Vulnerable

There is a real vulnerability to childhood.

How are we taking care of our children?

But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” (Matthew 19:14, NLT)

 

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So Filled

Jesus,

Help me to be so full of You that i don’t have room for the vacuousness of me.

I looked, and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple of the LORD. And I fell on my face. (Ezekiel 44:4b, ESV)

Published in: on April 14, 2012 at 4:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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God is outspoken about money.

Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong? (James 2:2-7, NIV)

Don’t oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and poor people. (Zechariah 7:10a, GW)

Like a cage filled with birds,

their homes are filled with evil plots.

And now they are great and rich.

They are fat and sleek,

and there is no limit to their wicked deeds.

They refuse to provide justice to orphans

and deny the rights of the poor.

Should I not punish them for this?” says the Lord.

“Should I not avenge myself against such a nation? (Jeremiah 5:27-28, NLT)

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. (Revelation 3:17, NIV)

Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19-20, GNT)

Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. (Luke 12:33, ESV)

Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. “And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. ‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-21, NASB)

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. (1 Timothy 6:9, NIV)

A brother or sister in Christ might need clothes or food. If you say to that person, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat,” but you do not give what that person needs, your words are worth nothing. (James 2:15-16, NCV)

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:10, NLT)

Therefore, put to death whatever is worldly in you: your sexual sin, perversion, passion, lust, and greed (which is the same thing as worshiping wealth). (Colossians 3:5, GW)

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy 3:1-5, NIV)

God is outspoken about money.

am i listening?

Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”  (Matthew 25:34-46, NASB)

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Scripture taken from the Good News Translation in Today’s English Version- Second Edition Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

Published in: on April 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Leaning

If I had really understood the song Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, I would have saved myself 7 stitches.

I was bad about leaning on things as a kid.  I have always tired out easily from standing.  Running errands and me are like fish and chips.  The only way the fish goes with the chips is if it’s dead.  That’s pretty much how I feel about running errands.  🙂

There I was, 6 years old, and helplessly held against my will in a grocery store while my mother shopped.  The misery was heavy in my kindergarten brain.  I had been good.  I had even waited like an angel for my routine pediatrician check-up, and not played with the fun toys everybody else played with at the doctor’s office because my mother said they were germy.  Surely this vacuous visit to a grocery store, complete with many shopping cart halts as my mother examined boring food in boring containers, could not be my reward.

I was in the habit of leaning in boredom, tiredom, and frustrationdom.  This was totally an “all of the above” lean.

Afterwards, I connected the lean to a Kool-Aid stand, but I just filled that in my mind because it made sense to me that a flimsy stand like that would have given way.  In actuality, we were in the totally wrong aisle for a Kool-Aid stand.  The reality is, I have no idea what I leaned on.  It is totally blurry in my mind.  I just remember it giving way and me falling.

The fall felt like a 10-second nosedive.  I do remember clearly seeing the iron bar of the bottom of the shopping car my head was planning on hitting.  I remember the feeling of total doom.  I could no more reverse the fall than I could reverse the effects of gravity.

I hit the bar and my fear changed to shock.  I didn’t know what had happened.  I was dazed.  My mother’s hand was on my head, but I couldn’t even feel it.  I couldn’t feel my head at all.  I was hovering above the cement floor as my mother carried me through the store.  I just kept hearing my mom say, “It’s all right; it’s all right.”

We got to the checkout counter (the way to the exit), and there was a chain over the aisle.  Mom tried to get someone to help her free the chain.  Nobody would.  There were customers and cashiers.  It was one of those things you just wouldn’t believe, knowing how adorable I was, but people just didn’t seem to care.  (They cared a lot more later after my grandmother wrote a letter to the grocery store.)  Anyway, my mom had to reach down to unclip the chain and that was when the blood started pouring down.

I started screaming my head off.  A waterfall of blood was cascading over my eyes.  My mom tried to get my attention, to calm me down, but it was too late.  I screamed my head off.

A cashier at last helped with the chain.  Mom got me out the door and held me on her lap as she sped across the street to my pediatrician.  That’s right–my pediatrician was just across the street, the very one I’d seen earlier that day.

I was stitched up by the time my dad got there from work.  But I didn’t feel very good about leaning anymore.  I had trusted that shelf not to give way–trusted it!–and look what it had done.  What a mean thing to do.

But if I’d only remembered the song we sung in church, I would have known better than to trust a shelf with my precious little noggin.

Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms. [1]

I could have saved myself 7-stitches if I’d remembered that song then, but if I’d remembered that song as a teenager and college kid, I could have saved myself years of spills.

God is the only one to lean on.  Leaning on anything else, leaning on anything else, always leads to a fall.

When we have arrogance in anything we have or can do, or anything anyone else has or can do for us, we think we don’t need God’s hand and we lean on Satan instead.  And it is without fail that Satan drops us, flat on the floor.

The mercy is when it happens in this life, and we don’t have to wait until eternity to realize it.

“Everyone who keeps on hearing these messages of mine and never puts them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and battered that house, and it collapsed, and its collapse was total.” (Jesus, Matthew 7:26-27, ISV)

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[1] “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” by Elisha Hoffman, 1887.
See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

My house

Muhoza lives in Rwanda. She is 5 years old. In the community she lives, the average family income is $15.

My house is made of brick.  My house has a shingled roof.  My house has wood floors.

Muhoza’s house is made of poles.  Her house has a roof of iron sheets.  Her house has a cow dung floor.

Poverty matters.

If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion–how can God’s love be in that person? (1 John 3:17, NIV)

Help a child today.

Link to sponsor a child from Rwanda.

Give a one-time gift for children in poverty.

Published in: on April 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Haeckel’s Embryos

Haeckel’s Embryos asks an important question,

“To what extremes will we go to show that human life is not any different from any other life?”

Haeckel’s Embryos is a known lie.  Eugenie Scott, one of the most outspoken advocates for evolution in the United States says this,

“It’s clear that Haeckel may have fudged his drawings somewhat to look more like his ideal than they actually are.  Now, does that actually take away from what we know about the relationship of embryology to evolution?  Not a bit.  The whole Haeckel’s embryos story has been greatly blown out of significance.  It is a minor footnote in the history of science.  And actually it’s been known for ten or fifteen years that Haeckel’s embryos are not to be relied upon.  The reason why the diagrams are reproduced is because they’re easily available–there’s no copyright on them–it’s an easy way to illustrate a point.  And I would argue that the basic point that’s being illustrated by those drawings is still accurate.” [1]

What if the tables were turned?

What if someone drew a highly exaggerated and inaccurate picture of the differences between the skeletal structures of apes and humans?  Would that make it year after year into biology textbooks taught in high schools and colleges around the United States?

Eugenie Scott says that “the whole Haeckel’s embryos story has been greatly blown out of significance.  But every year, hundreds of thousands of women in the United States choose to have abortions.  In 2008, the last year data is available, the number was 1.2 million.  The truth about embryonic development can’t be “greatly blown out of significance” when we are looking at whether 1.2 million abortions simply terminated a pregnancy and got rid of a blob of tissue . . . or whether they destroyed a human life.

Haeckel’s embryos matter.  My belief in whether a developing human child looks the same as a developing cat does matter.  It is one factor in the most critical decision a mother can make in the life of her child: whether to give life, or take it away.  If we are all put here in a mess of cosmic soup, and it’s all about populating species and survival of the fittest, if there’s no difference between me and the rabbit in my backyard . . . there isn’t any real moral reason I should care whether a baby winds up on the delivery table or in a trash can.

But if this Haeckel’s drawings have been known to be a lie for many years . . why have they continued to be copied and recopied in textbooks?  Surely it is not just because they are free images.  There are many free images science textbooks wouldn’t touch.

But how can we ever know the truth about human development, if there is so much controversy over it?

We could try the new 4d ultrasounds, for starters.

I found a photographer’s studio that is a bit different than usual.  Rather than line families up to take photos against backdrops, the studio takes 4D photos of developing babies inside mamas’ bellies.  They use sound waves.  Women can go to their studio to get a photograph of the fetus from 8 weeks up.  The studio has example photos for women to see of what a fetus looks like from 8 weeks on up to 37 weeks.  Check them out here and compare them to Haeckel’s concept of life, if you’re willing.

The truth always speaks loudest.  The truth that we matter, that we are created in the image of God.  I believe everyone knows this in their hearts.

Our inner thoughts are a lamp
from the Lord,
and they search our hearts. (Proverbs 20:27, CEV)

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[1] Eugenie Scott’s statement, recorded on Icons of Evolution, Randolph Productions Inc, 2002.

[2] Statistic from Jones, Rachel K. and Kathryn Kooistra. “Abortion Incidence and Access to Services in the United States, 2008.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 43, no. 1 (2011, March): 41-50

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.