Archive for November, 2011

How often we are anxious when there is no just cause for anxiety. . .

Let us pray for more faith and patience, and allow more time for the full development of God’s purposes.

Let us believe that things are often working together for our peace and joy, which seem at one time to contain nothing but bitterness and sorrow.

J. C. Ryle, The Gospel of John, Kindle Loc. 6571-79.

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”
(Isaiah 35:3-4 ESV)

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Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer;
listen to my plea for grace.
In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
for you answer me.
(Psalm 86:6-7 ESV)

A little boy we know is having exploratory surgery today.  He lives with a persistent condition that is as yet undiagnosed.

His parents are wonderful; I’ve known the mom since she was a girl.  The boy’s grandparents are pillars of faith, grace, mercy and hospitality.  What God did through them for us cannot be measured.

All of them grieve over the pain this little boy lives with.

And the thing they wanted on Monday night was prayer.  And we wanted to pray with them.

It really is amazing what God does through praying with other people.  The one constant in every prayer was a cry for help, recognizing weakness in ourselves and clinging to promises.

Tears flowed.  The sorrow is real.

After we finished praying, we talked and laughed and simply enjoyed each other.  What a gift authentic friendship is.

And that friendship is fueled by going hard after God through suffering.

Yes, it is good to experience 2 Corinthians 6:10 with other people and live with gratitude to God for all things:  as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

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It happened again, this time in Australia.

A woman was advised that one of her twins would have serious medical issues, so she decided to abort that twin.

The hospital made a mistake during the procedure.  The twin without medical issues was killed.  And then the other twin was also aborted.

It has also happened in Italy and the United States.  Here are the headlines for each:

Australia: Hospital kills wrong baby, aborts twin.

Italy: Italian police to investigate abortion of wrong twin

United States: Doctor loses license after aborting wrong twin

Every headline is mistaken.  There is no ‘wrong’ twin in any of these circumstances.  Only helpless unborn babies, every one of them.

The only reason any of these babies was chosen to be aborted was because of potential disabling conditions.

The answer isn’t better medical tests or more specific hospital guidelines, but changed hearts that rush to help mothers and babies rather than destroy them.

And where were the fathers?

Lord, please, change our hearts for the sake of the little ones!

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Regions Hospital has announced that it is closing the GYN Special Services Clinic as of December 9.  This clinic performed abortions within the Regions Hospital complex off of downtown Saint Paul.

Of course this is good news – one less facility to kill our babies is always good news.

There is another reason to rejoice.  The ‘clinic’ was located in the same complex as one of the best medical facilities in the world for children with disabilities.  Gilette Children’s Hospital is also located in the Regions Hospital complex.  For more than 100 years they have been serving children with many different kinds of disabilities.  We have used their clinics and have received excellent care.

How many children with disabilities – the kinds that are treated effectively by Gilette Children’s – were aborted over the years at Regions?

No longer after December 9, thanks be to God.

Planned Parenthood was asked their opinion of this closure:

Planned Parenthood is not troubled by Regions’ decision, said spokeswoman Jen Aulwes. “Regions notified us about this several months ago,” she said. “We are not concerned. Women will still have access to the full range of services as they need them.”

I thought that phrasing was strange – ‘not troubled.’  Isn’t that like asking McDonalds if they are troubled when a mom-and-pop burger joint goes out of business?  Planned Parenthood will obviously get more referrals now.  And their new ‘clinic’ off of University Avenue, conveniently located on the new light rail line and several major bus routes, will be ready for those referrals soon.

I assume the reporter was wondering if they were troubled that their own abortion business could be at risk of closing.  I’m afraid they aren’t that worried about it at present.

Lord willing, someday they will be.

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Contrary to popular belief, God does not place us on the sidelines of life when we walk through hardship. Rather, he takes us to the center of the playing field, so that the world can watch and observe his faithfulness in our lives.

God delivers his people in two ways: he delivers us from our trials, and he delivers us through our trials. The interesting thing is we do not have a choice as to which path we travel. Whether we experience his miracles of deliverance, endure hardship and trials, or even face death, we remain, now and forevermore, his witnesses. This is the essence of our life in him.

John Eaves, An Aim that Keeps Me Pressing On in O Love That Will Not Let Me Go, edited by Nancy Guthrie, pp. 76-77.

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Paul has his nights and days backward again, and his medications already make him sleepy.  So, he slept through the Thanksgiving gathering.

But he was in the middle of it!

His cousin, who is also multiply disabled, seemed to enjoy everything, however.

God is good.

And our family patriarch enjoyed himself as well!

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers (Proverbs 17:6 ESV).

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6-7 ESV).

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This is a special Thanksgiving Day in our home, and my gratitude to God is simply overflowing!  The gratitude is heightened because I have memories of holidays that were, at best, an obligation.

God is kind to have changed my heart so dramatically over these years.

There is a whole list of things that have never happened in my home before, that, Lord willing, will all come together at noon today:

  • 20 people are coming.  We’ve never had that many on Thanksgiving before.
  • We have no kitchen (long story).  There are ways to have a meal for 20 that doesn’t include a kitchen, but it’s complicated.  But there is also relief – whatever happens, happens!
  • Four generations of Knights are gathering!
  • Three generations of Hahns are gathering!
  • My children have never had all their living grandparents together for a holiday, ever.

The group includes 7 children under the age of 16; my four and my nephew’s daughter and unborn twins!  (Yes, I include my unborn grandnieces or nephews or niece and nephew in the count!)

It also includes two multiply disabled children in my son and my niece on the Hahn side.

Best of all, up and down the entire group that is gathering are experiences of ‘as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.’   The struggle of this life has not ended; there are hard things everywhere.

Yet, God is good, always, in all circumstances.

May you experience that comfort that comes from clinging to Jesus this day!

Here’s a silly picture explaining how we’re all related:

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