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  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.

FAITH – FORGIVENESS – TRUST


Forgiveness
Faith, Forgiveness, Trust

For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more (Hebrews 8:12).

In recent months we have heard a lot about the Duggar Family. For those who may not know, the Duggars, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have 19 children. They became well known some years ago when their reality TV show began on TLC (The Learning Channel). At that time they had 14 children. They now have 19. In May of 2015 their show was taken off the air when sexual abuse involving their oldest son Josh toward his sisters and several others came to light.
I have always respected Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar for their faith in God and their courage to stand up for what they believe in. It is easy to see that the Lord has truly blessed them and provided them with the means to care for their big family.
I happened to tune in to an interview with Jessa Duggar Seawald and Jill Duggar Dillard after the show went off the air. The two sisters had been innocent victims of their brother’s abuse several years previous. At the end of the interview Jill was asked; do you forgive your brother, and if so were you ever able to trust him again after this incident?
Her answer to this question pleasantly surprised me. It revealed a strong background of knowledge, based on truth, learned from Scripture. I may not have it worded exactly as she said it, but Jill answered; forgiveness and trust are not one and the same. We all need to forgive as Jesus has forgiven us, but trust has to be earned.
Is there someone in your life who has sinned against you? Have you forgiven that person? If not you should. The apostle Paul tells us; Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3: 13, 14).
It is always easier to forgive than it is to forget the incident ever happened. Sin leaves scars on our hearts and because we are human we can never completely forget. Scars do heal however, and through faith and Prayer God is able to help us forgive and move forward even as the scars remain.
Isn’t it a comfort though, to know that our God does forget!? He promises the repentant sinner that He will remember their sins no more. Our God is an awesome God!
As for the Duggars, no family is perfect. There are problems in the best of families, but when we trust in the Lord and stay connected to Him by faith through His Word and sacraments we are covered by the blood of Jesus. The debt of sin we owe to God has been paid and we are holy in His eyes. So never hesitate to forgive. If it is hard for you to do so, then pray. Ask God to give you the strength to move forward and leave the past behind.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times (Matthew 18: 21, 22).
And remember that trust and forgiveness are two different things. It is okay to forgive, and still remain cautious regarding the behavior of that person who sinned against you. Ask the Lord to guide you into building a new trust with that person. And even if that trust is never regained, the forgiveness should remain true.
Faith, Forgiveness, Trust – Faith in Jesus and a knowledge of what He did for us leads us to forgive others, and forgiveness allows us to build trust.

Gloria Dei!

duggars-01-800The Duggars

Duggar Statement:

We are so thankful for the outpouring of love, care and prayers for our family during this most difficult situation with Josh. As parents we are so deeply grieved by our son’s decisions and actions. His wrong choices have deeply hurt his precious wife and children and have negatively affected so many others. He has also brought great insult to the values and faith we hold dear. Yesterday (August 26, 2015) Josh checked himself into a long-term treatment center. For him it will be a long journey toward wholeness and recovery. We pray that in this he comes to complete repentance and sincere change. In the meantime, we will be offering our love, care and devoted support to Anna and our grandchildren as she also receives counsel and help for her own heart and future. During this time we continue to look to God—He is our rock and comfort. We ask for your continued prayers for our entire family.
(Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar)

The New Car


The New Car

 

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

I am not a fan of Black Friday, but on November 29, 2013 I went shopping. I didn’t do the kind of shopping most people do on Black Friday. I went car shopping. My daughter went along in place of my husband who is ill. I didn’t really plan to buy a car that day, but we all know how that goes… I ended up leasing a brand new 2014 Chevy Cruz. I was so excited. In our 43 years of marriage we had never afforded ourselves the luxury of a new car.
We had always bought used. But now in our senior years, with not a lot of money coming in and my husband disabled, I felt that a lease would be a good way to go. We don’t put a lot of miles on our cars and it would alleviate the worry and expense of keeping up with the many things which can go wrong with older cars: ie: brakes, tires, transmission etc. Almost everything is covered by warranty and with the lease I would get free maintenance for the first 2 years or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first. The color of my car? – red. The official name of my car’s color is “Pull me over red”. I didn’t know that at the time however.
Well I haven’t been pulled over, but several other things have gone wrong which cause me to wonder if the Lord is trying to make me realize that new and pretty is not always all its cracked up to be. And so, I would like to tell you all the story of my new car.
About 2 months after I drove it off the lot we were in an accident. It was not our fault. I was driving and had the green light. We were hit in the passenger side by a driver who ran the red light. I was just beginning to enter the on ramp to the freeway and was maybe going 35 mph. The other driver was doing about the same. Unfortunately my husband who was on the passenger side got the worst of it.

Damaged Goods

He was/is sick as it is. He didn’t need anything else to go wrong. He was jolted pretty hard. He spent the night in the hospital and came home with bruised ribs. What we didn’t know was that his lungs were also bruised, which led to non-viral pneumonia and hospitalization almost 2 months later.
The insurance company determined that the car could be repaired. So 2 months after getting my new car I ended up driving a loner car for 6 weeks. The loner was an old (2006) Pontiac G-6. Remember the ignition switch recall?? Yup the loner I drove had ignition switch issues. It would just turn off unexpectedly at times and I wouldn’t be able to steer it. I reported it to McFall’s collision who owned it. They told me they could find nothing wrong with the car, but to satisfy me they did the right thing and paid for a rental car for me to drive.
I got my new car back about the middle of April. I was so happy and excited to have it back. I thought that finally I would be able to enjoy it. Two weeks later someone backed into me in the parking lot at work. uhg…. I couldn’t believe it! It was just a scratch, but still very irritating. So I went to the dealer and bought some touch up paint to cover it up. That is when I discovered the name of the color, “Pull me over Red”.
All was good for awhile until one weekend my daughter, myself and my 7 year old grandson took a trip up north. We got stuck in stop and go traffic and pretty soon my daughter looked back at my grandson and realized that he didn’t look so good. He was not tolerating the stop and go traffic with the hot sun shining on him too well. You already know the end of this story… Yup, you guessed it. He threw up all over the back seat of my new car.
But that’s not all. About 6 weeks ago on my way to work a gravel truck threw a stone at me and chipped my windshield. I was stunned. I thought to myself…this is getting to be ridiculous! My new car has been in a serious accident, my husband was injured, the fender has been scratched, its been thrown up in, and the windshield has a chip. I don’t think all this bad stuff has ever happened to one of our used cars. The accident was a first for us. I don’t remember ever having to repair a windshield or a scratched fender in our used cars. We raised four children and now have 15 grandchildren. This was the first time anyone had thrown up in our car.
I think I get the point Lord! New is all good and well, but like everything else in this earthly life, it doesn’t last. New cars don’t stay new, new clothes get old and wear out, new houses become old houses, babies grow up to be children, then young adults, then parents, Seniors Citizens, and before we know it, in the blink of an eye it seems, we are called to our eternal home.
Thank you Lord for using my new car to remind me that this life is only temporary and that eternal blessings are waiting for all who love you on the other side. The moment we step over the threshold from death into life in heaven all things will be new, and will stay new for eternity. It doesn’t matter what car I drive here, what kind of clothes I wear or how beautiful my home is. What matters is that I know and am sure of what awaits me in eternity because eternity will never end. I want to spend it with you Lord. Keep my eyes focused on the prize and help me to run my race with perseverance, trusting that through faith in Jesus my crown is waiting for me at the end of the road.
When my lease for the “new” car is up I will more than likely lease another new car, but with a different attitude. I will enjoy it, but at the same time, I will keep in mind that there are more important things in life than a new car. I will remind myself that every material possession I have, comes from God and belongs to God. Earthly possessions are only temporary because this life on earth is only temporary. In heaven God will provide me with all that I need. In heaven all things will be new for eternity.
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13,14)

Gloria Dei! Amen.
by Christine