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Take A Deep Breath
What does it mean to be pro-life?
To Be Honest
The Light Shines On
43 58 3000

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Christian Living

Take A Deep Breath




Election 2016 has been one that rivals no other one that I have seen.  I would not be forthcoming if I didn’t admit to doing some hand-wringing and fretting about how things will look come January 20 when our 45 president will be sworn in.  The problem is that I’m looking at the human side of things instead of trusting in the truth of God’s word.  I needed to take a deep breath. 

My pastor helped me to look to the Bible for the truth of what the election outcome will mean to me as a Christian and a ministry leader.  He did not do this by telling me who to vote for.  If we read our Bibles we will know how to vote.  In it God lays out His truth and a road map for living out our faith in this world.  I can also pray for wisdom and He will give it.  Instead he told us how to look at our government and its leadership.  We can find the truth in Romans 13:1 “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”  The government is established by God.  The president will be put in power by God.  This does not mean that every leader is a good one with Godly values.  We can look throughout history and know that is true.  We are called to be in subjection to our governmental leaders no matter who they are.  This is a hard one to swallow if we do not appreciate what they stand for but we are commanded to do it.

There is only one exception to this rule and it is if our government calls us to disobey God.  There are many examples of when men and women had to stand against those in power so as not to disobey God.  We can find examples of this in Exodus 1, Daniel 1, Daniel 3, Daniel 6, and Acts 4-5.  There was a price to pay for each of these instances and also blessings from God for those who did.  We will have to accept the consequences when and if we are called to take this same stand in the future.  It will, however, be worth the cost to obey God over man.

So how will I do my job as a pregnancy center director if the president is pro-choice?  The same way I have been doing my job every day that I have been doing it to this point.  I will read God’s word, continue to do what it tells me is right and trust God for the rest.  We have had many pro-life presidents, congressmen, and senators who have not seen to it to that abortion would be outlawed just as Supreme Court justices have not overturned Roe v Wade.  We cannot just trust men to get that job done.  We need to lean on God and to pray for a change in the hearts of all people to respect life again.   This would be life at every stage and for every person with no exceptions.

What a blessing it is to know God is in control.  Who could manage this world without that truth? No Christian should be wringing their hands and fretting over this election (myself included), instead we should pray.  Pray for this country we love.  We also need to live out our Christian testimony.  If we worked on this we would not have time for the other nonsense.  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 Amen!  Julie





43 58 3000

43
58
3000




As we just recognized the 43rd anniversary of Roe v Wade on January 22, one cannot help but think on the depth of meaning in the numbers 43, 58, and 3000. The first number is 43.

Abortion has been legalized for 43 years.  I have been alive for 43 years.  How many 43 year olds are missing today because of abortion?  I have done a lot of things in my 43 years.  I have attended school and graduated, gotten married, had children, started college, started an amazing career, and have become a grandma. For 43 years humans have been denied the things that I have been able to do because the courts said it was legal to deny them life.

58 million babies have been aborted in 43 years.  I try to wrap my mind around this number and it never works.  In the Bible God tells us He has a plan for every life.  His plans were not for a life cut short before it even has a chance to take its first breath outside the womb.  He had plans for teachers, mechanics, doctors, presidents, nurses, missionaries, and the list goes on and on.  He made us in His very image because He loved us so.  He knew us before we were even formed in our mother’s womb.  No child ever comes at the wrong time with God; they only come at the wrong time with man.  58 million lives cut short because of timing.

3000 is the number of children that are aborted daily. What equates in size to that number? I looked around on the web and I found this fact: 3000 people had been killed by Ebola in West Africa up to the point the article was written (Zee News September 2014).  According to the CDC this outbreak started in March of 2014.  If people died from Ebola at the same rate that babies are being aborted the numbers would be 1,095,000 a year or 547,500 during that six month period. If 547,550 people died from Ebola there would be a huge outcry.  Where is the outcry for an end to babies being terminated at this rate?
There is really no understating the facts behind these numbers. These numbers represent life denied.  43 years of legal abortions have ended 58 million lives.  Right now, today, 3000 more will be denied the right to life. Can we not stand up and say "no more"?  Who will speak for these who have no voice? Who will be the ones to see this stop?  Me.  I will stand and I will say “no more”.  Will you?
Julie



A little about me: I was raised in a pro-life home.  My mom took me to our local fair when I was 3 months old and took a stand for life with the Oceana County Right to Life.  She used me as an example of how precious life was. I remember her passing this fact on to me and how it made me feel.  This started me on the path to where God has led me to now. My mom gave me a heritage I can be very proud of. It is heritage that supports the right to life for all.

Condemnation or Love?

For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.  John 3:17Recently I have been reading different articles about how we as Christians treat people who find themselves caught in sinful situations.  I find myself wondering, “How should we react?” How Jesus would react may be the better question.  Today I will be writing on one specific instance I have been reading a lot about lately - out of wedlock pregnancies.

I think, as Christians, we judge sins more harshly if they present themselves in a physical way.  I’m speaking specifically about pregnancy outside of marriage.  Now, before I get into this,I want to make sure everyone understands thatI do not see having sex outside of marriage as being a good choice.  There is a great reason God asks us to wait until marriage to have sex, and I believe that those who have not waited have reaped some painful consequences for not waiting.  God’s rules are for the protection of His children are not to limit our free will.  My problem is, when we judge a pregnant woman who is not married, we do so because we see the consequences of her actions in the outward appearance of her expanding belly.  Do we have the same standard for those who are having sexual relations outside of marriage but haven’t become pregnant?  My next question is “Is the child the sin or is the sex act?” Here is where we take a newly beginning innocent life, a life ordained by God, and we add a penalty for the parent’s sin on to them.
 
How many women who are identifying as Christian or churched are having abortions?  According to the Orlando’s Women’s Center who is an abortion provider “Women who obtain abortions represent every religious affiliation. 43% of women obtaining abortion identify themselves as Protestant, and 27% as Catholic; and 13% of abortion patients describe themselves as born-again or Evangelical Christians.”  How is this possible? Growing up in a protestant church, I was taught from a very early age that abortion is wrong.  I also know the Catholic Church believes that life begins at conception and that it should be protected.  Where is the disconnect in our churches?  Can I suggest that maybe it is our attitudes towards unwed pregnancy that may help those who attend our churches choose to have an abortion?  Have Christian parents opted for their child to have abortion so their family name would not be tainted?  Have girls aborted their child because they feared their parent’s reactions more than the consequences that come from having an abortion?

Should we then celebrate pregnancies outside of wedlock?  No, but how about we celebrate a child who God has created in that precious mother’s womb?  Can’t we support our moms without condoning the actual sin?  Jesus loves sinners (that is all of us) without condoning the sins we all have in our lives.  If He who is holy and hates sin can do it, shouldn’t we who identify ourselves in Him do the same?

My challenge to all of us today is to take an honest look at ourselves.  We all sin and fall short of God’s glory. As brothers and sisters in Christ we are called to love the least among us.  I believe these are the innocents who are in the womb. Could we stop assessing a sin penalty to them?  It is for God to judge.

Let’s change the abortion culture by starting in our own churches and homes.  We can be a beacon of light for life to our culture.

Julie

Thoughts From The Soapbox


I have been thinking a lot about the state of our country lately.  I find myself a little down every time I watch the news.  It seems like the values I hold dearest as a Christian are disappearing in our nation only to be replaced by an “anything goes” mentality.  As I have thought on this God has been revealing to me a different viewpoint.  He has done this through my reading of my Bible, my pastor’s teachings, my children, my co-workers, as well as many other ways.  Imagine taking the government out of the picture and just concentrating on what God wants us to do as Christians.  He has revealed in the Bible what that should look like. What does He want from His church? What is His church? How are we to live a moral life in an immoral setting? This blog will explore what I believe God is revealing to His people and how we are called to listen and obey.

What does God want from His church?  He wants us to have a love of God above all else first, and then loving our neighbor more than ourselves. These are the two greatest commandments.  It sounds simple enough but it isn’t being done.  Loving God above all else means just that.  We are to love Him more than ourselves, our spouses, our money, our cars, our houses, our children, and everything else.  When we don’t look like a follower of Christ it takes away our testimony with others who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.  What stands out to our neighbors that would make them want what we have?  Who are our neighbors? The whole world is our neighborhood.  Our enemies are also our neighbors.  We are called to look out for each other.  God especially calls us to remember the widows and orphans among us. There should be no hungry children in our neighborhoods (the whole world).  There should be no person out there who feels hopeless and alone.  We as the church are called to reach out in love to the hurting.  He has blessed America abundantly with resources.  Why would we not turn around and use them to give a hand up to those who are not as fortunate?

So how are Christians supposed to live during these times?  We can find the answer in the Bible. 2 Peter 3:17-18 tells us You therefore Beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”  The times we’re living in are not a surprise to God.  We can read this in His word the Bible.  We are instructed to grow in our knowledge of Jesus Christ.  We are to remain grounded in the principles we learn when reading our Bibles.  We have to read the Word in order to know these principles.  When we don’t know the Word we react to the world.  Let’s try not reacting and instead follow the commandments that the Bible laid out for us.  How different would the world be if Christians did this? We would stand out.  People would see the difference not only in our words but also in deeds. I believe whole heartedly that this would bring about change in many people.  This needs to happen no matter what the times are bringing about for Christians.  This is an exciting time for Christians because I believe God is using all this adversity to raise His church up.  He is calling us to what He originally wanted His people, the church to look like. Just read about the New Testament church to understand what God’s blueprint is for His church today. 

I will end my soapbox thoughts today with this verse from James 1:19-22:   “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”
Julie










The Lesson of Fake Nails


Have you ever done something to hide something you don’t like in your life?  I have many times.  Most recently I went and had acrylic nails put on right before our spring banquet.  These covered up my less than stellar real nails but there is more to the story. This blog covers the lesson I learned from having fake nails.

My finger nails have never been something I wanted to showcase.  I have very brittle nails that crack and peel.  I’m also a nail biter from way back so they tend to be pretty short. My nails are something I like to keep out of eyesight of most people.  Right before New Life’s spring banquet I decided to remedy my problem with acrylic nails.  I was pretty impressed by how they turned out.  They were long and done in a French manicure.  It felt “out of this world” to look so glam.  They served their purpose for the evening and life went on.
 
As I went about my life and my work duties I started realizing I had a problem with these nails.  I no longer had the use of my fingertips.  I couldn’t pick up anything off the floor, a table, my desk, or anywhere for that matter.  I also had trouble using my phone.  I really started hating my fancy nails. I made the decision to get them off and headed to the nail salon.  Relief was finally in sight.

As the nail tech started working on my nail I thought about my daughter’s upcoming wedding.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have my nails look good for that? I had the tech fill in where my nails had grown and file them down shorter to give me control of my fingertips again.  My nails looked great for the wedding. I was really happy until I realized that I still didn’t have the full use of my fingertips and again I wanted them off. 

Once again I find myself at the nail salon.  The nail tech cuts the acrylics down and proceeds to remove them from my nails.  It was a slightly uncomfortable experience but I made it through because I knew relief was in reach.  The nail tech asked me if I wanted new acrylic nails. I answered “no”.  He said I would feel naked without them, to which I answered “I will feel normal without them”. He filed my real nails a little, put a little clear coat on them, and he sent me on my way.

I was happy for just a short time after I left the salon.  I now had fingertips again and my life would return to normal.  Not so much.  What I had was razor sharp, chipped, grooved, and weak nails.  I couldn’t wait to get home to file them down and apply some nail polish to them.  I did this but I could not achieve very good results because my real nails were now damaged.


So what is the point of this story?  Never try to disguise or cover up 
something you find lacking with yourself.  The real problem is still there lurking underneath.  By trying to cover my problem up I made it worse.  I now have scarred nails that will take quite some time to heal.  

This is true of my life also.  Anytime I have tried to be someone I was not, it left me scarred.  It took a lot of time, energy, and prayer to heal from these missteps in my life.  It took a kind of silly life experience to remind me to live the best I can as the person God created me to be.
Julie

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