August 27, 2017   JANE’S HEART TO HEART  …PASTOR’S HELP MATE

The week while preparing for my Heart to Heart this thought came to me…

What are my bullet points for this new year in my life?

What is really important to me?

Birthdays to me, are like a New Year. A challenge to move forward.   

I was born on August 26th, and August 28th is my Spiritual birthday.  It is the day as a small child that my sister and I accepted Christ as our personal Savior, while attending a Vacation Bible School of the Bertrand Bible Church, in Niles MI., in a huge tent meeting about a block from our house and that church had a bus ministry.  They followed up with my sister and me and began picking us up for Sunday School.

To me, it is a lot like New Years Day when folk reflect on the old year and consider changes they might want to make in their lives for the better.

I would like to think seriously about making it a special time to Challenge myself to consider, what my ‘bullet points’ are for this new phase of my life.

  • Have I won anyone to the Lord Jesus Christ since my last birthday?
  • Do I have someone in mind whom I might be able to impact for Christ in this next year of my life?
  • Do I have something in my life that I should change that would make me a better Christian example to my children, siblings, parents, other relatives, grand children, fellow believers, neighbors, co-workers? clerk in the store, teacher, etc.
  • When I consider giving gifts to others on their special days, do I give spiritual gifts such as Bibles, Devotional books, or even a prayer, written out and perhaps framed so that that person knows that you I praying for him or her?(and make sure to pray.)
  • Can I say that this Scripture is a good description of my heart for Christ and influencing others for Christ?

Please read this thoughtfully and again this week and pray the following prayer as your commitment to challenging yourself to a  sincere walk this year to make a spiritual difference in the lives of other for His Glory.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (KJV) 20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,  21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

“Father, I want to speak for You today. Bring me across the path of someone who needs to hear there is a God who loves and cares for them.  If I can’t give the whole gospel story, help me to at least point them toward Jesus, Speak through me —- through my words and my smile with Your words and Your smile.  Help me to forget about my own selfish will and desires. Today, I will I surrender to you.”   That is my prayer.

If we who read this today, are not willing to make this commitment, there will not be any growth in our circle of influence nor in our ministry here.

A special prayer.

“Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes

All my own desires and hopes

and accept Thy will for my life.

I give myself, my life, my all

Utterly to Thee to be Thine forever.

Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit

Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt

And work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost now

and forever.”

~Betty Scott Stam

On Dec. the 7th, 1934,  John and Betty Star were captured by the Chinese communists and were beheaded for the cause of Christ. They had hidden their little baby, Helen Priscilla, just 3 months old, and she was rescued and taken out of the country by Chinese friends.

Tim Sisk, Professor of Intercultural Studies at Moody Bible Institute said “We often fool ourselves into thinking that the command to make disciples across the globe can be done with little or no sacrifice,” Sisk said. “The story of the Stams reminds us that it is a war and that the evil one will oppose those who go to make Jesus known.  Their story should remind us all of the cost, but also challenge us to wholehearted obedience as the Stams modeled for us.”

January 8, 2017    JANE’S HEART TO HEART …  PASTOR’S HELP MATE

January 8, 2017 JANE’S HEART TO HEART …  PASTOR’S HELP MATE

Helen Roseveare, Missionary to Africa shared this TRUE story.

THE HOT WATER BOTTLE

One night, in Central Africa, I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all that we could do, she died leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying,  two-year-old daughter.  We had no incubator, no electricity to run an incubator, and no special feeding facilities. On the equator, nights were often chilly and drafty.  A student midwife went for a box of supplies for cotton wool to wrap the baby. Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle and came back in distress, the bottle had burst. Rubber perishes easily in tropical climates, “it was our last hot water bottle!”  I had them put the baby as near the fire as they could, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts.

The following noon I went to have prayers with the orphanage children who often gathered with me. I gave them suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the baby’s needs, the broken hot water bottle. The baby could die if it got chilled and told them about the two-year-old sister, crying, whose mother had died. During the prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt way of our African children. “Please, God, send us a water bottle. It’ll be no good tomorrow, God, the baby’ll be dead; so, please send it this afternoon.” While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added to her prayer, ” …And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she’ll know You really love her?” I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say, “Amen?” I just did not believe that God could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything: The Bible says so, but there are limits, aren’t there? The only way God could answer this prayer would be by sending a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever received a parcel from home. Anyway, if anyone did send a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator! 

That afternoon as I taught the nurses’ training school, a message came that there was a car at my door. When I reached home, the car had gone, but on the veranda, was a large parcel! I felt tears as we carefully untied each knot.  All of those little eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly colored jerseys, knitted bandages, and the children began to look a little bored. Next, came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas. As I put my hand in again, I felt the…could it really be? I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, “A new hot water bottle!” I cried. I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could. Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying, “If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!” Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully dressed dolly. Her eyes shone: She had no doubts! She looking at me, she asked, “Can I go over with you, Mummy, and give this dolly to that little girl, so she’ll know that Jesus really loves her?”  That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday School class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God’s prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. One of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child — five months earlier in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it “That afternoon!”