Oct. 15, 2017 Jane’s Heart to Heart Pastor’s Help-Mate

This is Jon Swanson’s “300 Words” from Oct. 12, 2017  (our Tom Kies’ SiL)

 

WE NEED EACH OTHER

“I help people figure out the next step and how to take it. That’s a way to describe what I do as a chaplain. It’s a way to describe how I approach a couple kinds of consulting I do.

On Wednesday afternoon, I presented the final report in a project completed by the Arbor Research Group. It’s a project that reminded me how much we need each other to accomplish the work that we have in front of you.

Terry Linhart (PhD, Purdue University) is an author, speaker, consultant, and professor of Christian ministries at Bethel College in South Bend, Indiana. He is founder and leader of the Arbor Research Group and hosts the leadership podcast.

On this project Arbor had people with expertise in statistics, Human Resources, focus groups, editing, leadership, and writing. We had people who could fill in after catastrophe, people working around the world, people with strong minds and deep hearts. Our team offered challenge and encouragement and affirmation to each other.

And none of us could have done this project alone. I discovered that in the middle when I needed clarity and courage and the skills of the rest of the team. They were ready and expecting to do the parts they were equipped to do.”

“When Paul talks about the body of Christ having different gifts and different capacities and different needs, he’s not trying to create a metaphor. He’s talking about survival. We are invited by Jesus to love each other. We are invited by Jesus to feed people who are hungry and to clothe people who are naked and to give shelter to the homeless.

When we try to figure it all out on our own, we inevitably complicate because we are each massively incompetent about everything we aren’t massively competent in. But when I ask you for help and you ask me for help, we can help. Just like it took four friends to lower a fifth friend in front of Jesus. Compassion plus eye-hand coordination times four got a man healed.

We don’t need each other to feel better.  We need each other.”

This article was a helpful reminder to me this week.  How about you.

I Cor. 12:

5.  If the foot shall say,

Because I am not the hand,

I am not of the body;

is it therefore not of the body? …

26. And whether one member suffer,

all the members suffer with it; 

or one member be honoured,

all the members rejoice with it. 

27.  Now ye are the body of Christ,

and members in particular.

September 24, 2017    Jane’s Heart to Heart    Pastor’s Help Mate

Scripture Memory

When I was attending Calvary Bible Church in Dowagiac MI during my Jr. and Sr High school years the teacher of the week-day Bible class which met after school one day a week, assigned myself and other teens in our youth group to write out the Scripture  memory verses and cut them in strips to hand out at the class.  Of course, she had an ulterior motive.  That motive was to help us learn the Scriptures ourselves.

While Ken was in seminary we attended Second Baptist Church in Grand Rapids where he was the Sunday School teacher of the college-age class. We had two children and near the Easter season Melony came and presented us a note from her S.S. teacher asking us to teach Melony (age 3-4)  Matthew 28: 5-6.  I was excited about teaching her the Scripture and right away began working with her and to my surprise, she learned it much faster than I ever learned Scripture in my teens.  I tried to teach her the verses with expression and her time came to say her part in the Easter program,  all dressed up in her special dress I made her for the occasion.  She stepped up to the microphone and I can still hear her little voice speaking those words. 

“Matthew 28:5-6  (KJV)

5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.   6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

I have never forgotten that Scripture to this date, and while we were learning I began to realize the huge responsibility before me to help my children and other children to memorize the Word of God while they were young.  For many years I have used Bible Memory Association and started with the ABC Memory Book

This week I was talking to Melony on the phone and she mentioned that her daughter in law, Lisa was helping her son  Skylar learn Eph. 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourself, it is a gift of God.  Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

There is nothing more important to teach our children, grandchildren and yourself then the Word of God!

https://scripturememory.com/Here are just a few of the major reasons you should memorize Scripture:

1  It grows our love for God.

2  It’s God’s command.

3  It heals and comforts.

4  It saturates our hearts with truth.

5  It offers spiritual success.

6  It equips us for spiritual warfare.

7  It fuels our witness.

Another link   http://www.fbma.net/ – There are many sites online that have great aids for memorization.

July 30, 2017   Jane’s Heart to Heart….  Pastor’s Help Mate

SACRED TEARS OF JOY

By Nathan Shipley Pierpont, copyright 1993

“I started writing this on Wednesday, the day after Elisabeth was born and managed to finish by Sunday in time for her first church service.Those of you who have experienced it know what I felt when I discovered the most natural love in the world, the love of your own child.”

Lissy’s Song

Look into those eyes, touch those tiny hands.

Her precious smile can lift a weight more than her daddy can.

As I hold her in my arms at night  and stand to pace the floor,

I look outside with tear-stained eyes and thank my gracious Lord.

“Sweetheart, Why are you crying?” I asked my wife to say.

It seemed so strange to see her tears on our little girl’s second day.

But she looked up with a smile and wiped the teardrops from her eyes,

And said, “The only tears I’ve shed today have been sacred tears of joy.

“I don’t know how to explain it.” my brother said one day,

“The feeling I get when I see them smile or sit and watch them play.

Or when daddy comes through the door at and night,

To hear them laugh and scream with delight,

I guess you”ll have to find out for yourself.”

They always said, there is nothing like it, now I know it’s true.

The sound of your sigh, the smell of your blanket, your heartwarming coo.

They always said there is nothing like it, now I know it’s true.

I could not see how I could love you much more than I do.

Oh, she’s Daddy’s girl, and Momma’s pride and joy.

Yet, sometimes I find I take the time to pray for someone’s little boy.

‘Cause it may be that God can see somewhere in this world

A little boy who will someday come and take the hand of Daddy’s little girl.

So guide his feet and save his soul, and protect him from this wicked world.

’Til the day he comes and wins the heart of Daddy’s little girl.

[Chorus]

And I look up in the sky at night and thank the Father of all that’s right

‘Cause Jesus heard your daddy’s prayer and gave me one like you

Jesus heard Mom and Daddy’s prayers and gave us one like you.

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.

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!”

January 1, 2017  JANE’S HEART TO HEART   …  PASTOR’S HELP MATE

January 1, 2017 JANE’S HEART TO HEART … PASTOR’S HELP MATE

MY 2017 CHALLENGE  Motto:

  The Way Up…  is Down

This new challenge for myself I share from  the chapter Bend Your Knees!  in the Ann Graham Lotz book, I SAW THE LORD….. 2006

But does it matter whether we sit, stand, or kneel to pray? Of course not, there are people who physically cannot do that.…Joni Earekson Tada  who is wheelchair bound….

A soldier who lost his legs…. even his arms…It is most importantly,  our heart attitude,  a person bedridden can utter a prayer even though he or she cannot speak aloud.

Why kneel,  in your heart?

It is an attitude of humility in your heart and mind and your trust in the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us.

Ephesians 3:14

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

2017 Song:  Give Me Jesus

 by Jermey Camps

Give Me Jesus
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus
When I am alone
When I am alone
Oh, when I am alone
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus
Jesus
Give me Jesus
When I come to die
When I come to die
Oh, when I come to die
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vu2E2FUcIiE&list=PL05B763E33237346C&index=2

Ask yourself each day this year, is there anything holding me back from saying, Give Me Jesus. Then allow Jesus Christ to come into the center of your life. Repent of any unconfessed sin.  Trust Jesus alone as the sacrifice of the Cross for you. Claim Him as Lord, Master, and Teacher: Ruler and King.

October 30, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help Mate

2013-06-02-08-58-09Fighting Fear…..

Beverly LaHaye (born April 30, 1929) is an American Christian conservative activist and author who founded Concerned Women for America (CWA) in San Diego, California in 1979 and is the organization’s current chair. She was the wife of the late evangelical Christian minister and prolific author of the Left Behind series Timothy LaHaye. They had been married over 60 years.

Their Motto: “Protecting the rights of the family through prayer and action. LaHaye represents the  CWA on family issues at congressional hearings, rallies and seminars throughout the country.  Early  in her ministry she struggled with fear…. One time she relates  how she feared her  husband’s desire to be an airplane pilot,  and after a reasonable time passed,  he challenged her to ask the Lord to take away the fear.  She prayed and reminded the Lord that she felt she was right about her fear of his learning to fly and that she had been praying that he  would change. Then she prayed, “Lord, I’m ready for you to change my heart if that is what needs to be changed.”

She also struggled with the fear of speaking publicly as a young pastor’s wife and after 15  years in  ministry with her  husband their pastor shared

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  Then without trying to spare her feelings, he told her that she was wrapped up with fear  and  a poor self-image, and that it is caused by selfishness.

To make a long story short, Beverly learned the truth of Romans 14:23, “for whatsoever is not from faith is sin.”   God wants us to walk by faith.

We must learn that fear is a sin and we must confess that sin to the Lord and expressing that to Him in prayer is a very significant step in overcoming those fears. 

Memorize 2 Timothy 1:7 above and make it a determined prayer to confess that sin to the Lord. The wonderful consequence of confronting your fears and trusting God to take care of you is such a JOY.   Beverly LaHaye never dreamed when she surrendered her fear of flying to the Lord that God was preparing her for many missionary journeys over the jungles right up to the Nicaraguan border in a little plane with just one engine. 

While flying in a commuter plane with one of their attorneys a turbulent  storm blew up.  As the sky outside grew darker and more ominous that little plane bounced and tossed around in the air. The attorney asked later, I don’t get it.  How could you two sleep so peacefully with that terrible storm going on outside?”     

Fear is sin…… ask God to give you the victory over  whatever sin is besetting you.

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 16, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help Mate  

Thank you to  our daughter Melony Pierpont Evans for helping me out this week….

         I want to be healed and I wanted it right now. Why was I having to go through this again? I prayed for healing. I prayed that the Lord would show me mercy by lessening my pain. I begged. I pleaded. I bargained.   I was having another kidney stone.

Why? Was God trying to tell me something I was not hearing or I was I overlooking something?

Maybe you have been there.    Well, after a couple of weeks the pain has left and there are no other indications that the stone is still there. But looking back and thanking God for deliverance made me also wonder, why? Why does God allow suffering? I read some articles about God’s healing. They gave some answers. Sometimes our healing comes immediately. Sometimes slowly. Sometimes healing is eternal. As I was pondering the whole thing again this morning the words came to me as clearly as if God himself had whispered in my ear.   They were the words to the song “Blessings”.

“Blessings” – by Laura Story

We pray for blessings    We pray for peace

Comfort for family, protection while we sleep

We pray for healing, for prosperity

We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while, You hear each spoken need

Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near

What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom    Your voice to hear

We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near

We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love

As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

All the while, You hear each desperate plea

And long that we’d have faith to believe

When friends betray us   When darkness seems to win

We know that pain reminds this heart   That this is not our home–

I hope you can be encouraged when you suffer or are part of the suffering of those you love by remembering the words of this song and even more – remember that God loves each of us with divine love. He loves us with a love that has been moving us through this earthly life with His total devotion and protection. He will never allow anything to touch us that has not passed through His son. All suffering has been allowed to prepare us for His work and our eternal home, home with Him. That’s what will make it heaven.