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 28, 2015   Jane’s Heart to Heart   … Pastor’s Help Mate

June 28, 2015   Jane’s Heart to Heart   … Pastor’s Help Mate

A Tribute to Elizabeth Elliot Gren

I can recall like it was yesterday, while living and Chicago Ave. in Evanston, Il.   We were living in a small apartment  and Ken was still in the Navy.  I loved to listen to Moody Bible Institute’s radio station WMBI.   Suddenly the news broke of the death of the 5 missionaries martyred in Quito, Ecuador.

I have been so blessed by Elisabeth Elliot and over the years I followed her life and ministry.

 I have a collection of many of her writings and often refer to them as I counsel other ladies.

The following article is about this highly respected Christian woman’s life from  The Gospel Coalition. Current Events by Joe Carter

1. Elisabeth Howard) was born in Belgium,  her parents were missionaries. She attended Wheaton College where she studied classical Greek to enable her to work in the area of unwritten languages during her future missionary work.

2. At Wheaton, Elisabeth met Jim Elliot. After graduation, and for five years before their engagement, Jim and Elisabeth served in different parts of Ecuador. Eventually she accepted Jim’s marriage proposal and the condition attached to it: to learn the Ecuadorian Quichua language before they got married.

In 1953, Jim and Elisabeth married in Quito, Ecuador and continued their work in that nation where Jim wanted to enter the territory of an unreached tribe, the Aucas, a fierce group who had killed previous workers. Jim and four other missionaries entered Auca territory. After a friendly contact with three of the tribe, they were speared to death. (as told in the book and movie, End of the Spear.)

4. Now alone with her 10-month-old daughter, Valerie, she continued to live among and minister to the Quichua tribe where she met two Auca women who lived with her and taught her the tribe’s language. She then went as a missionary to serve the tribe that killed her husband. While there the people gave Elisabeth the tribal name Gikari,(Woodpecker).

5. While in Ecuador, she wrote her story, Through Gates of Splendor, Shadow of the Almighty and The Savage, My Kinsmen. In 1963 she returned to the U.S.and  she began a career as a writer and speaker and authored 24 books.

6. For 13 years, she hosted a 12-minute radio program aimed at women called Gateway to Joy. She opened each episode by saying, “’You are loved with an everlasting love,’ that’s what the Bible says ‘and underneath are the everlasting arms.’ This is your friend, Elisabeth Elliot . . .”

7. In 1969, Elisabeth married Addison Leitch, professor of theology at Gordon Conwell Seminary in Massachusetts who died in 1973. After Leitch’s death Elisabeth had two lodgers who rented a room in her home: one of them married her daughter, the other one, Lars Gren, married her.

8. Elisabeth’s life has been portrayed in a play (Bridge of Blood: Jim Elliot Takes Christ to the Aucas), a musical (Love Above All), and a film (End of the Spear).

9. In 2004 her health declined and she suffering from dementia. She stopped her program and that is where Nancy DeMoss began Revive Our Hearts. Her husband Lars Gren said Elliot has handled dementia just as she did the deaths of her husbands. [knowing] they were no surprise to God, something she would rather not have experienced, but she received it.”

Nancy DeMoss wrote:

” Elisabeth kept coming back to this message: “God doesn’t exist to meet our needs. Ultimately, He is God; He is worthy of our obedience, our worship, and our surrender to Him as Lord.   When I received the news that Elisabeth Elliot had gone to be with the Lord, I wept. It’s hard to describe the multitude of thoughts and emotions that those tears represented. To think of Elisabeth at Home with Christ makes the thought of heaven all the richer and sweeter.  She has received that welcome from Christ that we all long to hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of your Lord.”  May the message she has written on so many of our hearts be one we write on the hearts of those who are coming behind us. And may He find us faithful, as was our friend Elisabeth Elliot—all the way to the finish line.”

A young mother named   Adrian Segal called Elisabeth Elliot her spiritual mother because she listened to her radio programs each day. “I am grateful Elisabeth Elliot devoted her life to doing this for women in my generation. In just minutes a day, she helped me love my husband better. She helped me raise happy and obedient children who love the Lord. She helped me see that my greatest calling is to live each day, each moment, doing the next thing to the glory of the Lord.”

These words of Elisabeth  meant a great deal to her.

 Elisabeth Elliot said:

“This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness”.

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“The deepest things that I have learned in my own life have come from the deepest suffering. And out of the deepest waters and the hottest fires have come the deepest things that I know about God.”

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“Trust Him and do the next thing.”

―Elisabeth Elliot