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Archive for the ‘health’ Category

Very rarely does someone stop in the driveway at Planned Parenthood, roll down the window, and begin a civil conversation. If they do it’s usually to babyshare an expletive, a middle finger, or both.  Today was different.

“I need to explain something to you,” she started, “when you already have five children, and can’t afford to feed them, this (abortion) is your only choice.”

I was polite.

It’s never my intention to shame these mothers because of the poor choice they’re about to make (or have already made), nor do I display pictures of aborted babies in the hopes the gory image will change their minds. I believe if I can reach out with the Gospel message (or at least a small portion of it), the mom might be saved and she will in turn save her own baby.

Her car slowly moved forward as she finished her sentence. No time for the Good News today.

“I’ll adopt your baby,” I said calmly before changing it to a question, “What if I adopted your baby?”

What if I adopted your baby?”

The car stopped abruptly and she looked back through her window. She paused a second, then shook her head and said, “Nope! I don’t want anyone else raising my baby,” as the car inched forward.

I was taken aback that she used the term my baby.

“You’d rather kill it?” I asked, kind of ashamed for calling her baby an it.

Without too much emotion she replied, “Yes, I’d rather have the doctor here kill it then let you have it.”

She pulled into the parking lot and behind the building, completely out of my sight. I couldn’t pursue her because it’s private property and I’m restricted to my little portion of sidewalk out front.

“Jesus loves you,” I called down the driveway. “Jesus has a plan for you and your baby! Please come back and talk to me!”

She didn’t come back.

I left about two hours later and did not see her again.

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“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2-3

Is there ever an occasion that a child can disobey a parent? The short answer is yes — if what the parent is demanding is sinful and in direct opposition to the will of God. Having said that, if you believe disobedience is justified, you better be prepared to back-up your act of defiance with sound Biblical doctrine, otherwise you stand to sin twice.

The Stupidity Defense

What if my parents are stupid, or more precisely, what if I’m smarter than my parents; then can I disobey them?

No

There’s a good chance you’re in error, but for the purpose of an illustration, let’s assume that you are smarter than your parents. If that were truly the case, you would be in very good company.

Remember this story?

“Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:46-52

We can all agree that Jesus was smarter than His parents. Therefore, that makes Him the ultimate example as to what we should humbly do if we were to find ourselves in a similar situation.

Jesus actions confounded His parents, but it’s clearly established in the text that Jesus was subject to them. As a result, He increased in wisdom and in stature, thus pleasing both the Father and men. The Father gave us the same promise within the Fifth Commandment. Paul (in the Ephesians passage) teaches it to us and Jesus is the living proof that the Father is true to His word.

Taking the Fifth

All of our earthly institutions, whether they are parental, marital, or governmental, were designed after the Divine, triune, eternal relationship already established in Heaven. When we practice compliance in these spheres, it models obedient submission to the Father. In contrast, if we struggle rebelliously against these institutions, obedience to our Father in Heaven will be a complicated affair. The solution, regardless of age or position, is total submission to God’s will and authority.

Questions:

  • Do you struggle with those given authority over you?
  • Given the Bible texts, what is the solution?
  • What stands between you and the solution?

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…The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:17-22

Total Access

Did you know that you have access to the power that raised Jesus from the dead, the power that mounted Him upon His heavenly throne, and the power that gave Him dominion above all things? The heart of Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians (and to us) is that every saint would know this truth. Jesus wants us to know these things as well so that we might not struggle in bondage.

“Bondage to what?” we ask.

“Bondage to anything!” God would say.

Addiction, depression, anger, laziness, you name it! In our weakness we have the strength in Christ to overcome any of these things. Essentially all we need do is receive it and utilize it. If God had the power to raise His Son from the dead, we may be confident He has the power to break our bonds. I know it’s true because He did it in my life ~ Jesus supplied the power and I accepted His gracious gift. In so doing I discovered that everlasting recovery comes from a Person and not a program.

Blinding Fear

But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. Matthew 14:24-25

The disciples were in bondage.

Blinded by fear, they saw the destructive tide, but failed to see where the waves were in relation to Jesus. Again, the Ephesians passage serves to remind us that all things are under His feet; and not only under His feet, but over our heads.

Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Ephesians 5:23b

Bearing Burdens

Do you know someone in bondage?

Remember, Paul’s Ephesian prayer is for the born again believer, therefore assistance to the non-believer in bondage begins with the Good News. Any effort outside of the authority of Christ Jesus is a temporary fix at best. Freedom from bondage comes when the Christian receives a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, when by understanding they are enlightened ~ when the hope of His calling, the riches of His inheritance, and the exceeding greatness of His power is known. Since God does the healing and also provides the power, our duty is to share the Gospel: the Good News of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, the breaker of all bonds.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6a

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Before I formed you in the womb I knew you… Jeremiah 1:5a

180 MOVIE

The 180 Movie is either horrific or heavenly, depending upon who you ask. I’ve seen it and it’s my opinion that it is a gift of God. I can say that with authority because lives are being changed and souls are being saved because of its viewing. There aren’t too many movies around these days that have that kind of impact.

The 180 Movie is a thirty-three minute, pro-life documentary, the purpose of which is to share the divine truth regarding the abortion epidemic and thus change hearts and minds. Dramatically the movie points out God’s plan, His will, and sadly, our ignorance.

It also divides its viewers:

Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. Proverbs 9:8-9

You can watch the 180 Movie here.

Do You Blog?

If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ and would like to help propel this tsunami of truth, you can visit the Preparing the Way website for details.

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What purpose then does the law serve? Galatians 3:19

Heard on a Plane…

“Would you like a beverage sir or some peanuts?”

“I’ll have a diet coke please.”

“Would you like a parachute as well?”

“Huh?”

“A parachute sir. Your life will be much better if you have one, I guarantee it! In fact, your life will be prosperous, full of peace and joy! Having a parachute is the only way. I have one and you should have one too!”

“Thank you, but I have no need for a parachute. I’m very happy for you though. I’m glad your parachute gives you peace, comfort, and joy.”

The Critical Information

The attendant, not wanting to upset the passenger, failed to tell him that the plane was in fact going down. Why upset him (she must have assumed) when he seemed to be having such a good time. However, failing to share the critical information ultimately would lead to this man’s destruction.

The Purpose of the Law

The Law (the Ten Commandments) lets us know that we are all going down. It does that by letting us know that we are all sinners. Tell most folks about salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and omit the Law, they will likely respond that they have no need for saving. They probably consider themselves to be good people.

The Law declares otherwise.

“There is none righteous, no, not one…none who understands; There is none who seeks after God..” Romans 3:10-11

No one seeks after God, at least not until after they realize that God was seeking them first. God sought us first by providing the Law as a mirror. This mirror reveals to us how we truly look to Him: dirty. It is this realization, that we are sinners in need of salvation, that leads us to the parachute that is Christ Jesus.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes… Psalm 19:7-8

One More Time

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

  • Are you going to Heaven?
  • Are you a good person?
  • Do you know the Law?
  • Have you taken the Roman’s Road?

*Two words about analogies: they’re flawed.  Whenever we take a biblical truth and attempt to explain it  by making  a worldly comparison (as I did with the parachute story), we fall short.  While some analogies help us to understand biblical concepts, at the end of the day we must solely rely upon the truth of God’s Word.

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(You) as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5

Ctrl-Alt-Del

I began to write a piece about how Christians are like Legos in God’s hands.

I was going to title it, ‘Christ’s Lego-cy.’

I deleted it after reading this:

And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built. 1 Kings 6:7

The Pits

In the final assembly of the temple, there was no sound of hammer or chisel upon stone, because all the noise was being made back at the excavation site. All the smoothing, all the shaping, all the friction was taking place in the quarry pit. In one way it’s a prophetic picture of the sanctification process every Christian willingly submits himself to while on earth.

Bottom line: we’re not Legos.

Legos are a done deal. They come prepackaged: no sharp edges, no rough exteriors, and no ability to accept or desire change. I suspect if Legos were mentioned in the Bible they would likely be associated with the Pharisees.

Living stones on the other hand speak to obedience, surrender, and a valued understanding of a need to be made useable regardless of the process involved. By definition they are submitted. Jagged exteriors, pointy protrusions, and coarse demeanors are dealt with on earth in order that the completed Heavenly structure will be pure, peaceful, and undefiled.

Frankly, Legos would melt under this kind of pressure.

“There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4b

Born This Way?

Like Lady Gaga, Christian’s understand that we were born a particular way, but that’s where the similarities end. We call the condition what it is: sin.  We’ve learned that it wasn’t a part of God’s original plan; Adam messed up.  Because God desires the absolute best for us, He has provided the solution in His Son Jesus.  Accepting the solution means to first accept and acknowledge that perversity in any form is not a life style, it’s a sin.  At this juncture the restoration and reformation can begin.

Discovery

There is a firm appreciation when we realize that everything we are going through in this life is for a specific purpose in the next life. Change is good. The shaping, the forming, the molding is being divinely orchestrated and knowing that gives us the capacity to not just tolerate it, but to welcome and cherish it as well.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…For we are His workmanship…Ephesians 2:8 + 10a

Are You…

  1. Submitted to God’s plan?
  2. Seeing the bigger picture?
  3. Struggling with change?

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But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Genesis 50:20

An After Dinner discussion…

These children would be better off if we just let them die and then they would go right to heaven.”

The children being referred to were those who live in extreme poverty around the world. Expounding upon his thought the talker continued, “Same with abortion…aren’t these babies going to Heaven? Why should we interfere with that?”

I listened.

Stunned by the remark my eyes rolled back and closed. Simultaneously my head flopped back into the sofa. Then, in less than a second’s time, anger-provoked adrenalin surged up my spine. My neck stiffened, my eyes opened, and my tongue slipped out to moistening my lips, a signal to my brain that my mouth was clear for takeoff.

The Voice of Reason

Does God talk to you?

He talks to me.

I can’t explain it adequately, but He does. His voice doesn’t seem to be audible, but to say, “God speaks softly to my heart,” isn’t an accurate statement either. All I know is that He does speak and that He spoke to me on this occasion.

What did He tell me?

“Don’t say it.”

It was enough.

I knew what He meant. I didn’t argue with God. I exhaled silently so as not to sigh, I relaxed my neck, and sealed my lips.

Be angry, and do not sin. Ephesians 4:26

It was another reminder for me that emotions are God-given, and when used properly they serve to facilitate interaction with God through His Holy Spirit. In other words, ‘emotion always leads to choice, choice can lead to Jesus, and in Jesus we will have a solution.’ There is an alternative to anger and it is not merely to be un-angry, but to recognize the opportunity it brings to be submissive and obedient to the Holy Spirit.

And Not Only Anger

How many emotions are there?  No one can say with certainty. A short list of emotions just starting with the letter A might include these:

  • Able
  • Adequate
  • Adoration
  • Affection
  • Aggravation
  • Aggressiveness
  • Agitation
  • Agony
  • Alarm
  • Alienation
  • Amazement
  • Amusement
  • Anger
  • Anguish
  • Annoyance
  • Anticipation
  • Anxiety
  • Anxious
  • Apathy
  • Apprehensive
  • Arousal
  • Astonishment
  • Awe

When we perceive that emotions can be experienced concurrently, we begin to appreciate how the number of emotional combinations is incomprehensible. If you have you ever angrily or anxiously or amusingly anticipated something, you understand this. Well, know also that while our emotions are characteristically unique, they are common in their singular Divine purse: to bring us to Jesus.

And God never demands that we choose Jesus, but rather consistently affirms that He is the wisest choice.

Choices  

No one acts on an emotion until they have chosen to act on it.  Sometimes our reactions are so quick we suppose the action and the emotion are one and the same, but they’re not. Emotions are not actions until they have been fueled. Having said that, some of us do fuel our emotions before we experience them. This of course is foolishness.  It’s like lighting the fuse before you’ve constructed the firecracker.

So, it begs the question, “What are you using to fuel your emotions, or more accurately, ‘Who’ are you using to fuel your emotions?”

God asks us too,

Are you angry? Are you amused? Are you able? Wonderful! Here is the choice that will bring Me honor, glory, and praise.”

All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Colossians 1:16b-18

Consider the Colossians passage.

  • Does the phrase ‘all things’ include our emotions?
  • Does Jesus have preeminence over our emotions?
  • Who or what fuels your emotions?
  • How’s that working out for you?

~ ~ ~

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