Monday, January 23, 2012

The Best Present I Ever Received

(Originally published 1/22/08. Bears repeating at least once a year.)
 This common, ice-breaker question was asked of me recently and I knew immediately what I wanted to say, but I didn't say it. The setting was a light-hearted gathering and everything was , well, light-hearted. And I wanted to keep it like that. Because if I answered honestly what the best gift I ever received was, I would be weeping before a word got out of my mouth.

And I, my friends, am an ugly crier.

The best gift I ever received was the forgiveness of my sins and the promise of eternal life with the Father who loves me beyond reason.

I know. Just about everyone we know can say that, and it's the truth.

But the thing is, I don't deserve it. I really don't deserve it, and the fact that innocent, omnipotent, precious Jesus suffered and died for me, is absolutely ludicrous.

Because I murdered two of my own children.

(Don't think I'm being dramatic or over-the-top when I use the word "murder." I think not using it is what has helped get our society into this mess) I deserve to suffer and die. I deserve eternal hell apart from everything that is lovely, beautiful and good. The least I deserve is prison time in a small cell somewhere.

Oh, I repented.Repented is hardly a big enough word, but I don't know a better one. I regretted. I would eagerly give my life to change places with those children. I have been literally wracked by guilt and grief because of my selfish, cruel, thoughtless horrible decision to end the lives of my two babies by abortion. Nothing I can do will ever take away the grief of not knowing these children during my lifetime. Sometimes I look at Josiah or Amy and my heart just breaks into quarters. There was no where I could turn that would relieve me of the massive pain and life-swallowing shame.

But do you know what God did? He counted my tears and saved them in a bottle. He comforted me. He rejoiced over me with singing.He lifted my head. He welcomed me when I came to him.

It makes me shake my head in utter disbelief. Here I was, the most undeserving person on the planet, not worthy to raise my head in praise of him, uncomfortable in my own sick, sinful skin.

But he never left me. He sent his only son to suffer and die in my place so I could spend eternity with him, the Father who adopted me into his family. As one of his beloved children. He forgave me.

He loved me.

Unbelievable grace.

Scandalous, undeserved mercy.

It gives me goosebumps to think about it.

Today is the anniversary of Roe vs Wade, the decision that made my horrible decision easier for me and thousands like me.

Women are continuing to kill their own children everyday (45 million since 1973) and ruining their own lives in the process.

I volunteer in a women's prison and sometimes help lead a HEART (Healing and Encouragement for Abortion Related Trauma) bible study there. This article was sent to me by our local HEART leaders today and it shows very clearly how guilt-ridden women who have had abortion are, even decades afterwards.

If you want to hear more about my testimony you can go here, to the Eternal Perspectives Ministries website. This is Randy Alcorn's ministry and you can find answers to so many questions you may have about a variety of subjects pertaining to abortion as well as Heaven, the persecuted church, money issues, grace and truth etc. Truly an excellent site. You can also find out more about his books such as Heaven or Safely Home to name just a couple.

On a personal note, Randy and Nanci are very good friends of mine, as it was through them that God rescued me. Not many people invite a complete stranger into their house to live, and then find out she is not only homeless, but pregnant. I cannot say enough about their love and graciousness.

I have found Jesus to be the only forgiver of sins, the only way to eternal life and honestly, the best present I ever received.

Next time, I'll post a blog about something frivolous again, like my hair troubles (and believe me, they are many) or a recipe for chicken and dumplings or pot roast. But today this needed to be said and my children needed to be remembered, as do all of them. Not as faceless potential people, but as dearly loved, missing sons and daughters.

This is what the LORD says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more." Jer 31:15

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph. 3:17

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Does God care about football?

The best answer I have heard to this question comes from the movie, "Facing the Giants."
Which leads me to the question, "Does God care about the movies?"
Same answer.
Just replace a few of the words and switch it around a bit.

"Brock Kelley: So you think that God does care about football?

Grant Taylor: I think He cares about your faith. He cares about where your heart is. And if you can live your faith out on the football field then yes, God cares about football because He cares about you. He sent His son Jesus to die for us so we could live for Him. That's why we're here. But see, it's not just on the football field; we've got to honor Him in our relationships, our respect for authority, in the classroom, and when you're at home alone surfing the internet. I want God to bless this team so much that people talk about what He did. But it means we got to give Him our best in every area. If we win, we praise Him. And if we loose, we praise Him. Either way, we honor Him with our actions and our attitudes. So I'm asking you: what are you living for? I've resolved to give God everything I've got. Then I'll leave the results up to Him. I want to know if you'll join me?"

My friend, Randy, has met and spent some time with Tim Tebow, and his family.
Which clearly makes us like family with the Tebow's.
By this same formula, I am also related to Chuck Norris, John Piper, Third Day, Chris Tomlin and a host of other famous people.
I am like the crazy old aunt who shuffles around makes pickled beets and wears Nordic sweaters all year long.
 I accept this.
Here is a link to Randy's blog about "Timmy" today.