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February 27, 2008

Worldly Influence

This week we listened to a message by Douglas Philips (can't remember the name of it right now) and he said something that has really stuck with me. He asked the question, "If you were on a deserted island and all you had to read/entertain you was your Bible, would you live differently?" Now I know you are thinking, 'Of course I would live differentlly, I wouldn't have most of my things!' Of course this was just to make a point, and with me it did. How much of my thinking and the way that I live is governed by the way things are done around me and have always been done. Or by the movies that I watch, the books that I read. How about the people that I try to be like or try to impress? I think if I had only God's word to influence me (and my family), I would do things differently. I would be much more conscious of what God teaches me in His Word of how to live. But really this shouldn't be, and that is why this has really made me think. Romans 12:1-2 says "I beseech you, brethren, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to GodAnd be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." I am sad to say that too many times, my thinking & my actions reflect my being conformed to this world instead of being transformed my the renewing of my mind and proving God's perfect, good and acceptable will. This is a constant process, renewing my mind with the things of God. So my challenge to you today, "What is governing the things you do, the way you think?

Kings & Kingdoms Chpt. 14

I will start by giving my favorite quotes of this chapter. When you neglect to reverence your husband, you are taking something precious away from yourself, your children & your husband. It is God’s will for you to reverence your husband. Reverence is not just how you act; it’s how you feel & how you respond with your word & with your body language. It is not enough to get up & serve him; your eyes and the quick, carefree swing of your body must indicate your delight to be engaged in serving your man. Deference to your man is the height of true femininity. It makes a woman beautiful, gracious and lovely to all (*not weak as the world would like you to believe) and especially to him. Words with * are my input. This week Debi asked us to make a list of things we should do that will cause our husband to feel your honor, respect & reverence. I encourage you to do this, even if you haven’t read the book. And don’t just make a list but try to do it! Also once again I would love to hear your thoughts on this chapter.

February 19, 2008

Chapter 13

“This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church….and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” (Eph. 5:32-33) REVERENCE: to revere, to be in awe; fear mingled with respect & esteem. As I continue on this journey, daily I am becoming more and more aware of how I thought I reverenced my husband most of the time, but really I don’t. Not when I look at this definition. My marriage to my husband prepares me for my marriage to Christ. I like how Debi made the statement that I am sure most of us would think, 'But it would be easy to be married to Christ!' Then she names some of the things that God required of people in the Bible. Abraham and Isaac, Sapphira. Right…. maybe not so easy, unless your heart is 100% committed and submissive. The story of Abraham and Isaac is my favorite story in the Bible. The way Abraham was so absolutely obedient to God touches me time and time again. How Abraham, even though he didn’t understand, was willing to do what God asked him to do, and he did it quickly. The Bible says that he woke up early. This always struck me. He didn’t procrastinate, try to reason with God, drag his heals, but rather he got up early and went to do the task that God commanded him to do. We can only imagine what Abraham was thinking on that journey since the Bible doesn’t say. Was he so 100% trusting of God that there were no questions? Did he know in his heart that God knew what was best and was willing to follow what he said no matter what the cost to him? Even his son who he had waited so long for? And then what God said to Abraham after he stopped him from sacrificing Isaac brings me to tears every time. “Now I know that you fear God.” I have read this story many, many times, but never have I thought of it in the light of today. Am I submissive to my husband as Abraham was to God. Can my husband say to me, “Now I know that you fear God”? I had determined years ago, after watching other wives complain about their husbands behind their back, that I would never do this to my husband. I would not complain about him to anyone, not even my family, closest friends or church leader. This is one of the best decisions I have made in my relationship with my husband. In complaining to others I would only put my husband down and stir up discontent in my heart. I have heard people complain of their husband in the name of ‘prayer’. “Please pray for my husband, he is struggling with so and so”. I have one thing to say….hmmmm. Is this really the motive? If my husband has an issue that I think needs prayer, then I pray! I once read a testimony of a mother who said something like this to her daughter before her wedding day, “When you are married I will be there for advice on cooking, sewing, and the womanly things of running a household, but don’t you ever come to me and complain about your husband. If you do I will promptly send you back to him.” I have since told my daughters this same thing. I think it is great advice. The story of the ‘Queen for a Day’ was especially meaningful to me as I have been thinking a lot about my witness to my children in the way I treat my husband. They are watching every move I make. My girls are learning from me how to treat their heavenly Father, their earthly father and Lord willing someday their own husband. Our boys are learning from me how to honor and respect their dad. I am glad today is a new day, because many days I fail miserably as a godly example. Even though I cannot erase those things in which I have failed, I can start again today. I want my children to be able to honor their dad in the way that I honor him. I have felt the eyes of my children when my husband does something that they think is unfair. They look at me, for my reaction. I am learning to support him, even thought it’s not always ‘MY WAY’! They are watching:) I could go on and on here, but I won’t. There are so many other things in this chapter. Words, how comfortable am I making our home, responding to my husband with scorn or ridicule…….. Tell me a bit about how your ‘help meet’ journey is going. Even if you are not doing the study with us, leave a comment.

February 13, 2008

Snow, Snow, Snow

What better to do on yet another snowy day
but to cozy up by the fire and puzzle.

P.S. Check out our recipe blog for a new recipe (link on the side bar)

February 12, 2008

By Divine Appointment Chpt. 12

But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (I Cor. 11:3) As I read this chapter I was reminded of my journey of being a wife and getting into my head that I was accountable for me and my actions. I will not be accountable to God for the things that are my husband’s responsibilities, I will be accountable for my heart and my actions. That releases me from having to ‘fix’ my husband’s shortcomings. I need to be reminded every day that it is my heart I need to work on, not his. In fact this is something we tell our children all the time. When they come to us with a complaint about one of their siblings we ask them how their heart is. We proceed to tell them that all they can do is work on their heart, and that they cannot change someone else’s. They can pray for them, but they cannot change them. Another thing that struck me again about this chapter was the phrase she used when speaking about a woman’s role in the church she says, “It is not about being qualified, it is about being authorized.” I think so many times as women, just because we are capable of doing something, we usurp our husbands authority and go ahead and do things, in the church or wherever. This is not God's qualifications. His qualifications are very clear in the Bible. Read (I Cor. 14:34-35). Over the years I have come across many people who have criticized my role in submission to my husband. One comment has been, but if you submit, become a servant, honour ect, won’t you become a doormat, something your husband will take advantage of? I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but a great example to me of how this doesn't happen was last harvest season. I had determined in my heart that I was going to be a non complaining, willing help meet to my husband. I had imagined that I would be spending my whole fall in the field, I would get no canning done and I would basically be spending all my time helping him. And I was okay with that (although I still had to work on my attitude somedays). Well what actually happened was last fall was one that I got the most canning done ever and I probably spent less time in the field that I have had to previously. I saw God multiply my time at home and show me that He was in control. I believe that He honored my actions and let me tell you, I felt nothing like a doormat! I remember an analogy that I heard when I was younger. God is like an umbrella. He protects me like an umbrella protects me from the rain. But when I move outside God’s will and plan for my life, I move out from under the umbrella and open myself up to ‘get wet’! And I believe it is that way with our husbands as well, my position under my husband is where God put me for my own spiritual, emotional and physical safety. It is the only place I will find real fulfillment as a woman. pg 117 If I move out of that God given protection, I open myself up to things that God has not planned for me. As I reflected on these principles I asked myself two questions: 1.What would happen to the marriages in the church if women would truly, with all their heart submit to their husband. Would the disturbing divorce rate go down? 2. pg. 122 Is my marriage glorious? Is it an example in Heaven of how God wants Christ and the Church to be? “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the saviour of the body.” (Eph. 5:23) It would be great to hear from you. What from this chapter challenged you?

February 9, 2008

Respect for Life Week

As I was meditating on the fact that it is 'Respect for Life Week' I got that all too familiar sick feeling in my stomach thinking about what is being done to these precious little babies. The anger I felt for those who would even consider taking a life.

Being through 10 pregnancies I know very well the feeling of having that little miracle inside of you. Abortion is all so sad. And yet so many times I feel so helpless. I would love to counsel some of these women who think there is no other way. But right now God has given me my own precious gifts to care for and love. So today I asked myself, What can I do?

I was surfing the internet trying to find a poem or something to post in honor of this week set aside for the Respect for Life. Instead I came across a site with quotes from doctors/nurses who have performed abortions. As I read these quotes of people who take lives I realized what I can do. I can pray ferverently for these who are so deceived and who have become so hardened. The guilt and the shame they must go through continuously. No matter how hard they are, this must still affect them.

So my prayer today is: "God open their eyes, humble their hearts, bring them to repentance. Help them to know that in You there is hope and forgiveness. "

I hope you will join your hearts with me in prayer for those and others who have made quotes similiar to these.

Think of it this way- what is the best way to learn about abortion? To actually witness an abortion first hand or to work in a clinic. The second best thing is to read verified eye-witness accounts from people who are current and former abortion providers. These quotes have been tracked down from a number of sources, from the research of pro-choice author Magda Denes to the Washington Post to other magazines.

"In fact many women will come to me considering abortion, and I have been personally told that I am to turn the monitor away from her view so that seeing her baby jump around on the screen does not influence her choice." Shari Richards, quoted from the John Ankerburg Show on 3/7/90

"They [the women] are never allowed to look at the ultrasound because we knew that if they so much as heard the heart beat, they wouldn't want to have an abortion."-Dr. Randall

"We tried to avoid the women seeing them [the fetuses] They always wanted to know the sex, but we lied and said it was too early to tell. It's better for the women to think of the fetus as an 'it.'--Abortion clinic worker Norma Eidelman quoted in Rachel Weeping p 34

"Sometimes we lied. A girl might ask what her baby was like at a certain point in the pregnancy: Was it a baby yet? Even as early as 12 weeks a baby is totally formed, he has fingerprints, turns his head, fans his toes, feels pain. But we would say 'It's not a baby yet. It's just tissue, like a clot.'"--Kathy Sparks told in "The Conversion of Kathy Sparks" by Gloria Williamson, Christian Herald Jan 1986 p 28

"Now, the baby I aborted was eleven weeks old, and can you imagine what this did to me when I saw this baby with the hands and face, sucking his thumb? And they told me it was a cluster of cells!"--Carole K.State Director of Women Exploited By Abortion. From Women Exploited, which is a sampling of the stories of WEBA (Women Exploited by Abortion) chapter members.

I had taken anatomy, I was a medical student. I knew what I was looking at. There was a little scapula and an arm, I saw some ribs and a chest, and a little tiny head. I saw a piece of a a leg, and a tiny hand and an arm, and you know, it was like somebody put a hot poker into me. I had a conscience, and it hurt. Well, I checked it out and there were two arms and two legs and one head and so forth, and I turned and said "I guess you got it all.' That was a very hard experience to go through emotionally.--abortionist

"I remember an experience as a resident on a hysterectomy. I remember seeing the baby move underneath the sack of membranes, as the caesarean incision was made, before the doctor broke the water.
The thought came to me, "My God, that's a person" Then he broke the water. And when he broke the water, it was like I had a pain in my heart, just like when I saw that first suction abortion. And then he delivered the baby,. and I couldn't touch it.. I wasn't much of an assistant. I just stood there, and the reality of what was doing on finally began to seep into my calloused brain and heart.
They took that little baby that was making little sounds and moving and kicking, and set it on that table in a cold, stainless steel bowl. Every time I would look over while we were repairing the incision in uterus and finishing the Caesarean, I would see that little person moving in that bowl. And it kicked and moved less and less, of course, as time went on. I can remember going over and looking at the baby when we were done with the surgery and the baby was still alive. You could see the chest was moving and the heart was beating, and the baby would try to take a little breath, and it really hurt inside, and it began to educate me as to what abortion really was." quoted in "Pro-Choice 1990: Skeletons in the Closet"

"You have to become a bit schizophrenic. In one room, you encourage the patient that the slight irregularity in the fetal heart is not important, that she is going to have a fine, healthy baby. Then, in the next room you assure another woman, on whom you just did a saline abortion, that it is a good thing that the heartbeat is already irregular....she has nothing to worry about, she will NOT have a live baby...All of a sudden one noticed that at the time of the saline infusion there was a lot of activity in the uterus. That's not fluid currents. That's obviously the fetus being distressed by swallowing the concentrated salt solution and kicking violently and that's to all intents and purposes, the death trauma. ..somebody has to do it, and unfortunately we are the executioners in this instance..."--abortionist Dr.Szenes

The first time, I felt like a murderer, but I did it again and again and again, and now, 20 years later, I am facing what happened to me as a doctor and as a human being. Sure, I got hard. Sure, the money was important. And oh, it was an easy thing, once I had taken the step, to see the women as animals and the babies as just tissue."--abortionist quoted from a radio talk show by John Rice in "Abortion" Litt D. Murfreesboro, TN.

"Nobody wants to perform abortions after ten weeks, because by then you see the features of the baby, hands, feet. It's really barbaric."--abortionist quoted in M.D. Doctors Talk About Themselves by John Pekkanen p 93

The doctors would remove the fetus while performing hysterectomies and then lay it on the table., where it would squirm until it died. ..They all had perfect forms and shapes. I couldn't take it. No nurse could."--Joyce Craig, director of a Brooklyn clinic of Planned Parenthood. who assisted in abortion for two months, then quit. p 34

I want the general public to know what the doctors know- that this is a person, this is a baby. That this is not some kind of blob of tissue."--Dr. Anthony Levantino

I am deeply troubled by my own increasing certainty that I have in fact presided over 60,000 deaths. There is no longer serious doubt in my mind that human life exists from the very onset of pregnancy"--Dr. Bernard Nathanson, "Deeper Into Abortion" New England Journal of Medicine Nov 1974 p 1189

"Even if you are pro-choice, no one likes to see a dead fetus." -Vilma Valdez, Education Director Planned Parenthood of Greater Miami, The Miami Herald, Oct 24 1992