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.

MAY 22, 2016   Jane’s Heart to Heart   … Pastor’s Help Mate

Some time back when we first began Jane’s Heart to Heart I shared 12 lessons on the 23rd Psalm.

Today I want to share this Question which I was reminded of in a daily devotional which I received from The Pocket Testament League this past week.

Who is in Your Flock?

Acts 20:28  “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

Paul instructed us to “keep watch” over ourselves; now he adds to this “and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.” In secular terms the word “overseer” would mean superintendent or supervisor, in church terms it is typically translated as “bishop” or “elder.” Therefore, we could interpret the word  to include both those people who we are responsible for physically as well as spiritually.

The authority to be an overseer is given by the Holy Spirit and is not based on bloodline, order of birth, financial condition or work relationship. Some of us might have difficulty with this concept. After all, why would my boss at work or co-workers listen to me about my faith — what authority do I have?

The point is, the only authority you need is the Holy Spirit’s.

Ask yourself who the Lord has placed in your care? Yet never without prayer and obedience.

Certainly, children come immediately to mind, but who else?

  • your co-worker
  • fellow student
  • your boss
  • bus driver
  • stewardess
  • baby-sitter
  • customers
  • waitress
  • relatives
  • parents
  • husband

Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal who He — based upon His own sovereignty — has placed within your domain as spiritual overseer. It might surprise you. How does it change your attitude toward this relationship? Can you guide another’s spiritual development with humility? What needs to change within you to do so?

Our favorite passages about evangelism is the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-10

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

My Heart’s Silent Song of Praise

My Heart’s Silent Song of Praise

 

I wrote this little song on May 30, 2015 and sent a note to our youngest son Nathan and ask if he could come up with an arrangement for me… in just a few hours he sent this back to me with the recorded song he sang in my place…  Thank you again, Nathan.

My Mother’s Voice

My Strength is gone
My voice is low
My hands cease their labor
Yet they raise to Him
My heart’s silent song of Praise

He knows my thoughts
With thankful heart
I lift my silent call.
To yield to Him my all.
My heart’s silent song of Praise.

Those gifts He loaned
To use for HIM
That others too could know
Of His great love.
My heart’s silent song of Praise.

Still Singing His Praise in My Heart.

This humble little poem is my Heart as I realize more and more how the Lord allows us to give our talents to Him which has been my desire since my youth.

I thank Him for the honor of having been able to serve Him in so many ways and now He is allowing me to honor HIM in other ways…. Praying that I will be open to these new ways as I continue to serve HIM as long as He chooses.

It is such a JOY to know that He has the plans.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. –Jer. 12:11 NIV

PART 10: Psalm 23:5b ” You anoint my head with oil.”

June 29, 2014    JANE’s HEART TO HEART    …. The Pastor’s Helpmate

Psalm 23:5b  “..You anoint my head with oil.”

When I was  about eight years old I loved to read the dictionary.  I would look through and find words, read the definition and then I would try to think of ways to use them in a sentence and ask my family a question using that word.  One I especially remember is when I would sit with my head on my hand and elbow on my knee and ask, “What am I doing?   They would try to guess and then I would say, “I am meditating”. Often when we had visitors my parents would have me try to stump our company.  

As we meditate on this magnificent poem of Ps. 23 it is helpful to keep in mind that the poet, David, is recounting the events of the full year in a sheep’s life. He takes us with him from the home ranch where every need is so carefully supplied by the owner, out into the green pastures, along the still waters, up through the mountains valleys to the high tablelands of summer.

Here now when it would seem that the sheep are in a perfect setting on the high meadows; where there are clear running springs and fresh tender forage we suddenly find “a fly in the anointment” so to speak. (Keller)  There  are many different insects that reek havoc among livestock. The shepherd anoints his sheep to protect them from the nasal flies which land on the sheep’s nose and lay their eggs. The eggs hatch into tiny worms that burrow up the sheep’s nose into its head. These wriggling worms cause the sheep to panic, toss its head and run wild trying to rid itself  of the pain even beating its head against a rock or tree often hurting itself. Right away the shepherd will rub a mixture of oil and herbs over every sheep’s head and nose. This keeps the flies away and calms the sheep.

Meditate on this:

What is it that upsets you?  What frustrates you and causes you to panic? Who irritates or “bugs” you? When things go wrong and upset you, ask Jesus to anoint you with His love and peace., Just as oil calms the sheep, Jesus wants to calm our upset minds and hearts with the Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to take control of your life. 

Romans 15:13 says: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus also said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…”

Psalm 23:5b  “..You anoint my head with oil.”

Part 8: PSALM 23:4b – “Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me”

June 15, 2014     Jane’s HEART TO HEART   …. PASTOR’S HELPMATE

PS. 23:4b “…THY  ROD AND STAFF THEY COMFORT ME.

REALLY!     COMFORT ME?

On a blog on the internet called Jodi’s Journal….Oct 2009 she also sites W. Phillip Keller in his book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23.  How can a rod and staff bring comfort?  A rod and a staff are the universal instruments used by shepherds. The rod represents  God’s Word. It is absolute Truth and has full authority. God’s Word “keeps our lives free from confusion and chaos.” His Word brings peace and “quiet serenity.”

 The rod has four basic functions. First, “as a symbol of the shepherd’s strength, power, and authority.” Second, an instrument of discipline to correct wayward sheep. “With it, the owner is able to carry out effective control of his flock in every situation.” Third, to examine and count the sheep. The Old Testament term was “passing under the rod.”  Finally, it serves as an “instrument of protection for the shepherd and his sheep when  in danger.“

The staff represents the Holy Spirit who provides comfort to believers – He is the still, small voice that stirs our soul to desire intimacy with God.  Jesus promised that God would send the Holy Spirit. …“the Spirit of Truth will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13).

This reminds me of the small child screaming for his own way and when the wise parent steps in and corrects the child, then the child experiences a calm and even happiness in his boundary. The other day I heard a  wise parent say to a disobedient child: “Just remember if you are disobedient to me, then the Lord’s  correction may be  harder than mine.”

Often we live our lives on the “Zip line” of careless disobedience and when the  line breaks we cry out to God expecting answered prayer.   

“The Holy spirit says, ‘This is the way – walk in it.’ And as we comply with His gentle promptings, a sense of safety, envelops us. If we take the time to ask God for guidance, it “conveys the mind of Christ”  and there is a calm repose in the knowledge that He is there to direct  in the most minute details of our daily living.”

Ps. 37:3-4 says: “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

“…THY  ROD AND STAFF THEY COMFORT ME.