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).

February 5, 2017 Jane’s Heart to Heart…. Pastor’s Help- Mate

 A POEM OF GOD’S GRACE

 

I did not know His love before,

 the way I know it now.

 I could not see my need for Him,

 my pride would not allow.

 

I had it all, without a care,

 the “Self-sufficient” lie.

 My path was smooth,

 my sea was still,

 not a cloud was in my sky.

 

 I thought I knew His love for me,

 I thought I’d seen His grace,

 I thought I did not need to grow,

 I thought I’d found my place.

 

But then the way

 grew rough and dark,

 the storm clouds quickly rolled;

 The waves began to rock my ship,

 I found I had no hold.

 

The ship that I had built myself

 was made of foolish pride.

 It fell apart and left me bare,

 with nowhere else to hide.

 

I had no strength or faith

 to face the trials that lay ahead,

 And so I simply spoke His name

 and bowed my weary head.

 

His loving arms enveloped me,

 and then He helped me stand.

 He said, “You still must

 face this storm, but

 I will hold your hand.”

 

So through the dark and lonely

 night He guided me through pain.

 I could not see the light of day

 or when I’d smile again.

Yet through the pain and endless

 tears, my faith began to grow.

 I could not see it at the time,

 but my light began to glow.

I saw God’s love in brand new

 light, His grace and mercy, too.

 For only when all self was gone

 could Jesus’ love shine through.

 It was not easy in the storm,

 I sometimes wondered why.

 At times I thought,

 “I can’t go on.”

 I’d hurt, and doubt, and cry.

But Jesus never left my side

 He guided me each day.

 Through pain and strife,

 through fire and flood,

 He helped me all the way.

 

And now I see as ne’er before

 how great His love can be.

 How in my weakness He is strong,

 how Jesus cares for me!

 

He worked it all out for my good,

 although the way was rough.

 He only sent what I could bear,

 and then He said, “Enough!”

 

He raised His hand and said,

 “Be still!” He made the storm

 clouds cease. He opened up the

 gates of joy and flooded

 me with peace.

I saw His face now clearer still,

 I felt His presence strong,

 I found anew His faithfulness,

 He never did me wrong.

 

And now I know more storms will

 come, but only for my good,

 For pain and tears have helped

 me grow as nothing ever could.

 

I still have so much more to

 learn as Jesus works in me;

 If in the storm I’ll love Him

 more, that’s where I want to be!

 

author unknown

from Karen Wilson – Peris CA.

October 23, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help Mate

October 23, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help Mate

karen7-2-20Karen Wilson is a very dear friend of mine on the internet who is deaf and has had many heartaches in her life… but knowing Karen as I do she would not want me to talk about her, but her wonderful Saviour.  I asked her to submit something which I could post this week.

The Fruit of the Spirit        Karen Wilson

Dear Heavenly Father,

As I reach out to You today, help me to be fruitful.

May I show love today, especially to those who are not  loving towards me.

May I show joy from You to others who are hurting inside. Help me to uplift and encourage that person!

May I rest in peace today, amidst a crazy world where wrong seems right and chaos rules. May others be calmed by Your peace in me.

May Your Spirit teach me long-suffering…and to rest in your perfect will for me. Remind me how your timing is always perfect in all circumstances.

May I be gentle and good to all I meet, so that they may see the gentleness and goodness of Christ through my life. And may they realize that it is only through Christ living in us, that the fruit of the Spirit can be revealed to others.

Give me the fruit of meekness, that I will not be easily provoked and that I will have a calm mind to face today’s challenges.

May I have the fruit of faith…to trust in You no matter what, and to rest in knowing that you have all the answers to my questions already worked out. Remind me that You were there in the past, You are here with me now, and You are already in the future, waiting for me there.

Finally, Lord, give me the fruit of temperance that I may live with moderation and self-restraint.

Lord, I pray all these things from my heart and for my life today, knowing that this is only possible when I release my will to Yours and allow Your Spirit to work in me. Amen

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,

goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23

October 9, 2016   Jane’s Heart to Heart   … Pastor’s Help Mate

October 9, 2016   Jane’s Heart to Heart   … Pastor’s Help Mate

2013-06-02-08-58-09JOHNATHAN EDWARDS: (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758) was a revivalist preacher, philosopher, and Congregationalist Protestant theologian.    He  gained some early success entering Yale at age 13 and graduated at the top of his class. But he wasn’t satisfied. He wrote out 70 resolutions to guide his process of spiritual maturity.

Needless to say, I am not planning on quoting all 70.

GOALS [PREFACE WITH RESOLVE]:

4. – never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

8. – to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my  own sins and misery to God

10. – when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

21. – never to do anything, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.

25. – to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.

Nancy DeMoss’s “The Quiet Place”  Devotional, on July 9-18 she shared about her father’s 10 Goals which she called “A 24/7 Calling.” She also shares on her website the following comment.  “The scene is indelibly etched in my memory. I was 19 years old. My family was on a mission trip in Haiti—my parents’ (and my) favorite type of family “vacation.” We were worshiping in a small Haitian church, sitting on hard wood benches. In the middle of the service, my dad leaned over to me and whispered, “Honey, what are your 50-year goals?”

December 1977 She penned these for herself.

1st Priority: To love God with all my heart, soul, mind, body

2nd Priority: To love God’s people (encouraging, affirming, exhorting)—building them into committed reproducers.

3rd Priority: To love God’s work in the world (i.e., evangelism)—to build disciples (committed reproducers) in every nation.

Let’s take some time this week to step back and set a goal for what you want to accomplish for the Lord in the next 10 years.

Proverbs  16:3

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

I converted my vanity dresser into a desk and while ago and when I was painting it and decorating it I thought of removing the mirror.  Finally, I decided to leave it on because it reflected the light and made my small office seem larger and I could even see out the windows from all directions.  When I look into te mirror.

I also found it a revealing way of seeing myself as others see me when I talk on the phone or work there.

When I look into the mirror in the morning, I ask myself, Is my life an accurate picture of God???

I pray that my Lord will help my attitude, words and behaviour, to give a true reflection of HIM.

August 21,  2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart   Pastor’s Help Mate

August 21, 2016 Jane’s Heart to Heart Pastor’s Help Mate

Our Grandson Chuk posted this on FaceBook this past week and I thought of the times that I have personally been guilty of this myself.

Chuk shared that there is  a delivery man that comes to his work daily. I have thought this man would complain about winning a million dollars. 

The other day his sales representative came in and I said, “Man, Don would complain if he was hung with a new rope.!” 

The salesman smiled and replied,  “Don had a son who was graduating from high school. He decided to have an open house the night before his graduation. While the party was going on inside his son drowned in the lake. Don hasn’t been the same since.”

Chuk said, “It hurt my heart. For a year I have made fun of Don for complaining. Never once did I think to contemplate his life or why he may be so destroyed on the inside.   No amount of Don’s complaining can come close to bothering me now.  Maybe if I had been more like Christ, to begin with, it never would have.”

When I was doing my Scripture writing this week I was guilty of judging David about how  he prayed, [ in my 30 Day  “Praise the Lord Anyway” Challenge]  Ps.35:26 “Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.”

Then I remembered that David did not have the New Testament to strengthen and challenge him in his faith and the importance of praying and showing love to the unlovely as in I Cor. 13…”Love…  is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil” and ”the Greatest of these is LOVE.”

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.

June 19, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart….   Pastor’s Help Mate

Adrian Rogers

“Artificial insemination is the ideal method of producing a pregnancy, and a lesbian partner should have the same parenting rights accorded historically to biological fathers.” Quoted from the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, summer of 1995.

You did not see a few isolated reports. There is an international agenda seeking to render fathers legally obsolete. Regardless of their legal success, fathers will always be critical to a healthy society. The United States is becoming overrun with fatherless homes, and suffering the consequences. This epidemic is causing our society to disintegrate and succumb to rampant crime, drug abuse, and poverty.

Fathers are critical to both sons and daughters. Sons need fathers to learn about being a godly man; how to fear God (Proverbs 1:7), have self-control, work hard, and respect women, just to name a few. Try as she might, mom alone will be hard-pressed to teach a son these valuable lessons. For daughters, their entire self-image comes from how they are treated by their fathers. A woman’s relationship with men will likely mirror her relationship with her father. The future of kids, regardless of gender, is firmly anchored in their relationship to their fathers.

Fathers, you have a tremendous responsibility. It’s not just your job to teach children how to become adults. Nearly everything they know about God they will learn from watching you (Acts 16:31). “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

You are a representative of God, don’t let Him down.

Now for the wives and mothers…

Voice Your Gratitude – say it out loud

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. —Proverbs 31:11–12

Look for His Servant’s Heart

Through love serve one another. —Galatians 5:13

Cultivate Patience toward Your Husband – – Adjust your expectations.  Praise him for the work he does.

Let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands. —Ephesians 4:28

What’s on Your Tongue?—Tell your family why you love your husband.  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. —Ephesians 4:29

Take Time to Listen   Ladies this is hard… Pray for this.

Be quick to hear, slow to speak. —James 1:19

Demonstrate respect: Part of showing respect includes submission to his authority.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. —Ephesians 5:22.

  “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior” Eph. 5:23.

Children, Young people, adults….. God’s way is the best way to rebuild our nation…. and that is through obedience to God’s instructions with regard to  Fathers Leading, Wives respecting and Children’s obedience…. and that obedience is learned from the Father, ultimately.

Oh the Joy we can have in our Hearts and our Homes when we follow the Saviour’s instructions.

February 28, 2016 JANE’S HEART TO HEART … Pastor’s Help Mate

While Ken and I were ministering at Jonesville Baptist Church, the church supported Annette Williams, a registered Nurse and instructor in Togo West Africa with ABWE.

This past week Annette, who is in Kentucky settling her mothers estate, sent a letter asking prayer for her co-worker, Dr. and missionary.

I wish I had much better news than this. Todd DeKryger has fallen desperately ill again this afternoon since his surgery Monday to see if he had perforated typhoid. His abdomen was OK visually. He rallied on Tuesday but today he has taken a big turn for the worse. He is on IV drugs to keep his blood pressure up, and has very labored respirations, and in and out of consciousness.

I just received a call from the surgeon that operated on him and they are very worried that he may not survive the night to catch his evacuation plane to Europe tomorrow AM leaving from Niamtougou (Niger Republic) at 8 AM (3 AM EST). We are trying to find a government helicopter to fly him to the plane.

They tried to transport him to the airport to take him to Germany and the ambulance broke down and a truck towed them to the airport….and then to the hospital but they were not able to save him.

MARBC Messenger – posted this letter February 26, 2016

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:8-9

Missionary Todd DeKryger is now in the presence of His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

The following is a letter from Jennifer DeKryger, the wife of ABWE missionary Todd DeKryger, medical director at the new ABWE hospital, Hospital of Hope in Mango, Togo. The DeKrygers are missionaries sent out by Forest Hills Baptist Church in Grand Rapids. Please join us in prayer for these dear co-laborers in the Lord’s harvest field.

The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! John 4:36

Here’s the update from Jennifer:

Today, Jesus called Todd home from the work he was doing planting and harvesting in Togo. In the mystery of His will, God chose this day to reward Todd with the unequaled joy of heaven. This is the promise of God that we as believers cling to through tears and pain. Todd poured out his life as an offering to God in Togo. I know that Todd would similarly encourage us who remain here for a little while longer to also be faithful in our service to our King (Philippians 2:17).

Please continue praying and ask Jesus to bring comfort to William, Grant, Luke, and Drew. Ask that His Spirit would provide peace that is beyond the knowledge of this world. Keep praying that the boys grow strong in their knowledge of God’s Word so they can live out the legacy that their father has given to them. Also, pray that our Father in heaven would send more workers like Todd to the beautiful fields of Togo where the harvest is so great!

My heart is overwhelmed with unspeakable grief – for myself, our boys, our extended family, our spiritual family and the Hospital of Hope team. I cling only to the gospel and the certain hope of our salvation through Jesus Christ. I long for the men, women and children of Togo to know the Savior that Todd served so faithfully.

Even in my pain, I am confident that our sacrifice – that Todd’s sacrifice – was worth it. I believe that the great commission is a cause worth dying for. And in the midst of my grief, I fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. The outpouring of prayers and support in recent days has been overwhelming. And I can’t begin to thank all those who have shown kindness to our family. There are many decisions to be made and I will update you again in the days to come. Please be patient as I will not be able to respond to every call, message or e-mail personally. Thanks for standing with us through this time.

In Christ Alone we find our strength,    The DeKryger and Benefiel families

jane.patch.com

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.      

February 7, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart…  Pastor’s Help Mate

February 7, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart…  Pastor’s Help Mate

Ladies Who Are True Models

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,   5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

For some time as  I have been thinking about what that Scripture is really saying to me.  What is my responsibility as a mother, a grandmother and, yes, a pastor’s wife and leader/teacher?

This past week I believe the Lord has revealed part of this to me  in the Scripture that I have been writing in my “Journible” for  I Peter 5.

1 The elders which are among you, I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

Peter is addressing pastors and deacons, and older men in the church.

2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; (In other words “Watch over or shepherd not for personal gain”)  3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. (as models).   4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away (your reward will be in heaven).

Peter goes on to say to the younger men and we can make an application here to the women on the basis of Titus 2 where it says ‘likewise’ (in Titus 2:3 )

5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be

subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.  6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Ladies,  we should be ‘models’ not by the world’s standard, but truly spiritual models as described in Titus 2:5   I used Webster for the following:

Discreet….  Possessed of, exercising, or showing prudence and self-restraint in      speech and behavior; circumspect:

Chaste…    pure, decent, or modest in nature, virgins

Keepers… an attendant, a guard, or a warden

Good…      efficient, useful, healthy, strong, happy or skilled

Obedient…Dutifully complying with the commands, orders, or instructions      of one in authority

For a true child of God, this all comes with a right HEART attitude for the elderly and the young; joyfully, not because you have to, but because you want to, not out of obligation, but out of your love for Christ and Christ alone.  Ladies, let’s become true models of God’s Standards. Run to God.