Come, Read the Bible with Me!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Examination of the Good Wife

I intend to examine the 1955 article, "The Good Wife's Guide." I will probably start on Monday. First, though, I want to knock out a few expectations, and then establish some:

1) I am speaking from the position of failure. I can tell from experience what does not work. However, whether I fail or succeed, I find out what works and what is right from God's revealed word: The Bible.

2) Since I have always drifted along on the waves of feminism, without really staking a claim on it, I am not an expert, and I welcome any one's comments or expertise. I have not studied it or fought for or against it. I have seen some of the devastating effects on women and culture, but I am not positive that they are the direct result of feminism, or if they are the result of other influences in our society. I do think that they are very closely tied to it, though.

3) Since I am, relative to my age, a novice on Biblical womanhood, I am not an expert, and I welcome any one's comments or expertise.

4) I am going to take the points out of order. I will start with "A good wife always knows her place." It is a highly volatile statement, and, I think, highly misunderstood. It is a good place to start, and it will serve to lay the foundation for the remaining points.

5) After that, I may group some things together, because they are points of advice that represent a principle; like examples of or exceptions to a rule.

I am pleased to already have a discussion going on this subject. Please feel absolutely free to discuss, rebuke, refute, or debate. I hope that everyone will be respectful. I have lived on both sides now. I, and my Saviour will love you.

I will stand on nothing but Scripture. All other ground is sinking sand.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A wife of noble character who can find?



I have recently, again, received the above graphic forwarded to me by email. (click on the picture for easier reading)

In the following weeks, I will commit to examining each point from the biblical perspective.

Make no mistake, I was raised in a feminist America. Feminism is the air we breathe. It is very much like trying to think like a tree to see things in another way. However, just because I am a woman of unclean lips, and everyone around me also has unclean lips, doesn't make unclean lips alright. This is not like wearing a kilt in Iowa, or jeans in the Buckingham Palace. These are things that have far-reaching, and commonly denied effects.

The funny thing is how simple little steps to make the home a pleasant place to gather have become, not only a lost art, but a laughing stock. The main reason is that we are a culture that teaches us to live for ourselves, for the most part. Even philanthropy is based on what's in it for me (WIFM) with tax breaks and incentives.

Some of the suggestions in this 1955 advice can simply be tossed, but we should not have thrown out the baby with the bath water. Reading these, makes my natural self, cry out, "Why?" or "But what about me?"

Mere nostalgia is not a hill I will die on, but this is really more than nostalgia. There are lessons to be learned from what we learned in '60s and '70s. "You've come a long way, baby!" Can we even see where it has gotten us? Women do not hold the place of honor that we used to. We have given up sacrificing ourselves for our children in order to grow old alone. We have given up serving our husbands, in order to raise our children without the strength of the father.

We have become all we need, to become all we have.

We have come a long way, baby!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Kindling Polycarp Incandescence

I first posted this in January of 2006. I had snatched it, though, from From the BaylyBlog. I just love this story; everything about it. I think of it often as I burn. It is an example of one setting himself on fire for Jesus:

...where will you take tidings of comfort and joy this (year)?


Christmas, 1988, N Train

A young woman we know writes: It was the gilt-edged pages that gave him away. Most people who read the Bible on the subway have a small pocket edition and keep it to themselves. This young man looked as if he had come away with the family King James. Otherwise, he was ordinary-looking; gray jacket, plaid scarf, blue jeans, white sneakers, bristly brown hair; a gold wedding band. He waited until the N train had pulled out of the Queensboro Plaza station and was under the East River, and then he read aloud, "In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus…" A groan went out from my fellow-passengers.

Talk about a captive audience. The train was too crowded for people to switch cars. And New Yorkers will put up with all sorts of things rather than give up their seats on the subway. I couldn’t help thinking that the young man was lucky there were no maniacs aboard and no piles of stones at hand. But no matter how you feel about being force-fed the gospel under the East River it holds up better than the Times or the Post or the subway ads for Dr. Zizmor, dermatologist. Anyway, no one moved. No one said, "Oh, shut up." No one wanted to be identified as an irreligious loner at Christmastime.

I found myself criticizing the young man’s intonation. He had a good strong voice, but the words rocked up and back unvaryingly: "…to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child." When he was done, and the shepherds had rejoiced, he changed--thank goodness--his rhythm. He started singing "Joy to the World." He sang two full verses of it, again in a good, strong voice. But no one joined in. I was tempted, partly because I felt sorry for him--singing in the face of so much hostility--and also because I’m a sucker for actual human voices raised in song, as opposed to canned carols such as one hears in Doubleday (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum) and in Barnes & Noble (gloh-o-o-o-o-oh-o-o-o-o-oh-o-o-o-o-oh-ria). But I was sitting next to a man rigid with pain and fury at having his subway meditations interrupted, and I felt sorry for him, too. Especially when the young man finished singing and began to preach, reminding us that we were all God’s creatures on the N train and that for each of us He had a plan. God’s creature next to me was probably thinking that he didn’t take the subway to fall in with God’s plan--he took the subway to get to Fifty-ninth and Lexington.

(“The Talk of the Town” in The New Yorker, Dec. 26, 1988.)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Where's Rachel?

I haven't posted in a while. I realized today that it is November 30. I have not posted in November. I haven't a lot to say, so I will just post a few observations:

>I found a quarter yesterday. It was from 1985. That is the year I met Glen.

>A couple of days ago, I got two wheat pennies back in change. One was from 1941; the other was from 1951. I think that 1951 was the year that Glen came into existence, but he was not born that year. He was in God's plans much, much longer than that, though!

>Glen told me to leave off on trying to find that woman at Planned Parenthood a job. She's not interested. He's probably right. Besides, she is more able to disregard me when my message is so temporal.

>God is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine. His thoughts are much higher than our thoughts. He sees the beginning from the end.

>I got on facebook, against the advice of the younger generation; although they were gracious and patient to help me find my way around. I'm not sure how much I like it. I always feel like I am spying on people, and really only get half of their conversations. The huge benefit, though is the connection with people that I otherwise would not connect with.

>My sister, Deb, is on facebook, too. It is nice to talk to her there. We don't talk on the phone often, and sometimes I feel like a stranger to her. Now she has a blog, too! Check it out on my link bar! She is, and has always been one of my most interesting sisters; right up there with Lib and Hannah!

>I really don't understand the whole Federal Vision controversy, and when I try to read up on it, I don't seem to be able to grasp the gist of the mass of prodigiously inaccessible nomenclature. (sigh)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Job Hunting

You may know that I have been talking to the African American woman who works at Planned Parenthood. I sincerely feel for her. When I started talking to her, she expressed the need to pay her bills. She subsequently defended her position there as helping people.

I want you to pray with me this week. I told her yesterday that I would meet her at Wendy's at 5:15 and we could sit and talk and have supper together. We could look for a job together. She was not there. I went in and looked for her, and then (being frightened, really) I waited another ten minutes in my van outside with the doors locked.

I did drive past Planned Parenthood when I left to confirm that she wasn't still at work... She wasn't. She probably has to get home and fix supper.

Next week, I want to be ready with some job offers. Pray with me, and ask me if I have been looking, and if you hear of anything, tell me. I am serious about this. I don't know if she is a nurse or a nurse's aid or what, but I would like to love her with a job. She will not come to me for a meal or help in finding a job. She probably thinks I am a cloud without rain.

13 Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.

14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.

15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

17 But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him

20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.

21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;

22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

I John 3:13-24

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Don't be so mean, ya mean ol' Meanie!

Mean: What do you mean, "mean."

Today, at Planned Parenthood, I was loitering. A woman went in, alone, and I pretty much left her alone. As she came out and got in her vehicle, she looked at me. Then as she approached me, she stopped and rolled down her window and asked me if I needed a ride or something. I said, no, I'm here to offer people information about children, and abortion and life. I offered her a brochure.

She was repulsed, and the brochure that should have been in her extended fingers when I let go of it landed on her passenger seat. She said, "Oh-h, you're mean! So mean! Let people make up their own minds!" She handed the brochure back to me, and drove away.

Mean? Wow.

She was so kind, to ask me if I needed a ride. Why was I so mean?

Discouraged, maybe, but mean?

There was a guy who brought a girl. He was waiting for her to get out of the car when I pleaded with him to reconsider what he was here to do. Don't kill your child, it does nothing but damage to everyone involved. I exhorted him to take responsibility to to protect them. He ignored me. Then I tried to talk to the girl, who grinned at me and shrugged. They went in. He said something to me, but I can't remember what. He was very flippant and cool.

They came back out to fill out some papers on the bench behind the fence, so I went there and tried to talk to them. I offered her a brochure. She again just grinned at me. He said something about hell. I asked him to repeat it. I heard something about sodomites and hell, but I was still missing something, this wasn't making sense. I finally realized that he said that they were murderers and sodomites, and that they were going to hell. He seemed fine with that. I said, "OK, but would you please not kill your child on your way there."

"Nope, we're going to kill it."

What could I say? Mean? Me? Maybe. Lame is more like it. I don't know.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I'm Just a Little Black Rain Cloud

(fast foward to the 4 minute mark if you wish)

11Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.
12These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. (Jude)


How much of a cloud without rain I am! How often have I chanted with the rest, "Be bold, don't be ashamed of the Gospel!"

More than once, fully aware that I have been guilty of no more than skirting the subject of God; hinting that He is the source of help in times of trouble; I have been brushed aside like an annoying fly...an opportunity lost without actually offering an offense!

These are not lost opportunities of strangers passing on the street or acquaintances sharing air in the office.



I just am very ashamed of myself for missing this:

27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matt.10:27&28)

Secrets and Mice

It used to be that no one knew what went on in the Pierson home unless we told. Not so any more!

The last time we had mice, it was a great story to tell...if we so chose. This time, while I suspected that we had a wild visitor, I didn't know for sure until a member of our small group silently mouthed, "Mm-ouw-sss" to another one, and giggled. (sigh)

Later the same Sunday evening while we were engaged in a VERY serious discussion of sexual sin, another of our group saw one running through the rafters, and offered to catch it. (si-igh)

This morning, Glen discarded the seventh mouse caught in the week and a half since that meeting.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Edgewood Marching Mustangs 10/13/2007 Regionals

The Edgewood Marching Mustangs: Taking their awesome show to the Dome.

The Marching Mustangs: State Bound!

This is what I have been up to for the last month and a half...



Awesome!

They perform at the RCA Dome at 3:02 pm. They will be the last of the top ten Class C bands in the state to perform.

(sigh)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Breaking News

Breaking my long silence to bring you this news:
Police: Suspected shooter still in apartment building
Bloomington Police Department Capt. Joe Qualters says police are trying to get communication with the man still in the apartment building; police are sending a telephone up to the apartment.

The apartment building is at the 1300 block of West Arch Haven on Bloomington's west side; the initial call came in after 7 a.m.

9:01 a.m. update

A man fired shots from an apartment building balcony this morning, according to police.

Sgt. Faron Lake told H-T reporter Marci Creps that a man fired shots from the balcony of an apartment building behind the BW3 restaurant on Second Street this morning. Lake said the man shot a rifle numerous times, but did not hit anyone that police are aware of, then went back inside.

Police believe the man is back inside the apartment at this time, and has not come back out.

Bloomington police's Critical Incident Response Team is on the scene, staging next to Stonebelt on Adams Street.

Dave Burnworth, senior director of clinical operations at IMA, said Internal Medicine Associates’ Landmark Family Practice and Landmark Medical Center were both locked down at 7:45 a.m.

“No patients or doctors can leave the building until we get the OK from the police,” he said. “Everyone seems to be fine. They know they are secure if they stay inside the building.”

8:43 a.m. update

Bloomington Police are at the scene of the incident near Second Street at this hour.

Preliminary reports from police indicate a man with a rifle came out of an apartment building on Adams Street, between Patterson and Second Streets, and fired shots.

Police did not say who the man is, or why shots were fired.

The area is sealed off, including Second near Landmark and Patterson and Adams Street.

A news briefing is expected in about a half hour.

This story will be updated as information becomes available.
We are all safe and sound. More later.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Lame

I had a perfect U-tube video to embed in the last post. It would actually be better to post separately because I would be able to comment on the difference between being part of a flock, and being someone's puppet.

I don't understand it. Everyone else can put videos on their blogs, but I can't... Boo-hoo-hoo!

Puppet on a String

Yesterday I had a conversation with a young woman who goes to a church which we used to belong to. This is a person who grieved me several weeks ago when I saw her go into Planned Parenthood, but I didn't get to talk to her that day.

(This is one of those things that happen that
you hesitate to tell people
because they will think you're fruity:
I would never have remembered her name,
but I asked God,
and it popped out of my mouth
even as it appeared in my mind.
I was amazed when she responded.
Agh! This frightens me.)

Yesterday, when I arrived, there was a strapping young man waiting by the door. I was told that he brought a short heavy woman in. Funny what we assume. As she was coming out, I called her name. I asked her to come to me, and she did.

(This always amazes me when people come to me.
I often hesitate to ask them to, because it doesn't seem like they would.
Would you?
God clearly holds the hearts of men, kings, young women, and girls in
His Mighty Hand!
They make their plans, and
He directs their steps.)

So, I ask her what she is doing here. To my GREAT surprise, she said, "Don't worry, I am volunteering here." (!!) She is counseling. What sort of counseling do you suppose they do at Planned Parenthood? Don't worry, though, because she also volunteers at the CPC just-down-the-street. Oh, and she told her Mom that she saw me there, a couple of weeks ago. (Peace, peace)

I asked her if she could, while counseling, tell someone that abortion is wrong, that it is killing a child. She said she couldn't say that this "procedure" was wrong, but that she could (wink wink) guide them toward other options. (Peace, peace)

I almost fell for that one. Then she came in with the left jab: (Just when I was wondering if she had stopped going to church) Don't worry, she did talk to Pastor about it. He said it's OK. She said that he said it's better than being "one of those people who stand outside." People just think they are morons, you know. It's more effective, you know. (You Fool!)

Oh, and she's a Nanny, and a Doula (not officially certified --sh-sh). And I really should come back to church, because they're just about to build their new auditorium, and so and so (would you believe it!) are getting married, and so and so are having their third baby and she's just glowing. And everything is so wonderful (bright smile). Oh, and the little baby, in my arms is so cute, he looks just like So and So's youngest one. (peace, peace)

I wanted to ask her to stop flinging crap in my face. Alternately I wanted to fall on my knees and beg her to come to her senses. I gave her another hug and sent her on her way...she really had to get going.

What was it her t-shirt said? "I have visited Motherhood"? Who was that tall strapping young man towering over her. Her "friend" wore a t-shirt with too much writing stretched across his muscular chest for me to have time to read. He also wore a crucifix. He had an appointment, or we might still be there talking. She drove away with him slumped in the passenger seat.

What's in a Name - Meme

Kim at Hinds Feet tagged me for the name game. At first I was thrilled. My Mom and Dad had eleven children. My youngest sister died shortly after birth. My parents gave each child a good Biblical name, and really quite good middle names. I have always been impressed with them. I really should sit down with them and ask them where each one came from and what they were thinking in choosing names:

David Lee
Timothy Ray
Daniel Wade
Deborah Kay
Thomas Keith
Elizabeth Faye
Peter James
Benjamin Scott
Rachel Lee
Hannah Lori
Dinah Ruth

I think I have blown my chance at this conversation, though, because my Mom still thinks I'm mad at her for giving me a hand-me-down middle name. If you're reading this, Mom, I'm really really over it.

Not bad for a woman whose parents gave most of brothers middle initials instead of middle names. My parents' names:

Viola Mae and James Samuel

We had a nap mat for kindergarten that was used by each sibling in succession. My Mom sewed each of our names on the mat. It was pretty neat. Each of us had Mrs. Lockwood for kindergarten, until Hannah's turn came. The school put her in the other teacher's room. My Mom tried to buck the system, but the system won. I hope that God worked that all out for the good of my sister and my Mom.

Now, on to the game:

WHAT’S IN A NAME?
1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.
4. At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.


Lee: There are only three letters and two of them are duplicates. This can't be that hard. I'm never any good at self contemplation, though and I tend to be too harsh. I asked for more objective help from family and got things like "Luscious" and "Egregious."

I went then to the online thesaurus, and found words like:

L: Loathsome, Lackluster, Languid and Lumpy

E: Enervative, Exigent
(and for some more enticingly exciting "E" words)

E: Exasperating, Echoic

I'm no good at this game. I'm not going to tag anyone. I had some interesting people in mind, but I'd rather they don't come here and read this.

There will be no puffing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The War on the Unborn

One day a war protester stopped by at Planned Parenthood and tried to start something.

I dug right in. I probably failed to communicate eloquently. She mentioned 8,000 people dying in Irag in the past year. I told her that 4,000 Americans died of abortion yesterday.

After that things just escalated into a yelling tyrade. I vaguely heard Glen tell me to be quiet, and I shamefully found my bulldog teeth sunk in too far to let go. She asked why we are here; why do we care about these unwanted babies; why don't we care about the innocent Iraqi civilians who are dying in an unjust war?

Too many words and too much volume.

What I would really love to do is to get really close to this woman, with forearms touching, look her in the eye and communicate the difference between that Iraqi civilian man, woman or child who is dying of the war, however unjust or unwarranted; and the 10 or 20 unborn children who were dying on College avenue that very day as we spoke, and those who will die tomorrow.

The difference is that the man could run or defend himself. The woman could plead for her life or hide. The child could scream or cry out for help. The baby in his mother's arms, or abandoned in the corner of an alley, could cry pitifully. Maybe none of these things would save their lives, for long; but maybe death would be delayed, or mercy realized.

The children dying on College Avenue in Bloomington Indiana can do none of those things.

Friday, August 17, 2007

On the Road Again

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?


Glen and Holly are on the road today. They are actually probably by now in Lafayette. Holly is starting her second year at Purdue and is moving in today.

Maybe that is why I am feeling melancholy today. I feel an empty place. I feel left out. I feel powerless to help Glen, and to strengthen Holly.

I have Lydia. She will be picking me up soon, and then she has to go to the first football game of the season, wearing the new uniforms for the first time ever. I feel left out. I won't be there to see the first public performance of her senior year show with the band. I won't be there to encourage and critique. I am powerless.

I, though, will go to a discipleship conference with church. I am looking forward to it, but at the same time, I know that even if I know the tactics, I am powerless. I think that is what cast my soul down so yesterday; my powerlessness.

Instead, my powerlessness should be a source of delight, for in my weakness, God says, His strength is made perfect.

Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I am afraid to say this:

This video is very telling. Who are we to be more "compassionate" than God? If we cannot believe God, then what are we doing there? Who are we to speak for God, if we don't know, or won't say what He says?

I post this with great trembling. I am afraid of it. I don't want to be harsh, or uncaring. I don't want to be arrogant. I want to be faithful to God.

We are of all men, most foolish and pitiable. That is obvious.

What would I say?

My opinion here does not matter. I defer to God.

What does God say?

5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.

6 "Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed;
for in the image of God
has God made man.

7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it."

(Genesis 9:5-7)

Downcast

Psalm 42

1 For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.

5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and 6 my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"

10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

11 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.


Psalm 43

1 Vindicate me, O God,
and plead my cause against an ungodly nation;
rescue me from deceitful and wicked men.

2 You are God my stronghold.
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?

3 Send forth your light and your truth,
let them guide me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.

4 Then will I go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God.

5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Love for and Distractions of the Enemy

The Enemy

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:19-24)


There is a woman who works at Planned Parenthood, who used to get a ride to work. She arrives after I get there, and for months I kind of disregarded her. One day, I realized that I never talked to her. Why? Maybe because she is black.Am I a racist? I never thought so, but there is a blonde white woman working there, who leaves after the black woman arrives, and I call her to account; so I can only think that I let this woman slide because she is black. Of course it may have been because she got a ride to work, and I could imagine the conversations around the dinner table about me that night (racism or fear of man: which is the greater sin?) I repented of this silence to God and to her, and began to talk to her each time she arrived.

A month or so ago, she got her own vehicle. It's a van.
Soon after she got it, she started parking it across the alley. This means she has to cross my path to get to work. I have noticed that she does this even when there are plenty of parking places at Planned Parenthood. Just yesterday, I realized how delightful this is, and that it must be because God directs her in this. If God puts her in my path, who am I to keep silent?

I have talked to her about sin, guilt, innocent blood. I have talked to her about income and jobs, and responsibilities.


43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)

Yesterday, I told her that I would like to sit down with her and help her find a bloodless job. She turned around and faced me, and shouted at me to not harass her when she comes to work. I told her that I want to help her, and that a woman with her skills and compassion ought to have a job where she can help people and not help to kill people.

She spent more time there with me than was necessary. I totally expected the guard or escorts to surround her, but they left her out in the open and vulnerable. It seemed like a very long time, and afterward, I was shaken.

11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. (I John 3:11-24; emphasis added)


What have I done? I have been thinking about this ever since! Even after a war protester came and diverted our attention from the imminent death of helpless children, who cannot hide, fight back or even cry out, to the war in Iraq, where thousands of humans, made in God's image have died in the past years of the war.





(Can we compare the two? Four thousand children yesterday in America alone compared to how many thousands of men, women and children over the past 6 years. Besides, why must it be assumed that just because a person does not want to kill unborn children, that they are blood-thirsty war mongers? This was a distraction, but I did not know how to diffuse it. I regret my behaviour.)


The black woman who works at Planned Parenthood is an enemy of God. Therefore, according to Psalm 139, she is my enemy as well. How did Jesus command me to treat my enemy? With love. What did I John say about love? It is more than words, but action and truth. I hope that she will take me up on the offer. I hope to sit down with her over coffee or a bowl of chili, and search with her for a job... and share the gospel with her.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Look Around

Yesterday, I while I was at Planned Parenthood, a young Asian woman was moving out of the apartment above the used furniture store across the street. Actually she was talking on her cell phone while standing on the side walk as her mother lugged the bed frame down the stairs by herself. She got cut off as her mother stopped for breath and waited for the young woman to put her phone away and help. In exasperation, she redialed, speaking sharply to her mother for expecting help. The mother's face got deeper red in the over 90 degree heat as dragged a mattress down the narrow stairs and leaned it against the building alone.

As I watched this, I was reminded about the commentary on the Stand True website regarding the Everyday ProLife Life (Go to the Stand True Website, Click on Commentaries, then click on Everyday Pro Life in the first column). Am I Pro-life just just because I contend for the life of the unborn? I don't think so. I contend for the life of the unborn because I am a Christian.

I struggled with standing across the street or going over and helping. Finally, I put my stuff back in the van and crossed the street. As I approached the older woman, without even breaking up her cell phone conversation, the younger woman placed herself between me and the mother and asked how she can help me.

I told her that the woman looked like she was moving and needed help. She said, "No, I'm moving, she's fine." After trying to convince her of my good intentions, and her insisting that I am not needed, I went back across the street.

I thought she would be motivated to help then, but she continued to talk and the mother continued to work alone and aggravated. Then an young Asian man came alone from the south and the young woman ran to meet him. They all gathered at the entrance to the apartment and talked. Then the young couple began to walk toward Second Street quickly. The older woman gathered three bottles of water and tried to follow, but they were too far along. She called to them, but they kept going. When they got to the parking lot at Kroger, they got in a car and drove away.

The old woman was left with two mattresses and a bed frame that she was unable to load into a van by herself, and three bottles of water. I don't know if there was more furniture upstairs that was still to come down.

When I left to go back to work, she was still there, alone.

This was so poignant.

1. Why does it take me so long to act? Why did I give up so easily? Why didn't I go help after the young woman was gone?
2. How did that young woman become so incredibly selfish? Did her parents inadvertently teach her selfishness?
3. I am speechless with questions! How? Why? How...?

Friday, August 03, 2007

It's Personal

Pro-life: It's personal.

Christ Centered Pro-Life has posted a commentary about a comprehensive "Pr0-life" life. "Everyday Pro-life" is more than just defending the defenseless in the form of the unborn baby.

  • It is also uplifting the downtrodden; encouraging the hopeless; feeding the hungry.
  • It's Jesus at the well;
  • it's Jesus spitting in the mud;
  • it's Jesus drawing in the dirt;
  • it's Jesus feeding the five thousand;
  • it's Jesus delaying his journey to Lazarus' bedside in his illness;
  • it's Jesus weeping over Mary and Martha's loss;
  • it's Jesus loving the children of Jerusalem even as they rejected Him.
  • It is the unrelenting Stephen explaining from scripture God's plan of salvation as his accusers became more and more vehement.
  • It is Jim Elliott, flying into the jungle, unarmed because he was ready to die, but the natives were with out God and without hope in this world.
It is sometimes hard, and always surprising. It is surprising how, when my heart waxes cold, and begins to wander, something happens to make it personal.

Yesterday, I saw someone I knew... I am at a loss. Pray for me.

OK, I am entering a contest!

My dear friend Kim, has been going nuts on her blog this summer. She has been participating in a wild variety of contests, and seems to be having a good time, and having lots of visitors. While I have been tempted each time she has had a contest to join in, I have been too trepidatious to join in. Now the temptation is too great!

Go to 5 minutes for Moms and enter their TV Contest Giveaway! and make sure you thank Best Buy for making this available.

Believe it or not, this is what is being given away free:

The ultra slim, lightweight Insignia® 37″ Flat-Panel LCD HDTV (Model: NS-LCD37) features 1366×768 Resolution, with 16:9 widescreen ratio for cinema-quality viewing. You will be enjoying picture perfect quality from every angle and not missing any details with its built in high definition capabilities.

The TV measures 5″ deep and will look fantastic either in an entertainment center or mounted on a wall (with optional mounting kit, not included.)



Oops! Almost forgot to include instructions:
Here is how to enter:
  • First - leave a comment here at this post (NOT HERE AT RACHEL'S BLOG) by Friday, August 17th, 2007 at 12:00am Eastern (really Midnight on Thursday so don't miss the mark by thinking Friday). We will announce the winner Friday morning, August, 17th. Please only comment once - any duplicate entries will be deleted.
  • Second - on your blog, link to this contest so that your readers can have a chance to win too. You gotta let your readers know about this! And also please link to Best Buy to thank them for sponsoring this great contest. If you are not a blogger, no worries, you obviously can’t link. But please tell your friends about the contest. I am sure they will thank you!
  • This contest is open to both Canadian and US shipping addresses!!! YEAH!


(sigh)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Bridge Collapsed in Minnesota

I first heard about this on Albert Mohler's blog. I appreciated Mr. Mohler's sensitivity and focus during this disaster.

Pray with me for God's people in this tragedy. Pray for His church, that she will be a place of comfort, mercy, and refuge. Pray that souls will seek God's solace during this time, and that He will be glorified.

Go here for more details and pictures.

Psalm 57

For the director of music. To the tune of "Do Not Destroy." Of David. A miktam . When he had fled from Saul into the cave. [a]
1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.

2 I cry out to God Most High,
to God, who fulfills {his purpose} for me.

3 He sends from heaven and saves me,
rebuking those who hotly pursue me;
Selah
God sends his love and his faithfulness.

4 I am in the midst of lions;
I lie among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.

5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.

6 They spread a net for my feet—
I was bowed down in distress.
They dug a pit in my path—
but they have fallen into it themselves.
Selah

7 My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make music.

8 Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.

9 I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.

10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Great Picture!

Baby Robin Bobbing Along

Just click on the image to see where I got this great picture!

The turtle picture below came from here.

Perspective

There was a letter to the editor in our paper a week or so ago. It was from a woman who passed a turtle on the road. She just knew that turtle wouldn't survive the onslaught of traffic, and went back to rescue the it. When she got there, she found a young man already moving the turtle off the road.

He told her that eight other people had stopped for the same purpose.

She thought this was wonderfully encouraging.




On my way back to work from Planned Parenthood yesterday, having finally talked to the two people that God brought to me, Lindsay and her man, I saw a young robin just near the curb on Second Street. Cars whizzed by it, one right after the other. It sat very still, with its beak pointed to the sky. It made me think about that turtle and its 10 rescuers. Then it made me think of how few people attempt to rescue the 10 or 20 babies who are killed every week at Planned Parenthood.

Lindsay was just there, she said to "purchase something." She seemed quite concerned that Planned Parenthood kills babies on Thursday. She looked at her stone-faced companion and then at me.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

For the Love of God!

Why do I write about these things? Just so I don't forget:

Today was a very interactive day at Planned Parenthood. Intense conversations.

A couple of women left Planned Parenthood and headed down the alley toward Walnut on foot. I greeted them and asked if I could give them some information. I was too far away to casually intersect their path, so they would either have to stop, or I would have to run if there was to be eye to eye. One continued on. One stopped. She took my paper, looked at it, folded it up and put it in her pocket while asking me if I had ever adopted a baby. I haven't, but...she scoffed. There you go..we have free choice. I asked her if she thought that wasn't a baby. She said that she knew it was a baby. I asked her if she thought then, that the woman's perogative superceeded the helpless one's right to live. She said that we have free choice, and I have never adopted a baby.

Later, when they returned and were talking to the guard and escort, I called to her that there are no unwanted children. (there are truely people who want these children) She came right over to me (all the time telling me that I am casting judgement on these people and don't know their struggles) and stood and talked to me about poverty, down-trodden women and babies who have nothing. She said that she and her mother were there, in poverty, have I ever been? I told her that I am ready to help, and others like me. I asked her if she knew of any who need help now? She said no. I offered her my phone number so she could call me when she found one who needed help. As she walked away, she said that she will be too busy helping them herself.

I told her that is why I am here. .. to help those who are helpless, and dying. (This is where I went and cried in my husband's arms while he prayed for me. God gives strength.)

A man and woman arrived and got out of their car. As I approached, he raised his hand and said that they were not here to kill a baby today. (peace, peace) When they came back out, I asked if they were there for an appointment, or just to check out the place (this cut off the joke about liking babies fried). I gave the man a flyer as we talked, and the woman said that it was really none of my business and that I will leave her alone. She looked sad, and as she waited for her man to unlock her door from the inside, I noticed her brown paper bag and paperwork. I probably gave them the wrong flyer. They needed information about the morning after pill.

Right after I told the guard and escort that I hoped that God would grant them a guilty conscience, to hear the cries of their helpless victems, repentance and faith, I gave an escort a flyer. I told her I hadn't seen her there for a while and offered to buy her a cup of coffee (I've been listening to John Piper sermons on the subject...how do you love a woman at the well?). I offered her my phone number. She refused, saying that she would just see me here (Lord willing).

Another woman with van with a Florida license plate took my flyer, told me she would read it, and that she would leave it with them (Planned Parenthood). She was older (although probably younger than me) and she was with a youngish looking man; nineteen or twenty. I did not see the woman she presumably brought for an abortion (she made a noncommitally affirmative gesture when I asked if that was what she was there for).

Another couple came out, ignoring me, and started to leave with their windows rolled tightly up. I held out a flyer in a lame attempt to communicate with them, knowing that they would just drive by. They stopped, though, rolled down their windows, and took my flyer.

Why do I write about these things? I wonder if I write them because I think I'm cool, fast on my feet, or clever. I wonder if I write them to get some sort of positive feedback from my friends. Sometimes I am a most rediculous woman.

As I am writing, I see what I did, and re-hear what I said, and it makes me sick to my stomach. What a poor excuse for a watchman. What a rediculous woman!

What a Glorious God!
Why did the one woman stop and the other go on?
Why is it that she now has our flyer in her pocket?
Why did that woman from Florida go out of her way to take my flyer, make eye contact with me and exchange words?
Why did she threaten to give it to the people in Planned Parenthood, and probably carry through with that?
Why, then, did J Lewis, the manager, come out? He seldom comes out, and only when he feels like things are intense, I think.
Why on earth would that couple, safely encased in their car, stop, hold up the car behind them, open their window, and take my flyer?


 1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD;
       he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

 2 All a man's ways seem right to him,
       but the LORD weighs the heart.

 3 To do what is right and just
       is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

 4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
       the lamp of the wicked, are sin! (Proverbs 21)


 9 In his heart a man plans his course,
       but the LORD determines his steps. (Proverbs 16)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Birth Control

Marriage, Singleness, and Birth control: Hot Topics.

I read today something that I hope to always remember. Pyromaniacs started a series entitled "Hello Out There." In it, the author intends to speak culturally to cultural people about important things, leaving behind the shibboleths of Christianity. I think this is a good idea. I think that I myself have nothing to say to the world, my neighbors, others. God does, though, and I keep hearing people say that you have to give it to them in their own language. You have to be relevant. So, I'm glad the Pyros have started this. I am looking forward to learning how to be as wise as serpants, and as gentle as doves.

In the first installment, on truth, the author says:


The Christian agrees with his non-Christian neighbors on one point: no mere mortal has the authority to create and impose truth on another. It is the Christian position that we are all finite: "we are but of yesterday and know nothing, for our days on earth are a shadow" (Job 8:9). Even the smartest man is limited in his grasp of the facts. Further, none of us has the infinite perspective necessary to assign the right meaning to those facts we do possess. We are bound into our own context, and lack a transcendent vantage point.

I think it is also important to remember to keep the content scriptural. How do you find that balance? I don't know, but I will try. I'm not sure that it is a balance so much because, how can you possibly balance anything with Scripture. When men try, Scripture gets diluted. On the other hand, I get in trouble, and err, when I think I am God's interpreter, His lawyer, His partner, His beautician, His public relations coordinator.

Church of the Good Shepherd had a very compelling sermon called Fruit of the Spirit (2/26/06). The springboard for this sermon was Galatians 5:22-26. While the sermon was excellent, I question the premise (although, God may use children to grow the fruit of the spirit in His children). If I were discussing godly seed, the blessing of children, or full quivers, I would not use Galatians 5 to back me up.

Pastor Bayly, however, used an unexpected springboard for this sermon, quite possibly for the very purpose of calling us from our selfishness, greed, fear and pride. I will also approach this discussion from probably an unexpected direction to shine God's light, I hope, on other ways that we may fail, calling God's discipline on us.

HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER This may seem a little backward, but bear with me for a moment, and I'll see if I can't get to a point.

I grew up in a family of ten children. As a child, my plan was also to have as many children. When my eldest brother stopped having children after two, I promised my Mom that I would have 18. My parents were jars of clay. They did their best, and that was a mighty fine job.

When I was thirteen, my Mom was expecting her eleventh child. My oldest brother, who was thirteen when I was born, had a son. The pregnancy was, I'm sure, not an easy one for my forty-six year old mother, but she bore this burden joyfully, even while defending the child's very existance. She sewed diapers, burp cloths, nighties and quilts. She was glowing.

My little red-headed sister, Dinah Ruth, did not live more than thirteen hours out of the womb. She was born too early, and her lungs were not ready. Her death was a greater burden to my mother than her life had been. Her smile and joy were packed away with the unused nighties and the unsoiled diapers.

The next few years were very dark, and to my shame, I was not a help to my mother in her pain, or a comfort in her time of sorrow. Instead I distanced myself from her need. The odd thing is that distance tends to create callouses, where as closeness creates softness in hearts. Here is where I began to despise my mother.

For many years, I continued in this sin, and God did not strike me down. I began to see all of my mother's faults, and to disagree with her lifestyle. I remember telling people as an adult that I thought my mother should have stopped having children after four, because the world would have been a sadder place without my oldest sister. So I despised the goodness of God, and loved the things of the world.

As an adult the concept of birth control was not even an issue. Yes, you control births. Relationships, education, career, and self esteem were my highest goals. My first marriage was to a barren man, and I cried myself to sleep at the thought of never having children, but I did not still recognize my sin, or repent of it.

After that one failed, I married a man (Glen) who had two children already, and he longed to have children with a wife (me) together. So we "decided" to have children, and did have two of them. (Praise be to God for His inexpressible mercy to us, opening my undeserving and rebelious womb, and granting us children to teach us our sin.) Then the decision was made for me not to have any more.

Is this command to honor your father and mother tied up in the blessings of God? I think so. God has used His birth control, to discipline me, and convict me of this sin, and teach me His way.

I have worn myself out with this first point, and cannot complete the next two points, but leave them here to feed our thoughts. I am happy to engage in this discussion personally or by blog or email.

SERVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, ALL YOUR HEART AND ALL YOUR MIND

Serve the Lord now. I see and experience so much discontentment with where we are, always hoping for the next blessing. I want to be married. I want to have children. I want to have more room for hospitality. I want to serve the Lord in Africa. I want to do this, I want to have that.

We need to be looking daily, and asking daily for the tasks and relationships that God has for us today, while it is today. We need to be faithful in the small things.

RECEIVE WITH JOY FROM YOUR FATHER'S HAND

Would you receive "good" only from the Father's hand and not evil too?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Revised Message to a Rebelious House

Two evenings from now, June 20, the Bloomington City Council will meet to decide on the distribution of Jack Hopkins Social Services Funds. The presentation of each of the applicants can be viewed at the council website (http://www.bloomington.in.gov/council/) and by clicking on the link to view current and archived meeting (look for May 3). This is long and interesting viewing.

Unless someone compels me not to speak thus, this is what I will say to them Wednesday night:

In regards to the financial support, and approval of the City of Bloomington of Planned Parenthood, I have something to say. In regards to the care taken by the City of Bloomington to make sure that public funds granted to an organization of mercy and compassion not be used to promote or be involved in any way with religion; while promoting, approving and funding the abhorrent practice of heartlessly ending the tiny lives of the most helpless people among us, at the unofficial rate of 10 to 20 each week, I have something to say.

I thank God that He has preserved us and brought us together here, that I may speak, and you may hear, that your soul may live!

I call you now to righteousness, mercy, and justice. Since I see by your duplicity, that you are blind to these concepts, I have some counsel for you.

You are now, as in the past, considering funding an organization which is involved in the killing of helpless and voiceless persons, and the perpetuating of the victimization and dehumanization of young girls and women, and their loss of honour in our society. I call you to examine your hands, and see that they are stained with blood, and repent!

You are now, as in the past, considering the funding of organizations which may also be involved in religion or housed at religious facilities, or would like to work with people who follow Jesus Christ. In all your deliberations, you are so careful to make sure that these funds will not be used to contribute to, or promote religion. I call you to recognize that the God who created heaven and earth and everything in it, also created you, and brought you here to hear these words, that you would turn from the evil that the world would call good. I will tell you that it is He who has put you in this position, and not you, yourself, and that to do right is not to do right in your own eyes, or the eyes of the public, or in the eyes of your fellow councilmen; but in the eyes of God Himself. I urge you: "Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!" (Amos 5:24)

God holds judgment in store for those who rebel against Him, wrath for those who revel in their wickedness, and terror for those who disregard the plight of the helpless and show no mercy. However, we know from His profit, Ezekiel, that He does not delight in the death of the wicked, but rather He calls them to turn to Him to learn righteousness. He has provided His own salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ. Nowhere else will you find the Words of Life, but from Him.

We have all together drank of the deceptive waters of our own selfish hearts, our society, our world. You, too, have been deceived; and have deceived yourselves. Why would your persist in your own way, and die? Turn, rather to Jesus. Take His yoke upon you and learn of Him, for He is the truth.

 And now hear the Word of the One True God from His prophet, Amos:

Seek good, not evil,
       that you may live.
       Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you,
       just as you say he is.
Hate evil, love good;
       maintain justice in the courts.
       Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy
       on the remnant of Joseph.

Come now, Bloomington, let us reason together. Won't you take refuge in the Lord Jesus Christ with me? He is your only hope.


When I posted this before, and requested input, I got a little bit of the "oil on my head' referenced in Psalm 141 (thanks, Jeff and Dave). This is revised based on their input. I will not refuse wise counsel. I beg for it. If these words are inappropriate or inappropriate for me (a woman) to speak in this situation, please let me know. My cause is Christ. I seek to honour Him.

Keep one another, the Church of the living God in prayer during this time, and every day. Each moment, we need to live to Christ. We were saved unto good works that were prepared in advance for us. Is this one of them?

Each day, God brings people into our lives. Brothers and Sisters, this is not by random chance. That which He whispers in your ear, shout from the rooftop!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Careless Words

I hurt someone's feelings today.

I am truly sorry.

A Message to a Rebelious House

Unless someone else does, this is what I will say to the Bloomington City Council two weeks from tonight when they meet to vote on the disbursement of the Jack Hopkins Social Service Funds:

I was here last June during this same meeting. I sat paralyzed with fear at the thought of speaking. I thank God that He has preserved us to this day, that I may speak, and you may hear, that your soul may live!

You, councilmen, are in a high and lofty position and have weighty, as well as trivial, decisions in your hands. People look to you for wisdom; and this is a great burden, that I hope you regard with trembling. I know that you are concerned with pleasing those who have put you in this position. I hope that you are also concerned with justice and doing what is right.

I am not going to claim to think like the majority. I will not deny that I am part of what many would call the "fringe." The Bible calls us the "remnant."

Therefore, I will not try to convince you to make decisions that will make political friends; I will not give you advice that will make you successful in the public arena; and I will not encourage you to seek the good pleasure of the majority. In fact I have a drastically different message for you.

I would, rather, call you to righteousness, and justice. I call you to examine your hands, and see that they are stained with blood, and repent! I call you to recognize that the God who created heaven and earth and everything in it, also created you, and brought you here to hear these words, that you would turn from the evil that the world would call good. I will tell you that it is He who has put you in this position, and not you, yourself, and that to do right is not to do right in your own eyes, or the eyes of the public, or in the eyes of your fellow councilmen; but in the eyes of God Himself. I urge you: "Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!" (Amos 5:24)

God holds judgment in store for those who rebel against Him, wrath for those who revel in their wickedness, and terror for those who disregard the plight of the helpless and show no mercy. However, we know from His profit, Ezekiel, that He does not delight in the death of the wicked, but rather He calls them to turn to Him to learn righteousness. He has provided His own salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ. Nowhere else will you find the Words of Life, but from Him. We have all together drank of the deceptive waters of our own selfish hearts, our society, our world. You, too, have been deceived; and have deceived yourselves. Why would your persist in your own way, and die?

 And now hear the Word of the One True God from His prophet, Amos:
Seek good, not evil,
       that you may live.
       Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you,
       just as you say he is.
Hate evil, love good;
       maintain justice in the courts.
       Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy
       on the remnant of Joseph.

Come now, Bloomington, let us reason together. Won't you take refuge in the Lord Jesus Christ with me? He is your only hope.


I welcome your comments.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Whoopie!

I spoke with a woman today who looked much like Whoopi Goldberg. I really almost felt like asking for her autograph.

(insert imaginary photo here)
(If you don't know what Whoopi looks like, go to: http://imdb.com/gallery/granitz/6110/WhoopiGol_Theo_14047038_400.jpg.html?seq=3 )


The heart of man is wicked and deceiptful, who can know it. If I went with my gut, I would seldom --no, never-- serve God. If I did that which I now call serving, it would be because it somehow satisfies me. Today was all about that.

I felt whoosie. I did not feel like being at Planned Parenthood. I felt afraid and sickly. Glen let me hold a sign with him for a while, and then he told me to go do what I am called to do.

So I put the sign under the back wiper on the van, and went to the alley to read scripture and sing. As I read, a woman with a cane and dreadlocks came toward me. I greeted her and continued to read. She said something like amen, and then, when she was nearly past me, she said almost under her breath, "But I still believe in freedom of choice."

I turned around to face her and said that some choices are simply wrong. She came back to me. (She came back to me!) She had a cane with a brace attaching it to her arm, but she carried the cane now instead of leaning on it. She said that people make mistakes, and that although she was lucky enough to be adopted by a wonderful man; a wonderful family, not everyone is that lucky.

She would not listen to the fact that there are people who would love to care for mother and child. She responded that "He gave us free choice" when I said that the little one ought not have to die for the "mistakes" of others. (Drats, I missed the opportunity for the Gospel!)

This is a conversation that would have been missed had I listened to my lying heart. While I was there, I read this:

 1 I said, "I will watch my ways
       and keep my tongue from sin;
       I will put a muzzle on my mouth
       as long as the wicked are in my presence."

 2 But when I was silent and still,
       not even saying anything good,
       my anguish increased.

 3 My heart grew hot within me,
       and as I meditated, the fire burned;
       then I spoke with my tongue:

 4 "Show me, O LORD, my life's end
       and the number of my days;
       let me know how fleeting is my life.

 5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
       the span of my years is as nothing before you.
       Each man's life is but a breath.
       Selah

 6 Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
       He bustles about, but only in vain;
       he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.

 7 "But now, Lord, what do I look for?
       My hope is in you.

 8 Save me from all my transgressions;
       do not make me the scorn of fools.

 9 I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
       for you are the one who has done this.

 10 Remove your scourge from me;
       I am overcome by the blow of your hand.

 11 You rebuke and discipline men for their sin;
       you consume their wealth like a moth—
       each man is but a breath.
       Selah

 12 "Hear my prayer, O LORD,
       listen to my cry for help;
       be not deaf to my weeping.
       For I dwell with you as an alien,
       a stranger, as all my fathers were.

 13 Look away from me, that I may rejoice again
       before I depart and am no more."

Psalm 39


Thank you, Father, for not dealing with me as I deserve. Thank you for calling me, and for making me stand firm on the Solid Rock of your salvation. AMEN!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thinking on my feet

I am really bad at thinking on my feet, but I am not allowed that excuse anymore.

Instead, as a servant of Jesus Christ, I must be ready to give an answer for the faith that lives in me.

Today, at Planned Parenthood, the importance of getting beyond myself and living in Christ was brought to light for me.

A woman and a man pulled up and parked. As they got out of their car, I greeted them and asked the woman if she was there for an appointment. She looked as if she didn't understand the question, and I repeated it, and to clarify, asked if she thought she might be pregnant. She said something and I asked if I could give her some information about unborn children that I didn't think they would give her in there. She said she has two children and knows all about them, and that it was none of my business. I backed down.

(In this process, the couple was diverted from the easy entrance to the facility to the front entrance.) They finished their smokes and went in.

When they came out, as they passed me (again, going oit of their way to pass near me), she said that I need to go home and mind my own business. She had a package of "Plan B" pills. I told her (they were nearly to their car by now) that I was just here, speaking for those who couldn't speak for themselves; they're too little. *She came back accross the parking lot to tell me that if I knew how difficult this was for people (the pregnancy itself) I would go home and stop making people feel guilty for making a difficult decision like this. She said that I need to get a f---ing life.

All I could think of was, "I hope you do too." I didn't say it though, because I knew that it sounded beligerant, and not the way I meant it, that she would find life.

*Here is the change as I see it. This is where the discussion went from abstract to personal. Here is where she exposed her tender underbelly. This is where she showed me her pain. This is a woman at the well.

I didn't see this until I was on my way back to work. Have I become that calloused? In retrospect, I could see that when I mentioned the little ones, she became defensive. That is when she walked away from the protective shell of her car to come back to me. This is where she went out of her way to come face to face and eye to eye to defend herself to a complete stranger whom she will likely never see again.

Jesus would have seen this. Jesus would have taken this discussion right to the issue.

You cannot plan each conversation that you have. This is not a play with a script and a score. This is life and God brings people near and we have something to say.

God, put a guard at our lips and give us these words of life to share with those whom you bring near, and make us faithful to speak them. Give us eyes that can see the pain of others, and their real need. Give us love for You that is all comsuming, and compassion for those who are wandering.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Don't Sweep it Under the Rug

Things to expose:

Those pictures they use at Planned Parenthood are horrible!

Yes, they are!
And it makes you angry.
It makes me angry too, that that happens 10 to 20 times
every Thursday at 421 S. College Avenue in Bloomington!

The war in Iraq makes me mad!

Me too!
It makes me mad that I can't believe what people are saying!
It makes me mad that we are spending money on it
that doesn't acutally exist!
It makes me mad that we don't know that we will have a long-
lasting impact!
It makes me mad that so many are dying, and that so many more
die each day of abortion!

God is not wringing His hands. The hearts of kings and presidents are a river in the Hand of God. Men plan their steps, but God directs their paths.

Every Thursday women who do not acknowledge God arrive at Planned Parenthood because God opened their wombs. Why does God allow this? Is He a sadistic being? No. He is good and just and merciful. We can trust Him with the souls of the little ones that die at the hands of the Abortionist.

Why, then does He allow this? Does He allow it to stir His people to depend on Him; to stand firm in His truth and to be watchmen, warning men of coming judgement?

Does He allow it because, as He said in Romans that He has given them over to every sort of perversion?

His thoughts are higher than my thoughts, and His ways than my ways. I cannot claim to know, unless specifically revealed in Scripture, what His motives are in various world and local events.

I can tell you that women come each week to have abortions, and hear the gospel. There has been the same guard for quite some months, hearing Scripture every week. Escorts hear scripture every week. For these people, it may be the only exposure to God's word, and it is in the enemy camp.

Pray that God will end abortion!

Pray that until He does, His word will go forth in power, and that many will be saved!

 Jude:

17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold.
18 They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires."
19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

 20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
21 Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

 22 Be merciful to those who doubt;
23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—
hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

 24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—
25to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

By Appointment

I was listening to Alistair Begg this morning on my way to work. He told a story about when he was a young preacher and he was assigned to preach three messages to a group of missionaries. He decided to preach on II Peter, and cover one chapter per message. He was young and was speaking before missionaries. He felt intimidated and was bungling it; deferring to the group and saying things like, "What Peter was trying to say..."

An older gentleman was in the front row intently watching him. When it was over, he took Alistair aside, and told him that Peter wasn't trying to say anything, he did say it. Also, Allistair was not there by accident, he was there by appointment.

I can't tell you what a striking message this was to me. It brought me to tears of relief, joy, humility, shame, and sheer realization!

I am appointed to speak to my brother about Jesus.
I must trust the message and the appointment.

I am appointed to talk to my daughters about Jesus.
I must trust the message and the appointment.

I am appointed to talk to my co-workers about Jesus.
I must trust the message and the appointment.

I am appointed to talk to people at Planned Parenthood about Jesus.
I must trust the message and the appointment.

This means not skirting the issue, but tackling things head-on. Not hem-hawing about what God is trying to convey, only exposing my weakness as my own, and exposing God's power for what it is. It means that I can be compassionate with others, because God was compassionate with me. It means that I can empathize with others while fearing God, because God brought me through the same waters that they are wallowing in. It means being up-front with people...

naked...

exposed...

standing only on the Rock...

depending only on true Wisdom...


Here I stand; God help me, I can not do otherwise.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Conversations

I am really, really open to conversation here...

My brother, Tom and I were having a conversation. He brought something up, and said, "But I already know where you stand on that, so..."

I told him that I wasn't sure he knew where I stood, and I thought I knew where he stood, but that I would like to discuss it further.

I don't think that two people who know they disaggree about something have nothing to say to each other. I have had this shut down response from another person too, so I know that I must be doing something wrong.

If two people know they have identical views on something then they have nothing to say, but if they have different views, then they certainly have a discussion.

There is a man who is a professor at a university in Texas who is a Christian and hosts movie/discussion nights with an agnostic group. They begged him to host this even after their first event. They are aware that their views differ from his, and still they desire the discussion.

I must be doing something wrong. Help me out. This is important.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Why So Downcast, Oh My Soul?

How faithful is God! and how fickle is man!

Even as I know that I am powerless, that my arms are too short to save, I still trust in my plans. I still trust in the emissaries that I send out, and when they fall short, I lament. I think, "Oh, what will happen now! What can I do now!" Thank God that as I became discouraged, my desire, the pull of my heart was to God. "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" (Ps.42) When I went to my room and fell on my knees, I could reveal my discouragement to my Father, and amidst the unexpected tears, this Psalm came to mind:

Psalm 42:
5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and 6 my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"

10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

11 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.


And so, I again entrust my soul to God. I again realize that I must in obedience witness to His truth, His holiness, and His judgement and great mercy; while realizing that the result is in His mighty hand. I again realize that God does not punch my timeclock, or strive to reach my quota. I am His handmaiden, His watchman. I am His slave, not He mine.

The hearts of men, women and children are in His hand, not mine. These hearts are out of my reach, and yet, God puts them in my path and commands me to touch them. They are a field I walk among, and, not revealing what lies beneath, He commands me to sow the seed, and sometimes, to walk away. Did the seed grow? Did it rot and fertilize the weeds? Did anything happen at all? I must sow in obedience, knowing that sometimes, I will never, in this flesh, know. God knows that this obedience is for the seasoning of His servant, and He may also use this work to produce His fruit.

His ways are much higher than mine, but His word will not go forth without accomplishing that which He desires.

Sow the seed, servant, because your Master commands it.

Psalm 73
21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,

22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.

24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.

28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.


THANKS BE TO GOD!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

And the Band Plays On...

Today, I had an at the well conversation with my boss.

It stemmed from the terrible situation in which my brother was involved.

I said that I pray that through this, my brother will turn to Christ. (I know that my boss attends his wife's Episcopal church, but found out today that the governing lay people of the church are so flighty that they stopped attending until the dust settled)

He told me about his bishop, who comes around only once a year or two. She preached one of the most memorable sermons to him. She told about a couple whose son was involved in drugs. They were heartbroken and beside themselves with worry and care. She counseled them to hope and pray that the son would get peace with "his god" whoever that is.

I shuddered.

I said that there is no peace except through the one true God, right?

He said that if I picture my god, and he pictures his god, they might not look the same, that's what he is talking about. Then he took a cell phone call.

When he was done, I told him that while he was waiting for the dust to settle, he could visit us at the Church of the Good Shepherd. His wife, though is devoted to that church (denomination and building) but that he really is discouraged about certain things they are doing.

I told him that the Bible should be their base, and if they decided to go their own way on certain issues (we have previously had a discussion about men and women) then they are free to do what they want on any issue. They just need to move the line.

End of conversation.

Answer to prayer or springboard into more prayer? Both.

God has used Ben's situation to bring me to this conversation with this self-made man, and to bring me to my knees, knowing that it is God who holds this man's heart in His hands.

God, make me faithful in prayer, in word, and in deed. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise

On Wednesday, May 9, my brother got shot. He was badly shot up, and the woman in the pick up truck with him was killed.

 Isaiah 45:7
I form the light and create darkness,
       I bring prosperity and create disaster;
       I, the LORD, do all these things.

God has amazing shown mercy according to His good pleasure. My brother has been healing and his prognosis is better than we have reason to hope. A long healing is in store though, thank God.

 Isaiah 45:5
I am the LORD, and there is no other;
       apart from me there is no God.
       I will strengthen you,
       though you have not acknowledged me,

I hope that God will use this calamity to reveal Himself, His power, His glory, His mercy and truth to my brother and my whole family. I hope that this will bring revival to the church that my parents attend. I hope that this will be used by God to accomplish His good and perfect will (tremble) AMEN!

 5 I am the LORD, and there is no other;
       apart from me there is no God.
       I will strengthen you,
       though you have not acknowledged me,

 6 so that from the rising of the sun
       to the place of its setting
       men may know there is none besides me.
       I am the LORD, and there is no other.

 7 I form the light and create darkness,
       I bring prosperity and create disaster;
       I, the LORD, do all these things.

It Hadda Happen

They resurfaced the parking lot at Planned Parenthood.

I think they must have done it this very morning! When I went there, Tim Ellis and three other guys were standing on the sidewalk, talking. They looked like a bunch of Catholics.

I pulled up and watched them. Tim's gestures made me think that they were talking about those annoying protesters. I thought it would be funny if I walked up, abundantly reciting Psalm 68.

I struggled with getting out, and almost decided to get out (I had a handful of words planned). One guy left, so that kind of set me off balance, so I called Glen. I was talking to him when they all split up and left.

Then I got out and inspected the work... It is a new sealcoat, I think, not actually resurfacing. The lines have not been painted on, and the parking (what do you call those large bars of cement which serve as car stoppers at the interior end of a parking space) bars are gone for the time being.

It will be interesting to see the work if it is finished on Thursday.