston, IL where they both got a job. This was a big move for me since the Evanston Township High  School was bigger than our small town.  It was a big adjustment for me though I loved the school and especially liked the Home Ec. program and the Art classes.   I was overwhelmed with the size. The church we attended did not have any girls and there were five boys in my Sunday School class and I was pretty shy.

At the beginning of summer in1955 my mother and I were heading out to go shopping together. I was going to be seventeen in August.  She knew I had a desire to honor the Lord with my life.  I was having a lot of back problems and I was looking for a full-time job and had decided to quit school and leave my part time job at Kresge’s.  I had found an office job, but when I gave my notice to my boss at Kresge’s he offered me a full-time job in the office. I attended a youth Bible Study with a Christian  girl l met at school and I did not really know any Christian boys, so I did not date.  A young man from the youth group of our former church in Dowagiac, MI  corresponded with me some and occasionally his parents would make the drive to see us on the weekend so that he and I could see one another. I decided to write to him and explained that I did not feel right about them making that trip, because I knew my feelings for him were not serious and I did not want to lead him on nor offend his parents.. When my mother inquired about it I told her I did not know how it would work out,  but  I thought the Lord was calling  me to ministry, possibly a pastor’s wife.  She said she would be praying with me concerning the future.

Our friends who gave my dad the job lead invited us to their Sunday School picnic on the fourth of July which totally changed the course of my life. It has always been such a joyful remembrance time for me. 

Pastor and I met at that picnic of a church in Deerfield IL where neither of us were members.  He was stationed at the Glenview Navel Air Station and was from Newark, OH. 

Though at the time I had no idea how the Lord would fulfill my dream of serving Him as a pastor’s wife, this day was the beginning of that plan. Less than a year passed and my parents ended up back in the same area that we had always lived and a  few years later my sister married that boy from our home church.

Yes, Our American heritage is important, but so is our personal spiritual heritage as a believer and as a family. Why not take some time this week to write down the spiritual heritage of your family?

“That they might set their hope in God,

and not forget the works of God,

but keep His commandments.” Psalms 78:7

This is a song I have sung many times It is my 4th of July tribute.

The Cross Is My Statue of Liberty 

Neil Enloe

In New York Harbor stands a lady,

With a torch raised to the sky;

And all who see her know she stands for,

Liberty for you and me.

I’m so proud to be called an American,

To be named with the brave and the free;

I will honor our flag and our trust in God,

And the Statue of Liberty.

On lonely Golgotha stood a cross, 

With my Lord raised to the sky;

And all who kneel there live forever,

As all the saved can testify.

I’m so glad to be called a Christian,

To be named with the ransomed and whole;

As the statue liberates the citizen,

So the cross liberates the soul.

Oh the cross is my Statue of Liberty,

It was there that my soul was set free;

Unashamed I’ll proclaim that a rugged cross,

Is my Statue of Liberty!

June 25, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

June 25, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

Big Changes, All Good               

Greetings Family and Friends,

1. God sold our house! In preparation for transitioning to ministry at Camp Barakel, we listed our house for sale recently and in six days had a buyer.  We wanted to list the house in the spring thinking that this was a good time to sell a house in Mount Pleasant. But as we often do, we under-estimated what God can and would do. We praise the Lord for the quick sale of the house and believe this is the Lord providing for us. We praise Him!

2. We closed the sale of the house on Thursday, June 15 and on the next day, with much help from our family and church family, we loaded almost all of our belongings into the Camp Barakel semi truck and trailer. I got to use my new CDL to drive that beast – what fun! God safely saw me to Barakel by 3 PM last Friday the 16th to unload into storage at Barakel and with many helpers, at camp, the truck was unloaded with our belongings stored in two hours! I was on the road and arrived at our new temporary home in Remus, Michigan by 8:20 PM. We were done a day early. There was rain. But not until we were done loading or unloading each time. Once again God provided, giving gracious helpers and good weather.

3. Speaking of our new temporary home. We have been enjoying another provision from God. Chippewa Hills Baptist Church in Remus, Michigan,  west of Mount Pleasant, makes their parsonage available to missionaries for the cost of utilities. They are letting us stay there as long as we need to. Another provision from God!

4. Yes, God sold our house. God provided safety and help to move and a place to store our belongings at camp. And God provided a temporary place to live and at greatly reduced cost. All of this has given us the opportunity to now begin receiving the 69% support that has already been committed to us. And because of this we believed it was time for me to tender my resignation here at First Baptist Church, Mount Pleasant, Michigan effective August 1. This we believe will allow us to devote ourselves more fully to reaching 100% of our support need. And as soon as we are fully supported we will be able to move to Barakel and begin the work there.

We hope you will praise God with us over all these blessings, big changes and new opportunities. We are praying that we can share with you soon that God is bringing more support. We are so grateful for your prayers, encouragement and for your financial support.

We also want to pray for you. If there’s anything we can take to the Lord on your behalf we would be honored to do so. We have a mighty, prayer answering God!   

When you think of them pray for the boys as Jacob and Nicholas are volunteering all summer at Barakel.

Kevin A. Pierpont,  Camp Barakel Resident Missionary Staff Appointee

June 18, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….                    Pastor’s Help Mate

National Center for Fathering associated with

Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students)

The father absence crisis in America is real. When we talk about father absence, we mention the U.S. Census Bureau’s statistic that 24 million children—one out of three—live without their dad in the home

Ninety-two percent (92%) of parents in prison are fathers.

In 2007, 52 percent of prisoners were parents. This amounts to 1.1 million absent fathers and 120,000 absent mothers—impacting 2.7 million children—within the prison system alone. That’s more prison-induced, single-parent children than three times the population of San Francisco.

More than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father.  Millions more have dads who are physically present, but emotionally absent.  If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency.

Prison Ministry

Since prison is God’s will for the offender’s life, they may rest assured He has a plan for their life after they are released or even if they are in prison for life, and it is a good plan to give them a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11)

Since prison is God’s will for the offender’s life, they may not be bitter toward anyone who played a part in their incarceration (friends, family, law enforcement, judicial, the administration of the prison or correctional officers).

The answer to this is not more prisons.  It is not locking people up and “throwing away the key.”  It is not even the death penalty, as studies have shown that even this does not effectively deter crime.  The answer is the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the demonstration of power!

Prisoners need regeneration not rehabilitation–and Jesus has commissioned His followers to reach beyond the barbed wire fences and steel bars to touch the lives of men and women bound by the shackles of sin.

The mandate for prison ministry is clear in God’s Word, both by scripture and example.

SCRIPTURE: The greatest scriptural mandate for prison ministry is given in Matthew 25:31-40.  Jesus said: `…..for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  `I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’  Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, `Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  And the King will answer and say to them, `Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'”

EXAMPLE:

Jesus Christ Himself is our example for prison ministry.  One of the main targets of Christ’s ministry was prisoners: To open blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house.  (Isaiah 42:7)

Jesus declared: “eThe spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound”. . .  (Isaiah 61:1)

Even while dying on Calvary’s cross, Jesus took time to reach out in love and concern to a prisoner.   As a result, that convicted criminal experienced God’s love, grace, and forgiveness. During the time between His death and resurrection, we are told that Jesus ” . . . went and preached to the spirits in prison” (1 Peter 3:19).

Unfortunately, despite the clear Biblical injunction and Christ’s example to minister to prisoners, many believers prefer to pass by on the other side of the street, as did the religious leaders in the parable of the Good Samaritan (see Luke 10:29-37).

June 11, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

A STRONG FAITH?

For over sixty-one years I have taught children and young people in Sunday school,  many years teaching school, working with children, parents, and people in our ministries and various jobs. These experiences have caused me to desire to study counseling for many years. But even with all the studies of all the different techniques and theories about counseling, coaching, and psychology, I always have been drawn back to the Word of God and the fact that God’s Word has the answer to every problem mankind has or will ever experience.

When I taught Sunday School I always liked to help children understand faith by using the example of sitting in a chair.  I would place a chair in the center of the room and ask for a volunteer to come to sit in the chair.   Of course, children love an opportunity to participate in things, especially if it is easy and they are confident that they can do it without embarrassment or failure.

Little Joey, who was usually the first to volunteer to help, raised his hand grinning from ear to ear, and when I nodded permission, he jumped up from his place and hurried over to the chair and plopped himself into the seat and put his little feet up on the rungs and smiled confidently.

I thanked him for helping me and motioned for him to return to his seat and I  set about to reenact for the others what this brave child, did not do.

I pointed out to the other children that Joey didn’t tip-toe over to the chair quietly, cautiously, with fear that it would snap at him, or reach out and grab at him or harm him. He did not reach out slowly to make sure that it was not hot, wet, or rough,  which might cause him to ruin his clothes or get slivers in his fingers.   Joey did not turn the chair over to see if all the screws were tight or even take hold of the chair to test it first.  He also did not keep getting up and shake or recheck the chair to make sure it would continue to hold his weight.

In a humble way, this illustration describes faith. When we believe God, and take Him at his Word and accept Him into our lives as individuals, we need to trust Him to take care of us and we need not be fearful.

Acts 16:31 says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge  him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Perhaps your faith is weak because you are not faithful. The Word of God says, “Faith without works is dead.”   James 2:14-26  Study this passage,  this week.

Little Joey, raised his hand and volunteered, because he was on familiar ground, had sat in many of the chairs and was a frequent volunteer.   What are you doing to cause you to be more involved in serving your Saviour?  Have you experienced the JOY of serving Jesus? A strong faith comes through serving.  Ask pastor for a job.

Ephesians 2:8  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

 

Faith is just believing

what God says

He will do;

He will never fail us;

His promises are true.

If we but receive Him,

His children we become;

Faith is just believing this wondrous thing is done.

 

W. B. Liggett – 1947

June 4, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

June 4, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

Holiness?   JOY!

What do you think of when you think of holiness? Perhaps joyless, uptight, quiet, or even austere.   Perhaps you might even think that a person is no fun, otherworldly or untouchable, distant and cold in manner.  Is the idea of being holy, a burden to you?

Psalm 45:7 “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

1 Peter 1:15-16 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

When you say to someone that you are praying for them, do they feel you are insinuating that you are holier than they or that you want them to be like you? 

Perhaps it is because you have experienced the joy of holiness and want them to have that same peace  and gladness in their hearts. That you too have struggled with sin and indeed you are not ‘holier than thou’, but that you have indeed experienced God’s wonderful grace (unmerited favor), something you did not deserve.

The world wants us to believe that joy can be found in indulging in impurity and staying clear of righteousness.  Quite to the contrary, the real joy comes from a deep desire and determination to stay as far from sin as you can. Sin will drag you down and steal the wonderful peace and joy that is available to you in Christ.

As a born again child of God, He wants you to enjoy the sweetness of holiness as you walk with your heavenly Father and as you enjoy His presence in your life. Rejoice in the fact that He has shown you mercy and as you submit to Him he will give you clean hands and a pure heart and a clear conscience as you stand before the Lord unashamed.

“The awesome holiness of God that put Isaiah on his face  (Is. 6) becomes the holiness of God that puts the people of God on their feet — with hands raised in joyful praise. (Isaiah 126)    We do live in holy fear, but we don’t live facedown in the temple. We fear God in a way that leads us to raise our hands in joyful praise and glad confidence.”             -Tony Reinke.    desiringgod.org 

Why do we choose guilt over JOY?    Let us stand tall and love what God loves.

Is. 35:10  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

May 28, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

Memorial Remembrance

The darkness of sorrow and grief and serious health issues

has come recently to some of our dear loved ones

in our church and families.

JIM FORD Member 5/6/2017

MAUDE GREEK  Member  5/8/2017

NAOMI GIEHL  Grandmother of Jennifer Pierpont 5/17/17

GLENN HARRIS-Husband Of Niece Beth Pierpont Harris’ 5/22/17

Joni Eareckson Tada reminds us in her devotional A Spectacle of Glory,  to ask the Lord to fill us daily with Himself so people who encounter us will see glimpses of Him, hear His kind, grace-filled words; and even catch His fragrance. She noted this poem in Mrs. Charles Lettie Cowman’s  “Streams in the Desert”, 1925, Zondervan. p.313. 

On February 1, 1901, the Cowmans left the United States to work as missionaries in Japan.  Charles was also one of the co-founders of The Oriental Missionary Society. Charles died in September 1924. After his death, Lettie found a note addressed to her in his Bible, stating, “Go on with my unfinished task.  After Charles’ death, OMS’ work continued with co-founder E.A. Kilbourne as the organization’s second President. Lettie continued serving with OMS as one of the co-founders. When Kilbourne died four years after Charles, Lettie became the third President of OMS, the sending mission board of our dear Marilyn Wykes.

Oh, give thy servant patience to be still,

And bear Thy will;

Courage to venture wholly on the arm

That will not harm,

The wisdom that will never let me stray

Out of my way;

The love that, now afflicting, knowest best

When I should rest.

Have you considered who is going to take the place of those who are not able? God wants us to lift up our eyes to Him and honor Him as we take up the cross and follow Him.  Also, as others take up the task that some of us once did, they deserve to see a better more joyous spirit in us as we continue to rejoice in the LORD and remember that we are so blessed, that we can still pray for those who do the work of the Lord.    Let us rejoice together!     What is your life?

May 21, 2017 Jane’s Heart to Heart…. Pastor’s Help Mate

Helpful with someone in need, in person, on the phone.

The “one anothers” of Scripture with references that may be helpful as you pray with someone, on messenger or chatting.

a. Greet one another (Rom. 16:16, 1 Cor. 16:21, 2 Cor. 13:12) 

b. Comfort one another (1 Thess. 4:18)

c. Forgive one another (Col. 3:13)

d. Build one another up (Rom. 15:2; 1 Thess. 5:11)

e. Serve one another (Gal. 5:13)

f. Bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2)

g. Encourage one another (Heb. 10:25)

h. Meet with one another (Heb. 10:25)

i. Be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving toward one another (Eph. 4:32, Rom. 12:10)

j. Receive (welcome) one another as Christ received us (Rom. 15:7)

k. Care for one another (1 Cor. 12:25)

l. Minister one to another (1 Pet. 4:10)

m. Pray for one another (James 5:16)

Taken from Nancy DeMoss’s “True Woman 2012 “ Notes.

May 14, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart…. Pastor’s Help Mate

FIVE SPECIAL LADIES IN MY LIFE

Charlotte Celeste (Burch) Shipley       

Worked hard… bore three children and when she was no longer able to bear her own she took in three abandoned little foster children for two years,   and  when i was in high school my parents adopted my brother Jim.   She made bloomers for Sue and me with feed sacks, also called gunnysacks, when we were small. She held many jobs to help make ends meet. She and my dad took care of the children’s nursery of Grace Baptist in South Bend, she  taught Bible Studies, Called on many in the nursing homes and hospitals. She was the Chiffon Cake Baking Queen and everyone wanted her to cut their cake for special celebrations, made the richest chocolate fudge and cheese cake and her chop suey  was to die for. She always liked the table set and served a balanced meal  right down to the last meal before the Lord took her home.

Grace Geraldine (Sasser) Pierpont… 3 children,   worked at the Farmer’s market, home maker, pastor’s wife, S.S. Teacher.  When ever they came to visit us while Ken was attending college and seminary they would bring groceries, clothing for the children and what ever else they thought we might need.   In the years she lived with us after Ken’s dad went to heaven she helped around the house in every way she could to make my burden lighter and was a blessing to have in our home.

Mrs. Mary Robbins, for five important years was  my pastor’s wife, one of my Sunday School teachers, lyric soprano, and mentor.  While I was  in Jr. High we lived a half block away and she would come to our house or we would go to hers and my mother would french braid her hair for her.  She was the teacher who shared the story of the little lady who took her prayers in a basket to the alter at the church and took each one out and as she prayed put them on the altar and when she was finished she picked each one up and placed them back in the basket.   Then she reminded us the importance of leaving our burden with the Lord.  I never forgot that.

My Paternal Grandmother, Grace Shipley had two children and  my grandfather left her when  my father was nine and  she worked full time  at Clark Equipment until her retirement. She did not drive so she walked to work every day. She raised my father and Aunt Wilma alone.  She attended church on Sunday and Wednesday night faithfully. She gave each of us children a brand new bicycle  for our birthdays one year.. She got a 12 bass accordion and let me have it until I “left home”.  She was a faithful Christian lady and raised her children for Him and was an example of Christian grace.  I also believe she spent may hours in prayer for our family.

My Aunt Wilma  Paul, was my dad’s sister and I alway loved getting to see her and the family at thanksgiving and Christmas and other special times. She was was very prim and attractive. She was my long distant mentor.   She sang, played the accordion and piano, led choirs,  crochet and knit.  She was a fine Christian Pastor’s wife and mother of my two cousins. 

Prov. 31:28

“Her children arise up,

and call her blessed;

her husband also,

and he praiseth her.