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When is a baby a baby?

     As Christians we believe that we are human from conception.  Thus, in Jeremiah 1:5 we read:  "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.  I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
      Planned Parenthood denies that an unborn child is a human and thus aborts them.  But in late term abortions, they abort the child in such a way so they can harvest human body parts for research.  Their double standard is nauseating.

     Lord, we ask that You would send Your Holy Spirit to convict the Senate to vote to defund Planned Parenthood.

Auschwitz and Planned Parenthood

     At the end of the movie Monuments Men a barrel of gold teeth are shown - taken from those killed in the concentration camp.  At Auschwitz you can see carpet made from hair from those exterminated.  And now in America, medical research teams order baby organs from Planned Parenthood.

     Lord God Almighty, we have sinned grievously.  Send Thy Holy Spirit and convict us of our sin.

How do you treat mentally handicapped people?

     How do you treat mentally handicapped (what we used to call retarded) people?  I would encourage you to watch Pauline and Paulette.  This Flemish film (with English subtitles) is worth watching again and again.  Pauline, 55 years old (?), is mentally handicapped and lives with her sister.  She cannot tie her shoes nor can she make even simple meals for herself.  She can't remember simple things.  When the older caretaker sister dies, her other two sisters need to figure out how to take care of her.  Does Pauline live with a sister (if so which one?) or is she put into an institution?
      My wife and I have seen this film probably five times and it is an excellent film.  It makes you think of the value of life.

     Lord God, give us love for those who are mentally and physically handicapped.

God Almighty or a Local God

  In I Kings 20:28 we read "The man of God came up and told the king of Israel, 'This is what the LORD says: "Because the Arameans [Syrians] think the LORD is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the LORD."
    In the ancient times, the peoples believed that you needed a god for each locale.  You needed a valley god, or a hill god, or a god of one location.  The LORD God proved by His miracles that he was in fact the GOD.  In the same way, the Turks and the ISIS think that if they destroy the churches then they can wipe out Christianity.  Even though the churches are being destroyed by the Muslims, yet GOD is the Almighty LORD, and Christianity will never fade away.

     Thank you God that you are almighty.

Our Heritage in Art

    The film Monuments Men has this statement by the lead officer, Frank Stokes, assigned to recover the art:  "You can wipe out an entire generation, you can burn their homes to the ground and somehow they'll still find their way back. But if you destroy their history, you destroy their achievements and it's as if they never existed. That's what Hitler wants and that's exactly what we are fighting for."
     This is exactly what the Muslims have been doing to the Christians in the Middle East.  See how the Turks have tried to wipe out the Armenian culture:  http://www.genocide-museum.am/eng/cultural_genocide.php
     This is why the ISIS is so intent on destroying Christian churches today, one hundred years after the Armenian genocide.
      Lord, we ask that You would be with the Christian in the Middle East.

Movie Ratings - Smoking or Blasphemy?

     Motion Picture Association of America rates films with a G (general), PG (parental guidance suggested), PG-13 (parental guidance strongly cautioned), etc.  In the ratings box, there will be further explanations, e.g., nudity, language, smoking, etc. 
     My wife and I just watched the film Monuments Men, which Motion Pictures Association of America rated as a PG-13 due to "some images of war violence and historical smoking."  There was no mention of blasphemy, but there was a warning about "historical smoking."  They are more concerned about smoking than disobeying the commandment:  "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name." (Deuteronomy 5:11)
    Lord God Almighty, may we never take Your name in vain.

Marriage - IX

God and Israel

     Marriage is such a joy that in the Old Testament God compares His love for Israel as a bridegrooms love for his bride.  He is the one that called Israel.  He is the one that loved Israel.  Once again, we see how God uses marriage as an example of His love.  That is why He often described Himself as a "jealous God."  He did not want other lovers to come courting His bride.  He wanted His bride Israel to stay true to their wedding vows. 

     Lord, may we stay true to our vows.

Marriage - VIII

The Joy of Marriage - Leaving Parents

    The parents love their children and the children love their parents.  As children grow up they realize that at some point, while the love for their parents does not diminish, yet they are not fulfilled.  It is not good for a man to be without a "suitable helper." Therefore, two people marry. Thus In Genesis 2:24 we read that for this reason (that Eve became Adam's wife) that a man will leave his parents.  The marriage is so complete that they now have a deeper love for each other than they did for their parents and the two become one. 
    
     Lord, help us to love our wives completely.

Marriage - VII

Christ and the Church

     Marriage is a great joy.  It is such a great joy God chose to use marriage as an example of the relationship between Jesus Christ and the church.  He could have used other relationships, e.g., the relationship between soldiers, the idea of a band of brothers.  These men are so committed to each other, that they throw themselves on top of a grenade to save the lives of others.  He could have used brotherly (or sisterly) love.  The love between siblings that support each other.  But Christ did not.  He chose the example of marriage.  Marriage is indeed a great joy.

    Lord, may we have the same love as Christ did for the church.

Marriage - VI

Adultery - Sin Against God 2

    In the most famous adultery case in the Bible, David committed adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah's wife.  Who was Uriah?  David had 30 select thirty warriors who were so famous that they are called The Thirty (II Samuel 23:13, 23-24).  David and The Thirty had fought together against the enemy.  These are not unknown men, but his comrades, men with whom he had fought, shared the bread, and hidden together when they had been chased by King Saul.  These were a band of brothers.  And Uriah was one of these thirty (II Samuel 23:39).  While Uriah, one of The Thirty, was on the front lines fighting against the Ammonites, David was making love to Uriah's wife, Bathsheba, in his palace.
     David when confronted with his sin, cried to the Lord.  In Psalm 51 he wrote "Against you, you only have I sinned. and done what is evil in your sight." (verse 4).
      He had not sinned against Uriah (another human) or against Bathsheba, but he had first and foremost sinned against the Holy One, God Almighty.

      Lord God, help us to realize the seriousness of adultery.

Marriage - V

Adultery - Sin Against God 1

     Adultery is first and foremost a sin against God.  When Potiphar's wife tries to seduce the handsome young (17 years old?) Joseph, Joseph says "no one is greater in this house than I am.  My master has with held nothing from me except you, because you are his wife.  How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?" (Genesis 39:9)
     In Joseph's view, the sin would not be against Potiphar, but against God. 

     Lord, help us to keep the marriage bed pure.

Marriage - IV

Adultery

     Adultery is the breaking of marriage vows.  Instead of staying faithful to your wife or husband, you wander from the straight and narrow and love another person.  (You may not even love another person.  For example, visiting a prostitute is not about love, but about sex.)  As discussed in Marriage II, a three person marriage does not work.  This breaking of the marriage vows is so serious that Jesus Christ says that the only reason marriage may be dissolved is because of infidelity.  Listen to what Jesus Christ said in Matthew 5:32:  "But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, cause her to commit adultery, and any one who marries a woman so divorced commits adultery."

     Lord God, keeps us from temptation and help us to love our spouse more and more.

Marriage - III

One male & one female

   Who can marry?  When God created Adam, he also created a need in Adam for a helper.  Adam realized after naming all the animals, that he was alone and that he needed a helpmate.  God then created a human being, but a different human being, a woman.  Women are 100% human, but oh so very different than men.  They are different physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.  Thus the best selling book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  The joy of marriage is that the male and female approach life from different perspectives.  They complement each other.  Think of apple pie - very good, but apple pie with sharp cheddar cheese (New England) or apple pie with ice cream (the rest of the world) complement each other.  In the same way, a husband and a wife complement each other.

     Thank  you Lord for my wife.

Marriage - II

Two - not one, three, but two

     We worship a triune God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit - one God but three persons.  However in marriage, God designed marriage to be just two persons.  God did it that way to avoid jealousy.  When Jacob married Leah and Rachel, rampant jealousy broke out between the two wives.
     Since God is perfect and holy, three divine persons works without jealousy.  But in the human sinful world, God designed marriage with two persons.  That is why we read in Genesis 2:24 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife." 

    Thank you Lord for designing marriage.

Marriage - I

Purpose

We will be discussing what marriage is for the next several blogs. First, I want to discuss one of the purposes of marriage and that is so that man will not be alone. In Genesis 2:16 we read "The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'" Thus, it is far better to live life with your spouse. This is for numerous reasons. Two brains, two perspectives are better than one. When there is one, you can become discouraged, disappointed. With two people working together, if one is down and discouraged, the second can lift their spouse up.

      Thank you Lord for designing a marriage of two people.