Posts Tagged ‘death’

God brought a woman named Margaret into my life just before my mother died. He knew I would need the continued encouragement and mentoring of an older woman, a woman who would be an example of faithfulness, kindness, and self-control. In the years after my mother’s death, I was challenged in my vocations of wife, mother, and national president of Lutherans For Life. Margaret could always be counted on to listen, ask questions that helped me to think, and influence—not with her feelings, but with the Word of God.

A few weeks ago, Margaret’s daughter called to tell me that her mother was nearing the end of her earthly life. It was ok. Margaret, nearly 90, was looking forward to leaving this world behind and going home. Satan, however, couldn’t stand the thought of losing one more soul to heaven, so he visited Margaret now and then to see if he could tempt her. “We both know my mom’s faith,” Margaret’s daughter told me, “but I think now would be a good time for you to write her.”

And so, without letting Margaret know her daughter’s request, I spent Friday, December 8 writing the kind of comfortably honest letter she would have written to me.

My dear friend, Margaret…

I miss you! I miss our meaningful discussions about the Lord of our lives and why we must cling to Him. I miss the encouragement we have always given one another.

It has been my deepest desire to come see you and spend another one or two wonderful days together. I’ve wanted to do that ever since our last visit when I was in your area speaking and stayed with you. Now, over two years later, I’m wishing I could quickly drive up to see you, talk with you, and share the love we both have in Christ.

Nine grandchildren keep me on the go. I’ve learned, as you learned before me, how important grandparents are. We can encourage and pass on wisdom in a unique way. Parents can be so overwhelmed with the day-to-day parenting. They need encouragement, too, and it helps them to know that their children have the added strength and guidance of grandparents.

You will probably not be surprised to know that I have started writing a second book. After the first book, The Failure of Sex Education in the Church: Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity, I was asked by several parents, “So now what? Now that we know why our children are being sexualized, what can we do for them? How can we equip them to live in this world?” Margaret, I did not want to write the first book, let alone a second book! Then it came to me. I didn’t have to write it! There have been more than 50 pastors who have served on the pastors’ panels following my book presentations. Twelve of them accepted my invitation to help write the lessons for this book. I am assisting them… and serving as general editor. God is good to provide me with an assistant editor. You would like her! She is a young wife and mom who understands the need of our society for Titus 2 mentoring of biblical womanhood and manhood. This stay-at-home mom was in the perfect position to say “yes” when I asked her to help with this second book entitled Male and Female by Design: What Does This Mean?

Margaret, you and I talked about the most important message of my first book which is this: our identity in Christ matters! We are far more than sexual beings! With our Baptism, we become heirs and children of God because of what Jesus Christ has done for us! Our identity remains the same, no matter our age, health, or any other circumstance in life. You and I, Margaret, are daughters of God! Always and forever! Through water and Word, the Holy Spirit was given to us and He continues to work in us.

Our baptized identity cannot be snatched away! Our holiness and purity in Christ cannot be snatched away! Satan may deceive us. He may tempt us to believe that he has power over us, but he does not! He is the loser! He is the poor, pitiful creature that Christ has won victory over. You and I have talked about this so many times… and we must continue to remind one another of this truth.

This second book that I’m working on will help parents and their children better understand the importance of our baptized identity. Yes, it will teach what it means to be a boy or a girl. It will teach about biblical manhood and womanhood. But, even more so, it will remind both parent and child that with our Baptism, we have a barricade against Satan. Our Baptism isn’t a one-time “event” that serves no purpose for us as we grow older. Our Baptism makes us part of God’s family and connects us with Jesus Christ!

I so appreciate the book Afraid by Rev. Robert Bennett. He writes about the very real spiritual warfare that we experience on this earth. You and I have talked about this spiritual warfare… and it is something we engage in until we are carried home by Jesus. You and I can THANK GOD that no matter how arrogant or bold Satan might be, we’re the ones who hold power over him! With the life of our Baptism and with forgiveness of sins, Satan has lost his stronghold and peace is found (Acts 26:17-18). Rev. Bennett quotes Dr. Klaus Detlev Shultz, who says that the Sacraments of Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and Confession/Absolution “ultimately serve as a barricade against the perpetual onslaught of non-Christian elements on the believers.”

You and I both know, Margaret, that we are God’s daughters living in an alien and hostile world. I have seen how the Lord has been faithful to provide for you and help you endure very difficult situations. You have always been very private about your personal life, Margaret, but I know enough to recognize you as a daughter of God who has trusted her Lord and Savior in the toughest of times. You have pointed your children and grandchildren to Christ. You carried them to the Baptismal font and taught them who they are in Christ.

I hope that you are remembering your own Baptism. I hope that you are remembering that your identity is not found in your service to others, your youth, or your good health… but in your connection to Jesus Christ! We do not stop being God’s vessels on this earth. Even if we must move to assisted living or can’t drive our own car or can’t go help everybody else, we are still His instruments and He works through us.

When my big, strong farmer father-in-law was flat on his back and near death with a brain infection, he bemoaned the fact that he couldn’t serve us. I looked him in the eye and said, “But you are serving us! Helpless as you may feel, God is using you to teach us how to serve you and one another. He is teaching me to be less selfish, more patient, and trusting of His will and not my own.”

Oh, my dear Margaret, no matter where you are or what you can or cannot do, never forget that you are God’s own. If I could be sitting there with you, we could talk about Job. We could remind each other of what Job experienced and how God showed His faithfulness to Job in the worst of situations.

Job’s friends were of no comfort to him when he was suffering the loss of wife, family, possessions, and good health. Their ears could not hear and their eyes could not see the Almighty God. But the Almighty God had worked faith in Job that did not fail. When Job questioned His Maker, God said,

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were the bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? … Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? … Do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane? … Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars … Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high?

Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it … Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right? Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?
(from Job 38-40).

Margaret, may you and I be like Job who answered: “I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth.”

May we continue to entrust one another to God our Father who calls us by name (Isaiah 43:1). May we entrust one another to our Father who bears with us, carries us, and saves us (Isaiah 46:4). May we live confident in our Baptism which makes us daughters of God and connects us to Christ on this earthly journey… and forevermore!

The timing of the letter I had been nudged to write was, well, God’s own. On December 17, Margaret was carried home by her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Driving to her funeral four hours from our home, I asked my husband, “Do you think the letter mattered?” The answer came from Margaret’s daughter. “She read your letter. She called for the pastor she trusted. There was peace.”

There was peace for Margaret in dying and there continues to be peace for me in living. It is the peace of the Lord that passes all understanding for those whom God calls by name.

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tornadoAll is not well.  The earth knows… and groans.

When God created the earth and every living thing, He designed an earth in harmony with those who dwell upon it.  Sin changed everything.  The tornado that stole away precious lives in Oklahoma was evidence of a sin-altered world.

I pray that we all mourn the loss of lives for whom Christ died.  More importantly, I pray that parents everywhere prepare their children for eternity.  In a blink of an eye, any one of us or our children or grandchildren might draw our last breath.  After death, where will we be?

The arms of Jesus are open for all who call upon His name.  May we parents and grandparents teach our children by word and example that Jesus is the only Savior.  He is the only way to perfect life… literally out of this world.

May we help children know their identity as God’s sons and daughters in Christ.  Why?  So that they grow in Wisdom… and, whenever their last day on this earth might come, we’ll know where we’ll see them again.

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A long time ago, the paths of two women crossed.  People who serve together in Lutherans For Life can easily become friends for life.  Beth and I don’t get to talk very often, but our conversations always pick up right where they left off.   I wish she lived closer.  In my imagination, I see us lingering over coffee or a latte as we discuss what’s happening in our world in light of God’s Word.  Right now, I would like to live closer to Beth so that I could be of encouragement to her.  To sit in silence beside her.   To walk with her through the shadow of death.

It is not Beth that is dying.  It is her husband, Cal.  His long, courageous battle with cancer may soon be over.  Beth has been faithful to include family and friends on this journey.  She writes of Cal’s wit and wisdom.   She writes with appreciation for shared faith.   She writes only as a daughter of God in Christ can write: with peace.  This is because Beth and Cal know that he is leaving – but only for a little while — to go ahead to their heavenly home.   The Spirit within Beth is lifting prayers to God when she cannot.

I think Beth, and those around her, are finding many teachable moments in the timing of Cal’s journey.

Christmas, even for Christians, can be a time of chaos and confusion.  We are easily distracted away from the birth of our Lord Jesus by preparations.  Gifts.  Food.  Family coming.  Programs and festivities.  I sense that Beth knows that she is distracted from both the birth of Christ and precious moments with her beloved Cal by preparations.  Decisions.  Legal matters.  Finances.  In-home hospital beds and oxygen tanks.  Hospice and palliative care.  Even so, for Beth and her family, there is a difference.  Beth writes, “We don’t fear death for Cal, nor does he fear his own death.  He has the hope and joy of seeing God face to face.  How awesome is that?” 

Christmas, even for Christians, can make us feel obligated to add Jesus.  “I have this to do.  And this.  I’m running out of time!  Oh, of course there’s Jesus, certainly the reason for the season.”  We create for ourselves such high expectations.  We want the perfect gift.  The perfectly orchestrated event.  A perfect meal.  Then, as life in this world typically goes, we are disappointed.  But, Beth is not obligated to add Jesus.  She is fully depending on Him to get her through perhaps the most difficult time of her life.  She has not created for herself high expectations.  Instead, she trusts God’s will and promise.  It is the promise of hope and eternal life that came to her and all people on the Holiest of Nights.  Beth knows that she will not be disappointed by the Creator of her life and the Author of her story.  Every word that Beth writes seems to rise up not from a well that is running dry, but from a well that is always replenished just when she needs it.

Many dream of a world without suffering.  A pain-free world.  A world where no one goes hungry.  Gets sick.  Falls into depression.   Faces difficulty.  That’s how “enlightened” and “modern” people like to think.  “Man is capable,” the believer in self claims, “of rising to a higher plain… removing suffering… defeating death and, in fact, creating life.”  This is, in its most honest form, inflated ego.  Arrogance.  Idolatry.  Beth harbors no such arrogance.  She and Cal understand that we all live in a fallen world.  They know that the very death they face is a consequence of The Fall.  Sin.  Disobedience and rebellion against the God who calls Himself “I Am.”

So, for Cal and Beth – and for me and my house – there is a strange joy in Christmas.  It is the joy of realizing who we are as fallen, desperate creatures.  Of realizing that, yes, human suffering in the midst of a fallen, sinful, messed up world is reality.  For this reason, we sing:

O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear . . .

There is a curse in human suffering.  But, Jesus Christ is God come to earth to remove the sting.  Loosen the hold of death.  Take on Himself what we really deserve.  We sing “joy to the world” at Christmas because Christ is the only hope for a suffering world.  Failed expectations.  Hurting people.  Christ is Light in the darkness. 

My friend Beth knows this.  She clings to this Truth.  I think, based on Beth’s writing, that she and Cal find a special joy in the timing of their suffering.  For it is at Christmas that joy came to them.  The glory of Immanuel – “God with us” – is real to them.  His kingdom is open to them.

If I could, I would snap my fingers and remove Cal’s pain.  Beth’s sorrow.  The sadness of separation.  But, such wishful thinking does nothing for my friend.  Instead, I entrust Beth and her family to the Living Word for our lives… to Jesus Christ, Lord of Life.  Even though I am not sitting with her, I think I may hear Beth singing:

O come, Thou Branch of Jesse’s tree, Free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust Thy mighty pow’r to save, And give them vict’ry o’er the grave.

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high, And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

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Elizabeth Skoglund and I have met only once.  But, our friendship grew by way of phone conversations over a period of years.  Elizabeth is the author of over twenty books.  One of them caught my eye in a bookstore when I was researching end-of-life issues.  That book, Life on the Line, proved to be powerfully helpful to me.  Elizabeth and I share the same worldview on life issues, but her experience as a counselor in private practice and as a gifted researcher and writer equipped me to be a better defender of the sanctity of human life.

Life on the Line was so helpful to me that I wanted others to be encouraged by her, too.  I invited Elizabeth to be a workshop presenter at one of our Lutherans For Life conferences.  Illness prevented her from coming, but some time later, I asked Elizabeth if she would author a short handbook on decision-making at the end of life to be published by Lutherans For Life.  She did.  The book is titled Before I Die.  I highly recommend both Life on the Line and Before I Die in this time of technological advances, shifting standards, and babel of confusing and often contradictory voices.

Elizabeth notes that volumes could be written on all the “what-ifs” of medical technology.  “But,” she writes, “we are on much safer ground if we follow certain general Biblical principles . . . whether or not we like them.  If we do not, we are in desperate danger of trying to become gods and making our own rules based on what we feel and what we want at any given time.”

Those Biblical principles, writes Elizabeth, “can be summarized in three phrases: the sanctity of human life; the sovereignty of God, including His timing in matters of life and death; and the goodness of God, who will not fail to do right.”

Elizabeth explains that questions like “What would Aunt Sally want?” are not designed to find out the will of God in bioethics.  They merely express what we want or feel.  The Christian believer does better to ask, “What is the will of God?”

There are gray areas in times of decision-making.  Use of the respirator, for example, is troubling for many of us.  The respirator is uncomfortable.  It’s use is controversial among doctors.  Elizabeth admits that being on a respirator is one of her own great personal fears.  She expresses sympathy for those who let it be known that under no conditions do they wish to be put on a respirator.

But, writes Elizabeth, if a respirator can be a bridge back to life, she believes we have an obligation to try to live.  On the other hand, if the respirator is used when death is inevitable, simply to slow down the dying process, then it is wrongfully keeping a person from being released to be with God.

I haven’t spoken with Elizabeth for some time.  A good visit is long overdue.  In these times, we need to challenge one another to think.  To encourage one another to trust our Creator God and Savior Jesus Christ.  To work where we’ve been placed in helping others respect the dignity of human life — that of the preborn and that of a loved one nearing their death.

Our last moments on earth are important ones.  For some, it is a time of decision.  For others, it is a time of transition from this life to the next.  It is a valuable time for the family who gathers at the bedside of one who is so close to going home.  Elizabeth quotes John White (Decision, May 1989):

“In life we are on a stage.  Angels and demons watch as we enact the drama of our earthly existence, and it is important that the scene close properly.  Christ has shown us how the lines should be uttered, as a cry of joyful triumph: “Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit!”  (Luke 23:46 RSV).  We will only die once and will therefore have only one chance to die properly.  We must learn our lines well beforehand so that the curtains fall on a note of triumph.”

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My friend, Rita, is sitting at the bedside of her mother.  It has been Rita’s great joy and blessing to have Gladys as her mom.  Now, as mother battles life-threatening infection, daughter wants to serve as she’s been served.  She is doing that by faithfully remaining at her mom’s side… reading to her, praying with her, and re-counting treasured memories.

It is at such times, however, that even the most faithful believers ask, “God, where are You?  Why do you allow our loved one to endure this?”  Gladys has lived a full and good life.  “She has been faithful, Lord.  Isn’t her work done?  Dear Jesus, why don’t You just take her home with you?”

Our family asked similar questions not long ago when my father-in-law battled bacterial brain infection.  We were given opportunity to hang on to and put into practice every pro-life conviction on which we stand.  For years, I had been speaking to others about the value of one life — the life in the womb and the life in a hospital bed.  So, I had to ask myself, what value was I going to put on the life of my husband’s father?  After all, he was 80 years old.  (Gladys is 91.)  His life was blessed.  Full.  Active.  He knew Jesus as His Savior and I knew my father-in-law, Max, would be taken to heaven when he died.  I knew I would forever appreciate the wisdom he had shared and the lessons he had taught.

I remember days and nights when Max, almost catatonic, could only thrash fitfully in bed.  I remember spoon-feeding him and begging him to swallow before a feeding tube was inserted.  Without really meaning to, Max pulled it out three times.  Three antibiotics were flowing into his bloodstream by IV.  No one knew for sure what the side-effects of those toxic chemicals might be.  So, when the brain surgeon said there was no more she could do, and the infectious disease team told us the odds of beating this infection were not good, and the social worker encouraged us to “take your dad home to hospice,” we could have said, “It has been a good fight.  We did all we could.”

But, God wasn’t through with Max — and He wasn’t through with me or my family either.  There were so many more lessons yet to be taught and learned.  From a bed not of his choosing, Max challenged his family to make words real in deed.  Not by accident he became my teacher, model, and witness.  My journal is filled with lessons taught by a man who was ready to meet Jesus; yet so desperately clung to the life he loved.  Here are a few of those lessons:

SERVICE: How can we make a difference when we are helpless?  Max had always been a hard worker.  His hands tilled the soil and planted the seed.  But God does not need our hands or anything else we have to offer.  His work is accomplished in spite of us.  God said to Max Bartlett, “My power is made perfect in your weakness.”  This power was witnessed by family, friends, and the medical community.

DETERMINATION: Although we were willing to let Max be with Jesus, we weren’t ready to give up.  Nor was a man named Ravi Vemuri, a physician who seemed to have developed a personal interest in Max and his ever-present family.  Dr. Vemuri, a practicing Hindu, loved life too, and he had one more antibiotic to try.  In addition, perhaps moved by our involvement, he granted our request to compliment his chemical approach with nutritional supplements.  The determination of doctor, family, and the patient Max was not lost on those who watched.

CONTROL: Desiring some kind of control, I wanted to work with a plan.  On the days when we nearly lost Max, I planned for death.  On the days when he rallied, I planned for life.  But, through Max Bartlett, God showed me that He has a plan not like my own.  He asked me only to trust.

INCONVENIENCE: If asked how I would handle sometimes 15-hour days in a hospital room and shared sleeping quarters with assorted family members, I’m not sure how I would have responded.  But God did not ask me how I felt about such things.  Through Max, He simply asked me to be faithful.

SELF: During my first long stay at the hospital, my thoughts turned to self.  Does anyone appreciate what I am doing or realize what I’m giving up?  In a private moment I will never forget, God used the patient, Max, to help the caregiver, Linda, adjust her attitude.

WORSHIP: One evening, alone with my father-in-law, I asked, “Sometimes, when you appear to be sleeping, you are really talking to God, aren’t you Max?”  Squeezing my hand even tighter, he simply said, “Yes, you know, don’t you?”  What soul work was being done.  A frightening brush with death brought a humble man of God named Max Bartlett into an even closer relationship with His Heavenly Father.

So, what is the price of one life?  Is it the price of helplessness or suffering?  Is it the price of sleepless nights and frightening days?  Is it the price of inconvenience?

The price of one life is what God puts on it.  He planned that life.  He knit that life together in the secret place of a mother’s womb.  He promised to be with that life whether dependent on bottle-feeding or tube feeding.  He loves that life.  The greatness of that love is evidenced by the Cross on which His own dear Son, Jesus Christ, was sacrificed for one life — yours, mine, a preborn child, Max, and Gladys.

God wants us to love one life, too.  He wants us to protect one life and speak up for one life.  Early in my pro-life ministry days, I predicted that the generation that ushered in abortion would be ushered out by euthanasia.  This culture has been shaped to value human life only if it is wanted.  Convenient.  Not a threat to our own.  But, the value God places on the life He creates and redeems is priceless.  God wants us to be an advocate for each life.  To leave ourselves open and willing to learn every lesson taught by the “least of these.”  To trust.

If God gives us one life to love, He will also give us what we need — for as long as we need it — to care for that life.

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Joanie was scheduled for surgery.  “I’m getting my affairs in order,” she told me.

Joanie had come into my life as an older, wiser friend not long after my mom died.  She became my mentor.  A reminder that God’s Word is all that matters.  A reminder that Jesus is that Word for my life.

“My surgery is to repair an aneurysm,” Joanie explained.  “It’s a routine procedure.  But, whatever the Lord’s got going here is fine with me.”

A few days before the surgery, Joanie’s two daughters flew in to be with her.  Joanie called to tell me she had a grand idea.  “We’re going to have a joyful night on the town.”  Later, I learned that night was special indeed.  Over a leisurely dinner, Joanie and her daughters shared many memories.  They laughed, then cried, then laughed some more as they lingered over a single glass of white Zinfandel.  Later, they returned home to curl up in the living room where they continued their story-telling late into the night.  Somehow, I had no difficulty hearing Joanie tell her daughters, “I gotta tell you girls.  Whatever the Lord’s got going here is fine with me.”

When Joanie’s son called to say he would drive down to be with her, she assured him there was no need.  “You stay with your family right now.  I’ll see you soon.”  Then she penned him a loving letter with words that can only flow from a mother’s heart.  The note ended, “Whatever the Lord’s got going here is fine with me.”

On the morning of the surgery, Joanie woke early.  She slipped out the back door to say good-bye to her two dogs, the faithful companions who greeted her this morning as they did every morning.  Coming back inside, she slowly walked through the rooms of the house, touching her lips and planting a “kiss” on the photo faces of her husband, children, and grandchildren.  She sighed, then picked up the bag she had carefully packed the night before.  With one quick glance over her shoulder back at the house, she walked to the car.  No one but her Father heard her say, “Whatever you’ve got going here, Lord, is fine with me.”

The surgery did not go as expected.  There were too many complications.  My friend’s body grew weak and could no longer fight the battle of life over death.  In the distance, she could hear the great choir of heavenly angels praising God.  “Whatever you’ve got going here, Lord, is fine with me.”  Then, a brief hesitation.  Did Joanie hear one of her daughters say, “We must let her go.”  Did she hear the other cry, “No!”  Joanie waited as if she were giving her daughter time to adjust her thinking and receive the same peace that was now flowing through the mother.  It was not easy, but both daughters agreed, “Mom is ready.”  And they entrusted her to God.

Days later, Joanie’s daughters opened the bag which their mom had packed for her hospital stay.  In it were all the things that a woman would take for recovery from surgery — a few toiletries, nightgown, photo or two of her family, books for passing the time, and well-worn Bible.  Looking through the items in the bag, they paused to remember the behavior of their mom the morning she left home for the hospital.  They heard her sigh and saw her lingering glance at the house.  They knew she had written a “good-bye” letter of encouragement to her son.  But, at the same time, here was a bag filled with the items one would need for life.

Joanie truly believed, “Whatever you’ve got going, Lord, is fine with me.”  She lived each day ready to do those things God had already prepared for her to do, yet she kept her eyes focused on the Savior who would one day carry her home.  In the time that I had know her, Joanie spoke with excitement about her eternal home with Jesus.  Yet, never had I met anyone more content to be in the present — loving souls and sharing the Word of life.

Joanie departed my life much too soon.  Plans had been made for her to spend a week in my home.  I anticipated that visit.  I needed more time learning at the feet of my mentor.  Learning how to adjust my attitude.  Learning to focus less on self and more on Christ.  That visit did not happen, but others will.  With all confidence, I anticipate daily visits with Joanie in our Father’s house.

With eagerness, Joanie expected Jesus to come for her.  She only hoped she would not stand before Him ashamed.  Therefore, whether she lived or died, it would be to the glory of her Heavenly Father (Philippians 1:20-21).

“Whatever You’ve got going here Lord is fine with me.”

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For centuries, the rule of the sea was “women and children first.”  Survivors of the sinking ship, Titanic, remember men who gave their lives so that women and children might live.  Whether Christian or not, these men were influenced by a teaching that had shaped their thinking and behavior.  Their sacrifice modeled that of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:25).

In 1996, another ship sank off the coast of Indonesia.  Men on board this ship saved themselves first.  Women and children died that men might live.  This is the inevitable consequence of forgetting or rejecting Jesus Christ.

Jesus did more than speak about humility and service.  He demonstrated it (John 13:12-17).  With His example, He established a pattern for men and women to follow.  A hero of titanic proportions is a man who practices self-control for the sake of a woman.  A husband who covers his wife with his name.  A father who rescues his child from death.

Ninety-three percent of the abortions performed in the U.S. are for convenience.  Studies show the top three reasons for abortion are:

  • “A baby at this time would interfere with work, school, or other responsibilities.”
  • “I cannot afford a baby.”
  • “I do not want to be a single parent,” or “I’m having problems” with husband or partner.  (Source: The Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1/97, A. Torres and J.D. Forrest, “Why Do Women Have Abortions?,” Family Planning Perspectives, 1988)

When it appears the ship is sinking — and life hangs in the balance, God desires that men step forward.  Engage deceit with Truth.  Do battle for the honor of women and lives of children.  Adam, the first man, failed.  He was silent.  Unwilling to engage.  Lead away from death.  His passivity left woman vulnerable.  His rib exposed.  A target.  At risk.  When he joined with her in sin, he forever changed the course of history.  Children would pay the highest price.

Indeed, they do.

But, must they continue to pay with their lives?

No.  God brought hope to Adam and Eve with a promise.  The promise was kept when Jesus Christ sacrificed His life on the cross.  Became the Savior of the world.  Proclaimed victory over Satan.  Gave men and women authority over lies and deceit.  Jesus Christ  removed all reasons for any parent to sacrifice the life of their child.

Today, men bring order out of chaos every time they remember and use God’s Word.  Choose life over death.  Involve themselves with the teaching and disciplining of children.  Deny themselves for the mother of their child.  Lead away from danger with a servant’s heart.  Deposit sin baggage at the Cross of Christ.  Forgive as they have been forgiven.  Re-build.

This is titanic love.

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