Monday Coffee Theology

Posted: September 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

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t’s Monday. After a day of rest, where we left our cares at the foot of the throne, the Lord gave us his blessing and sent us out into this week. We are re-energized, and ready. It is time for a fresh start.

But maybe you woke up and it doesn’t feel like a fresh start.

Perhaps you left your cares at the throne, but last week’s pain still lingers.

Perhaps you daily leave your cares at the throne…but you are still unemployed, separated, grieving, weeping, and the hopelessness, anger, despair that you continue to leave at the throne incessantly returns to you and clings to you like a needy toddler who won’t give you a moment of peace. Maybe this morning the bright morning sun is obscured by the smoky haze of the depression you are battling. Maybe your sun feels as if it has been snuffed out; maybe where you are it is just cold and dreary and drizzling.

Maybe your Monday, is just another Monday in a long string of Mondays that have no meaning any more. You are just surviving.

Perhaps, whatever your trial is… in the midst of all this pain, it doesn’t matter to you that the sun is still shining. And you are tired of hearing the theology, the verses, people telling you to “get over it because Jesus loves you.”

I have been there. I get it.

Maybe right now the only theology you need is a hug, to hear that it’s ok. And you know what? The Lord does love you, you are his covenant child, he weeps when you weep, and he collects all of your tears in his bottle. I know you can’t feel it right now, but you can feel a hug.

So to the rest of us, if you know someone who is hurting, depressed, grieving, and you have no clue what to say, maybe just give them a hug, sit in silence and drink a coffee with them. Maybe that is all the theology they need today. And maybe hugging someone and drinking coffee is exactly what the Lord sent you out into this week to do.

This post first appeared on the  One Christian Dad Facebook Page.

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I met my wife when we were young.  Eighteen, to be precise.  We were working at Wendy’s Restaurant.  She was on cash, I was flipping burgers.  She loved the Spicy Chicken Sandwich, I loved those Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers.

I loved the way her uniform fit.

I loved the smell of her perfume.

I loved her smile.

I loved her.

I remember the first time I told her that I loved her.  I meant it, but I don’t think I had a clue what those words really meant. “I love you.”

Love.

Love is not merely about how we feel.

Love is not merely about attraction.

Love is so much more than mere feelings and attraction and the squishy, roller coaster-butterfly-tummies of love’s first kiss. Love requires a daily commitment, a daily devotion of one to another.  Love requires us to empty ourselves of ourselves, of our own self interests and put in that place another’s interests. Love is to daily guide each other to the Cross, or drag each other there if need be.

Attraction, like beauty, will fade.

Passion, like a fire, will subside.

Emotions, like the tide, will rise and fall.

But not love.

No, not love.

Love is constant.

Love endures all things.

For love is not bound by the fickleness of emotion. Love is not an emotion; Love is an anchor.  Love is a harbour. Love is a place to find refuge from the storm. Love is a tool that the Lord has given us for each other.  And the master craftsman has apprenticed us in its use.

When I was young, I made the mistake of mixing up attraction and love. Love and lust. Love and emotion. Don’t make my mistake. Know what love is before you say it.

We love, because he first loved us.  When we grasp that reality, when we grasp the reality that he loved us at our darkest hour, and that he requires this of us for each other, then we catch a tiny glimpse of what our love is supposed to be.

Almost twenty Years later, (has it been that long already?) we have grown up a little bit.  We don’t work at Wendy’s any more, but she still “loves” Spicy Chicken Sandwiches. I still “love” Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers.  And I still love her.

But now I know what that means.

And you know what? I have found that love endured through the storms will often reignite passion and attraction and emotion and occasionally, even the squishy, roller coaster-butterfly-tummies of love’s first kiss.

This post first appeared on the  One Christian Dad Facebook Page.

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I learned today that a friend and brother in Christ passed through the door to glory. I was profoundly saddened at the news of his passing. We were not “close” friends per se, but there was a deep connection between us, though he was 20 years my senior. I loved him, though I barely knew him.

That is the connection of brothers in Christ.

He was a misunderstood soul; he suffered from serious mental illness, and brokenness abounded in his life, but he was as honest as the day is long. He demonstrated the epitome of childlike faith. I remember his contagious laugh, and his smirk of a smile as he spoke passionately of the love of Jesus, he deeply cared for others, and it is likely that this man was the last vestige of love for the Revised Standard Version of the Bible – he must have had 25 of them on a shelf at home. We had been deciding on a date to have coffee again when I heard the news of his passing.

I will miss him dearly.

We became friends a few years ago. His car door lock was broken and he asked if I could fix it. He heard that I was taking an online locksmith course, so I said sure. Though I now admit I had no real clue what I was doing…I somehow managed to fix it.

Sort of.

Regardless, that evening we spent 4 hours laughing and drinking coffee, while I “fixed” his lock. A connection was made that night. This man smashed through every barrier of preconceived notions I ever had… He taught me about love for the marginalized, for the outcast, for the orphan and widow – he taught me about true religion. It was through him that I learned we ought to get know the person behind the label.

Erwin Lutzer once said that,

Death is not the end of the road; it is only a bend in the road. The road winds only through those paths through which Christ Himself has gone. This Travel Agent does not expect us to discover the trail for ourselves. Often we say that Christ will meet us on the other side. That is true, of course, but misleading. Let us never forget that He walks with us on this side of the curtain and then guides us through the opening. We will meet Him there, because we have met Him here.

Christ met my friend.

He walked hand in hand with him.

He led him through to the other side and met him there.

I am saddened at his passing, but I know that I will see him soon.

I will miss our coffees, and your laugh. See you soon my friend.

SDG

This post first appeared on the  One Christian Dad Facebook Page.

One Christian Dad:

I rarely reblog posts, especially satire, and I don’t mean to beat a dead horse…er lion…but I appreciated this.

Originally posted on - Indie Author of Speculative Fiction for Speculative Misanthropes -:

image1). Although I am personally opposed to the practice, I do not want to impose my moral values upon others. So if someone else wants to hunt lions, then who am I to judge? My motto is: If you don’t like lion killing, then don’t kill one.

2). It’s clear that laws against lion hunting won’t stop lion hunting. It will only make lion hunting dangerous for the hunters because banning lion hunting will drive hunters into back jungles to seek unsafe hunting. We do not want to return to “back alley” hunting.

3). Anti-choicers sit atop their moral pedestals and dictate that others shouldn’t have safe and affordable access to lion hunting, proving they only care about lions and not the hunters.

4). What’s the harm? Lions are only blobs of tissue, cells, muscles, and skin. It’s just like killing a cockroach.

5). Lion hunting should be “safe…

View original 213 more words

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I have difficulty praying the Lord’s Prayer because whenever I say ‘Our Father,’ I think of my own father, who was hard, unyielding, and relentless. I cannot help but think of God that way. ~ Martin Luther

I totally get this quote.

My dad was rarely home, and when he was, he was more of a dictator-couch-potato than a loving dad. You know the kind who would bark orders from the couch, and the “so help me if I have to get up!” kinda dad.  The loving memories with my dad do exist, don’t get me wrong, but they were few and far between. When my parents separated, I was around 15 or 16. My mom was a piano teacher so she had to work evenings.  Which meant that I was tasked with caring for my brothers who were about 4 and 11 years old. I cooked dinners, cleaned up, played with them…it wasn’t all bad, but I was still a child myself.  I got good at cooking ground beef and KD, and dishing out junk food. But I was not a good godly male role model. We never prayed, we ate in front of the tv, cuz mom was teaching. I did not do such a good job with my brothers. Now, with my own kids, I admit that I sometimes catch myself acting the way my dad did, being a “drill sergeant.”  When I fall into the unrelenting order barker role, which happens from time to time, I always go and ask them to forgive me. It is only by God’s grace that I am aware of my own shortcomings as a father, and that I strive, and stumble a lot, to be a godly father.

While my father was not present to raise me, I was blessed to have some men in my life who were godly male role models.  I did not realize it at the time, but looking back, I see the hand of God in placing these men in my life at strategic times. As a young child of 7, I was befriended by a man, who happened to also be my first Christian school teacher. He was someone I looked up to.  I remember when I met him, the summer before I joined the Christian school. He was doing some work – drywall or electrical, I can’t remember what –  on the home we lived in, and I remember him softly singing “Great is the Lord”  and other Christian songs while he worked:

Great is the Lord
He is holy and just
By His power we trust
In his love
Great is the Lord
He is faithful and true
By his mercy he proves
He is love

I was amazed.

This man was singing praise to God while he sweated and worked. He never cussed when he hurt himself, and he always had time to smile and give me a hi five. I liked him. As I grew into a teen, I would often go to him with questions, and I watched his every move, admiring the man who was not my father, but who was a godly role model none-the-less.

20100724_quest-holliday_397_DSC_04661-480x318In high school, I had another teacher who would, on his own time, tutor me in Chem and Math. He not only took time to tutor me, he also took the time to mentor and disciple me. He would talk to me about deep stuff. It was the first time I ever heard a man speak about sex in a way that was not mere innuendo or objectification of women, rather he spoke about it in a biblical, God and spouse honouring way. My mind was blown. He would pray with me, he showed me how to work on a car, and he even taught me how to lift weights and about healthy eating.

These two men, or godly male role models, probably have no idea the impact that they had on me as a child. I had a father, but he was never around, and that made me fatherless in a sense. Both of these men had their own families with 4 or 5 kids, and demanding jobs, but they took this quiet, introverted boy, who had a not-so-great dad at home, and invested time into him.  They helped to shape him into a man.  I thank God for placing these men in my life.

So what is it that these two men did that was different from my father? What was it that they did that had a lasting impact on me?

I came up with three things. There may be more, but these three stick out.

The first is that they were present with a purpose.

The second is that they used their words to encourage and build up. 

The third thing was they were tender with me.

Saying that two men were tender with a boy may come across as creepy in this day and age, but I assure you that it was not.  The Bible often calls fathers to be tender, loving, and encouraging; the Bible never tells fathers to be tough, overbearing, violent, abusive, intimidating, or quick tempered. I learned from these men, what it means to be tender, loving, slow to anger, patient, and kind. They were different from my own father. The purpose of their being present with me was obvious: to teach, love, shape, guide and nurture.  My father’s being present was merely about being home and watching TV. Sadly, I can say that I prayed with my dad less often than I prayed with either of these men, particularly the high school teacher. From their words and actions I learned  how much they loved their wives and children, from my dad’s mouth I heard crude jokes, and belittling comments.  From these men I learned about healthy relationships. From my dad I learned to objectify women. From these men I learned to pray. From my dad I learned that prayer didn’t matter.

My heart aches whenever I hear about another dad who won’t spend time with his kids, who works too much, or who won’t pray with his kids, and if he does spend any time with his kids it is all fun and games, or just discipline without any fun at all. Dads, please take the time to be present with a purpose, to use your words to build up, and to be tender and loving with your kids.  And if you know of a child, who has no father, or an absent father, consider taking them under your wing – with mom’s permission of course.  The lasting impact of a godly male role model cannot be overstated.  Be someone who demonstrates what it means to love his wife, who will encourage them, who will pray with them, and perhaps, even teach them how perform a bench press.

Header_Serve-960x200I was speaking with someone recently who was asked to serve in his church in a function he felt that he was not gifted in. After some discussion about gifting and service, he asked me if I would ever want to serve on my Church’s committee of administration, because I am not fond of construction etc… I thought for a minute and my response was, “If I was asked, I would say yes, because it is a good thing to serve in the Church.”

I stand by those words, that I would serve if asked… but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I would probably be a terrible member of any sort of building budget committee. Why? Because I am cheaper than the two Dutchman who invented copper wire by fighting over a penny.

14b9811On the committee I would probably earn the nickname, “That Guy.”

You know, “Ugh, not That Guy again”…that guy who would have to question everything…that guy who would nitpick every silly thing.

I don’t want to be “that guy”…nobody likes “That Guy”.

Not only am I cheap, but I would, in all likelihood, attempt to kibosh all spending on the building and grounds, and try to have all funds re-funnelled to things like poverty alleviation, assisting single parents, widows and orphans, education and literacy, evangelism and missions – because those things are my passion.

The toilets need replacing? Here, use this milk jug… or just pee at home!

Air conditioning needs fixing? Here, take my church bulletin and fold it into a fan…

Heating not working? Wear another layer!

Pews are falling apart? Sit on the floor!

Organ is broken? Use the piano, or sing a capella!

Even at home, I do not see the need for new flooring, new cabinets, or whatever the case maybe, unless it is vital for health or survival. Our bathroom sink is almost rusted through, it is ugly, but hey, it still works! And when it does rust through, I may simply “J.B. Weld” something over the hole, it’s way cheaper than a new sink… we’ll be fine! It’s just cosmetic anyway… (Don’t tell her I said that…)

I think “that guy” may have ruined any chance of my ever being appointed to my congregation’s CofA.

Anyway…

We are all gifted in different ways. We all have different passions.

Some of us are good at administration, others at organizing, others love getting their hands dirty fixing things, others are good at teaching, some are burdened with compassion for the lost or the poverty stricken, others are gifted to speak in the political realm against the social injustices of our day. No one  is good at all these things or passionate about all the same things.

We need each other.

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Imagine if the Church was comprised solely of people with your passions, your gifts, your interests, and your outlook on life. That might sound fantastic, but think about it. If everyone was like me, our church building would be falling apart! The library would be expanded and overflowing with books, and the basement fellowship hall would be full of cots for homeless people, but the building would be falling down. Actually, if everyone was like me, we would probably sell the Church building and meet in member’s homes in smaller groups and use the money to call a missionary to preach the gospel on the streets of Chilliwack…but then we have the problem of where do we meet when the missionary gathers more people into the flock?

So it is a good thing you are not all like me.

As redeemed people we get to serve each other with our abilities. So we should look for opportunities to serve in the church using our gifts and passions. Whatever it is you are good at, whatever gifts the Lord has given you, use them. We need you. More than you think. Trust me, you don’t want a bunch of people like me running things without the input of people like you! Use your gifting for God’s glory and for the up building of the church.

If you are asked to serve, please seriously consider it before you say no.  Pray and ask if perhaps this is something you could do to serve in the Church.  I have done some things that I never thought I would be good at – some I wasn’t good at, but some I was. Serve to his glory and the up-building of the Church…even if you end up serving with “That Guy.”

…perhaps you would be a better candidate for the Committee of Administration…

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Cor. 12:4-7

How Wealthy Am I?

Posted: August 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

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How wealthy am I?

That is a question I asked recently, and the answer astounded me.

Here are some stats for you.

If you are reading this blog, that means you most likely have a device worth at least a couple hundred bucks, or access to one. When we consider that the average yearly income worldwide is about $9,733, and that a third of the world’s population survives on less than $2 per day (that’s less than $800 per year), which is about the the cost of a new iphone, we begin to see how financially blessed we are. Simply because you have the ability to read this article, indicates that you are in the top 50% wealthiest people in the world.

If you live in Canada or the USA and have a home that you own or rent , and a full time job, and car, you are richer than 85% of the people in this world. Even if you are living pay-check to pay-check and lose sleep over it. Even if you and the Mrs. fight about finances and it all seems dim and hopeless…you are exceedingly financially wealthy.

Now consider that if you have any money saved, if you can afford to go on a vacation, if you have a hobby that requires some equipment or supplies, a variety of clothes in your closet, two cars (in any condition), and have a mortgage on your own home, you are in the top 5% of the world’s wealthy. This is where I, and most of my friends, fit. It is staggering to consider that we are richer than 6,935,000,000 other people. That is six billion nine hundred and thirty five million people have less than us… Puts things in perspective doesn’t it?

Finally, if you have more than $500,000 in assets (RRSP’s, savings, stuff, a house that is paid in full, land, a farm, a business etc.) you are in the top 1% richest people in the world. You don’t have to be Bill Gates to be in the top 1%.

Our Lord Jesus says in Matthew 19, that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. As we play with our toys, go to our middle class jobs, watch our bank accounts, plan vacations to tropical paradises, renovate our homes, drive our cars, and go to sleep with full belly’s in our comfy beds in temperature regulated homes, it becomes painfully clear whom Jesus is speaking to:

He was not merely talking to the Scrooge McDucks and Bill Gates of the world…

He was talking to me.

He was talking to you.

People who have a home, even if it is a cramped basement suite or single wide trailer…both of those “humble dwellings” are palatial compared to the mud huts and dirt floors of the world. A lot of you reading this have so much more. If you have a majestic chariot in the driveway, even a Dodge Caravan that is 15 years old, and is puffing smoke, you have more than most in the world who only have calloused and dirty feet.

We have so much food,

so much entertainment,

so many toys,

So much affluence, yet we say in our hearts, “Jesus is not speaking of me, I am not rich, I do not have a hot tub, a Mercedes, a (insert what you covet here).” All the while Jesus is there mediating for us, saying, forgive them Father…they know not what they do…

Jesus did not have a freezer full of food, but he gave to any who would hear, the food of life.

He is the food of life.

Jesus was not saying that the rich could not enter heaven, but that it would take a supernatural act of God to regenerate the hearts and minds of those who both have plenty – or nothing. You see, it is all about him, not about us, or our things. Regardless of our financial standing in this world, we are all debtors. We were all dead in our sins. And God came to us miserable debtors that we were, and paid it all in full with the precious blood of his Son, our saviour, Jesus Christ. Now we have the opportunity to share that love with others. It is all about loving God and our neighbour, not about loving ourselves.

So this Sunday, as we put on our tailored suits, and drive our expensive vehicles to our to our air conditioned, palatial, church buildings and sit in our padded pews, next to others who are also in the top 5% of the world’s elite, and as we toss a few bucks in the offering bag, we do well to consider what it is we place our value in, and how we can share his love, his gospel, and his money with those who have less.

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. ~ 1 John 3:16-18

According to the World Health organization, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. That means that there are approximately 125,000 abortions per day. That is just over 3 human lives snuffed out every 2 seconds. And as if abortion itself was not enough of an atrocity, now it is revealed that the so-called “doctors” working for Planned Parenthood are in the business of chopping up the just-murdered babies’ bodies and selling their parts for money.  Look at these children…

Baby in the womb

Baby in the womb

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Chinese mother forced to abort at 7 months due to China’s 1 child rule.

Do you weep for them?

“Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” ~ Jeremiah 1:4-5

According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day as a result of extreme poverty. And they die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.  Every second 4 children die due to poverty related diarrhea, disease, malnourishment, etc. Look at these children…

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Malnourished children begging for food.

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Malnourished baby

Do you weep for them?

He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered. ~ Proverbs 21:13

The 10-40 window encompasses Saharan and North Africa, as well as West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia and much of Southeast Asia. Roughly two-thirds of the world population lives in the 10/40 Window, that’s over 4.4 Billion people. Over 90% of whom will live their lives, and die,without ever hear the gospel message. It is estimated that 70,000 people will die today in the 10-40 window without ever hearing the name of Jesus Christ. 1 person dies every second without hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Do you weep for them?

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:1-6

Did you know that the average cost of a slave worldwide is $90?

That’s right…90 bucks.

If you make minimum wage in BC, you can afford a slave after only 9 hours of work. Sick.
According to the U.S. State Department, Approximately 700,000 to 1.5 million people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.  It is believed that there are currently 8.4 million Child slaves in the world.

Children.

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Child slaves working in gravel quarry.

Every minute around the world, 3 children are sold as slaves and shipped to other countries…

Some of them work in factories, fields and rock quarries at the age of 4 or 5, they are beaten and exploited.

Do you weep for them?

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” ~ James 1:27

But for most of the girls who get trafficked internationally, they face an even worse life as sex slaves.

Many end up forced into pornography. The same pornography that, according to a recent Barna study, 77% of Christian men between the ages of 18 and 64 looked at in the past month. The same pornography that 36% of Christian men  look at daily, that 32% of Christian men claim to be addicted to. There are roughly 300 million Reformed and Evangelical Christians in the world today. What this means is that roughly 50 million Reformed and Evangelical Christian men look at porn every day…every second roughly 578 Evangelical Christian men are consuming the wares of the trafficking industry…

And in case you were wondering, that “18” year old girl or “barely legal” teen on your screen is more than likely a 12-14 year old, and is not there because she just loves performing degrading sexual acts with men. And if these child slaves are not starring being raped in the pornography that 77% of Christian men are consumers of, they are serving as sex slaves for pimps who sell them to up to 50 customers rapists per day, in brothels and massage parlours in every major city in the world…even here in the Fraser Valley, the so-called Bible Belt of BC, there are many children and women currently being exploited as sex slaves.  It is believed that there are over 60 million displaced women and children currently forced into sex slavery.

Look at theses girls…

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Rescued Child Slave

Child slave rescued in Afghanistan

Child slave rescued in Afghanistan

Scene from documentary,

Scene from the documentary, “Too Close to Home” about sex slavery in Tampa Bay

All of these girls are beaten, raped, broken in body, mind, and spirit, impregnated, forced to abort, and then, when they are no longer useful, tossed aside like a piece of used trash…

Do you weep for them?

“Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive.  But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.” ~Ecclesiastes 4:1-3

The internet is losing it’s mind over the death of a single lion.  The world has gone crazy.

Cecil the Lion

Cecil the Lion

Jimmy Kimmel wept over the death of this majestic creature. Yeah I don’t like it either. In fact, I think it stinks. But really, let’s put this in perspective, as Carl Trueman stated, “in the grand scheme of wickedness, the death of a lion – even a lion called Cecil — barely registers on the most sensitive Richter scale.  The pathetic tears of a Kimmel and the predictable verbal violence of the hashtag wielding rent-a-mobs of the internet merely witness to the complete lack of any real moral compass and proportion in modern society.  It no doubt makes them all feel good and righteous to stand up for a lion.”

Cecil the Lion’s death does not even come close to perverse reality that you can go and buy a 12-year-old girl to be your sex slave for $90…

That 50 million children are murdered in the womb…

That Planned Parenthood sells the organs of the dead babies…

That every quarter of a second another child dies from poverty.

Do you weep for them?

“The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
    and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
    not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked,
    and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
    none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned. ~ Psalm 34:16-22

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I don’t allow trollish comments on the blog.  But I do not have the option of approving comments on Facebook, so sometimes, they get through. I do not rebut to most of them on my Facebook page unless it is someone trying to misuse the Word of God. Which irritates me. So here is the comment:

Exodus 21:22 “If some men are fighting and hurt a pregnant woman so that she loses her child, but she is not injured in any other way, the one who hurt her is to be fined whatever amount the woman’s husband demands, subject to the approval of the judges. 23 But if the woman herself is injured, the punishment shall be life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot”…..It seems even God doesn’t respect an unborn child as a full life..

Sigh.  Ok.  You got me.  Let’s do this.

The Hebrew text for Exodus 21:22 is as follows:

כב וְכִי-יִנָּצוּ אֲנָשִׁים, וְנָגְפוּ אִשָּׁה הָרָה וְיָצְאוּ יְלָדֶיהָ, וְלֹא יִהְיֶה,
אָסוֹן–עָנוֹשׁ יֵעָנֵשׁ, כַּאֲשֶׁר יָשִׁית עָלָיו בַּעַל הָאִשָּׁה, וְנָתַן, בִּפְלִלִים.

Yeah.  I need Logos to read that as well. The 1611 version of the Bible or the King James Version renders it as:

If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

The 1984 version of the NIV reads as:

If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life…etc.

The pro-aborts always use this verse in a vain attempt to try and support their cause. And many Christians do not know how to respond because the English translations do not necessarily do the verse justice. So, let’s go through it.

My question is why do the pro aborts presume the child is dead? The likely reason is because the English word “miscarriage” or the phrase “to lose” in most versions certainly implies death, however, nothing in the Hebrew wording suggests death at all. The word “Yasa” does not mean miscarriage; it literally means “to come forth.” The word itself never suggests death. In fact, “Yasa” generally implies the opposite: live birth. Also, Hebrew had a specific word for miscarriage: “Nephel.” Nephel was used in other verses, so, why not here? Well it is because Moses did not intend to write miscarriage. If he did, he would have used Nephel. What Moses is stating is that the child is born alive but prematurely, and does not die, and that the penalty of life for life, eye for eye, etc. applies to the child as well as the mother. If injury comes to the child or the mother there will not just be a fine but life for life, eye for eye, etc. This verse is in fact protecting the rights of the unborn child, and because the child is deprived of reaching full term, the father will demand payment in order to care for the child.

So a literal reading of the Hebrew would be as follows:

And when men fight and hit a pregnant woman and her children go forth, and there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the husband of the woman may put upon him; and he shall give by the judges. But if there is injury, you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

So if we take this and read it naturally, as Moses intended it in the original Hebrew, it would be that the child goes forth from the womb and there is no injury to either the child or to the mother. How can I say this? Because Moses would have inserted the Hebrew word “lah” to specify injury to only the mother, which then would be rendered “If her children go forth and there is no injury to her.”

But that is not how it reads, is it?

So do not fear, my fellow Christians. God does love the child in the womb. He does not just see the unborn child as a piece of pottery or a clump of cells.  In fact he values the unborn far beyond measure. He knits us together with care, so we can say with king David,

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 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.”

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You may have seen the meme about the Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to a soul that isn’t. This is my Bible I got when I was 16 years old. I have not opened this one in probably 15 years, but it was on the shelf and I grabbed it to do devotions this morning.

Look at all the markings.

When I was young, I was passionate about the Bible and about God. Then the thought struck me that it does not matter how passionate or devoted I was in the past. I was baptized when I was 19 and shortly thereafter I began to slip into self reliance, stopped reading and praying, and slowly drifted away from God. Over a number of years I fell in to all sorts of sin, grew depressed and came to believe that God did not love me. God was faithful however, and pulled me out.

My point is this: we mustn’t rely on how good of a child we were, or how marked up our old bibles are. It doesn’t matter that you professed your faith once upon a time, it doesn’t matter that I did devotions everyday last week, how were they this week? For me: they were sporadic…and that’s not good. We need to daily fuel up with the word and prayer, seeking a personal relationship with the Lord…otherwise we end up relying on our own strength.

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