August 7,  2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart   Pastor’s Help Mate

This past Sunday we were with our son Kevin’s, family at Mt. Pleasant, MI.

The S.S. teacher presented a lesson from James Merritt’s video presentation and I would like to share what I gleaned from the lesson.  The lesson was based on Matthew 25: 14 – 26 on the parable of the Talents.

Faithful

How would you define  faithful?

Prov. 20: 6 “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?”  God is faithful.  Would you describe yourself as faithful”

The lesson from Matthew 25, demonstrates  living up to  these 5 words – “You Can Count on Me”.

Today, I encourage each of you to take stock of the God-given talents He has given you.  Every one of us has God-given gifts and abilities.  It is not important what we have, but what we do with what we have.   I would like to ask you to think seriously this week about this subject.

  1. What God-given abilities do I have? What am I doing with them to bring honor and glory to Him? sewing, baking, serving, teaching, musical talent, money, time, prayer….

2.  What material things do I have and how am I using those things that I have to       

     bring glory and honor to God?

God does not compare you with how others do, but he does compare you with what you do, with what He has blessed you.  There is no reason to compare yourself with others. I wish I could sing like that, or had more money to give, etc.  Just do your best and be faithful to Him to the best of your ability.  Verses 23 says he will say, “Well done thou good and Faithful servant.”

When we only use that with which He has gifted us, for  a corruptible crown, He will say as in verse 26,  “thou wicked and slothful servant“.

When I worked with music students, I prayed that the Lord would help me to teach those who were trying to polish their God-given talent, that they would use that talent  for Christ Alone.

Pray that the Lord will show you what you should do for the purpose of carrying out the Great commission: by winning  the lost to Christ and  teaching them to observe that Great commission too. This is called discipleship.  If what you are doing with your talent is not for that great purpose, it is not an investment , but as in  verse 26, he called that servant, wicked and slothful.   

Will the Lord say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”? Are there some things that you should change?                  

CAN HE COUNT ON YOU?

July 31,  2016   Melony’s Blog   …Preacher’s Helper

Article by our Daughter Melony Evans

“Little children, keep yourself from idols. “

This was the verse that kept playing in my head. It started earlier this week while we were on vacation.

Maybe the primitive living conditions of camping in the wild had gotten my attention. Whatever it was I wanted to know more about this verse. I took some time to read the other verses of this passage to help get a clearer picture of what God’s Word was presenting.

I was surprised to find this verse was at the very close of the chapter. It is the finale of  the book of 1 John.

For me, this verse was a warning, even a rebuke. It was saying to me, “Keep idols, keep the junk out of your life.”

An idol is anything that I am absorbed with. Whatever I spend my money on. Whatever consumers my thinking.

I need to focus instead on the One who is to be my all in all. I need to rip away all the things that I think about more than Him. I need to turn away from all the things I give myself to, dream about, worship more than Him. My other focus needs to be the lost and hurting people who are all around me. I dare not turn away!

Earlier in the book of 1 John there are repetitive directives about what real love is.  Real love for God is keeping His commandments. Real love is not a burden when it comes to obeying God’s commandments. We do not obey Him out of fear but because we truly love Him. Real believers really love. Real lovers of Jesus love others. The measure of our love for Him can be measured by the love we have for others.

Verses 16 & 17 of chapter 3 says, “By this we know love, that He laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide on him?”

Scary stuff. Am I really so connected to my Saviour that I can give up my life, my health, my happiness, my stuff, my time, my comfort for my brother who has a need? Do I really love Him? Or do I spend my life stockpiling goodies that I can enjoy with my children and closest friends?

My prayer is that God will be able to change my selfish heart. I pray that God’s Holy Spirit will take away all my foolish pretense and give me a hunger and thirst for a life that is free to follow God, free to give away what I hold dear, free to get to know those around me, free to lay down all the idols and be all I can be; be like Jesus.

April 24, 2016 …Pastor’s Help Mate

KAREN WILSON’S STORY

A New Path

Most of us don’t like change. We don’t like new things and starting over. Simply stated, we don’t like the idea of changing the status quo. And yet God is forever stirring up our nest and redirecting our steps, and changing our circumstances. Change can feel good, and it can feel catastrophic at times. But through all of it, hopefully, growth happens, God gets the glory, and Jesus reflects more in our faces having walked that journey.

Philippians 4:11, 12, 13,
“Not that I speak in respect of want (Paul says) for I have learned (better translated, I am learning), in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

God has a vision for everyone. He has each day of our lives all scheduled for us before we even get started! (Psalm 139) One of my mother’s favorite sayings was this: “We make our plans, and then life happens.” And I’m grateful that a sovereign and a loving God is in control of that “life” and will walk with us each step of the way.

When I was in high school, I prayerfully made the decision to become a registered nurse. I took the classes in high school that would help me for college and then went to a good college to become a nurse. And I believe I became just that! A good nurse! I loved my career, and I loved the patients and the families. I remember working hard, often going the extra mile and doing the extra thing to make their lives better. I preferred working in geriatrics; felt it was my calling in life. I had a compassion for the elderly and a heart for the spouses and children of the old relative that had now become incapacitated. Many times I prayed with families, and even more, times prayed with the residents and ministered to them at their bedside during their final days.

Also, the simple fact I was a nurse, had a license, gave me the ability, “the power” to make life better for many, to see good things happen. It made me feel good, and I was rewarded so many times by the love and gratitude that was returned to me. I remember thinking, “Wow! I can really ‘be Jesus’ to these people, in a significant way!” And indeed, I was. And that was my projected plan for life. And yes, Mama, I made my plans, then “life happened.”

Circumstances as they were in my life, things got out of control. Big changes happened big losses. Big regrets and big tragedies. And I won’t make my list here. One of my most recent changes is I quickly became deaf. My “job” as a nurse, a healer, a Jesus-doer had ended. And I felt like a failure and useless. And I grieved about this! I remember being angry at God for allowing this. Finally, and by the grace of God, I had to come to a decision. I felt God say to me, “Karen, you have a choice here. You can curl up and die (which I already had tried a few years previous to this) or you can choose to LIVE, by My Grace.” So, trusting God, I made the choice to live, and to love, and to serve. No, I wasn’t going to be a nurse. I wouldn’t be making big money, and bringing forth change because of my college degree. But I could still love people, serve people, and touch people’s lives in a simple way.

God showed many comparisons about Himself to me. Yes. He is the God of the universe that can snap His fingers and galaxies are created. One morning before breakfast He spoke the world into existence. His magnificence and power can be seen by all. But He is also the God whose gentle tenderness can soothe a tired soul, He weeps with us when we hurt, and He’s also a God who isn’t afraid to roll up His work sleeves right alongside us, and serve. And I believe that is what He has called me to do. He gave me the vision of becoming the “odd job girl.” And the jobs can get pretty odd! Pulling weeds, cleaning houses, pet-sitting your dog. And let me tell you! The work is often very hard, and my back hurts plenty by the end of the day and I more times than not come home looking like a drowned rat with mud plastered to my face. But I have a peace in my heart that has been missing a long time! I feel useful and needed. And no, the pay doesn’t compare to what I made as a nurse, but that doesn’t matter! I am becoming RICH in what really does matter.
I believe that working in this “common way” I’m touching lives of people that might be intimidated or put off by a college degree or someone with letters and titles after their name. But Karen; deaf, and sweaty? Yep. She understands! And people open up to me. And I’m still touching hearts and loving others. And I pray that I’m being that “everyday Jesus” to them. And I want God to always get the glory!

What is God calling you to be? To do?

Remember, it’s not the super talented, but the super dedicated that God uses. 1 Corinthians 1: Paul says, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.”

God uses us because we are available and we’re clean; we’re anointed, we’re surrendered, and we’re dedicated to His purpose. God’s love is infinite, and He has a wonderful plan for our lives.

He wants people dedicated to loving and serving. He cares about changed lives for the sake of Christ, and that the good news of the gospel is shared.

In the life of a believer, nothing happens by chance, fate or fortune. There is nothing such as coincidence. There’s no such thing as luck. We are God’s servants and God has ordained us to look like His Son, Jesus. And we do not determine a man’s greatness by his talent, or his wealth as the world does, but rather, by what’s inside. I encourage each of us to continue on in Christ, to persevere, and to ever keep our eyes on Jesus.

May our lives make lasting footprints and a difference in the lives of others!

February 14, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart…  Pastor’s Help Mate

Valeene Hayes was a missionary with OMS the missionary society of  our Marilyn Wykes.    From an article from Jan-April 2016 OMS Outreach.

A lady who gives her heart and life daily to the Lord.

After surviving rheumatic fever as a child, doctors placed strict limitations upon Valeene telling her she would never be able to serve overseas as a missionary. But

God miraculously intervened, and in 1962, Miss Valeene began her missionary career in Haiti with One Mission Society.

One night when she and a coworker were talking about devotions and prayer, her coworker mentioned how hard it was to stay awake while praying before bedtime. She simply smiled and shared how she told her mother that same thing when she was a teenager. Her mother said, “He understands. What better way to fall asleep  than talking to Jesus?”  Often she would relate to coworkers what she was learning in her daily quiet times.  It seemed that she had a direct line to God because she often spoke of His leading her.

One story she shared was of her early years of fund raising with OMS. While driving through  the Iowa countryside, her car ran out of gas. This was before cell phones and there was not a pay phone in sight.  She walked to a nearby farm, looked around for help, but no one was home. While standing at her car, praying about what to do next, God prompted her to check  to see if the farm house door was unlocked. Finding the door unlocked she called out. No response. God again prompted her to go inside to search for a phone. 

While she was looking for the phone she saw several missionary prayer cards displayed on the hutch.  “Here I am in a home that prays for missionaries!” she thought. She found the phone and contacted a friend who lived nearby. Then, she left a handmade wooden heart box on the table, along with her prayer card and a note thanking the family for the use of their phone. 

As a woman of prayer, Valeene often shared stories of God’s leading which were also written into prayer tracts so that the world of OMS could read them too.

Valeene dedicated her life to God as a single woman and purposefully used her time to mentor and encourage young people during every stage of her life and ministry. Whether she was serving as dorm mother for the OMS Haiti MKs in Port-au-Prince, Dean of women at Vennard College, music in Mahogany (traveling Haitian choir), program director for Radio 4VEH’s FM Stereo 95, and prayer coordinator for OMS’ World Intercessors, she truly loved serving the Lord.

Since retiring from Haiti in the late 1990’s, Valeene has volunteered with the prayer ministry at  OMS World Headquarters, also planning worship monthly for OMS’ half day of prayer. With her experience in radio programing and music training, she understands the important role that music can play in preparing  hearts for prayers.

From her simple challenge of “Give a Good Day” to sharing the wisdom God has given her over the years, Valeene’s life of genuine faith daily continues to overflow with music, prayer, and God’s Word.      

March 1, 2015   Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help-Mate

March 1, 2015   Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help-Mate

Words Of Love #4

The Reflection of Our True Heart Condition

“The heart of the wise man makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his life.”Proverbs 16:23

As God’s children our words need to be truth.  Another word for exaggeration is lying.  

“He is the way, the truth and the life” John 14:6a. Jesus is truth.  “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.” Pr. 12: 22a.

Others may fail us and we may become disenchanted by the things going on  around us but spiritual victories can be won when we teach ourselves how to react to those things with “words of love” and truth.  

I have found it helpful to use a small note book to make notes of things that I say that perhaps I wish I had said another way or not said at all.  Then I re-write my “words of love” so that I will be prepared ahead of time for those moments when the right words fail me. 

In dealing with our family and loved ones sometimes the truth hurts, so this is an especially important time to bathe our words in prayer and plan ahead.   If we do have a time when we have spoken hastily, it is important to remember to ask forgiveness for not being as sensitive as we should have been. The Lord will help us through these times when we stay in the Word and pray without ceasing.

Often on FaceBook people post without a thought and  others  put a great deal of thought into being as obtuse (annoyingly insensitive) as they can get away with.  This only succeeds in showing the Scripture truth that we referred to last week;

 “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”Mat. 12:34.  

We can ask the Lord to change our hearts so that we can speak words of truth and words that heal.   We who know Christ can respond as one who is filled with the Holy Spirit and truly be a reflection of His LOVE.

Let us be your Delight, O LORD