The National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children is coming up on September 10th. This is an excellent opportunity to talk with your children about abortion. We teach our children to behave, to repent of their sins, to repel the Devil, to trust in Jesus, to love others, to serve, to watch their step lest they fall...fall where?
The reality of death is everywhere, and yet some parents feel the need to shelter their children from this reality of sin. It's easier not to think about it, and pretend that life will always be as it is, and that we will have more good times than bad...but this is not the reality. And when you avoid the reality of sin, you avoid the reality of God's salvation. When Jesus is only used to make skinned knees feel better, instead of bring people back to life...His Name is cheapened. His Name is The Name - at which every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.
This is an opportunity to bow our knees, bow our heads, bow our hearts...and plead for God's mercy, to ask that His will be done, to ask for strength and endurance to defend the rights of all who are destitute, who cannot speak for themselves.
This is an opportunity to show the result of wickedness...the result is sad. The righteous are a strong tower, protected by God, but the wicked devour each other. God's law protects us. God's law protected them while they were in the womb. The fear of the Lord gave their parent's faith to trust God's promises. He will always provide. His timing is good. He gives strength to the weak and sight to the blind. He is the author and perfecter of life.
Show your children the true power of God. He redeems our lives from the pit.
Last year we took our children to Resurrection Cemetery in Madison, and had a private service of God's word, explanation, hymns, and prayer. It wasn't anything extravagant or intensively planned, but God's word worked.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Author: Philip Meinel
A man trying to lead his family in the grace of God.
I know what it is to have an unexpected pregnancy. I was thirty-two years old and had three other children when I found out I was expecting another.
I was already tired, overwhelmed and burdened by motherhood. I loved my children for sure. It’s just that they had so much energy, and an insatiable thirst for exploring and running and being read to and that meant I had to explore, run and read.
And then there was the embarrassment of the question that always followed when people found out we were expecting: Was this planned?
We had been married long enough to know how things worked, and yet, somehow here we were, red-faced without a good answer.
And then there was the pregnancy. I thought maybe if this pregnancy was God’s decision and not mine it would be easy.
An eighteen inch rainfall left our basement flooded and after working all night to mop water down the drain and out of the house I started to feel weak, then feverish, then I developed a cough.
It would take four months to be properly diagnosed as having walking pneumonia, and in that time I went from being an active mom to being a mom who couldn’t move off the couch and who was awake more of the night than asleep as coughing fits left me unable to lie flat in bed.
When it finally came time to give birth my baby nearly died. She was being strangled and the cord had to be cut even before she was delivered, and then her little face was bruised and puffy, and all that bruising led to jaundice and extra days in the hospital. She failed to thrive and didn’t eat. My milk didn’t come in. And if that wasn’t enough she couldn’t see. For six weeks we waved our hands in front of her little eyes and there was no reaction, only a blank stare.
This pregnancy from God seemed more like a cruel joke than a gift. Except…
God was there every step of the way and God’s people restored my faith every time I started to lose hope.
People I didn’t even know that well showed up at my door with meals, others sent notes letting me know they were praying, still others used every opportunity to encourage me and remind me something special was happening (when I didn’t see anything special happening.)
When I lamented to a friend that I had no endurance and was weeks from delivering a baby, she sent me a necklace with a cross on one side and the word “Believe” on the other.
And when we finally admitted to our family and friends that we thought our baby couldn’t see there was weeping and praying, adamant praying, followed by eyes that were opened and a child who suddenly blinked as something came near her.
I came to understand firsthand why the body of Christ is ever hopeful about the unborn:
God doesn’t make mistakes.
There has never been, nor will there ever be a “blob of cells” that mistakenly attaches to a womb. There is only life breathed into being by God Himself. Scripture tells us as much.
We’re told in the second chapter of Exodus that God allowed the midwives to conceive. In Genesis 20 Abraham’s wife Sarah ended up in a harem and God closed the wombs of all the king’s household until Sarah was safely back where she belonged. The accounts of Sarah, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth and Mary the mother of Jesus all show a divine plan when it came to conception.
David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, penned, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).
That little speck in your womb that wreaks havoc on your body is nothing less than the handiwork of God.
And it is the job of the body of Christ, EVERY MEMBER OF THE BODY OF CHRIST, to remind every woman carrying a child that she is blessed …
even if it’s unplanned,
even if circumstances aren’t ideal,
even if the mother is not in good health, and
even if the child has a defect.
My fourth child is a constant reminder of God’s goodness. We prayed for her to see and God gave her spiritual insight. She’s got a tender heart and a fierce temper. She runs harder and longer than any of my other children. She’s a mess maker who with a profession of love still brings tears to my eyes.
In short, she is a gift from God, a gift I didn’t know I needed. She shows me often that God blesses us with riches that have nothing to do with money, but that are far more valuable.
So dear reader, whoever you are: If you have a child inside of you know you have been touched by God. He is the creator and sustainer of life. He does not make mistakes. And from my experience if there’s one thing that can make less than ideal circumstances better, it is to surround yourself with Christian friends who will remind you of the goodness of God in the moments when you can’t see it, and who will give help you find your hope in God in your most hopeless days.
Author: Amber Swenson
Amber has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Literature. She has authored four books; two of them (Bible Moms and The Whisper Theory) are in print and two (The Bread of Angels and Ladies of Legacy) are in various stages of publication. Both her Bible studies and her novels are written in an effort to bring single, married, young and older women to a closer relationship with their Savior Jesus Christ. She also authors a weekly blog found on facebook under "Bible Moms" or at "biblemoms.wordpress.com".
I read this prayer from Luther, and again I was reminded of our cause to defend life, both physical and spiritual. That life might be respected among our youth - that the unborn might have the opportunity to live for Christ - that those of weak faith, struggling with unplanned pregnancies might know God more fully and trust His promises - and that those who now oppose life may come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and the source of all Truth. Lord, here our prayer!
From my little red book of Luther's Prayers, Section IV: Prayers for Enlightenment from God's Word.
Prayer 154. For acceptance of privileges secured by Christ
O merciful God, what a kind and gracious Father you are, to deal so sincerely and paternally with us poor and judged sinners. You did release your most precious possession, your Son, Jesus Christ, into the jaws of death and the devil. You did require that he should descend into the deep and again ascend on high and conquer the captivity which has held us all in slavery. Through this we are your dear children, his brothers and sisters, and inheritors of all his eternal, heavenly blessings. Give us your Holy Spirit so that he may preserve us to the end in faith. Grant your grace that youth and those unborn, the weak in faith and those not properly instructed may get and keep a right understanding in the doctrine of becoming fellow citizens with the angels. So highly privileged are we who believe in Christ. Amen.
My highly privileged fellow citizens of heaven. Please pray as Luther prayed, that our Father will extend his grace - that through our faithful work, God's will may be done.
And if you have a failing in prayer as I do, you may also want to pray this:
Prayer 8. For greater faith and diligence in prayer
Dear God, if only we were as diligent to pray, at least with a longing in the heart, as you are in coaxing, bidding, commanding, assuring, and constraining us to pray. Unfortunately, we are too lazy and ungrateful! Forgive us, dear Lord, and strengthen our faith. Since I cannot pay the penalty, and my name has no prestige, let satisfaction be made in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Psalm 4:1 of David "Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer."
Author: Philip Meinel
A man who respects his grandmother's faith. Some of her sins were blatantly obvious, but so was God's grace in her life. She loved giving gifts of God's word - either engraved bibles or hymn books. She's currently in heaven with our Savoir, and left this little red prayer book. My heart longs to see her again in heaven and thank her for her inspiration and guidance.
Like babies? Yes!
Like motorcycles? Yes!
Like babies on motorcycles? Uhh...
Don't worry, that's not what this event is about...but it does make a cute picture. The SOUL Ride is a motorcycle ride to raise financial support for the vital work of WELS Lutherans for Life and the local pregnancy care centers they operate. This motorcycle ride is for the Sanctity Of Unborn Life! Come put your pro-life belief into action...and have some fun!
Date: Saturday, August 13, 2016
Time: 9am Registration/Check-in 10am Ride begins
Location: Victory of the Lamb Church;
11120 W Loomis Rd, Franklin, WI 53132
Route: From the church we'll take 36 to the southern end of Burlington, then we'll take 83 down near to the Illinois border. We'll be stopping at Hawg Heaven (10306 Antioch Rd, Salem, WI 53168) where you can relax, purchase a beverage and a light snack! We highly recommend the nachos that will serve 2 people at least! We'll then take 45 North back to Victory of the Lamb for lunch.
Cost: $40 per bike (driver), $25 per passenger (includes lunch and souvenir t-shirt) Register in advance to guarantee shirt in size.
Register at www.soulride.org
Help us spread the word! Share this Facebook event!
WELS Lutherans for Life - saving the life of a child, transforming the family from at-risk to thriving, and doing it all again tomorrow!
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