CALLING HEAVEN


Baby Noah
Precious child

What of the babies
who have never left the womb
breathing in a lifetime;
Angels in waiting gone
before they could be given wings to fly?
Calling Heaven, seeking mercy,
tell me there’s a place for these.
(Michael W. Smith)

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb… My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. (Psalm 139: 13, 15, 16)

One day when I was in my early twenties I was approached by a pro-life person as I was leaving work. He handed me a brochure which contained pictures of babies in the womb. The pictures denoted several different stages of a child’s development before birth. I was told by this person, a young man, that many people in our country, the USA were trying to get abortion legalized and he asked if I would please vote for life and urge others to do so also.

I had been hearing about the legalization of abortion but had not really sat down and thought much about what it meant… until I saw those pictures. I wanted to cry for the babies who would lose their lives at the hands of abortionists were it to become legal. I felt sad also for the many babies who had been illegally aborted over the years. I promised the young man that I would indeed vote for “Life” and would talk to my friends about it and urge them to vote for life also.

At that time in our nation’s history, I recall hearing so often the words, at least if abortion is legalized, women won’t be trying to abort themselves with coat hangers or at the hands of Quack Doctors. I heard people say, it’s better to legalize abortion than to have unwanted babies brought into the world to suffer at the hands of abusive parents who can’t care for them properly. Then there was the usual, I don’t have time for a baby right now… I am too young… what about my college plans…what will my parents say? These excuses reflect a society that is selfish and unwilling to take responsibility for its actions. And the child abuse? – it continues today worse than ever despite legalized abortion.

For sixteen years God placed me in a position where I had the privilege to counsel young women who were considering abortion. With His help I was able to advise and lead at least a few mothers to make a better choice for their child and for themselves. And not only for time here on earth, but especially for eternity. You see, my counseling included not only physical choices, but spiritual choices. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (Mark 8: 36).

I, along with other dedicated volunteers (many of whom are still giving of their hearts and their time), worked together to tell these young women about Jesus. We did devotions with them. We taught them about baptism and then encouraged them and offered them opportunities to baptize their babies and children.

We realized however, that spiritual food does not feed and diaper babies, so we helped them with physical needs also. They received diapers, formula and clothing free of charge along with loving support, friendship and encouragement.

There were some stories with happy endings, some with sad endings and many with unknown endings, but hopefully in a small way, and with the Lord’s help, I and my fellow volunteers were able to make a difference in the lives of even a few mothers and children.

I know and understand that not everyone is able to be physically present to help these mothers and babies, but prayer is powerful. Please keep the volunteers at the pregnancy care centers all over the US in your prayers as they fight for the little ones who are unable to fight for themselves. Pray that our government will come to its senses and change the laws that make abortion legal.

Jesus loves children. They are precious gifts from Him. It doesn’t matter what kind of life situation they are the result of. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ (Matthew 19:14)

Even the angels report back to God as they watch over the little children in this world, both born and unborn. Jesus tells us also, ‘See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.’ (Matthew 18:10, 11) What a profound statement! I can only imagine how His heart breaks when he sees our children murdered by abortion and abused by selfish and stupid adults.

What Have you Done
What have you done?

Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?

Gloria Dei!
By Christine

The Precious child in the picture at the top of this post is a miscarried baby. His mother took this picture and shared it to help people realize that the unborn no matter how small, are little people with a body and a soul. Although it is not visible in the picture, this is a baby boy and he was named “Noah” by his parents. He was their seventh child. Life is a precious gift from God and to be respected no matter the age.

 

Who is Your Favorite Pastor?


The Christian and Yoga

For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?… So then, no more boasting about men! What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task… So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future – all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. (1 Corinthians 3:4, 5, 21-23)

Who is your favorite pastor? What should members of a congregation expect or require of their pastor? We all have our opinions, don’t we? But only one opinion counts – God’s.

The apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy clearly states the qualifications for a pastor and shepherd of God’s people. He says, In the presence of God and of the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4: 1,2)

We have each been blessed with special gifts from God. However, He does gift each of us differently. Imagine how boring our world would be if He didn’t. Rather, …each man has his own gift from God. One has this gift, another has that. (1 Corinthians 7:7)

Some pastors are dynamic speakers – some are not. Some are good at working with youth/teens/children – some not so much. Some have a talent for getting the point across in fewer words… some maybe not. Some are outgoing, type “A” personalities… some are quiet and laid back. But when all is said and done, the most important thing is that our pastor preaches the truth from scripture. We don’t go to church on Sunday to worship the pastor. We go to church to worship God and hear His Word taught in its truth and purity. We go to praise God, to strengthen and build up our faith, and for fellowship with others who share in the same faith and beliefs that we possess.

In the opening verses above, the apostle Paul is chiding the Corinthian Christians for favoring one pastor over the other and pitting them against each other. He reminds them (and us) that all pastors are mere men. They have each been called to do the work assigned to them, first and foremost, planting the seed of faith in human hearts, and watering it through preaching and teaching the Word. Paul says, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:6)

Only when what we are hearing taught is not the truth from Scripture, can we say that our pastor has failed us. So, let’s not be too picky about the little things. Listen to the Word carefully and make sure it matches the teachings in Scripture. Beyond that let’s cut our pastor some slack. Pastors are people too. Some are more gifted in certain ways than others, but when they have a heart for God and for the souls of the members they have been called to lead, and when they are preaching the truth, we can be thankful.

If you are a member of a large church as I am, and there are two or more pastors serving your congregation, give them each the respect they deserve. Don’t determine which Sunday, or service you will attend according to which pastor is preaching. They have each been called by God to shepherd His people.

Pray for your pastor/pastors. They’re job is stressful at times. They carry a huge responsibility. Be supportive and volunteer to use your own God-given gifts and talents to help with some of the smaller things. In this way your pastor will have more time to concentrate on what he has been called by God to do – preaching and teaching the Word.

If you have a problem with something your pastor does or doesn’t do, speak to him privately with a loving and understanding heart. It is possible he can give you some insight which will help you to better understand why things are done or not done a certain way.

Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10: 24, 25)

Gloria Dei!
By Christine

 

I found the following on the website http://www.frtommylane.com. I’m sure it will make you chuckle.

The Perfect Pastor
The perfect pastor preaches exactly 10 minutes.
He condemns sin roundly but never hurts anyone’s feelings.
He works from 8am until midnight and is also the church janitor.
The perfect pastor makes $40 a week, wears good clothes, drives a good car,
buys good books, and donates $30 a week to the church.
He is 29 years old and has 40 years’ experience.
Above all, he is handsome.
The perfect pastor has a burning desire to work with teenagers,
and he spends most of his time with the senior citizens.
He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor
that keeps him seriously dedicated to his church.
He makes 15 home visits a day
and is always in his office to be handy when needed.
The perfect pastor always has time for church council and all of its committees.
He never misses the meeting of any church organization
and is always busy evangelizing the unchurched.
The perfect pastor is always in the next church over!
If your pastor does not measure up,
simply send this notice to six other churches that are tired of their pastor, too.
Then bundle up your pastor and send him to the church at the top of the list.
If everyone cooperates, in one week you will receive 1,643 pastors.
One of them should be perfect!

MEMORIES


Photo Album

All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall [fade] because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall [fade], but the word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40: 6-8)

Memories are a beautiful thing.

My father was called home to heaven when I was eight years old. After a few years I realized that I could no longer recall his face or remember the sound of his voice. I am thankful for pictures. The pictures refresh my memory of his face. There are no videos to help me recall the sound of his voice, but the pictures are a true blessing.

Memories are precious, but I know from my own experience that memories fade with time. In recent months/weeks I have been putting together memory books for my five grandchildren who lost their dad to brain cancer on April 6, 2017. All that remains for them now is “memories” of their dad.

When my son was getting close to the end of his life, his social worker suggested he make memory books for the children. She gave him five hard covered books which were a blank slate. She inked his hand and put his handprint on the front of each book. He wasn’t able to do them himself, so he dictated to his sister and I notes of memories that were precious to him and that he wanted the children to remember. I have been busy making a book of memories for each child. It includes his notes and many pictures of him with them while they were growing up.

As time passes I know their memories of him will fade, but the books will give each of them a reference. The pictures will preserve the memory of his face in their minds. In the pictures they will see his mannerisms and remember the way he played with them. The pictures reveal many of the fun things they did together i.e. fishing with the boys, carnival rides, birthdays, and Christmases. He loved his children. After God they were his top priority. Every life decision he made was made with their best interest in mind.

The verses above from the book of Isaiah remind us that this life is only temporary. Like the grass and flowers of the field, humans have a life cycle also. From the moment of our birth death is a shadow that hangs over each of us. Sickness, tragic accidents or old age will eventually touch each of us and our loved ones. But the last line states that though the grass withers and the flowers fall [fade], the word of our God stands forever.

This life is sometimes sad. People we love die. Death creates an emptiness in our hearts and lives. Thankfully the promises of God never change. Jesus promises to never leave us. He says, and surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20). He is present in our lives watching over us and guiding us His children, along the road of life.

He promises that this life is not all there is. He tells us, do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14: 1-3)

All who believe in God through faith in Jesus His Son, will live forever with Him in heaven. Our heavenly home is ready and waiting for us. There will be no more death or sadness, no tears or pain. We will see Jesus face to face and we will see our loved ones who died in the faith also. What a beautiful thing to look forward to!

I pray that my grandchildren will retain their faith in Jesus and be reunited with their dad in heaven someday. I look forward to seeing him again also along with other loved ones who have gone before me in faith, where the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away (Revelation 21: 3, 4).

This life on earth pales in comparison with what is to come. We live here by God’s grace. His deep love for sinners brought His only Son to the cross where He offered himself as a sacrifice for sin. What a wonderful gift! It offers hope to a dark world of sin, suffering and death.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2: 8, 9).

Gloria Dei!

By Christine
The memory books were put together with love and are meant to be a treasure to the children. They are a little piece of their dad – a reference. When they miss him or are feeling sad they can reach for the book and see him. It will reassure them of his love for them and be a little part of him to keep close to their hearts.
This life on earth is very fragile. We, or someone we love, can be here one minute and gone the next. Our minds have trouble grasping it. After we lose someone we love to death, it often feels like their life with us was just a dream. Time seems to stand still for us, but the rest of the world keeps moving forward. We see our friends and relatives continuing as normal and feel like we are left stuck in time. We wonder, was that person real – was he/she really part of my life? Does anyone remember or still think of him/her? Pictures are a reality – something we can see and touch. They are a comfort to the grieving.
As an adult I have made a memory book of my own father from the pictures I have. It would have been very precious to me as a child to have had a collection of picture memories of my life with him to go to when I was lonely. I pray that these books will promote healing of the heart for my grandchildren and be something they can share with their own children someday.