Monthly Archives: January 2015

High Five!

IMG_3554My daughter and her husband just sent me this picture from their appointment with their obstetrician.  Rachel had the caption “High Five!” under the picture.  What an awesome picture that this is!  It is hard to imagine anyone wanting to abort their baby.  If they could just see these pictures…

This picture is of my third grandchild.  I don’t yet know if it is a boy or a girl, but what I do know is that this baby is 20 weeks and 3 days old.  She (let’s call her a she) is reaching out to explore whatever is going on outside of her little insulated world.  Maybe she’s just stretching, but maybe she’s responding to the poking and prodding that is going on.  I am so thankful to God for this wonderful moment when we get to experience the miracle of creation and life.  He is so awesome, and so is she, my little grand baby.  And I am so thankful that Rachel & Josh would never think of killing this child of God.

I was watching something on Hulu the other day and an advert for Planned Parenthood came on.  I was sickened as they advertised their services for “emergency contraception.”  They didn’t use the words abortion, baby, or any other word that would indicate that this is a life, created by God, and loved by someone.  Here in Missouri, a mother could look at this picture and then have an abortion.  Though we are a relatively conservative state, you can still legally have an abortion up to 22 weeks and 6 days.  Can you imagine?  And certainly, in other states that date could be even later.

This past Sunday was “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.”  Established in 1984 as the third Sunday in January by a Presidential proclamation from President Ronald Reagan, it is an opportunity to thank God for His creation.  Here’s what President Reagan said when he established this day…”I call upon the citizens of this blessed land to gather on that day in homes and places of worship to give thanks for the gift of life, and to reaffirm our commitment to the dignity of every human being and the sanctity of each human life.”

Yet today, so far, you can now have an abortion and have the government pay for it.  Fortunately, yesterday, the U.S. House passed a bill that will permanently ban funding for abortion costs, including tax credits under the Affordable Care Act.  Unfortunately, should it make it through the Senate, President Obama has vowed to veto it saying that such a ban “unnecessarily restricts women’s reproductive freedom and consumers’ private insurance options.”  Such language for the President to use around an issue of life or death!

And furthermore, since this is my blog and I get to rail on it, even were there to be statewide referendum banning abortion in 36 states, the federal courts and the Supreme Court would probably come along and overturn state’s rights and call banning abortion unconstitutional (regardless of the Constitutional Right to Life…and by the way, who is advocating for the baby’s life while we are worried about women’s reproductive freedom and consumers’ private insurance options?).  That is what is going on with the same-sex marriage issues, though a vast majority of this country is opposed to same-sex marriage, and has voted to not allow such “marriages.”  A vast majority of this country is opposed to abortion, but that doesn’t seem to sway the President or the courts.

There is a battle going on for our souls.  That battle has been won by Y’shua’s crucifixion, death and resurrection, yet Satan still fights to take many down with him.  It isn’t enough to petition government, argue legislation, or vote.  All these things are important, but clearly not enough.  We have to get people to turn to Him who has created us, male and female, and breathed life into our bodies at conception.  The theme for this year’s Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is Psalm 139:16:  “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”  Those babies are precious, and those mothers are too.  We need to be a haven for both and share Christ’s love and forgiveness.

We cannot afford to let any government do our work for us.  Christ is the only hope for us, and the Church is the only hope for the world.  Share your faith, tell the story and may many be written into the Lamb’s Book of Life.

http://www.BurningBushLCMS.org http://www.ChaivShalom.com

“You can’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus!”

Be More JewishI just returned home from preaching at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stuttgart, AR.  The pastor there is Rev. Don White, and he and I have been friends for many years now.  Stuttgart is a town about an hour east of Little Rock, and it is a small to medium size town that boasts of being the “Rice and Duck Capital of the World.”  Apparently, they produce more rice there than any place in the world, and duck hunting is also a major sport there, where they produce duck calls that are purported to be far superior to those of the famous Duck Commander calls in Monroe, AR.

The closest I generally get to rice and duck is in a Chinese restaurant, but I enjoyed my time there at St. John’s, and we had a good bible study together, where, as often happens, I didn’t get to my bible study because there were too many good questions to discuss.  Many of those questions surrounded the issue of how you can be Jewish and be a Christian.  This is a recurring theme with me lately.

Some of you followed my Advent devotions this past season on my blog here.  As I was writing those, I received an e-mail from a man with a prominent name in the LC–MS.  He informed me that he would not read my “Jewish devotions” and would read his “Lutheran Portals of Prayer.”  Thinking that he had misunderstood the source of the devotions, I told him that these in my blog were based on a devotional that I had written for Lutheran Hour Ministries, and they were very Lutheran.  He responded with, “no they aren’t, you can’t be Jewish and be a Christian, much less a Lutheran.”  Taken aback, I realized that he was inferring that I was not a Christian!  Wow.

At St. John’s I was preaching on Romans 11.  St. Paul, a Christian, if not a Lutheran, refers to himself still as a Jew.  Together we looked at the history of the Church, noting that in the early Church (and I mean really early), the question was asked whether or not you could be a Gentile and be a Christian.  Peter and Paul argued this out, and it was agreed that one did not have to be Jewish to be a Christian.  Now we are told that you can’t be Jewish and be a Christian.

Paul, to the Church in Rome, warns of this perspective.  He counsels the Gentile Christians to not be arrogant and proud about their faith, but to humbly understand the root that nourishes them, and to somehow make Paul’s “fellow Jews” jealous by their inclusion in this Jewish faith.  Since then, the pride and arrogance of some have been a major stumbling block to sharing our faith with those who are Jewish, non-Jewish, non-Lutheran … you get the gist.  I’m so pleased that St. John’s, in a town with perhaps only one Jewish family, no synagogue and very few Chinese restaurants has welcomed me there.  And thank you for continuing to share the Gospel, that some might be saved!

http://www.BurningBushLCMS.org http://www.ChaivShalom.com