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.

 

OUR STORY


The following poem, written to the meter of  ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, was written by my husband, Andrew R. Backus.

For those who do not know us, it is the story of our lives – the circumstances under which we met, fell in love, and were married. Some may think the timing, circumstances and place where we were married a little odd, but we believe that the hand of God was leading and guiding us and put each of us in the right place at the right time. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8: 28)

Robert Toree Mom - Copy
Robert before his illness

Important Facts:

  • Andy’s first wife Dee passed away on Aug. 25, 2013 of Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) Grade 4 Brain Cancer – a form of Brain Cancer that is always terminal.
  • My first husband Bob Pocza passed away on Feb. 2, 2016 of a blood disease called Myelodysplastic Syndrome after an almost 4 year illness. I was now a widow.
  • On April 18, 2016 My son Robert Pocza was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) Grade 4 brain cancer, the same type of cancer that Dee had. Being a new widow, I moved from my home in Michigan to Wisconsin to live with and help my son, who lived in the Milwaukee area. He passed away on April 6, 2017.
  • Our story is bittersweet, but in all circumstances we know that God is good and does what is best for his children.

Christmas 2017/Epiphany 2018

 

 Merry Christmas to one, Merry Christmas to all!

And this Christ is named Jesus, as you may recall.

He’s the One God had promised right after the Fall.

He came into our world as a baby so small.

God and man in one person, He paid for all sin,

And He opened up heaven so all may go in.

 

With this letter we greet you, this man and this wife,

As we share with you things going on in our life:

 

‘Twas about this time last year that something was brewing,

And in a few months there will be vows renewing!

For you see, there’s a God and He knows what He’s doing.

 

It was May 22nd of Twenty-Sixteen

That a man and his mother in my church I’d seen –

A new widow from Michigan here for her son

Who had a brain tumor, the same kind of one

That somehow had happened to Dee my late wife –

The kind that ends up with the ending of life.

 

I offered support to this mom and her son,

For we know that with Jesus all battles are won.

The time went by quickly as we grew together

And they worked through medicines, red tape and weather.

 

The cancer progressed with its ups and its downs,

While Chris and her son dealt with smiles and with frowns.

In the meantime, my role was to offer support

 As we helped her son Rob who was such a good sport.

 

But something was happening, to our surprise;

We began seeing love as we looked in our eyes.

 

Robert noticed it too and began to remind us

That perhaps we should leave being single behind us.

 

Well, believe it or not, that’s exactly the thing

That transpired, and suddenly Chris had a ring!

 

Robert tearfully told her it would make him smile

If he with his mother could walk down the aisle.

 

So we planned and we plotted as fast as we could,

But that doggoned old cancer was up to no good.

Robert moved to a place, Zilber Hospice by name,

Where my wife Dee had been; it was one and the same!

So with God’s guiding hand and beside her son’s bed,

Christine Pocza and Andrew R. Backus – were wed!

 

Now believe me, the story continues from here;

For the next day we saw Robert’s end drawing near –

The end that without faith in Christ some would fear.

Chris’ son now went home to his Savior so dear.

 

In church we our vows reaffirmed on May six,

With God’s Word, prayer and song a big part of the mix.

The service by Pastor B. Adams was led;

Robert’s memory made known by a rose that was red.

Sarah Kuerth played the organ, Don Buch us addressed;

With song “You Gift of God” by Chris D. we were blessed.

 

Since then Chris and I have begun married life

And are making a home as a husband and wife.

We live in the same place as I did before,

And Chris’ sister Barb’s at Clare Meadows next door.

I still do many things such as I used to do,

But a dog, fish and birds are some things that are new!

 

I would be remiss if I failed to mention –

And bragging and boasting are not my intention –

That my grandchildren now number twenty and eight! *

Steve and Heather bore Theo – last June was the date!

I baptized little Theo at Bash – I was blessed!

And our family still knows “Backus Bash” is the best!

(*Just in case you are wond’ring “What else will he say?”

I can tell you that there is one more on the way!)

 

We have seen some things change and some things stay the same,

Yet in all of life’s changes, sin’s shame is our claim.

That’s why God sent His Son who is Jesus by Name;

He redeemed us poor sinners, and that’s why He came.

Happy Epiphany from the Backuses!

FB_IMG_1506802495800.jpg
Andy & Chris, May 6, 2017

 

 

 

 

Experience the Joy!


Jesus
“I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)

Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. (Psalm 28: 6-8)

Have you ever experienced the joy? I don’t mean momentary joy. I mean true joy that never ends no matter what circumstances arise. Take a few minutes and think about the times in your life when you have been joyful, filled with happiness and overflowing with excitement. What comes to mind?

Some things that come to mind for me are my wedding day, the births of our children, the day we finalized the purchase of our first home, confirmations, graduations, family weddings and on and on. There are many. But how long did those moments last before becoming overshadowed with the disappointments of life and become only distant memories?

My husband and I were blessed with almost 45 years of marriage, but that joy we experienced on our wedding day is now overshadowed for me by a funeral – his funeral. He was called to his eternal home not so long ago. There were times during his illness when we both wished we could go back to happier days – when our children were small and life was fun and exciting. I am comforted by the fact that through faith in Jesus, he is with the Lord and I will see him again, but I still miss him. Every beginning here on earth also has an ending.

So, where can we find true joy – a joy that will never fade or end in disappointment? There is only one place to look for pure, never-ending joy in this life, and that is in our Savior, Jesus. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1: 3-5)

The joy we find through faith in Jesus is never-ending. In Jesus, we have peace for this life because we know He has paid our debt of sin. We are recipients of God’s wonderful grace which will never fail us no matter what we have done or not done. In Jesus, we have hope for eternity. We are covered in His holiness and He has reserved a place in heaven for us. We need not fear death. For those who love God, death is not the end, but the beginning. At our death, we will step over the threshold into a new life forever with the Lord.

As Christians, we walk with the Lord daily. His Spirit lives in us. We belong to Him. God is our loving Father. He will never forget us. He knows our needs before we do and He gives us what we need when we need it.  He doesn’t only meet our spiritual needs, but also our physical needs. He even cares about the small things in life – things which we would consider to be unimportant to an Almighty God and the Creator of our universe.

I recall one day losing my car keys. I was all ready to leave for an important appointment and my keys were nowhere to be found. In desperation, I prayed; “Lord help me remember where I put my keys.” After I prayed, I thought for a minute and remembered I had been searching through a little basket in my hutch for something. I bent over and pulled out the basket and there they were. I had dropped them there without thinking.

Often we are so busy trying to figure things out for ourselves that we miss God’s loving and divine intervention. But as we grow in faith and become more in tune with His Spirit, we will slowly become more aware of His presence in our lives.

I encourage you in the days to come, to ask God each morning before you begin your day, to make you aware of His presence and touch you with His Spirit. You will be amazed when you look back at the end of the day. I can pretty much guarantee that at some point; you will realize His divine providence. It will draw you closer to Him in your daily walk.

God is good. He lives in you. He loves you as if you were His only child. He, along with His holy angels, walks by your side daily, waking and sleeping. He will touch you with His power and with His Spirit when you least expect it. If you are not tuned in, you may miss it, but when you do see it, you will be filled with joy. Your heart will soar with amazement.

Seeing the Lord at work in our lives fills us with joy and confidence. That doesn’t mean there will never be sorrow, sadness or disappointments. It doesn’t mean that each day will go without trouble and irritation. But knowing that your God who is much stronger and bigger than you are is by your side, will give you confidence. It will lift a huge weight from your shoulders.

Remember, He has your back, and no matter what happens in life, you are a winner. He even cares about the little things, like misplaced car keys. He is a “Good Good Father”.

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:11,12)

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

My son, Robert, who has terminal brain cancer, inspired me to write this blog post. As we were driving home from a Dr. appointment one day he began sobbing. I asked him; “What is wrong?”, thinking he was in pain. He replied, “I am so blessed to see the Lord’s hand working in my life. It is amazing that He loves me so much”.  His tears were tears of joy!

This is true, incomparable Joy!

Gloria Dei! Amen.

Update: 

Robert was called to his eternal home with the Lord on April 6, 2017. He took his last breath surrounded by family. It was like a refreshing sigh of relief. We all miss him and cried many tears, but we will see him again.