It doesn’t matter how old you are, or if you are wealthy or barely able to make your payments, working forty hours a week, or staying at home, at some point every mom worries that she’s not the mom she hoped she would be; and not the heroic but tender jack-of-all trades mom her child needs.
Inadequate. Challenged. Unfit.
Every mother knows these words. They are always lodged in our brain somewhere, ready at a moment’s notice to accuse.
You will screw your child up. Your tendencies toward perfection or your laziness will ruin your child. You’re too uptight, or too laidback. You work too much or staying home with them has made them too dependent.
Do these things sound familiar? Can you imagine being told these things by people you love and respect?
You’re still in school (you can’t handle this much responsibility). You’re too young (you won’t be smart enough to care for a child). You’ll disappoint your parents (you can’t be forgiven for this mistake).
In the account of Gideon, THE angel of the LORD, (that is Jesus before he was a man,) came to Gideon and said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”
Do you know what Gideon said?
“My clan is the weakest and I am the least.”
Gideon didn’t know who the Angel of the Lord was, but he certainly knew that whoever he was, he was confused if he thought there was any might or any warrior in Gideon.
The Angel of the Lord replied, “I will be with you…” (Judges 6:12).
Do you see what happened? Gideon believed he was too small and too weak, but God said using the small and the weak is my specialty.
We see inadequate, challenged, unfit. That’s not how God sees us. God writes in the book of Peter, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.”
(Did you catch the words chosen, royal, holy and belonging?)
And the apostle Paul said, “God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” Paul did not say that we can do everything; he said God can do even more than we can imagine.
Too often we listen to Satan’s army. We believe the whispers: “You can’t. You’re too small, too fat, too ugly, too whatever.”
So we lay down and curl in a ball and say, “ok.”
Meanwhile God is over here saying, “Get up, mighty warrior!”
We don’t need to stress out about being inadequate, challenged, and unfit mothers. We just need to remind God often that we are weak and that we need Him. Our job is to lay all the challenges before Him. Our job is to present our inadequacies with a plea for Him to provide despite us. Our job is to ask God to fill in the blanks that we are missing. We pray without ceasing and we daily bathe our children in the Word.
Dear Heavenly Father, Every day we are beaten down and reminded of our frailty. Bring us back to You, where we are loved. Where the hunger for your Word has faded, increase our appetite. In Your Word is truth and truth will free us from the lies that entangle and ensnare. Raise up mighty warriors and use them to shape a generation who will not fall away, but will carry the truths of the gospel. Thank you, Lord, for Your precious Word and the promises and guidance it offers. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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".
The Values Driven Voter
Jesus advises us to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and God what is God’s.” Augustine also similarly articulated that we are citizens of two kingdoms – the kingdom of heaven being the most significant and the kingdom of this world being of secondary importance. We, arguably, have fundamental responsibilities associated with our citizenship in both kingdoms. Despite the fact that the Bible does not command us to vote, still to be effective citizens in a republic such as ours, it is vital we are able to exercise our most fundamental rights such as the right to vote. As citizens of God’s kingdom and as pro-lifers, it is our responsibility to vote because the government says we can and vote pro-life because God values all life. Pro-life voters exist in two different kingdoms simultaneously. And because of this, we need to keep three ideas in mind, what I like to call the three p’s – principles, pro-active, and perspective.
First, pro-life voters should identify their principles prior to entering the ballot box much like candidates themselves should identify with universal ideals that encompass all political parties. Our government’s responsibility is to protect our most basic rights. In light of this, governmental leaders can most likely all agree on the importance of enhancing public safety. Candidates on both sides of the spectrum might support competing policies on various issues. But no candidates with any future in political office would adopt policies that attempt to violate public safety. In like manner, pro-life voters have principles that serve as deal breakers regardless of political affiliation. Our founding fathers believed that humans by nature of their existence have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The very purpose of government is to preserve these natural rights. If a candidate supports abortion, this violates the principles found in our own Declaration of Independence – namely that all human life is sacred. Of course life is sacred outside of the womb too. For example, it is extremely tragic when children lose their life as a result of our war efforts. However the tragedy of abortion is still more significant given the small time of grace allotted to aborted children. And as Christ’s ambassadors, no matter what our political affiliation, issues involving the culture of life should always take precedent when supporting a candidate.
“Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3
Second, as pro-life voters, we must be pro-active. We must actively support candidates that adopt a culture of life. Voting is important, but why not become politically active? Pro-active political activity might include campaign donations, volunteering for campaigns, handing out literature, making calls and visits on behalf of pro-life candidates, and perhaps even befriending or praying for such candidates. We obviously don’t have to do everything on the list; we can just choose one thing and do it really well. Why is this important? Candidates depend heavily on constituent input in helping to determine their own agenda as well as the weight they might place on issues related to their agenda.
“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering towards slaughter.” Proverbs 24:11
And finally, we must keep things in perspective. In the process of becoming politically active, the perspective we should take is that we are interacting with people and not just arguments. Participation in politics takes place in a communal setting. Robert Putnam, famous Harvard scholar, in his book Bowling Alone suggests that active participation in the political process is developed through participation in civic associations such as bowling leagues. People skills learned in such associations help us to participate actively politically. If we bowl alone, our ability to participate politically is also affected.
And it is very easy to “bowl alone” when we act as self-righteous jerks. And quite simply, there is too much at stake for those who wish to subscribe to a culture of life to go through life “bowling alone.”
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
A lot has changed since the time when our Lord lived amongst us as a fellow human. But the call to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and what is God, God’s” has not changed and as long as life goes on, never will. Be an active citizen of God’s kingdom by being an active citizen of our country. And remember, be principled and pro-active with perspective.
Author: Jeff Guse
Dr Jeffrey Guse has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has taught American Government courses at UW-Stevens Point, Lakeland College, and UW-Marshfield. In addition to his work as a college professor, he enjoys volunteering for pro-life organizations at special fundraising events and encouraging people to vote pro-life!
Evening for Life Success
Hundreds of you came together on Oct. 14 for a very special Evening for Life at Country Springs Hotel. What a fun celebration of life! Once again, you showed your commitment to those dealing with unplanned pregnancies, past abortions, parenting challenges, and peer-pressure.
Our staff shared stories about what God is doing every week through your donations. A client video showed a story of glorious success for a mom, her pre-born baby, her husband, and her extended family, after visiting our center and meeting a client-advocate who invited the young mom to church.
There was an update on the medical conversion process and a vision cast for the future. Your gifts are vital as we convert to a medical clinic.
Charlie Sykes shared a powerful personal pro-life message that won't soon be forgotten. He also talked about the ghost nation that is represented by the 57 million babies (and the families they never had) who’ve been aborted since Roe v. Wade; and the optional generation—the children who were chosen to have life compared to the third of their generation who were aborted by a mother’s choice.
The evening fundraising was a success. More than $54,700 was donated or pledged for the life-saving programs offered to the women and men in our community. Thank God's providence through You our friends and partners in this work.
While it's not the same as being there in person, if you were unable to attend and would like to see video footage, please contact Peter at Peter@ALife2.com
See you next year!
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