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

October 26, 2014               HEART TO HEART      … PASTOR’S HELP – MATE

October 26, 2014            HEART TO HEART      … PASTOR’S HELP – MATE

Pastor Saeed Abedini wrote this letter to his daughter for her 8th birthday, which was on September 12. This is the third birthday of Rebekka’s that Pastor Saeed has missed while he languishes in an Iranian prison for his faith.

My Dearest Rebekka Grace,    HAPPY 8th BIRTHDAY!

You are growing so fast and becoming more beautiful every day. I praise God for His faithfulness to me every day as I watch from a distance through the prison walls and see pictures and hear stories of how you are growing both spiritually and physically.

Oh how I long to see you.  I know that you question why you have prayed so many times for my return and yet I am not home yet. Now there is a big WHY In your mind you are asking: WHY Jesus isn’t answering your prayers and the prayers of all of the people around the world praying for my release and for me to be home with you and our family.     The answer to the WHY is WHO. WHO is in control? The LORD JESUS CHRIST is in control.  I desire for you to learn important lessons during these trying times. Lessons that you carry now and for the rest of your life. The answer to the WHY is WHO. The confusion of “WHY has all of this happened?” and “WHY your prayers are not answered yet” is resolved with understanding WHO is in control…LORD JESUS CHRIST, our GOD!

God is in control of the whole world and everything that is happening in it is for His good purpose, for His glory, and will be worked out for our good (Romans 8:28). Jesus allows me to be kept here for His glory. He is doing something inside each of us and also outside in the world. People die and suffer for their Christian faith all over the world and some may wonder why? But you should know the answer of WHY is WHO. It is for Jesus. He is worth the price and His  plan to be glorified through our lives.

Please read the book of Habakkuk. He had the same question as you. But see that the Lord answered him in Habakkuk 2:3, “for the vision is yet for the appointed time, wait for it.”   Mommy and I always had big desires to serve Jesus and had great vision to be used for His Kingdom and for His Glory. So today we pay a cost because God, who created us, called us to that, so I want you to know that the answer to all of your prayers is that God is in control, and He knows better than us what He is doing in our lives and all around the world.  Therefore declare as Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-­‐Nego did in Daniel 3: 17-­‐18!…” If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”…  learn and declare as Habakkuk did that even if we do not get the result that we are looking for, God is still good and we WILL praise His Holy Name.  Then my dear beloved daughter Rebekka Grace, I pray God will bring me back home soon. But if not, we will still sing together as Habakkuk did, HALLELUJAH, either separated by prison walls or together at home.

So, let Daddy hear you sing a loud Hallelujah that I can hear all the way here in the prison!  I am so proud of you my sweet courageous daughter. Glory to God forever,

Amen.        Kisses and Blessings,      Daddy

August 17. 2014  JANE’S HEART TO HEART    …PASTOR’S HELPMATE

HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN http://www.metrolyrics.com/how-long-has-it-been-lyrics-jim-reeves.html

“My Heart has heard you say, Come and talk with me.” and my heart responds,  “Lord, I am coming”.” Psalm 27:8 NLT

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  I Pet. 5:7

Enjoy a regular time when you talk to the Lord, 

Read the Word of God so that He can speak to you.  

Take time to, just be quiet and let the Lord work in your heart.

I love reading the Word of God. For several years I have listened daily to the Bible on CD following the Our Daily Bread Devotional’s guide  reading the Bible through in a year. I also read along in my Bible (a different version each year).

Then I especially enjoy going back through the same selection each day underlining important things using a color code. [such as, highlighting the names of God, the  Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit = Yellow.  A red cross through the name = Christ].   The reason I do this is to just concentrate on the meaning more and help myself to glean special truths from God’s Word.  [Truths, knowledge, laws = green. sing, pray and rejoice = blue].

I also love to just pray the “Scriptures”. I have found Germaine Copeland’s book, “Prayers that Avail Much for Women” especially helpful to me. Harrison House, 1997.

I also love to read several devotional writers: 

Elisabeth Elliot                

Corrie ten Boom

Nancy DeMoss

Edith Schaeffer

Joni Erickson Tada

Mrs. Charles E (Lettie) Cowman “Streams In The Desert” Series

George Beverly Shea often sang “How Long Has It Been”, and wrote this comment in his book, How Sweet the Sound. Tyndale 2004

     “Our friendship with God can be like that.  He looks forward to having

      Us  share  our  most intimate  secrets  regularly  with Him. He doesn’t 

      want  us to forget that He is there and He desires to share our burdens.” 

HOW ABOUT PRAYING THIS PRAYER EVERY MORNING: 

Psalm 25:4-5 “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths. 

Lead me in the truth and teach me.” NKJV

Part 1: PSALM 23:1a … “THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD”

Jane’s Heart to Heart                  …….Pastor’s Helpmate

THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD Psalm 23:1a

The Shepherd and The Sheep  

Several years ago at the MARBC Conference (1999) I received a complimentary copy of a children’s book entitled: COMFORT FOR A CHILD’S HEART, The Twenty-third Psalm and Bible Promises written and illustrated by David and Helen Haidele.  While we were ministering at the Jonesville Baptist Church I compiled a series of lessons on the 23rd Psalm using some of the illustrations in that book. For the next few weeks I want to capsulize these lessons and share them with you.

In 2008 I started crocheting Loopie Lambs for our grandchildren for Christmas using ONE OF Vana White’s patterns. I made fifteen of them.

I actually only made one this size.. (most of you have met Arnie, ) because of the difficulty and cost of making the loops. So the rest were about half that size.

This year I realized that we had two more grandchildren and  eleven greats plus three more on the way, who did not have a lamb.  After making five of them my arthritis in my thumb and wrist prohibited my making any more and one of our daughters asked…. “Why don’t you make something a little easier,” and sent   a link to a darling  crocheted bunny with a little blanket.

I told her that the reason that I want them to have the lamb was for a reminder that  “The Lord Is their Shepherd and they are His sheep.” I also included a short story about the 23 Psalm for their parents to read to them.

I searched on the internet and found some little lambs that were reasonable and bought enough for the rest of the children and those on the way and embellished them a bit to personalize them.

Psalm 23:1 A “The LORD is my shepherd…”

Let’s talk – Who is the LORD?   He is the One who made the universe…the stars, the planets, apples and butterflies, owls and lions.  The LORD  made you and me and knows our every need.  The LORD  gave His only begotten Son to die on the Cross for us, the sheep.  His Son,  JESUS was also called the “Lamb of God”, John the Baptist said so when he saw Jesus coming… “Behold the Lamb  of God,  who taketh away the SIN of the world.”.

So, who is the Shepherd?  Jesus said, “ I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep… And I lay down My life for the sheep.” John 10:11-15.   The shepherd is one who watches over sheep and takes care of them. The shepherd never takes time off.  Sheep are helpless and need the Shepherd always. The Lord Jesus is the good Shepherd. He gave up His life for you because He loves you and cares for you just as a shepherd cares for one of his lambs.  He knows your name. He wants to be your shepherd.  Sheep know the shepherd’s voice.  They follow no one but their shepherd.  Just like a sheep, you can learn to know and trust Jesus as your Good Shepherd and you can learn to follow him and do what He tells you. You know – the more hurried our pace the less we experience our “Shepherd”.  If left to ourselves we will go until be fall down from exhaustion.

Do you trust Jesus as your Lord and Shepherd?

How often do you take time to be close to Jesus through prayer and Bible Reading ?

Get to know Him! You are one of His precious Lambs.

He speaks to us through our reading His Word.

How do we follow Him? …Through obedience to His Word.

                THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD

What Do You Do When You Wake In The Night ?

Don’t count sheep …. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbe one.. follow the Shepherd. What do you do when you wake in the night…? A good question might be …Lord what would you have me to do..? Prayer? … have a prayer list ready…(my sweet hubby has his list memorized)… Read the Scriptures so,that He can speak to you. Have on hand some good devotional books that will encourage and strengthen your faith. …suggestions…Nancy Demoss’s The Quiet Place available at ReviveOurHearts.com   Our Daily Bread.com , (Last quarter they had a free offer for a nice devotional book of which I took advantage)…. Streams in the Dessert, by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman…(there are several)… Oswald Chamber’s, My Utmost for His Highest…. Truly, ladies, we are without excuse. There is so much available to us….we can even listen to the Word of God. i have the Bible on CD. And I love to listen as I read because Of my visual difficulties I have difficulty, keep my mind on my reading and the audio is a great heal to keep me focused. Another book That is helpful to me is Prayers That Avail Much by Germaine Copeland….mostly Scriptures…

LITTLE NATE’S FIRST SERMON

parsonageMonday morning, March 22, 2010, Jennifer, (our youngest son, Nathan’s wife) called to inform us that her mother and dad, Bruce and Dawn Giehl, were coming from Ohio and she wanted to invite us to come for the evening meal.

Ken was on the road and I suggested that Nathan give him a call to see if that would work with his schedule and then Ken called me and said that we could, if it could be worked out with the management to cover for us  at Friendship Village while we were away.  We are the “Alert” phone workers.

I was expecting the manager to be back around 2:00 PM.  I gave the manager a few calls on her cell phone hoping that maybe we could get away a little earlier, but I was unable to reach her.

The mail usually comes between 12:30 and 1:15 PM, about the time that Ken usually gets home from driving.  While I was waiting I went out and got the mail and there was a sweet “Thank You” note from Jennifer’s mom and dad, which said….

“Sometimes God brings special people into our lives  and gives them a home in our hearts. You’re one of those people and you’re celebrated with love and thanks to God today.” and they added a note…. We are so thankful God brought your family into our family.

Dawn and I have established the habit for over a year now to pray together for our children whenever we happen to see one another on chats and it usually works out two or tree times a week at least.  It has been such a blessing to see those prayers answered.

When the manager got back in the office at 2:00 PM she returned my call and I asked her if she could stand in for us and she assured me that we could go and wished us and nice time.

We set out immediately for the hour and a half drive from Litchfield, MI to Kalamazoo and safely arrived at Nathan and Jennifer’s home where the boys and men were outside on the blacktop drive playing basket ball.

When we arrived we were warmly greeted and hugged. Then we all went into the house together to greet the rest of the family including Giehl’s black and white Cocker Spaniel dog, Patches.

As we gathered around the table for the meal our son Nathan made the statement,”let’s pray”….but while we were finishing our conversation and joining hand with on another, Little one year old Nathaniel Bruce got a little impatient and with his head bowed and peeking around the table, started mumbling to himself little prayerful words that sounded like “Thank. Thank.”   After we all chuckled a little his father began his prayer of thanks for the meal and fellowship.

It did not take long to figure our where Little Nathaniel learned the word “thanks” nor the idea of prayer before he ate.  

Matthew 21:16 (King James Version)

 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

After the meal and clearing the table we all adjourned to the living room where every one sat around the room and chairs were pulled into the living room from the dining area to accommodate the size of our crowd.

The little people of course were playing on the floor and were in an out some with there toys and we also had the honor of seeing Patches do some tricks for us.

We had such sweet fellowship with our dear family and as it drew close to the time for us to leave little Nathaniel went over to one of the large vacant dining room chairs and with much struggle, climbed up until he was on his knees, then finally got turned around and sat down and got his little legs to hang over the edge.

As his grandmother, I was watching him closely as everyone in the room was conversing.  I was afraid that he might fall off the chair, but then I began to realize that he was purposely getting set, just like every one else and though he can’t talk was making little sounds and looking around at everyone and making little gestures with his hand and smiling happily at every one.

At that moment I realized that Little Nathaniel Bruce in his prayer at the dinner table and his little conversation on the chair with all of us looking on had preached his first sermon to all of us.

That sermon was … “I love to do what you love to do….”

It was obvious, all of a sudden to everyone there that he was copying the rest of us.

It caused me to think…..

What if we had been arguing or swearing….

What if we had been drinking… smoking…. overeating….  You fill in the blanks to what is really important to you.__________

I know I certainly have had to do that myself lately.

What is really important to me and what are my descendants going to copy.

Lord, help us to be the example that we should be and be more like YOU, that we may nudge our dear ones closer to you. 

Joshua 24:15    “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

"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.