DEC. 28, 2014   JANE’S HEART TO HEART   … Pastor’s Help-Mate

DEC. 28, 2014 JANE’S HEART TO HEART … Pastor’s Help-Mate

 MY 2015 CHALLENGE

This is for me first and then I post it as my signature in emails and letters and share it with those with whom I correspond during the year of 2015.

“WHEN WE PUT OUR LIVES IN GOD’S HANDS

HE PUTS HIS PEACE IN OUR HEARTS”  (ODB) 

Isaiah 26:3-4 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.   Trust ye in the Lord forever: for the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”   and Romans 15: 13 “ 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.” NIV

Our choice this year should be to have a heart of gratitude and praise. “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”   Ps. 34:1 

This praise need not be just when things are going well, but in the times of trial too. Yes, giving thanks in all things is not easy and it may not change your circumstances, but it will put you in a frame of mind to experience God’s richest blessing that He desires for you through your trials.

If we continue without praise in our trails we give up peace and contentment, we give up JOY.  We make things even worse when we remove ourselves from His grace and fellowship during these hard times by whining and complaining.           

  “Let us counsel and train our hearts by being obedient and offer a sacrifice of “Thanks” and let God’s truth lift and sustain your spirit.”  (DeMoss)

Christian contentment is that sweet, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”  (Jeremiah Burroughs)

Being joyful is not what makes you grateful

Being grateful is what makes you Joyful

Nov. 30, 2014   Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help-Mate

Nov. 30, 2014   Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help-Mate

Praise and Thanksgiving….for Delayed Blessings.

Often on Face Book I come across and connect with dear friends, parishioners and students from past ministries Pastor and I have been privileged to know.  Sometimes it is a sad reunion when I find that some of them are not serving the Lord at all and their lives are ruined.  But many times it is a JOY to connect with those who are still faithfully serving our Lord and raising their families for Christ.

A few months ago I was able to connect with a former  student of ours and a pastor’s daughter. She is teaching in the public school and is an adjunct professor at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. She has a sweet testimony and in the course of our conversation she wrote this note to me. 

She very respectfully said, Mrs. Pierpont, your husband gave me a “motivational speech” when I was goofing off in high school (imagine that) and it really meant the world to me.  He said some very positive things that I still remember, and it really inspired me to get my act together, earlier.  I’ve been married for 25 years (with God”s grace) and have four children.  I met my husband in college, and he is so wonderful.  My parents both passed away in the last couple of years.  My dad was in poor health for quite a while, he had a bad heart from his youth.  My mother died unexpectedly in her sleep, she was 82.  I miss them both terribly.  As we have such a big family, I am quite young to have lost both parents.  However, I rejoice in the hope of heaven and “I don’t sorrow as those who have no hope” (I Thess. 4:13). 

I would love prayer for my oldest son who was honorably discharged from the Navy due to illness, but it was a huge blow to his self-esteem and now he is “searching” for who he is.  Definitely struggling with the Lord and with us  – parenting young adults who don’t live with you is hard!  Would greatly appreciate prayer- you raised three sons too so I know you understand!  Thank you for praying!! 

Then she added, “How can I pray for you?”  This was encouraging to me because it told me where she was herself, spiritually.  Someone desiring her loved one to be right with the Lord and concerned and praying for others  – wonderful!

Perhaps another time I can share other examples of those who are faithfully serving the Lord that we have been honored to influence for Christ’s Glory   Thank you Lord for such delayed blessings!

November 2, 2014     JANE’S HEART TO HEART  …Pastor’s Help-Mate

November 2, 2014 JANE’S HEART TO HEART  …Pastor’s Help-Mate

I have to say with Billy Graham….”Growing old has been the greatest surprise of my life”.  Someone else said, “Old age is not for sissy’s”.

Now I do not want to be a Whiney, Wimpy Woman, so I will not dwell on my losses, but with me perhaps some of you have experienced some of your own losses or you are realizing that you just don’t have the stamina that you once had: Sunday School teaching, teaching school, leading choral and handbell choirs and musicals, singing solos, walking and standing,  dressmaking, crocheting, carving. Losses like having to be separated from your dear children, grandchildren, parents 

and siblings, these loses can define who we really are.

Be faithful in prayer for your children and grandchildren. Keep in touch on a regular basis. They are God’s gifts to you. Think about the impression that you will leave. Write to them, give them your time even if separated by miles they need to know you are a person of prayer and faithful in service for the Lord.  ”Encourage one another and build each other up” I Thes. 5:11.  That verse says encourage, not lecture.  Mend broken relationship if you have any.   Daily we can wait upon the Lord and look forward to what He has in store for us by staying in the Word and focusing on the promises found therein. Then we we can truly say, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:   And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10: 27-28  KJV).  It is like when the phone rings and it is a member of the family or a close friend.  You know their voice, because you  talk together a lot and they belong to you. You will know the Lord’s voice when you stay close to HIm.

J. Pierpont Morgan, perhaps the most influential banker in history. penned these words into his will in 1913.. “I commit my soul into the hands of my Saviour, in full confidence that having redeemed it and washed it in His most precious blood, He will present it faultless before the throne of my Heavenly Father; and I entreat my children to maintain and defend, at all hazard, and at any cost of personal sacrifice, the blessed doctrine of the complete atonement for sin through the blood of Jesus Christ, once offered, and through that alone.”   What powerful dying words.

Remember the greatest legacy you can give your heirs is not your money nor the things you have accumulated in your lifetime but your character and your faith  and your testimony of JOY in the Lord to the very end.

Old age does not exempt us from fulfilling our purposes in Life. “When I am old and gray-headed,

O God, do not forsake me,

Until I declare Your strength to this generation.”  Ps. 71:18

September 14, 2014    Jane’s Heart to Heart…. Pastor’s Helpmate

Have you ever considered what the Lord would have you to do with your life.  Have you ever considered giving your life to the Lord for some kind of Christian service?

You might say, ” I don’t know, I want to do this or that”.  Perhaps you should pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you what He would have you to do. Have you ever asked HIM? I wonder how long it has been since a person from this church has gone out from here to serve the Lord full time or even just said,” Lord, I am willing to serve you here at SLBC or in my work place or school while I am waiting on God’s leading in my life.” Today is the Day for full surrender!

-BIILL BRIGHT CAMPUS CRUSADE FOR CHRIST said:

“UNTIL THERE IS TOTAL SURRENDER, THERE IS NO VISION.” 

The  first thing  a Christian should do is Surrender his or her life to the Lord and tell the Lord that you want to do what He wants you to do every day and every hour and then start pursuing what type of Christian service the Lord has for you. If that is not HIS choice for  you  He will shut the door.  When you do surrender to Him you will want to set out to obey Him in baptism and reading the Word and show Him you are determined  to follow Him, He is not going to show you the next step until you obey in the first step. He will then show you one step at a time what He has in store for you.

In Nancy DeMoss’s Devotion for Sept. 9, entitled, “King over All”   Acts 17:28 says “In Him we live and move and have our being.”   The concept of a Sovereign King who exercises absolute control over His subjects is one that our Western mind finds difficult for us to accept. We want to have a say in the matter, to vote for the leader of our choice.  We might say the thought of someone exercising control over us is insufferable and demeaning, but for the Christian the Lordship of Christ is a nonnegotiable reality. He is God. 

There is such a safety and security afforded us in yielding to that control. Do you relish or resist the thought of relinquishing control of every area of your life to God? Surrender is the KEY to great freedom and peace.

Children on the way to school in the morning do not have the privilege of voting whether Mom or 8 year old Suzie is in control of the minivan today. The fact that Mom doesn’t share the driving privileges with her preschooler does not make her a control freak, but rather a loving responsible authority, appropriately asserting her role over her children.

Adults sitting here,  have you ever asked the Lord what  He want you to do for Him. I know some are failing in health, but we can still maintain a testimony of Christ love to our families or caregivers and do what we can to show others what an obedient Christian looks like even through trials.

Those who are able, ask the Lord for a clear mind..not for yourself but for His glory and set out to serve him. It is never to late to surrender to HIM.  He will do the rest.

August 24, 2014 JANE’S HEART TO HEART …PASTOR’S HELPMATE

BE NOT AFRAID…. 

Let me share this story from Elisabeth Elliot’s book, Trusting God in a Twisted World,  Elisabeth, her eighteen month old grandson Walter, and his father decided to go to one of those automatic car washes, which can be a bit scary on the first run-through, even for an adult.  She watched little Walter’s face as the car was drawn into the dark tunnel.  The water suddenly began to roar down over all four sides of the car, and his big eyes got bigger — but went immediately from the windows to the face of his father.  He was too small to understand what it was all about, and he’d had no explanation before hand, yet he knew his Daddy would take care of him.  The giant brushes began to close in, whirling and sloshing, and making a tremendous racket… His eyes darted again to the face of his father.  He was afraid but he didn’t cry. Then the rubber wheel banged down on the wind-shield and the hot air began to blast… Little Walter clung to one thing; he knew His father and he had never given him any reason not to trust him,…When the car finally broke out into sunshine, the little boy’s face broke into a big smile.  Everything was Okay; Daddy knew what he was doing after all.

Are you going through  times you might call, “ a car wash experience?” Like little Walter…. We need to trust the FATHER. We can say with JOY and confidence that He is a faithful God!   He will bring us through.

While living in Evanston, Illinois in 1956, just a few days after Ken and I were married, while I was listening to the WMBI Christian radio station from Moody Bible Institute, they announced the terrible news that five missionaries were killed by the Acua Indians to whom they were seeking to minister.  Elisabeth Elliot was the wife of Jim Elliot, one of those missionaries. As she suffered through this trial the Lord brought to her mind the promise from Isaiah 43: 1-2.  “I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned…. For I am the Lord your God”.  Just a few days later she and her little daughter, Valerie, returned to the mission field to minister to and win many of that tribe to Christ. Think of that! Elisabeth said. “Peace came, not by removal of suffering but through acceptance.”

No matter what dark tunnel we may have, Christ has been there. Faith is not just feeling good about God, but a conscious choice  to obey his Word when he says, “Trust Me”   “..It is by this that we know what love is: that Christ laid down His life for us.” John 3:16

He is the Father,   “Back of the Clouds the Sun is Always Shining.”     “Be Not Afraid”

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.

"I Guess the Only Thing We Can Do Now is Pray.."

parsonage

So often we who know the Lord try to do everything we can to fix things and change things and then as I heard on the news yesterday some one said. “I guess the only thing we can do now is pray..”

Prayer is not a good luck charm nor a rabbit’s foot…..

Lord, help us to seek YOUR face without ceasing and stay in YOUR WORD in obedience with right heart attitude.

Help us to call out to YOU first for guidance to make right choices and allow You to guide us.

As a young person I learned this Scripture and it has blessed me so much. I have to remind myself of this when ever I try to fix things myself.

Memorize Ps. 100. Repeat it over and over… think about it’s meaning.

The following is my capsulized version… REJOICE IN THE LORD… SERVE HIM WITH GLADNESS… COME BEFORE HIS PRESENCE… KNOW HE I S GOD… HE MADE US… WE ARE THE SHEEP… HE IS THE SHEPHERD… GIVE THANKS DAILY… PRAISE HIM… BE THANKFUL… BLESS HIS NAME… THE LORD IS GOOD… HIS MERCY IS EVERY LASTING… HIS TRUTH ENDURES THROUGH ALL GENERATIONS….

Shout this out to the Lord today… And everyday. Then when trials come you can just lift your hands and heart to HIM and say humbly “I’m here Lord, direct my path and hold out your hand to him like a small child would do.”

GOD is faithful. He will lead you through that trail sweetly.

2014 ANNUAL CHALLEMGE – TO BE LIKE JESUS

My 2014 GOAL

The more of HIS WORD I have in me,

The more like HIS SON I will be. God helping me.

PSALM 119:11

“THY WORD HAVE I HID IN MY HEART 

THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST THEE.”

WHY?

II TIMOTHY 2:15 SAYS:   “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”

Read Psalm 119 and bask in the truth of the significance of being in the Word of God and having the Word in you to address all of life’s issues.

This past year in June we decided to give the little book “Treasure Path to Soul Winning” by J.O. Grooms1970 to all the folk in our church and then to all of our family that can read. This little book encourages Scripture memory to facilitate Soul Winning.

Psalm 42:1-2 As the hart (deer) panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God, My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: When shall I come and appear before God?”

Every year right after Christmas, I begin thinking what to do the next year for my family and loved ones for Christmas that cost little monetarily yet will be significant and my final realization this year after Christmas was over I realized that the most important thing that I can give them is a wife, mother, grandmother or friend who is living the Word and praying for them. The only real gift of value.

This is my continuing Goal for 2014 and my gift to others, the Lord willing.

Knowing God and His word will help me to be productive for HIS GLORY.

My song for this year is:

TO BE LIKE JESUS

Words and Music by Dick and Melodie Tunney, ©1989 LCS Songs, Pamela Kay Music, Dick & Mel Music/ASCAP

A little boy is crying for affection.    A little girl needs a hand to hold.

 

And oh, how he loves those little children.   How he longs to be a friend to young and old.

His tender spirit welcomes all who seek Him.  His giving heart asks little in return.

And I have found his promises faithful.   I seek to live my life that I may learn …

Chorus

To be like Jesus, To be like Jesus.  To be the one I was created to be.

To be like Jesus, To be like Jesus.   May all who see my heart find Him in me.

When I received His supreme salvation  His heavenly love filled my earthly soul.

And I became His new creation.  My brokenness He made completely whole.

And through the darkness of this world I’ve been commissioned

To be a light that shines for Him alone.  Surrounded by His infinite mercy,

May my life always be known …  My only earthly goals fulfilled

When I’m centered in His will.  May all who see my life find Him in me.

 

John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

WHEN YOU KEEP YOUR EYES ON CHRIST EVERYTHING WILL COME INTO FOCUS”    ODB

2012 ANNUAL CHALLENGE – Sing a Song of JOY

REAL JOY

As I have been thinking in the last few weeks about choosing a Key verse and song for the year 2012, I thought of the struggles that I have been having with a lot of pain from degenerative disc disease and also the fact that I am not able to sing as I have in the past. I have always signed my letters and named my web site, and recently ordered our grave markers and had engraved by my name, the phrase, “Singing His Praise”.

Since singing for me is much harder, and the pain and inability to do many things that I once did easily, I am finding that satan would steal my JOY. I share this so those who have similar situations may be encouraged.

When I was just a young child we sang a song in Sunday School and week day Bible Class that met once a week after school.

My good friend Beverly Smith (Yokum) and I would use our study hall to write the memory verses for our Bible class teacher.

I have determined to make this my theme song for the year 2012… and rejoice that I can still Sing His Praise in my heart and not allow self pity.

Along with that little song is an important message that we so need to keep in mind.

“J-O-Y”

Jesus and Others & You
What a wonderful way to spell J-O-Y
Jesus and Others and You.
In the life of each girl and each boy.

J – is for Jesus, for HE has first place,
O- is for other, we meet face to face.
Y – is for You in what ever you do,
Put yourself last and spell JOY.

The way to have real JOY in our lives is to follow the rules to this little song.

Philippians 2: 2 – 51 will be my verses for 2012 to help me “Forget about (myself) and concentrate on Him and worship Him.” (“We Have Come Into His House” 2).

“…make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vein conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5. Your attitude should be that same as that of Christ Jesus.”
In my counseling ministry I encourage those who struggle with discouragement and depression to follow this bit of advice, I am giving myself, and read I Corinthians 13 (THE LOVE CHAPTER) every day for one month and journal how those verses have helped them at the end of the month.

1 New International Version, Harvest House, 1995

2 “Celebration of Praise, Rick Powell, P. 27, Zondervan, 1980.