“They Are Precious in His Sight…”


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January 22, 2013.  Today marks 40 years since Roe v. Wade and the legalization of abortion.  I grieve for the murder of millions of babies since that moment in history.  I also grieve for the potential parents who will always carry the scars left by the act of abortion.  No matter what the parents or doctors or others may say abortion not only steals the lives of those who cannot defend themselves it also leaves terrible scars on the souls of the parents of those children who have lost their lives to the silent holocaust that is abortion.Edmund Burke Quote

Scripture is very clear regarding the issue of abortion:

“When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine.  But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe” (Exodus 21:22-25, ESV).

“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones.  I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name.  And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech, and do not put him to death, then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech” (Leviticus 20:1-5, ESV).

“And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.  ‘Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image'” (Genesis 9:5-6, ESV).

“‘Cursed be anyone who takes a bribe to shed innocent blood.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen'” (Deuteronomy 27:25, ESV).

“At that time Menahem sacked Tiphsah and all who were in it and its territory from Tirzah on, because they did not open it to him. Therefore he sacked it, and he ripped open all the women in it who were pregnant.  In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah, Menahem the son of Gadi began to reign over Israel, and he reigned ten years in Samaria.  And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did not depart all his days from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin” (2 Kings 15:15-18, ESV).

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16, ESV).

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers” (Proverbs 6:16-19, ESV).

Scripture is also very clear that God will hold every person responsible for their actions; this includes inaction.

“If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul” (Ezekiel 3:18-19, ESV).

Why did Roe v. Wade happen?  When did Americans start believing that it is okay to violate the rights of one person in order to uphold the rights of another?  The Founding Fathers stated in the Declaration of Independence that they “[held] these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Edmund Burke (1729-1797), an Irish member of the British Parliament and a strong supporter of the American Revolution, has been credited as having said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  And 40 years ago, on January 22, 1973, evil triumphed because too many people remained silent.  We, as Christians, must take a stand for those who cannot speak for themselves.  Satan tells us that the weak, the infirm, the disabled, those who are “different,” have no purpose.  He whispers in our ears that only the strong can survive, only the strong can overcome, only the strong have value.  Satan seeks to destroy the weakest amongst us because he knows that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and that God often chooses to reveal Himself and His omnipotence by using those whom society has deemed of no worth and incapable of accomplishing anything of value.  And why would God choose to do things this way?  Because His presence is made all the more glaringly clear in circumstances the world sees as impossible to overcome.  His grace is sufficient.  His power is made perfect in weakness.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.  Amen.

For those with questions or needing guidance for an unplanned pregnancy: http://www.dallasprc.com/

Never Once


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Recently, as I listened to Matt Redman‘s Never Once, the Lord reminded me of several situations I have gone through over the last few years.  In particular, He reminded me of his faithfulness to “‘never leave [me] nor forsake [me].’  So [I] can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my Helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'” (Hebrews 13:5c-6, ESV).

I will never forget the first time I cared for a terminal patient as she began the dying process.  She was from Eastern Europe, only spoke her native language, understood very little English, and had no one at the bedside to translate for her.  By the time I came on shift, she had already lapsed into a coma.  I spent most of the evening in her room talking to her because I hold the strong conviction that no one should die alone and without someone holding their hand telling them how precious they are in God’s sight.  Whenever I care for an actively dying patient who has no one at the bedside, I always ensure that either myself, another nurse, or a tech/unit secretary is in the room talking to the patient and holding their hand.

At one point during the night, I started singing various hymns.  She never responded to anything I did or said… until I began singing Abide With Me by Francis Henry Lyte (1793-1847).  The woman who hadn’t responded to anything I had done or said–even painful stimuli–and was very clearly near death opened her eyes, looked me straight in the eye, and feebly began singing along with me in her own language before lapsing back into a coma.

We Are The Reason


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“And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, ‘Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?’  And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  I came not to call the righteous, but sinners (Mark 2 :16-17, ESV).'”

“‘For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10, ESV).'”

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost (1 Timothy 1:15, ESV).”

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.  Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You may be justified in Your words and blameless in your judgement.  Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.  Behold, You delight in truth in the inward being, and You teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that You have broken rejoice.  Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Your Presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to you.  Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of Your righteousness.  O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise.  For You will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; You will not be pleased with a burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise (Psalm 51:1-17, ESV).”

October 31, 1991: I claim this day as my spiritual birthday.  Sometime between October 21st and November 4th, I came to understand the gift of Christ and my inability to please God without Christ.  Dad, in seeking to help my 3-year-old mind understand my brother Matthew’s infirmities and need for all the medical equipment and treatments, drew a picture of two hearts: one whole heart and one with a crack down the middle.  He pointed to the cracked heart and told me that God made Matthew with a broken heart and he needed all the tubes, wires, nurses, and medicines to help make his heart whole.  He then pointed to the whole heart and told me that God made me with a whole heart and so I did not need the things Matthew needed because I had a whole heart.  It was at this time that I finally understood all the stories about Jesus my parents and members of our church body had told me my entire life as well as all the verses my parents had me memorize.  Everything finally came together and, by the grace and leading of the Holy Spirit, took hold of my heart, soul, and mind.  The Holy Spirit used the physical brokenness of my brother to serve as a live picture to help me to understand that just as Matthew needed the physical healing brought through the gift of modern medicine I needed the spiritual healing brought on by the gift of the Great Physician to heal my spiritual brokenness: Jesus Christ.

By God’s grace, Matthew’s heart has been repaired through the God-given blessing of medicine and his physically broken body lives by the grace and strength of the Great Physician in defiance of science, man’s knowledge of medicine, and the teaching of evolution.  His brokenness testifies that His Grace is sufficient.  Not only does my brother’s physical body glorify God in its weakness, but–by the grace of the Holy Spirit–Matthew’s spiritually broken heart has been healed by the same gift of Jesus that I received around October 31, 1991.  Together, our spiritual hearts give testimony to the fact that Jesus came to save sinners: the least, the lost, the unlovable, the despised, the rejected, the broken, the disabled, the weak amongst us because His Grace will always be sufficient.

“We Are The Reason”

by: Avalon

My Hope is in You


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God has powerfully used music in my life.  Even as I developed in my mother’s womb, my parents made sure that the music they listened to brought glory to God because they knew that God could use it to influence my life later on.  I went to my first concert at the age of eight months old.  My parents tell me that anyone could tell that I loved every moment of listening to Michael Card as he performed to God’s glory; to this day, his music remains among my most favored.  I love music and have sung in a church choir every year since the age of three years old.  Music is a wonderful asset in hiding the Word of God in your heart.  I cannot even recall how many times God has brought me comfort or shown me how to comfort someone else by bringing a hymn, an anthem, or a song to my memory.  In my last post, I mentioned God’s use of the anthem My Shepherd Will Supply My Need to remind me of His Presence in my life even when I felt abandoned and alone.

More recently, God reminded me of His loving Presence after a particularly difficult day at work.  I left work feeling completely defeated after a day filled with demeaning verbal abuse from a visitor.  This combined with the already overwhelming feelings, frustrations, and fears brought on by the trial I mentioned in my previous post left me feeling utterly defeated and hopeless.  As I drove home, Aaron Shust‘s recording of the song My Hope Is In You came on the radio.  I found my self crying for the third time that day; only this time, my emotions revealed the healing that God can bring through the sound of His Word set to music.

 “I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

My help comes from the LORD,

Who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;

He Who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, He Who keeps Isreal

will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your Keeper;

the Lord is your Shade on your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil;

He will keep your life.

The LORD will keep

your going out and your coming in

from this time forth and forevermore.”

~ Psalm 121 (ESV)

 

“Lead me in Your Truth and teach me,

for You are the God of my salvation;

for You I wait all the day long.”

~ Psalm 25:5 (ESV)

My Hope Is In You
I meet with You and my soul sings out
As your word throws doubt far away.
I sing to You and my heart cries,
“Holy!  Hallelujah, Father, You’re near!”

My hope is in You, Lord.
All the day long, I won’t be shaken by drought or storm.
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing, “My hope is in You, Lord.”

I wait for You and my soul finds rest.
In my selfishness, You show me grace.
I worship You and my heart cries,

“Glory!  Hallelujah, Father You’re here!”

My hope is in You, Lord.
All the day long, I won’t be shaken by drought or storm.
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing, “My hope is in You, Lord.”

I will wait on You.
You are my refuge.
I will wait on You.
You are my refuge.

My hope is in You, Lord.
All the day long, I won’t be shaken by drought or storm.
My hope is in You, Lord.
All the day long, I won’t be shaken by drought or storm.
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing, “My hope is in You, Lord.
My hope is in You, Lord.
Yeah, my hope is in You, Lord.”

~ April Geesbreght 2010

Arr. Aaron Shust 2011

The Tapestry of Life


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“My life is but a weaving between my God and me.

I cannot choose the colors He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow and I in foolish pride

Forget He sees the upper and I the underside.

Not ‘til the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly

Will God unroll the canvas and reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful in the weaver’s skillful hand

As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares; nothing this truth can dim.

He gives the very best to those who leave the choice to Him.

~ Corrie Ten Boom

We don’t always understand God’s plan because we spend most of our lives gazing at the underside of our tapestries.  They are full of ugly knots and tangles which do not make sense to us.  Our human nature focuses on the trials and tribulations and forgets that God will someday “unroll the canvas and reveal the reason why.”

Many people look at my brother Matthew and can only see the knots and tangles woven into the tapestry of his life.  They see a 19-year-old born with a fragile body and whose tapestry has more knots and tangles than most people will ever experience in their lifetime.  Matthew will undergo his 19th surgery and 3rd open heart later today–yet another knot or tangle God is weaving into His child’s tapestry of life.

Every now and then God, in His graciousness, sees fit to pull back the tapestries of our lives in order to give us a glimpse of the beauty of His workmanship. I haven’t always understood the why behind God’s plan for my brother’s life, but I have had the blessing to catch glimpses of his tapestry. These glimpses have built my firm belief that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness and that truly “My Grace is Sufficient.”

To follow Matthew’s journey, go to either www.caringbridge.com/visit/galatians220 or www.theredeemersservant.worpress.com