December 31,  2017         Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help-Mate 

December 31,  2017         Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help-Mate 

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

With a family of over 90 and a limited budget… I usually begin in January trying to think of “little” meaningful things to give at Christmas.

Then after Thanksgiving, I gather all the things together to wrap the gifts. As I am sure all of you experience the clutter and confusion of keeping everything straight and enduring the mess. As the family begins to decide where they will be at Thanksgiving and Christmas  Pastor and I begin to figure out where we will be, depending on weather and health issues.   I usually put all the things into four groups for each of the four of our children and put them in a box so that they can disperse them to their families when they get together especially if we will not be able to be with them.

This past week I called our granddaughter Hillary to ask if she wanted to get together or should I send their gift with her parents since most of Melony and Jim’s family were all going to go to their daughter Lois and Ben’s in WI.  Hillary said she could come over Tuesday if that worked for us.  It was also Wyatt’s birthday and they had a late breakfast and arrived here about 12:30 PM.

We had a sweet visit and we gave the family a beautiful book which I purchased “Like New” from Amazon. This book was very beautifully written by Ruth Bell Graham, “One Wintry Night”.  It is a  classic Christmas picture book, telling the story of a mountain boy who was injured in a snowstorm and seeks refuge in a cabin.  Ruth Graham created a wonderful and unique version of the Christmas story, illustrated by renowned artist Richard Jesse Watson. I shared with them about Ruth Graham’s life and her love for the Lord and her family. It was so sweet how attentive they were while I told Ruth’s story.

Hillary’ six precious children usually like to play with a beautifully carved Tic-Tac-Toe set given to us by Annette Williams, one of our faithful missionaries to Togo, which hangs on the wall in the dining area.  Of course, all six can’t play at one time so the others play with army men, legos or matchbox cars, some of which date back as far as our eldest children. Haven and Colton enjoy taking turns pulling Arnie around with a long ribbon leash which they improvised.

Little Haven (3) had discovered one of our pesky boxelder bugs and was letting it crawl on her arm and of course, this Grandma was carrying on because of my dislike and amazement of Haven letting a bug crawl on her.   She headed across the room to her big sister Bailey (7) to show her, but when Bailey saw my startled face she thought she must come to the aide of Haven and summarily hit the bug to the ground.   Right at that moment, Haven burst into tears, Bailey looked shocked.   A true case of compassion on Bailey’s part, hysteria on Grandma’s part and misunderstanding and hurt feelings on Haven’s part. 

Often this happens in the Lord’s work when things happen like this due to total misunderstandings of other’s needs,  desires, and circumstances and miscommunications.

2 Thessalonians 1:3      We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 

I am thankful that this is the way it seems here at our little church in the country.

December 17, 2017         Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help-Mate

I borrow this from our son Ken’s post on FB Friday.

It is just an extension of last weeks Heart to Heart.

Here is a story from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website with an additional comment at the end:

“Have you ever been tempted to doubt the impact you can make for the Kingdom? Have you ever thought, “God can’t use me; I’m just a simple [fill in the blank].” Most people have never heard of Edward Kimball, but the results of his faithfulness to God are known across the globe. How? Read on and see what God did after this Sunday school teacher dared to share his faith with others.

A Sunday school teacher named Edward Kimball won a shoe store clerk to Jesus—his name was D.L. Moody.

D.L. Moody traveled to England and awakened the heart of a young pastor —F.B. Meyer.

F.B. Meyer became one of the great Bible expositors, came to the U.S.A. and preached on college campuses, and was used to convert a student to Christ—Wilbur Chapman.

Wilbur Chapman attended one of Moody’s meetings in Chicago and became D.L. Moody’s co-worker.

Wilbur Chapman employed an ex-baseball player as his assistant—Billy Sunday.

Billy Sunday became a great evangelist and preached in Charlotte, North Carolina, at a meeting organized by the Billy Sunday Layman’s Evangelistic Club (renamed Christian Business Men’s Committee or CBMC).

CBMC invited an evangelist to Charlotte; his name was Mordecai Ham.

Mordecai Ham preached in the tent meeting where Billy Graham was saved.

Billy Graham has proclaimed the Gospel to millions across the globe, and many lives have been changed forever.”

One of the millions of people Billy Graham influenced for Christ was a young sailor grieving the death of his grandmother waiting in a bus station to return to Great Lakes Naval Air Station. His eyes fell on a copy of Billy Graham’s book “Peace With God.” Soon he had peace with God. He has walked faithfully with God for many, many years. I know him well. He led me to Christ—in family devotions when I was only five years old. He is my Dad.

Start a gospel conversation with someone today. You never know where it will end—or if it will ever end.

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.”

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…

http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/devil.asp

December 18, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help Mate

Once again I would like to share a former post   click on this link to read it..  or

You will also be able to listen if you wish with this link 

December 4, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help Mate

December 4, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help Mate

give-god-the-glory
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.  Hebrews 13:8

The mark of an effective church is not how many people come but how many people live differently as a result of having been there.

So back to the question: How Effective is Your Church? No, not your pastor’s church – YOUR church.

How effective are you as a Christian? Forget the size of your church. Have you cooperated with the Spirit of God and the Word of God and seen any consistent spiritual change in your life? The effectiveness of your church will depend on the spiritual change in your life and the lives of the other people in your church.

During this Christmas season let’s consider just the dollars and time spent on getting a tree, decorating, entertainment, and travel in comparison to what money and time we’ve spent on ministry, missionary support, not to mention our regular monetary and physical commitment to the Lord’s work.  All over  many churches struggle for the same reason.  So few heed God’s call to surrender to God’s leading in their personal lives by receiving Christ as their own personal Saviour and Lord, Baptism and church membership, and become a part of the evangelistic outreach of the church.  Do You really believe in Christmas – Christ ’s Birth??

I am not suggesting, that decorating and family traditions are wrong, except when they outweigh the spiritual investment of our money and time to our Lord and Saviour. Over the years there has been a decline in faithful commitment to serving the Lord. People with talent, time and money who only serve God on their own terms rather than a full surrender of every part of their God-given resources and talent. 

Even the things that Christian people are posting on social media, definitely outweigh the most important truths about Christ’s birth and eternal life.

In our 50+ years of ministry we have met hundreds of people looking for a church but after many years of knowing them, they have yet to unite with any church or surrender to the Lord.   Let us each examine our own motives and commitment to the Christ of Christmas.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.  Hebrews 13:

Christ has not changed  – the church has. Ask yourself, “What does the Lord want me to do, that I am not doing to make  His church effective”, then tell the Lord, “I surrender all.” and do it.

As your pastor’s help mate, I do this daily and I am praying for you. Ladies, we need a revival. We need to be standing on tip-toe to serve our wonderful Lord

Dec. 21, 2014    Jane’s Heart to Heart  …Pastor’s Help-Mate

Dec. 21, 2014 Jane’s Heart to Heart …Pastor’s Help-Mate

Saeed Abedini’s Christmas Letter.

Rajai Shahr Prison 2014

Merry Christmas!,   These days are very cold here. My small space beside the window is without glass making most nights unbearable to sleep. The treatment by fellow prisoners is also quite cold and at times hostile. Some of my fellow prisoners don’t like me because I am a convert and a pastor. They look at me with shame as someone who has betrayed his former religion. The guards can’t even stand the paper cross that I have made and hung next to me as a sign of my faith and in anticipation of celebrating my Savior’s birth. They have threatened me and forced me to remove it. This is the first Christmas that I am completely without my family; all of my family is presently outside of the country. These conditions have made this upcoming Christmas season very hard, cold and shattering for me. It appears that I am alone with no one left beside me.

These cold and brittle conditions have made me wonder why God chose the hardest time of the year to become flesh and why He came to the earth in the weakest human condition (as a baby). Why did God choose the hardest place to be born in the cold weather? Why did God choose to be born in a manger in a stable, which is very cold, filthy and unsanitary with an unpleasant smell? Why did the birth have to be in such a way that it was not only hard physically, but also socially? It must have brought such shame for Mary and her fiancé that she was pregnant before marriage in the religious society of that time.

Dear sisters and brothers, the fact of the Gospel is that it is not only the story of Jesus, but it is the key of how we are to live and serve like Jesus. Today we like Him should come out of our safe comfort zone in order to proclaim the Word of Life and Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and the penalty of sin that He paid on the cross and to proclaim His resurrection. We should be able to tolerate the cold, the difficulties and the shame in order to serve God. We should be able to enter into the pain of the cold dark world. Then we are able to give the fiery love of Christ to the cold wintery manger of those who are spiritually dead. It might be necessary to come out of the comfort of our lives and leave the loving embrace of our family to enter the manger of the lives of others, such as it has been for me for the third consecutive Christmas.

It may be that we will be called fools and traitors and face many difficulties, but we should crucify our will and wishes even more until the world hears and tastes the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas means that God came so that He would enter your hearts today and transform your lives and to replace your pain with indescribable joy.

Christmas is the manifestation of the radiant brightness of the Glory of God in the birth of a child named Emmanuel, which means God is with us.

Christmas is the day that the heat of the life-giving fire of God’s love shone in the dark cold wintry frozen hearts and burst forth in this deadly wicked world.

The same way that the heat from the earth’s core melts the hard stones in itself and produces lava, the fiery love of God, Jesus Christ, through the virgin Mary’s womb came to earth on Christmas to melt the hard heart of sin and wickedness of the world and removes them from our life. In the same process, the work of the Holy Spirit is a fiery rain of God’s Holiness and Mercy that flows into our body, soul and spirit and brings the light of Christ into us and through us making this dark, cold, wintry world into radiant burning brightness. He is turning our world into a world full of peace, joy, and love that is so different than the dark, cold, and wintry world that we used to live in. Hallelujah!

So this Christmas let the lava-like love of Christ enter into the depth of your heart and make you fiery, ready to pay any cost in order to bring the same lava love to the cold world around you, transforming them with the true message of Christmas.

Pastor Saeed Abedini

Soaking in the lava love of Christ

http://aclj.org/persecuted-church/american-pastor-saeed-writes-heartwarming-christmas-letter-from-hard-cold-prison

Dec. 14, 2014  Jane’s Heart to Heart   … Pastor’s Help-Mate

Dec. 14, 2014 Jane’s Heart to Heart … Pastor’s Help-Mate

Dec. 14, 2014  Jane’s Heart to Heart ….Pastor’s Help-Mate

Todays article is from Paul Harvey’s site…….   http://www.rubysemporium.org/harvey_birds.html

The Man and the Birds      (Paul Harvey)

Each CHRISTmas day at 12:00 noon where ever Paul Harvey’s Program is played on the radio, Paul tells this story in such a dynamic way that it is sure to touch the heart of any person who listens to it.

Unable to trace its proper parentage, I have designated this as My Christmas Story, of “The Man and the Birds”.

You know, “The” Christmas story, “God born a man in a manger”, and all that, escapes some moderns. Mostly I think because they seek complex answers to their questions, and this one is so utterly simple. So for the cynics and the skeptics and the unconvinced, I submit a modern parable.
Now the man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind, decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men, but he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas time. It just didn’t make sense, and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus story about God coming to earth as a man.

“I’m truly sorry to distress you”, he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas eve”, he said he’d feel like a hypocrite, that he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. So he stayed and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later, he was startled by a thudding sound. Then another. And then another; sort of a thump or a thud. At first, he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.

Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter if he could direct the birds to it. Quickly, he put on a coat and goulashes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn.

He opened the doors wide and turned on a light. But the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow making a trail the yellow lighted, wide open door to the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them. He tried “shooing” them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms. Instead, they scattered in every direction except into the warm lighted barn.

Then he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could let them know that they can trust me. That I’m not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led, or “shooed” because they feared him.

“If only I could be a bird”, he thought to himself “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to the safe warm ———-

(Sudden recognition) —- to the safe warm barn, but I would have to be one of them so they could see and hear, and understand.”

At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. He stood there listening to the bells, Adeste Fidelis. Listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas.

……. And he sank to his knees in the snow.