VIDEO Refusing to Live by Lies

BY RANDY J. GULIUZZA, P.E., M.D. * 30April21

Perhaps my parents were naïve. They raised me to respect my teachers, the government, and other authorities, and to believe these entities acted in my best interests and certainly wouldn’t lie to me. I was warned about the duplicity of politicians and used-car salesmen, but they were mostly grouped in classes by themselves.

Now I know I was misled by these authorities on some very important things. For instance, in biology class I was taught as scientific fact a totally fanciful—and atheistically religious—story that “survival of the fittest” caused the evolution of life on Earth. Disseminating that lie was an abuse of youthful trust in authority.

The lying has gotten far worse. Back then, I never felt institutional coercion to join a perverse government-led movement that affirms as truth many things I and most other people can clearly see are false. For example, until recently it was basic common sense to recognize that male and female are the two biological sexes. Today, anyone daring to speak common sense is publicly pummeled with disparaging names (or worse) by members of a rapidly growing deviant movement. They use a hostile crowd to systematically isolate people from each other by making everyone afraid to be associated with the pummeled person lest it also happen to them—a method to strong-arm conformity in thinking and control the behavior of an entire group.

As many Christians ponder whether to acknowledge more than the two sexes Christ created, they need to consider more than the “science” that floods schools and the media. The real issue is whether Christians, pastors, and seminary presidents will reject clear biblical teaching just to avoid the nasty social outrage against their ministries or themselves if they dare speak a truth the world finds offensive—that male and female are the only two human sexes.

Christians have faced the decision of whether to cast aside clear biblical teaching and embrace the world’s so-called science for a far longer period when it comes to Darwinian selection and evolution. Lies spread by government-sponsored institutions can be so absurd that they require years of forced, repetitive indoctrination for people to believe them. One government lie sits atop them all: that over a time frame far too slow for anyone to observe—and without the mind and power of God—life spontaneously started and nature exercised a type of selective agency to mold that “proto-life” into the diversity of creatures on Earth. We may not know how many people silently question this lie because dissenting views are quashed through government-tolerated academic oppression.

For illustration we’ll consider the above-mentioned lie that humans can be classified into a sex other than male and female. Perhaps it will serve as a contemporary wake-up call for Christians to refuse to live by the world’s lies.

Biological Sex and the Institutional Lie

In George Orwell’s classic novel 1984, the Ministry of  Truth produced lying propaganda and the Ministry of Love dispensed torture. In Orwell’s farsighted story, reality was totally inverted through the government’s highly coordinated actions to manipulate its citizens’ thinking. What’s remarkable in the book is that almost all citizens eventually became willing promoters of government lies themselves.

An NBC News report demonstrates the combined power of government, academia, and the media to bring about a 1984-like adoption of total nonsense. In this case, even highly educated leaders of independent corporations participate. NBC stated that “[the brand] Always announced it will remove the Venus symbol from its menstruation products packaging” in response to protests by “transgender and nonbinary people” who were born female but now believe they’re male.1

Procter & Gamble, Always’ parent company, has come to regret placing the female symbol on their packages. In response to the outrage of these “men,” Always now recognizes that the packages were offensive “by not acknowledging that they [men], too, can experience menstruation,” and they dismiss the criticisms of people upset over the symbol’s removal as being “rooted in the misconception that [male] transgender and nonbinary people cannot experience menstruation—a claim medical experts have debunked.”1

How do you get people to assent to completely bizarre flights of fancy? By repeating them incessantly. Several months after their story on Always, NBC added a personal account and reported, “When transgender model and activist Kenny Ethan Jones experienced his first period, he faced both physical and psychological pain.”2 Kenny Jones was born female but is now considered by many (including “medical experts”) to be male. Perhaps to make it easier for readers to jettison their common sense, NBC adds Jones’ personal testimony:

“Having a period already causes me a lot of [gender] dysphoria, but this dysphoria becomes heightened when I have to shop for a product that is labeled as ‘women’s health’ and in most cases, is pretty and pink,” Jones explained.2

How powerful are the combined forces of government, academia, and the media targeted against individual citizens? Pretty powerful, it seems. After presenting stories like that of Kenny Jones, it’s as if those in power sit back and watch to see if ordinary people will compliantly speak about “his first period” without a tinge of humiliation over the mental confusion or muddled judgment needed to state something so nonsensical. A power that conditions a mass of people to embrace such ridiculous notions should grab the attention of Christians.

We are witnessing authorities use the stamp of scientific authority as a propaganda tool to dishonestly assert that something everyone knows is true—that men cannot have monthly cycles—has been debunked. Most people likely resent being coerced into accepting something that has never been observed and is utterly foolish.

What many Americans don’t recognize is that the train long ago left the station and took our country along the line to nonsensical beliefs. That happened when they swallowed the lie that over a long period of time one kind of creature can morph into another—something else that has never been observed. What’s worse is that these lies about both evolving creatures and interchangeable sexes are not just ludicrous, they’re intellectually and morally perverse.

Government Perverting Its God-Ordained Role

God denounces the government-sanctioned corruption of truth: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). Moral perversion goes hand in hand with governments acting in perverted ways.

Two passages in the New Testament detail the God-ordained role of government. Those in authority today should rule by these mandates: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil….For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:3-4); and government leaders “are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good” (1 Peter 2:14).

The Bible’s teaching is plain. Government is responsible to promote good and punish evil, but today’s rulers often oppress—if not outright persecute—people doing good and exult in the evil behavior they promote, which they mischaracterize as good. The destruction of the moral fiber of its citizens through lying and coercive tactics is a perversion of government’s mandate and authority.

Lessons Learned from the Soviet Union

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, 1974Image credit: Bert Verhoeff

Citizens of the United States now face increased institutional deception. People in other lands have endured habitual governmental lying, and their experiences may prove useful to Christians who refuse to live by the world’s lies.

Last year someone forwarded the link to a very helpful essay titled “Live Not by Lies” written in 1974 by the late Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Solzhenitsyn’s essay isn’t long, and I’d recommend that everyone read it since the actions he encourages other Soviets to adopt are valuable for Americans today. He sets the stage of the sad state of isolation and fear oppressing the Soviet people.

There was a time when we dared not rustle a whisper….[We] heartily complain to each other of all they [the government] are muddling up, of all they are dragging us into!…They put whomever they want on trial, and brand the healthy as mentally ill….Already a universal spiritual demise is upon us…while we continue to smile sheepishly….We have so hopelessly ceded our humanity that for the modest handouts of today we are ready to surrender up all principles, our soul, all the labors of our ancestors, all the prospects of our descendants—anything to avoid disrupting our meager existence…..[We] fear only to take a civic stance! We hope only not to stray from the herd, not to set out on our own.3

Solzhenitsyn then explains why government-sanctioned violence alone can never enslave an entire population. Real enslaving power is wielded through institutional lying.

But it [breaking the oppressive cycle] will never come…if we all, every day, continue to acknowledge, glorify, and strengthen it, if we do not, at the least, recoil from its most vulnerable point. From lies….Violence ages swiftly….To prop itself up, to appear decent, it will without fail call forth its ally—Lies. For violence has nothing to cover itself with but lies, and lies can only persist through violence. And it is not every day and not on every shoulder that violence brings down its heavy hand: It demands of us only a submission to lies, a daily participation in deceit—and this suffices as our fealty.3

Thus, the road to freedom is to refuse to live by lies. “And therein we find, neglected by us, the simplest, the most accessible key to our liberation: a personal nonparticipation in lies!…For when people renounce lies, lies simply cease to exist. Like parasites, they can only survive when attached to a person.” The first of eight vital behaviors Solzhenitsyn says are necessary to shake off enslavement begins with each citizen declaring they “will not write, sign, nor publish in any way, a single line distorting, so far as he can see, the truth.”3

Creationists have historically demonstrated the courage to resist institutional lying. Maybe that’s why the world uses the name “creationist” as a title of derision. Nevertheless, we must remember “let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). If we don’t want to unknowingly advance any of the world’s lies, shouldn’t we examine ourselves to see whether our own minds have been “evolutionized” to some degree?

Recognizing How Lies Are Built into Terminology

Evolutionists invent terms all the time that simultaneously express evolutionary concepts and are used as more evidence for evolution. For instance, the literature is full of terms like convergent evolution, vestigial organs, pseudogenes, and highly conserved sequences. These terms have a built-in presupposition of evolution that makes them inherently misleading. Thus, just by speaking the jargon, a person is assisting the deceitful evolutionary indoctrination of society. The same type of built-in lying occurs when we talk about people as being transgender—as if that’s a real state of being—just because the world imagines more than two human sexes.

Evolutionary theory is full of imaginary, misleading scenarios. The most egregious is when nature is personified, presented as exercising agency, and then invoked as a substitute god to explain the origin and diversity of life. Selectionists project onto the environment abilities to “select,” “favor,” “act,” “send information,” and similar verbs indicating the work of an intelligent agent. The terminology they use therefore embeds a potent lie—that nature has some type of innate volition. The constant personification of nature as exercising creative agency transfers credit from the Lord Jesus as Creator to the creation itself…the principal lie described in Romans 1:25.

The denial of two biological sexes as illustrated by the Kenny Jones nonsense shows how serious the scope of these institutional lies and the coercion to conform is. The challenge facing Christians is whether we will cast aside clear biblical teaching and embrace the world’s so-called science. We belong to the Lord Jesus, who promised, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Christians need to be a sanctuary of truth; we must refuse to live by the world’s lies.

References

  1. Aviles, G. Always to ax female symbol from sanitary products packages in nod to trans users. NBC News. Posted on nbcnews.com October 21, 2019, accessed February 4, 2021.
  2. Atkins, C. For transgender men, pain of menstruation is more than just physical. NBC News.Posted on nbcnews.com January 11, 2020, accessed February 4, 2021.
  3. Solzhenitsyn, A. Live Not by Lies, February 12, 1974. Posted on solzhenitsyncenter.org.

* Dr. Guliuzza is President of the Institute for Creation Research. He earned his M.D. from the University of Minnesota, his Master of Public Health from Harvard University, and served in the U.S. Air Force as 28th Bomb Wing Flight Surgeon and Chief of Aerospace Medicine. Dr. Guliuzza is also a registered Professional Engineer and holds a B.A. in theology from Moody Bible Institute.

Cite this article: Randy J. Guliuzza, P.E., M.D. 2021. Refusing to Live by LiesActs & Facts. 50 (5).

https://www.icr.org/article/12773/

AUDIO My Mother is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

By Rev Bill Woods

Exodus 2:1-10

There’s a Russian story of a little girl who, during harvest time got separated from her mother.


She was crying hysterically, shouting for her Mama.

  • People felt sorry for her and tried to help.

Everyone started asking her what her mother’s name was, what she looked like, what she was wearing, plus a lot other questions as well.

  • The little girl got overwhelmed by all the questions and this made her sob even harder.

Finally, she managed to blurt out, “My mother is the most beautiful woman in the whole world!”

One old farmers said, “Finally!  Now we’re getting somewhere!”

  • The people began bringing in the good-looking women.
  • There were blondes, redheads, and brunettes.
  • Some had blue eyes, others hazel, and the rest brown and green.

They were, without a doubt, the prettiest girls that anyone could find.

  • Certainly one of these beauties had to be the girl’s mother!

 One by one, the women were brought to the little girl.

  • She looked at each one and shook her head, “NO” each time.
  • Finally, they came to the last person.
  • “Is this your mother?”

The little girl looked at the beauty in front of her, shook her head and burst into tears.

  • _”I told you, my mother is the most beautiful woman in the whole world!!!”

Suddenly a woman showed up huffing and puffing towards them.

  • “I’m that child’s mother!”

Everyone peered to get a look at that woman.

  •  She was  a short dumpy, lumpy little woman with a round, pleasant wind-burned face and sparkling eyes.
  • She had rough chapped hands and soiled tattered clothes–she wasn’t a conventional beauty.

She rushed over to the little girl, scooped her up in her arms and smothered her with kisses all the while thanking the people for taking care of her daughter and keeping her safe.

The little girl was no longer crying, but was beaming from ear to ear.

She told everyone triumphantly, “I told you my mother was the most beautiful woman in the whole world!”

  •  To everyone else, the woman holding the child was plain and ordinary, but to her little girl she was, without question, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD!

There’s a lesson there, we do not love people because they are beautiful. 

  • They are beautiful because we love them!

My Mom used to worry that when I went to college I’d come home ashamed of my humble roots and be too proud to want to associate with my family.

    – She didn’t have anything to worry about — I loved my family and my home.

Again, We don’t love people because they’re beautiful – they’re beautiful because we love them.

   – We don’t love people because they’re rich —our bond and fellowship is rich because we love them.

A mother was fixing supper when her little boy came in and handed her a piece of paper he’d written.  Mom dried her hands on an apron — she read it:

For cutting the grass $5.00

For cleaning my room this week $1.00

For going to the store for you .50

Baby-sitting my kid brother for you while you went shopping .25

Taking out the garbage $1.00

For getting a good report card $5.00

For cleaning up and raking the yard $2.00

Total Owed: $14.75

His mom looked at him standing there expectantly — you could see memories flashing through her mind. She picked up the pen, turned over the paper and wrote:

For the 9 months I carried you while you grew inside me, No Charge.

For all the nights I’ve sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you, No Charge.

For all the trying times, and all the tears you’ve caused through the years, No Charge.

When you add it all up, the cost of my love is, No Charge.

For all the nights that were filled with dread, and for the worries I knew were ahead, No Charge.

For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping your nose, there’s No Charge, Son.

And when you add it all up, the full cost of real love is No Charge.

When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were tears in his eyes — he looked up at her and said, “Mom, I sure do love you.”                                                                                    .  

– He took the pen and in big letters he wrote: “PAID IN FULL.”

I’ve been blessed to be personally involved with 3 wonderful mothers in my life.                                       .  

– My wife, my Mom, my Grandmother — and now to watch my two daughters, and two granddaughters realize how important it is to be good moms!          

Mother’s Day is special to me.…………………

Today, I want to talk about 2 very special Moms in the Bible.

First, Moses’ mom, Jochebed

Exodus 2:1-10
1  About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married.
2  The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months.
3  But when she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River.
4  The baby’s sister then stood at a distance, watching to see what would happen to him.
5  Soon Pharaoh’s daughter came down to bathe in the river, and her attendants walked along the riverbank. When the princess saw the basket among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it for her.
6  When the princess opened it, she saw the baby. The little boy was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This must be one of the Hebrew children,” she said.
7  Then the baby’s sister approached the princess. “Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” she asked.
8  “Yes, do!” the princess replied. So the girl went and called the baby’s mother.
9  “Take this baby and nurse him for me,” the princess told the baby’s mother. “I will pay you for your help.” So the woman took her baby home and nursed him.
10  Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The princess named him Moses, for she explained, “I lifted him out of the water.”

The Israelites had it pretty plush because of Joseph……………… 

BUT,                                                   

Exodus 1:8 — Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done.

The Jewish nation was growing so fast Pharaoh was worried he’d lose control and these Hebrews would take over Egypt.

    – This king thought it necessary to weaken his Jewish subjects by oppressing them, and by    degrees reducing their number.

To subdue them, he enslaved them, and used them to build numerous buildings, especially store-cities, temples, and palaces.

    – The Israelites became slaves serving the Egyptians under very harsh circumstances.

Their lives were bitter from hard bondage — Exodus 1:13, 14 So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy. 14 They made their lives bitter, forcing them to mix mortar and make bricks and do all the work in the fields. They were ruthless in all their demands.

    – His oppression didn’t slow their population growth..

      – Instead — Exodus 1:12 — But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became.

Then the king demanded the midwives kill all the Hebrew baby boys at birth.

    – The king’s orders weren’t rigorously enforced; the little boys were spared by the midwives, so “the people multiplied” more than ever.

Next, the king issued a proclamation ordering people to throw all the Hebrew baby boys into the river and drown them. — Exodus 1:22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River. But you may let the girls live.”

    – The people wouldn’t do it — the king was frustrated.

One of the Hebrew families — Amram and his wife Jochebed and 2 children, 15 year old Miriam, and 3 year old Aaron lived in or near Memphis, the capital city at that time.

A baby boy was born to this family in 1571 B.C.

    – His mother hid him in the house for 3 months.

      – Imagine the stress of trying to keep him quiet so the authorities wouldn’t find him……

It became too hard to hide him.

    – Jochebed came up with on a bold plan to get her boy noticed by the king’s daughter. 

      – She built a little boat of papyrus reeds and laid it among the bulrushes growing on the edge of the river where the princess took her bath.

  • I guess you could say, Moses started out a basket case!

Her plan succeeded!  — The Princess heard the baby crying and found him.

      – Miriam was watching nearby and the Princess sent her to find a nurse, Miriam brought

        Moses’ mother.

    – The Princess said, “Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I’ll give you your  wages.”

WOW!  Look how God works!  Jochebed’s baby was given back to her along with pay to raise him.

The princess named him “Moses”  Exodus 2:10 — Later, when the boy was older, his    mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The princess named him Moses, for she explained, “I lifted him out of the water.”

    – Must’ve been like my Dad whose birth certificate said:  “The unnamed Woods Child.”

When the baby was “house broke”, he was moved to the Royal Palace and raised as the adopted son of the Princess.

    – Jochebed continued to care for him and home school him.

He grew up knowing all the grandeur and excitement of the Egyptian court.

    – Mom maintained a constant relationship with him, which was so important to his religious belief and his interest in his Hebrew heritage.

The Egyptians provided his secular education.

    – He had all the advantages of both physical and mental training.

     – He became “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” —  Acts 7:22 — Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was powerful in both speech and action.

  • It makes you wonder why he would try to side-step God in answering God’s call by saying, “Here I am, send Aaron, I am slow of speech.”Exodus 4:10

Egypt had 2 universities — he probably attended Heliopolis to complete his education.

     – Moses was probably 20 years old when he completed his formal Egyptian education.

      –  It’d be another 20 years before he took his place in Bible history.

       – Josephus wrote those 20 years were probably spent in military service where he became a hero in the war waged between Egypt and Ethiopia.

      – He gained prestige as a skillful general, and became “mighty in deeds”

What a successful Mom, Jochebed was!   Hebrews 11:24-25  
24  It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin.

  • He could’ve been a prince, possibly the next Pharaoh, but because of his Mom, he chose to go God’s way!  (Did you catch that Mom and Dad?)

Jochebed overcame so many obstacles to give her boy the foundation he needed to serve God.

So many parents complain they can’t raise their kids for God with the pressures of today’s society  — “If you think you can or you can’t — you’re right!”  

Mom (and Dad) God’s entrusted you with that life — one day you’ll account for the responsibility God’s entrusted to you.  

When Tammy was born, Marty had a tremendous spiritual experience as she realized the impact of her responsibility to God and to this precious little life God had entrusted to her……….                               .  

– She promised God she would do her best to raise both of our girls for Him. 

But what if your kids are already grown and those formative years are past?

There’s still prayer and a positive witness of what God’s doing in your life.  – Still grandkids!                                                                                                   

It’ll take dedication and will, but you can do what must be done!

There was also the Nameless mother in Matthew 15:21-28:
21  Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
22  A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”
23  But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”
24  Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”
25  But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”
26  Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”
27  She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their master’s table.”
28  “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.

Jesus put up barriers to test her faith and determination.

She passed His test because she wouldn’t let any barrier keep her child from being ministered to by Jesus.

    – There are a lot of barriers today — don’t let them stop your child from learning to know Jesus.

Preachers, are told not to get too sentimental about motherhood because:

– for some, motherhood is an accident, and not always a welcome one;
– for some, biological motherhood isn’t possible;
– for some, mothers weren’t all that nice;
– for some, motherhood under the very best of circumstances still isn’t a bed of roses and a primrose path.

Poet Wilhelm Busch’s wrote: “To become a mother isn’t so difficult; on the other hand, being a mother is very much so!”

That goes for dads too!  Just because you sired a child doesn’t make you a dad……………….

So, with all those warnings why bother with Mothers’ Day at all?

I heard about one lady who said she hated Mother’s Day because the sermons were always about the Proverbs 31 mothers…………..She felt like a failure.

Listen:  God will help you succeed as a Mom or a Dad if you will let Him lead you in the way you should go!

Why bother with Mothers’ Day?                                                                           

Because for all its stumbling blocks, pitfalls and broken dreams, for all the soiled diapers, soiled wallpaper and spoiled plans, we’re talking about a beautiful ideal, a natural part of God’s creative plan to bring love and caring to light.                                                                                                           .  

– Motherhood is a constant demand for the gift of love and — caring.  Grandmothers can exemplify that too!

The family and home was God’s idea.    We can’t let the perverts and wierdos ruin God’s Plan of a Mom and a Dad raising children together for the Lord.


PODCAST MY MOTHER IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD

https://www.buzzsprout.com/824359/8483320

The updated version of Rev Bill Woods book “There Is Still Power In The Blood” will be available soon


Aim All You Have at Heaven

How God Inspires Ambitious Generosity

Article by Marshall Segal Staff writer, desiringGod.org

If we do not learn how to lay up treasures in heaven, we will inevitably settle for the treasures of earth — and miss out on something far more lasting and satisfying.

When we hear, “Lay up treasures in heaven,” it might sound like, “Make sure you put some money away in your 401(k).” “Prioritize long-term financial security over short-term gains and purchases.” Jesus, however, is not selling life insurance or dealing retirement plans here. Investing in heaven does not mean forfeiting present happiness. It means relocating and deepening our happiness — now and in eternity.

Whenever we make earthly sacrifices in the process, Jesus says,

Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. (Mark 10:29–30)

Any investment we make in heaven at the expense of some experience on earth will be handsomely rewarded now in this time — and in the age to come. A hundredfold now in this time. Do you believe God will do that when you give what you have away?

Again, Jesus says, “It is more blessed” — now, today, in this moment — “to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). When we lay up treasures in heaven, we are not hedging for the future; we are seizing blessing now and in the future. The happiest people in the world are not those who spend and buy for themselves — we see this over and over again in the headlines of our consumer society — but those who spend and give for the good of others.

Pursuing happiness in this way, however, will make us aliens in a world of buyers, spenders, and savers. Those who have stored their treasures in heaven will confuse, and likely offend, those clinging to what they have here on earth.

What Have You Been Given?

Our treasure, here and elsewhere in Scripture, is whatever we earn or acquire for ourselves with what we’ve been given by God. What do we spend our money, time, and energy to have?

So, first, what has God given you? Well, everything you have. “What do you have that you did not receive?” the apostle Paul asks. “If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). We far too easily begin taking the gifts of God for granted until we eventually start taking credit for them. Faithful stewardship begins with a conviction that all we have, we have been given (James 1:17), and that all we have been given, we have been given in order to make much of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

So, again, what has God given you? He “gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25). First, he has given you life, a breathtaking and immeasurable gift with enormous potential. Assuming you survive the day, God will have given you another 20,000 breaths. And, if he wills, he will give you another 20,000 tomorrow. What will you spend those breaths to have?

“Investing in heaven does not mean forfeiting present happiness. It means relocating and deepening our happiness.”

God has given you life and breath and everything. If you have it, God gave it. Every dime in every paycheck. Every square inch of your home. Every piece of cotton in your closet. Every last cent in your savings. And one day, we will each give an account for how we spent and used all we had — and most of us, especially in the West, have been given much. What will our much have purchased? What will our much say about what we really treasured and pursued? Will our much suggest that we lived for heaven on earth, or that we quietly wished heaven would let us have a few more years here first?

Remember the Poor

What does it mean to lay up treasures in heaven? It means to give all we can on earth for the good of others in the name of Jesus. Jesus says,

Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:33–34)

Do you want a treasure that never fails? Do you want financial accounts that never atrophy? Do you want a security, freedom, and pleasure that swells and spreads long after you have died? Then sell what you have to give to those who have not. Jesus says elsewhere to one wealthy young man, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21). We cannot begin to lay up treasure in heaven if we’re not ready to sacrifice our earthly treasures for those in need.

Obeying Jesus really does begin here: providing for the poor. This will look different from family to family, city to city, century to century, but Jesus assured us, “You always have the poor with you” (Mark 14:7). And so it has been, even in the most affluent nations. And as the apostles charged Paul, so God charges us: “Remember the poor” (Galatians 2:10). So who are the poor where you are, and how might what you have meet them where their needs are?

Ambitious Generosity

Beyond the poor (never overlooking or avoiding the poor), we lay up treasures in a wide variety of generosities.

We give to other kinds of needs around us, especially of believers — opening our homes in hospitality, covering bills in a crisis, providing meals after a surgery, surprising someone with a thoughtful gift. We support the spread of the gospel, first through our own churches, but then far beyond, through world missions. Do any dollars produce more treasure in heaven than those that help welcome the unreached into the kingdom?

We give, and we also do good — spending time with the lonely, carrying boxes during a move, teaching Sunday school, babysitting for weary parents, helping someone with house projects, baking for a neighbor. “Let us not grow weary of doing good,” Paul says, “for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). So, laying up treasures in heaven sometimes means lending our time and hands instead of our money.

The calling here is not just a lifestyle of generosity, but of ambitious generosity. Not, “Make sure you cover your bases, and then see if you have some left over to give away,” but, Lay up treasures in heaven. Chase this treasure. Search for creative ways to obtain more of this treasure. Do whatever you can to have this treasure. Not leftover generosity, but radical generosity — the kind that only makes sense if Jesus really died, really rose, and will really reward those who give and sacrifice in these ways. Don’t simply include heaven in your budget, but aim your budget — your whole budget — at heaven.

Fear Not

Where does this kind of ambitious generosity come from? How do we fight the fears that make us selfish, shortsighted, and stingy? Notice what Jesus says immediately before he calls us to give all we have:

Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. (Luke 12:32–33)

If you struggle to lay up treasures in heaven, remember, first, that you have a Father in heaven. In Christ, the ruler of the heaven awaiting is not merely your compassionate king or merciful judge, but he has made you his own child. The one holding your inheritance for you (1 Peter 1:4), and you for your inheritance (1 Peter 1:5), loves you with the love of a devoted and adoring Father.

“Ambitious generosity grows in the imaginations and pockets of those awed by the generosity of God.”

And your Father is not stingy, but generous. He wants to give you the kingdom. If you are his, “all things are yours, whether . . . the world or life or death or the present or the future — all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (1 Corinthians 3:21–23). How insane of us, when we are confronted with a real, pressing need, to cling to a few hundred dollars or a few unexpected hours while God holds out everything to us in Christ? He literally will withhold nothing. Ambitious generosity grows in the imaginations and pockets of those awed by the generosity of God. Meditate on all that God will give you. You will never be able to count or quantify what he has promised.

Not only is your Father generous, but he is glad to give you the kingdom. He gives not reluctantly, but eagerly and cheerfully. With the greatest, most warming smile. Why does God love a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7)? The next verse tells us: because God himself is a cheerful and generous giver (2 Corinthians 9:8). Glad generosity in us burns bright with the joyful generosity of heaven toward us.

In the end, God will not only reward us for laying up treasure in heaven, but he will be the great reward of heaven. Like the persecuted believers in Hebrews, we can joyfully give what we have on earth for those in need, and even accept the plundering of our property, since we know that we have “a better possession and an abiding one” (Hebrews 10:34). And the better and abiding possession is not ultimately something he gives, but Someone he is.

Marshall Segal (@marshallsegal) is a writer and managing editor at desiringGod.org. He’s the author of Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness & Dating. He graduated from Bethlehem College & Seminary. He and his wife, Faye, have two children and live in Minneapolis.

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/aim-all-you-have-at-heaven

10 Influential Mothers From The Bible

BY NEREESHA PATEL ·  MAY 11, 2018 

Mary and Jochebed.

Mother’s Day is the time for when we show appreciation and love for the mothers in our lives, as a way of thanking them for everything they’ve done for us. Truly, they are gifts from God.

In the Bible, women lived in an age where they were treated like second-class citizens. God, however, appreciated their worth, wisdom and grace when no else did. Several mothers are mentioned in this sacred text, all of whom have been able to teach us important lessons to guide us through life – just like our own mothers!

These are the ten most influential mothers from the Bible (in no particular order):

Mary

The mother of Jesus Christ is probably one of the most memorable maternal figures from the Bible. Humble and full of grace, God chose Mary to bear his son and raise him. She had to endure a considerable amount of pain and shame, especially when Jesus was crucified, but never did she doubt him or God’s will for a second.

Truly, Mary is blessed among women and is a shining example of endurance, strength and faith.

Jochebed

Little is known about Jochebed. All we know that she was a Levite woman living in Egypt who managed to hide her newborn son Moses away for three months during the time when male Hebrew babies were being slaughtered per the Pharaoh’s orders. When she could no longer keep him hidden, Jochebed never gave up hope: to save his life, she set her son adrift in the Nile River, and he was eventually found and raised by the Pharoah’s daughter.

Moses became one of God’s greatest prophets, and it’s all thanks to the love, care and not least the smart-thinking shown by his mother.

Rebekah and Eve.

Rebekah

As we saw in the Book of Genesis, Rebekah was a woman of great faith. She married Abraham’s son Isaac and bore him two sons, Esau and Jacob. Despite the women of the time were quite submissive, Rebekah displayed an assertive personality. When the time came for an elderly Isaac to give his blessing to Esau, Rebekah overheard this and took matters into her own hands: she called upon Jacob, the youngest son, to receive the blessing instead.

It must have been a difficult decision to make, but Rebekah chose to go along with it because she wanted what was best for her son, with whom God made a covenant. Likewise, mothers do what they can to ensure that their children are happy and prosperous.

Eve

The first woman and the first mother, Eve laid down the first foundations of motherhood. Although she and her partner Adam disobeyed God, was turned away from the Garden of Eden, and had to endure the pain and suffering that came from when her son Cain murdered his brother Abel, Eve is the perfect definition of a mother who might make mistakes or suffer hardships but continues to hold her head up high and take responsibility for her actions.

Elizabeth (left, sitting) and Naomi (right).

Elizabeth

Mary’s elderly cousin was a staunch believer in God, although she and her equally-aged husband Zechariah were unable to conceive. Still, Elizabeth maintained her faith. Fortunately, her wish to have a child was granted. The archangel Gabriel told Zechariah to explain Elizabeth would bear a son – suffice to say, his wife was full of joy when she heard the news. When her cousin Mary, Jesus’ mother, came to visit, Elizabeth’s unborn son – who would become known as John the Baptist in his adult years – reacted to the Holy Spirit and leapt in her womb.

If you’re ever feel yourself doubting your parenting capabilities, take a cue from Elizabeth and don’t stop believing in yourself or in God’s plan for you.

Naomi

In the Book of Ruth, Naomi was a woman of faith whose husband and two sons were deceased – only her two daughter-in-laws, Ruth and Orpah, were left. When she heard that God had blessed the famine-stricken land of her people with food, Naomi convinced her daughter-in-laws to seek new husbands in the land. Orpah chose to return to her people and her faiths, while Ruth refused to leave Naomi’s side.

From her mother-in-law, the younger woman was able to gain a true understanding of faith. For that, the Lord blessed Naomi and her descendants; as for Ruth, she was blessed with a new husband and a son named Obed, whose future grandson David would one day become a great king.

Mothers like Naomi teach us to never stop believing in ourselves even when everyone else have doubts; by doing this, we are capable of achieving almost anything.

Sarah and Hagar.

Sarah

Undoubtedly, Sarah is one of the most recognisable mothers in the Bible. The wife of Abraham, she was barren and therefore could not conceive. In Genesis, God promised the couple children, although they had to wait 15 years before God renewed this promise, and another 10 before it was actually fulfilled. Naturally, a slightly impatient Sarah doubted that God would deliver on his promise. Despite her doubts, God knew Sarah’s heart to be true and blessed her with a son, Isaac.

Often we – as children and adults – push our mothers’ patience to the limits. But in the end, mothers like Sarah are living testaments that patience is indeed a virtue.

Hagar

Before Sarah became a mother, her maidservant Hagar was forced to become Abraham’s wife and soon became pregnant with his son, Ishmael. This caused a rift between her and Sarah, who mistreated her to the point that she ran away. Although God instructed her to return to Abraham and Sarah, Hagar and Ishmael were later sent away to the desert, where they believed they would die. But God led them to a well, and for their misery he blessed them by promising Hagar numerous descendants through her son.

If you’re ever feeling despair, just remember your mother is always there to reassure you that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and will endure the pain with you.

Hannah and Bathsheba.

Hannah

Hannah might not sound familiar (at first, anyway), but her story is certainly touching. She was married to a man who had another wife, one who cruelly taunted her for being unable to have children. In spite of her mockery, Hannah never gave up praying to God. She even vowed to give her first-born child to God – as a result, she was blessed with a son named Samuel. Once he was old enough, Samuel was presented by his mother to a priest and subsequently spent the rest of his life dedicated to God’s service.

For her selflessness, Hannah was later blessed with five more children. Indeed, mothers like Hannah are brave and selfless due the self-sacrifices they make for their children’s sake, and for that we should be grateful.

Bathsheba

The wife of Uriah the Hittite and the object of King David’s affections, Bathsheba is often painted in a negative light due to David’s actions. After David had Uriah killed to get him out of the way, God was displeased and struck their child was struck dead. Nevertheless, Bathsheba remained loyal to David, with whom she would have another child, Solomon. God loved Solomon, who later became Israel’s greatest king. Bathsheba also happens to be one of only five women listed in Jesus Christ’s ancestry – that’s quite the distinguished honour.

From Bathsheba, we learn that mothers are able to triumph over circumstances beyond their control and are able to teach us to do the same.

Top 10 Sickening Details About How Federal Employees Trafficked Baby Body Parts

New emails uncovered by Judicial Watch’s FOIA request detail how FDA employees were working with buyers to get ‘fresh’ aborted baby organs for experiments.

Top 10 Sickening Details About How Federal Employees Trafficked Baby Body Parts

By Edie Heipel APRIL 26, 2021

This article contains disturbing information about human dismemberment.

In what should have been a national headline, the exposure of the U.S. government’s involvement in trafficking aborted baby bodies is now even more newsworthy following Friday’s announcement from the White House. At Joe Biden’s direction, the Department of Health and Human Services reversed the Trump administration’s policy protecting preborn Americans from the callous dehumanization of organ harvesting and further desecration of their bodies in research disguised as “science.”

This sickening decision now gives license to our “best and brightest” government researchers and agencies, those in charge of steering the country towards medical breakthroughs and scientific progress, to use the skin, brains, and eyeballs of children in research that affects all of us and is funded by our money. For this very reason, we must know the full extent of how federal agencies traffic aborted baby body parts.

These top 10 shocking examples come from the latest emails uncovered by Judicial Watch’s FOIA request and recent investigations.

1. The FDA Paid $2,000 Per Baby

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration paid an estimated $2,000 per individual baby, at times adding up to $12,000 per box of harvested organs.

Email records confirm the FDA agreed to pre-pay Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR), likely the country’s largest fetal tissue trafficking firm, an estimated $2,000 for each aborted child, adding up to $12,000 per average box of tissue with shipping and packaging fees.

2. FDA Bought Organs of Dismembered Babies

The FDA bought organs like livers, brains, and eyeballs of dismembered babies for hundreds of dollars apiece, courtesy of ABR’s collusion with local Planned Parenthoods.

ABR fee schedules and pricing charts obtained during a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Investigation allow us to piece together how much a baby costs by body part, as if each child was a slaughtered animal sold in sections.

3. ABR Sold the Skin of a 21-Week-Old Down Syndrome Baby

FDA’s purchases were calculated according to ABR’s current “Fees for Services Schedule,” which maintained the same prices for all buyers. One procurement log records the sale of a 21-week old baby with Down Syndrome. This child’s limbs, organs, and skin were sold at hundreds of dollars apiece. ABR made $2,600 in total from the sale of this baby.

Whether or not the FDA itself purchased any of this tissue, the fact it entered a contract with a company that makes money off of selling the body parts of children with Down Syndrome is beyond inhumane.

It’s worth looking closely at this chart to see the level of dehumanization inflicted on this child. Each baby (“specimen”) is given a number (“No. xxx602”) and its individual body parts are sold to different customers. A 21-week old child who could have survived outside of the womb becomes just another statistic.

4. The FDA Wanted ‘Fresh’ Babies

The FDA demanded that tissue be in pristine condition. Their initial quote specifies that tissue must be “fresh, never frozen” and harvested from babies 16-24 weeks old “free of known chromosomal abnormalities.”

5. The FDA Asked for Organs from Late-Term Babies

The conscience of many pro-choice Americans has historically been alleviated by the assurance that most abortions occur when a baby is not “viable” to live outside the womb and that barbaric dismemberment procedures don’t happen. But emails prove the FDA bought numerous body parts from babies up to 24 weeks old, a date at which many preemies survive and go on to live healthy lives.

6. The FDA Bought Skulls of Second-Trimester Babies

Receipts confirm the FDA bought “intact calvariums” of babies from 8-24 weeks gestation for use in experiments. It is unclear exactly how these intact heads were used.

7. Busy Abortion Clinics Produced ‘Awful Specimens’

The FDA expressed a demand for more “fresh” tissue, but ABR responded that the busiest clinics in California produced “awful” specimens that were too mangled to use. The sheer volume of abortions at these clinics would have made it difficult for workers to keep up with preserving more intact specimens.

8. FDA Requested Boy Organs to Create Humanized Mice

The FDA went so far as to request organs from baby boys to use in “very important and … challenging” surgeries to create humanized mice. ABR responded that they would do their best but could make no promises due to the “nature of termination procedures,” which mutilate a baby’s body beyond physical recognition.

9. FDA, ABR Employees Called Aborted Babies ‘Amazing’

Email after email reveals the inhumanity FDA researchers and ABR employees have become accustomed to, casually referring to the organs of dead children as “amazing” and “beautiful” as if they were admiring jewels.

10. Taxpayers Paid for FDA Trips to ‘Humanized Mice Workshops’ in Europe

As if the research wasn’t enough, email traffic uncovered that FDA employees would be joining ABR associates at a “Humanized Mice Workshop” in Zurich later that year.

If you’ve managed to read to the bottom of this list, you’re no longer wondering why the federal government covered up these documents for so long. But you may be wondering why this story isn’t a national headline and why journalists, many of whom claim to be uncovering humanitarian abuses, still choose to ignore it.

There may be mainstream media silence and gaslighting by medical experts who tell us there’s nothing to see here, but the American people know better. We are no longer immune to the utter depravity of our federal government’s partnership with the corporate abortion cartel and their cowering beneath the guise of science. The truth is on the fighting side.

Edie Heipel works at the Center for Renewing America. She previously worked at the White House Office of Management and Budget under President Trump.

https://thefederalist.com/2021/04/26/top-10-sickening-details-about-how-federal-employees-trafficked-baby-body-parts/


Getting Parents And Teens Talking About Mental Health

5 Ways to Get Your Teen to Open Up About Their Mental Health

Mary Fristad, Ph.D., ABPP

Many parents find it challenging to get their kids to talk about their mental health concerns. Yet it is essential that parents understand the stresses their teens face. Prompting open and honest conversations now will help you build skills that will support your child for years to come. Your teen may be defensive or fearful of opening up. Still, if you approach with sincere love and concern, you can encourage productive, healthy dialogue.

We sat down and spoke with Families for Depression Awareness Advisory Board member Mary Fristad, Ph.D., ABPP, Director of Academic Affairs and Research Development at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Big Lots Behavioral Health Services in Columbus, Ohio. She shared these tips for navigating a healthy and open dialogue with your teen about their mental health.

1. Find Shared Activities

Talking isn’t the only form of communication. Teens will be more likely to express and share their emotions and worries over an activity they enjoy. Find an activity that both you and your teen like to do, whether it’s cooking together, playing Scrabble, or walking the dog. Keep your expectations low and relax into the activity. Sometimes just sharing a positive experience is enough.

2. Use What Works for Them

How does your teen prefer to communicate? If your son only texts with his friends, start there. If your daughter likes journaling, create a shared journal where you write notes back and forth. Fristad also encourages parents to try less “eyeball to eyeball contact.” If you notice your teen seems uncomfortable talking face-to-face, try while in the car or sitting on the edge of their bed while the lights are out. This may feel safer to many teens than looking you in the eye.

3. Validate Their Emotions

As parents, we tend to try to solve our teen’s problems. Instead, make an effort to show your teen that you understand and empathize with what they are going through. Don’t be afraid to ask your teen about their feelings. Then reflect back on what they’ve said and validated it without rushing ahead to solutions.

4. Normalize What They’re Feeling

Everyone is struggling emotionally in some way and some more than others. It can be helpful to normalize their feelings by saying something like, “It’s been a horrible year in so many ways, how’s it been for you?” or “A lot of people are feeling depressed and anxious right now, how are you feeling?” You can also acknowledge briefly that you have concerns as well. Your teen may be more likely to talk if you go first.

5. Control Your Own Emotions

If your child comes home in an angry mood, rather than responding with equal emotional intensity, picture yourself as a container that can simply hold his or her feelings. Reflecting back with curiosity (e.g., Wow, you seem really upset, did something go wrong in your day?) offers the possibility of a fruitful conversation. If you are angry with your child, consider taking a cooling-off period for yourself before launching into a discussion of the conflict. Make sure that both you and your teen are ready to have the conversation before beginning. If your teen has had previous suicide attempts, Fristad notes that you may be wary to push into emotional territory with your child. These moments can bring up guilt, shame, anger, frustration, and many other emotions for parents. Remember to breathe—long and slow, and wait until calmer before proceeding.

“When your teen does start talking about their mental health, be sure to let them know you are happy that they are opening up to you,” counsels Fristad.

Be prepared to listen more than you talk. Remember to validate your child’s emotions to help them feel understood and build their overall emotional health.

Finally, Fristad advises, “Try to stay mindful of how important this is to your child and to your relationship with them.”


Learn more

5 Ways to Get Your Teen to Open Up About Their Mental Health


How to Talk to Your Parents About Your Mental Health

A Post for Teens and Young Adults

Talking to your parents or any adult about your mental health can be challenging, uncomfortable, or even intimidating. It probably feels more natural to confide in your friends than with your parents. It can be scary opening up to your parents about feelings of depression or anxiety, partly because you don’t want to upset them.

Even though it may not be easy, having conversations with your parents or other trusted adults can help your mental health in the long run. Talking through your emotions with a trusted adult can give you more clarity about what you might be going through. You’ll likely feel less isolated. It’s also an important part of establishing a support system you can lean on when times are tough.

Families for Depression Awareness Advisory Board member Mary Fristad, Ph.D., ABPP,   Director of Academic Affairs and Research Development at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Big Lots Behavioral Health Services in Columbus, Ohio, recently shared with us common concerns that teens may have about opening up to their parents, along with some tips to make talking about your emotions more manageable.

Send up a Little Flag

If you do not feel comfortable expressing all your feelings at once with your parents, start by sharing one thing. For example, you may feel overwhelmed and depressed, lonely and isolated during COVID, tired from not sleeping well, and stressed by the school. That’s a lot to tackle at once. You might take the first step by telling your parent, “I miss seeing my friends.”

Speaking up opens the door so you can work together to find options that could help. For example, you could explore with your parent how you might connect with friends in a safe way. Fristad offers, “Can we talk about options?” as a less emotionally-charged way to start these conversations.  This allows you and your parent to compromise and find meaningful solutions to address a specific challenge. You can build it from there.

Communicate Honestly and Openly

“Parents tend to focus on behavior and may have a negative view of the behavior they see from their teens,” says Fristad. Slamming doors, skipping family meals, hibernating in their rooms, and so on. Adults often don’t realize what’s behind your behavior. One way to change this is to talk with your parents about the “why.” Sharing your feelings with a parent can give them insight into why you are feeling or behaving the way you are. This allows your parents to understand what’s bothering you and shift their perspective on your actions.

For example, if you just got into an argument with a friend, you might get angry and snap at your parents when they ask you about your day. Instead of reacting this way, help your parents understand what’s going on and causing you to feel and react this way. You could say something like, “I don’t really want to talk about it, but Becca and I just had a fight over text so I’m pretty upset. I just need some time by myself.”

What if My Parent Isn’t Helpful?

If you think your parents won’t be willing to help you or listen, Fristad suggests you should still try to talk to them. They may surprise you.

“Sometimes parents are not responsive because they are stressed or have a lot going on themselves,” she says. “Ask your parent when is a good time for the two of you to talk. Figure out the right environment to approach your parents with a conversation. It might be while going for a walk, driving to an appointment, or cooking dinner together.”

If you try to reach out to your parents and they won’t help, turn to another trusted adult in your circle such as a teacher, counselor at your school, leader in your spiritual community, or your favorite aunt. It’s important not to give up. You will feel better and less alone after talking with a trusted adult.


Looking to learn more?

How to Talk to Your Parents About Your Mental Health


How To Forgive Others without Fail?

forgive others without fail

March 12, 2021Author: Nehemiah Zion

Forgive others without fail. It is the best way to live.

Forgiveness is not possible for those who haven’t realised they have been forgiven by God. Those who truly believe in the forgiveness they received from God alone can forgive others.

It’s a supernatural trait, heavens character. Jesus’ journey from birth to the cross is God forgiving us, on behalf of us. When He did no sin, He took on all our sins so we could once again enjoy Him through the power of His resurrection.

This first requires an understanding of the damage of sin in our lives. Which comes to us when we are born again, drawn into a marvellous light in Christ. The selfless God, in Jesus, forgave us so we could be with Him for eternity.

Who can forgive others without fail?

The standard of forgiveness is revealed in Stephen, when he forgave those who stoned him and attacked him violently.

Paul was stoned and left for dead, yet he forgave all those who went against him. (Acts 14:19)

All the apostles went through great persecution for the sake of Christ. They were fruitful in their ministry because of living out the lifestyle of Jesus. Loving and forgiving one and all. The Thessalonian church amidst much persecution lived out their faith, in humility and lowliness of heart.

To be faithful and to minister, we need to forgive others. The Heavenly Father forgave us and so should we forgive all. The Father’s dwelling place has no room for bitterness, anger or hatred. It is a home full of love everlasting.

When our hearts are full of love for God, we will be quick to forgive and serve people for the Glory of God. Obedience to God’s word and being led by the Holy Spirit is the answer to staying focused, doing the will of God. God gives us the ability to forgive and move on in love.

Jesus is coming to take us home. Maranatha, Praise God and Amen.

Mothers In The Bible

Fritz Chery Apr 1, 2021  

Bible verses about mothers

How much do you thank God for your mother? How much do you pray to God about your mother? We can be so selfish at times. We pray for all these different things, but we forget the people who brought us into this world. In honor of Mother’s Day I want us to change our relationship with our mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, mother figures, and our wives.

25 Important Bible Verses About Mothers

We are to honor and praise the Lord for the women who have been such a blessing to us. Praise the Lord for their sacrifices that they made for us.

Sometimes we have to even go to the Lord and confess of the way we neglected these women in our lives. There is nothing like a mama. Show your mother or the mother figure in your life how you much you care. Happy Mother’s Day!

Quotes

  • “Mom I know you’ve loved me as long as I’ve lived but I’ve loved you my whole life.”
  • “Successful mothers are not the ones who have never struggled. They are the ones who never give up, despite the struggles.”
  • “A Mother holds her child’s hand for awhile, their heart forever!”
  • “There is more power in a mother’s hand than in a king’s scepter.” Billy Sunday
  •  “A mother understands what a child does not say.”

This first verse shows that you would never disrespect your mother.

Use this verse to reflect how you treat your mom. Are you loving her? Are you cherishing every moment with her? This is more than just Mother’s Day. One day our moms are not going to be here. How are you honoring her? Are you listening to her? Are you talking back to her?

Do you call her? Do you still rub her feet out of love for her? We live like our parents are going to be here forever. Be thankful for every moment. Make it your goal to spend more time with your mom, dad, grandmother, and grandfather. One day you are going to be saying, “I miss my mom and I wish she was still here.”

1. 1 Timothy 5:2 “Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.”

2. Ephesians 6:2-3 “Honor your father and mother” which is the first commandment with a promise “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

3. Ruth 3:5-6 “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.”

4. Deuteronomy 5:16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”

Jesus loved His mother.

I checked out a debate about should adults be responsible for their elderly parent’s care? Can you believe that over 50% of people said no? That is your mom! This is the society that we live in today. No respect for their mother. People have an, “it’s all about me and I don’t want to make sacrifices” mentality. It’s hard for me to believe that the people who said no could be Christian. I read so many selfish reasons and people holding on to anger.

Click here and check the debate out yourself

As Jesus was suffering on the cross He was worried about His mom and who was going to take care of her after He was gone. He made plans for her provision. He put one of His disciples in charge of taking care of her. Our Savior taught us to provide and take care of our parents as much as we can. When you serve others you are serving Christ and showing your love for the Father.

5. John 19:26-27 “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”

Moms treasure the little things.

Moms love taking pictures and they cry at little moments. Your mom is the one that cherishes those cute photos of you in those outfits that she picked out for you when you were younger. She cherishes those embarrassing moments and those embarrassing photos that you hate people seeing. Thank the Lord for moms!

6. Luke 2:51 “Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.”

There are things that women know that men overlook.

Kids are going to learn a lot from their moms more than their fathers. We go with our moms everywhere. Whether it be to the grocery store, the doctor, etc. We learn not only by things that they say, but things that they don’t say.

Moms are very protective. Try messing with a female lion’s cub and watch what happens. Moms know when friends are bad even when we don’t. Every time my mom said, “don’t hang around that friend he is trouble” she was always right.

We must never forsake our mother’s teachings. Mothers go through a lot. They go through a lot of things that most people don’t know about. Children imitate the strength and the example of a godly mother.

7. Proverbs 31:26-27 “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

8. Song of Solomon 8:2 “I would lead you and bring you to my mother’s house she who has taught me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, the nectar of my pomegranates.”

9. Proverbs 1:8-9 “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and don’t reject your mother’s teaching, for they will be a garland of grace on your head and a gold chain around your neck.”

10. Proverbs 22:6 “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

You are such a blessing to your mom.

You don’t realize how many hours your mom has prayed for you before and after you were born. Some mothers don’t tell their children I love you as much as they need to, but never underestimate the love that your mom has for you.

11. Genesis 21:1-3 “Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.”

12. 1 Samuel 1:26-28 “Please, my lord,” she said, “as sure as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked Him for, I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” Then he bowed in worship to the Lord there.”

Women have an important role that will change the whole world if there were more godly women. 

Women will find true fulfillment through childbearing. Mothers are given a great responsibility of raising up godly offspring. The godliness of a mother has the greatest impact on a child. This is why we need more godly mothers to change a generation of rebellious kids.

Satan is trying to fight against the ways of the Lord. There is a relationship between a mother and a child that is unlike any other that no man will ever know.

13. 1 Timothy 2:15 “But women will be saved through childbearing–if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

14. Proverbs 31:28 “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.”

15. Titus 2:3-5 “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

These verses show that the same way a mother will take care of her child, God will take care of you. Even if there was a chance where a mother forgot her nursing child God wouldn’t forget you.

16. Isaiah 49:15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.”

17. Isaiah 66:13 “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”

Mothers are not perfect.

Just like you have made your mom mad before she has probably made you mad before. We all have fallen short. Thanks be to our Savior Jesus Christ. Just like He has forgiven our sins we are to forgive the sins of others. We are to let go of the past and hold on to love.

Love your mom even though she might not be like the moms you see in movies or like your friend’s mom because no mother is like the ones you see in the movies and mothers differ. Love your mom and be thankful for her.

18. 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

19. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

When your mom’s faith is so great there is a strong chance that your faith in Christ will be great.

As children we notice these things. We see our parents in the Word. We see their prayer life in adversity and we notice these things. A godly household will result in godly kids.

20. 2 Timothy 1:5 “I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.”

You are a great blessing to your mom.

21. Luke 1:46-48 “And Mary said My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, because He has looked with favor on the humble condition of His slave. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed.”

A few verses to add to birthday or Mother’s Day cards.

22. Philippians 1:3 “I thank my God every time I remember you.”

23. Proverbs 31:25 “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”

24. Proverbs 23:25 “Let your father and mother have joy, and let her who gave birth to you rejoice.”

25. Proverbs 31:29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”

https://biblereasons.com/mothers/

See You in Court: Christian School Sues After Biden Forces Colleges to Open Girls’ Dorms to Boys

BY TYLER O’NEIL APR 22, 2021

Joe Biden and his Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued orders to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity — orders that apparently require Christian schools to place biological males who identify as female with females in women’s dorms. Last week, the College of the Ozarks, a Christian college in Missouri, sued to block the administration from forcing the school to violate its religious convictions on these and other issues.

“The government cannot and should not force schools to open girls’ dorms to males based on its politically motivated and inappropriate redefinition of ‘sex,’” Julie Marie Blake, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the Christian law firm representing the college, said in a statement on the lawsuit. “Women shouldn’t be forced to share private spaces—including showers and dorm rooms—with males, and religious schools shouldn’t be punished simply because of their beliefs about marriage and biological sex.”

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“Government overreach by the Biden administration continues to victimize women, girls, and people of faith by gutting their legal protections, and it must be stopped,” Blake concluded.

On his very first day in office, Biden issued an executive order banning “discrimination” on the basis of gender identity. The order requires schools to open girls’ restrooms, locker rooms, and sports leagues to biological boys. It requires health care plans to pay for experimental transgender “treatments” and requires doctors and hospitals to perform them.

This order enforced the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County (2020), which redefined “discrimination on the basis of sex” in federal law to include discrimination on the basis of gender identity. As Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito warned in his dissent, this move threatens “freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and personal privacy and safety.”

Less than a month after Biden’s order, Jeanine Worden, the acting assistant secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity at HUD, issued a directive applying Biden’s ban on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity to entities under FHEO, which includes local authorities that would regulate the College of the Ozarks. Importantly, Worden had neither been officially nominated by Biden nor confirmed by the Senate at the time.

Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), “testers” may “pose as renters or purchasers” without any intention to rent or purchase real estate in order to ensure the application of fair housing laws. In its lawsuit, the College of the Ozarks notes that in compliance with Worden’s directive, some HUD entities “will send testers to … entities such as the College, to determine if they discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

FHA is extremely broad. It does not only prohibit discrimination on the basis of categories such as sex (historically interpreted to mean biological sex as in male or female), but it also prohibits public notices announcing that landlords or colleges will engage in such discrimination.

When the Biden administration unilaterally redefined discrimination on the basis of sex to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity — contrary to the plain meaning of the word “sex” as Congress understood it when it amended the FHA to bar sex discrimination in 1974 — it effectively rewrote the law without observing the legal process for issuing a new regulation, the lawsuit alleges.

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The new directive also directly contradicts the religious convictions and policies of the College of the Ozarks, along with many other conservative Christian — and Jewish, and Muslim — colleges and universities.

As the lawsuit states, the College of the Ozarks “has prohibited male students from living in female dormitories, and vice versa, regardless of whether those students identify with their biological sex. The College likewise separates intimate spaces such as showers and bathrooms in its dormitories. The College regularly makes statements communicating these same policies, including this month as it arranges student housing for the fall. But Defendants failed to take into consideration the College or other entities with similar student housing policies in promulgating the Directive.”

The college “teaches that sex as determined at birth is a person’s God- given, objective gender, whether or not it differs from their internal sense of ”gender identity,’ and it bases this teaching on such Biblical passages as Genesis 1:27, Leviticus 18:22, Matthew 19:4, Romans 1:26–27, and 1 Corinthians 6:9–10.”

It also “teaches that sexual relations are for the purpose of the procreation of human life and the uniting and strengthening of the marital bond in self-giving love, purposes that are to be achieved solely through relationships between one man and one woman in marriage, based on such Biblical passages as Genesis 1:28 and 2:24, Exodus 20:14, Proverbs 5:15–23, Matthew 19:5, 1 Corinthians 6:12–20 and 7:2–5, and 1 Thessalonians 4:3.”

The College of the Ozarks requires students to abide by a code of conduct along these lines. “Gender expression inconsistent with sex determined at birth (transgender expression), gender transition, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault, heterosexual misconduct, homosexual conduct, [and] possession of pornographic materials” violate the code of conduct.

The college allows students who experience or have experienced same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria, so long as the students abide by the code of conduct.

The Biden administration violated a host of laws by issuing the directive, the lawsuit claims.

The HUD directive affects eligibility for federal funding and encodes a value judgment on a type of behavior, and therefore it qualifies as a “substantive rule,” the lawsuit claims. The directive would force the college to let biological males who claim to identify as female enter women’s restrooms and house in women’s dorms. It would also abolish the school’s policy restriction sexual relations to marriage.

Under FHA prohibitions on a “hostile housing environment,” the directive even arguably prohibits college officials from using pronouns that match a person’s biological sex rather than his or her gender identity.

Yet the Biden administration did not give public notice and opportunity for comment before issuing the directive, as required by FHA and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

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The lawsuit brings no fewer than nine counts against Biden and Worden, three of which involve alleged violations of the APA. The administration allegedly violated the APA by violating APA requirements to provide notice and comment; by exceeding their constitutional authority by redefining the law “far beyond any reasonable reading of the relevant Congressional text;” and by acting in an “arbitrary” and “capricious” manner.

The lawsuit also claims that the Biden administration violated the Regulatory Flexibility Act by failing to analyze the regulation’s impact on small entities. The lawsuit also claims Worden exceeded her authority since she had not been nominated by Biden nor confirmed by the Senate.

The Biden administration also allegedly violated the college’s rights to freedom of speech, assembly, and association. It also allegedly usurped legal authority that the Constitution reserves to the states and to the people.

Finally, the lawsuit claims Biden and Worden violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and the Constitution’s Free Exercise Clause by burdening the college’s free exercise of religion without a compelling state interest and without using the “least restrictive means” of doing so.

The college asks the court to vacate the HUD directive and issue a temporary restraining order to prevent the Biden administration from trampling on its religious freedom. Failing that, the college asks for a judgment that the administration violated RFRA and for relief.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock may weaken some of the college’s arguments. Even so, the Biden administration appears to have violated a host of procedure laws in its rush to force LGBT orthodoxy in the housing industry. This powerful lawsuit seeks to hold Biden and his deputy accountable for that abuse.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/tyler-o-neil/2021/04/22/lawsuit-biden-broke-the-law-by-forcing-christian-colleges-to-put-males-in-womens-dorms-n1442024

An Ordinary Girl of Extraordinary Faith

by Simonetta Carr

As sixteen-year-old Lady Jane Grey stood on the scaffold on a gray winter morning, she looked calmly out over the crowd of spectators. Then, mustering the strength she had asked God to provide, she spoke with such a poise and conviction that even her executioners were moved.

After a brief and customary admission of guilt (all those condemned to death had to admit to the justice of their punishment), Jane emphasized what mattered to her more than anything in the world. “I pray you all, good Christian people,” she said, “to bear me witness that I die a true Christian woman, and that I look to be saved by none other means but only by the mercy of God and the merits of the blood of His only Son Jesus Christ.” She confessed some past sins, particularly love of self and the world, thanked God for His mercy, then asked for prayer, but was careful to add, “while I am alive,” thereby pointing out the futility of the Roman Catholic belief in prayer for the dead.

Jane had ruled England for less than two weeks, during one of the most turbulent times of its history. Young King Edward VI had just died of a pulmonary illness, leaving unconfirmed orders for the installment of Jane to the throne. Taking advantage of strong popular support, Mary Tudor, Henry VIII’s firstborn, swiftly gathered her forces to claim her rights to the crown. Jane was arrested, confined to a section of the Tower of London, tried, and found guilty of treason. Initially, Mary seemed bent on showing mercy. That was until Jane’s father was caught as part of a conspiracy to overthrow the government. At that point, Jane became too great a risk to Mary’s reign. As long as she was alive, someone could try to free her and set her up again as queen. Her death sentence was sealed.

We know relatively little of Jane’s life until Edward’s death and the enactment of his will, but she emerges as a typical teenager from the few documents available. Her early letters reflect a simple desire to move away from home and a pleasing demonstration of literary skill. Her often romanticized complaint that her parents didn’t appreciate her love for higher studies sounds, in reality, like a teenager’s attempt to elicit sympathy at a time of personal frustration. Even her teacher, John Aylmer, had serious concerns when she started to display a seemingly vain interest in fashion and music.

Strangely, it’s in this ordinariness that we may find the greatest encouragement for ourselves and our children. When this very normal young girl had to face sudden humiliation, imprisonment, and eventually death, the Scriptures and theology she had consistently and almost inconspicuously learned, day after day, as a young girl—mostly in church, school, and family devotions—took prominence in her life.

Her theological training stands out particularly in her account of a three-day discussion with John Feckenham, an abbot sent by Queen Mary to persuade Jane to accept the Roman Catholic faith. Utterly convinced that “faith only saveth,” Jane confidently and passionately dismantled Feckenham’s arguments regarding the mass by pointing out that Christ sacrificed Himself once and for all on the cross and that He was offering an ordinary piece of bread while present in body with the disciples when He said, “This is my body” (Luke 22:19).

Her familiarity with Scriptures is also obvious in the letters she wrote during her imprisonment, particularly one to Thomas Harding, her former chaplain, who had renounced his faith in the gospel. In just one paragraph of that boldly explicit message, she very naturally quoted about eleven Bible verses.

Finally, her last letter to her younger sister Katherine echoes the words of comfort and instruction Jane must have heard in her younger years:

Desire, sister, to understand the law of the Lord your God. Live to die, that by death you may enter into eternal life, and then enjoy the life that Christ has gained for you by His death. Don’t think that just because you are now young, your life will be long, because young and old die as God wills. . .. Deny the world, defy the devil, despise the flesh, and delight yourself only in the Lord. Repent of your sins, and yet don’t despair. Be strong in faith, and yet don’t presume. With St. Paul, desire to die and to be with Christ, with whom, even in death, there is life.

Jane inscribed the same phrase that she wrote to her sister—”Live to die, that by death you may enter into eternal life”—in the dedication of her book of prayers that she left to her jailer. In her last days, her death as a Christian was the only thing that mattered, and she embraced that task with diligence and devotion.

It’s sometimes easy to see ourselves or our children as the younger Jane—attending almost routinely or even distractedly to the means of grace and the study of God’s Word, seeing little fruit—but Jane’s life is an encouragement to persevere. If we are grounded in the gospel and sound theology, trials will not catch us unprepared. They will strengthen the faith that “comes from hearing,” while “he who began a good work in [us] will bring it to completion” (Rom. 10:17Phil. 1:6).

Simonetta Carr is the author of numerous books and biographies, including her newest book Anselm of Canterbury, which is part of the Christian Biographies for Young Readers series.