Trusting and Pursuing God is Like Walking The Labyrinth

The process of walking through a labyrinth can quiet the mind. It can connect us to the depths of our being so we can remember who we are.

Trusting and Pursuing God is Like Walking The Labyrinth

BY JENNIFER SWETS

My life looks like one big labyrinth. Beautiful in concept. Awe-inspiring from afar. But at a closer look, one finds a series of twists and turns that have no end in sight. Somedays I am excited to see where the path will lead, and other days I am like a stubborn child. My heels dug in, not wanting to take the next step forward. Other days I swear the center is mocking me.

Standing at the beginning of a labyrinth, all you can see is uncertainty.

You can’t fathom the end. You have no idea where the middle is. And have no clue where the twists and turns will take you. Soon you realize there is no short cut to get to the center. Kind of like the journey through healing where feelings of fear and uncertainty rule the process.

The labyrinth is an ancient symbol that represents wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and spiral into a purposeful path. Unlike a maze where many choices must be made to find the end, a labyrinth has only one option. The option to enter or not. Once in, the path takes you to the center and then back out again. All you have to do is have trust and keep going.

Ha! “All you have to do.” Trust. Keep going. Is that all?

The thought of even entering has me running the other way! Trust does not come easy to me and “keep going” is hard when all I want to do is lay down and give up.

And going to the center of yourself is scary! Heck, there are some days I don’t like to look in the mirror in fear of what’s staring back, let alone journey to the center of my being and settling there for a while. Or at times, avoiding the center all together in fear of what I would find there.

What if I find something I don’t want!

Or worse.

Find something I forgot I longed for.

The process of walking through a labyrinth quiets the mind and opens the soul. It connects us to the depths of our being so we can remember who we are. Through our choices, other people’s actions, hurt or trauma our identity may be lost, forgotten or abandoned. But this healing process reminds us that at our center is our true identity. An identity made in the image of God.

Colossians 3:10 ESV “And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

God will be there with us.

Walking with us during the journey of healing and carrying us when we want to lay down and give up.

Scripture tells us “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NLT

Take note through your journey of healing that a power higher than you is with you. Guiding you forward. There may be stops, pauses or full-on sprints but know God is with you along the way. To restore you to your true self at the center of your being. Just trust and keep on going.

Question from Jennifer Swets, the author.

In what area of your life do you need to trust God more?

 

 

Original here

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Everything You Want Is On The Other Side Of Fear!

October 4, 2019  The Godly Chic Diaries

Our Faith is like a child learning to walk. Jesus is our father. He crouches down, with open arms as we take our bumbling steps towards Him, and each time we make it to Him after a long journey, He stands us upright, helps us catch our breath. And then He backs up a little bit and then ask us to come a little further in our faith…

OUR FEATURED GUEST BLOGGER ISJORDAN SMITH: I am a Jesus lover. An ardent worshiper who longs for nothing more than to revel in the presence of the one who is WORTHY. I am a wife and mother of a new baby girl( BRAVEN) and Hair stylist. I thrive most when delivering the Word of God thus started speaking at local youth meetings at the age of sixteen. I have been traveling abroad doing mission’s work and now lead mission’s teams with my husband. I have had the opportunity to preach in the U.S. as well as Brazil, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua for the past eight years. My hearts beats with passion to encourage and empower women (women’s ministry) to walk in the freedom only Christ can provide. I love writing on topics of relationships and faith to share with you. Please check out Jordan’s blog/follow: Website: http://www.jordansmith.blog

Jordan’s story: I used to think being brave meant not being afraid of anything. I wanted so badly to be brave but I couldn’t seem to shake away the worries and fear. I didn’t know how to just not be afraid. I did devotions, I read the Bible, I prayed about it. For a long time it seemed like I would never get the answer. Until I got pregnant with my sweet baby girl. While in prayer for her, the name “Braven” was on my heart. I couldn’t escape the word Brave.

2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

This verse not only says what God didn’t give us, but it tells us what He did give. I wasn’t handed a spirit of fear- the fear was not part of me. But power, love, and self-discipline was given to me. It IS part of who I am. Whether I felt that way or not. Suddenly I realized that being brave had nothing to do with not being afraid but everything to do with not letting fear have a voice in my life. Fear didn’t get to dictate the words I said, the choices I made, or the thoughts I focused on. Those were the words God wanted me to make sure my daughter knew, “fear doesn’t get a say.” Being brave means moving forward in faith regardless of how you may feel in the moment.

Sweet Friends, Do you realize how powerful you are? That you have everything within you to breakthrough FEAR and step into your greatness? Remember, it takes the same amount of energy to BELIEVE as it is to WORRY. In every season, every mountain, every loss, every victory, every answered prayer, God is with you. He loves you. He will take care of you. You are in good hands, today and ALWAYS. Amen! God bless you abundantly!!!

Blessings and Love. . . 😊 🙏

https://gcdiaries.wordpress.com/2019/10/04/guest-post-fear-does-not-get-a-say/

SBC President: We Failed to Heed Victims’ Voices

At the recent Caring Well conference, J. D. Greear said the denomination mistakenly saw abuse claims as “attacks from adversaries instead of warnings from friends.”

SBC President: We Failed to Heed Victims’ Voices

ABBY PERRY IN GRAPEVINE, TEXAS OCTOBER 07, 2019

Southern Baptist Convention President J. D. Greear acknowledged that while sexual abuse survivors have pleaded with leaders for years, the denomination had failed to act on their claims and in some cases, sidelined them as attacks.

“It is wrong to characterize someone as ‘just bitter’ because they raised their voice when their warnings were not heeded,” Greear told the crowd at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC)’s Caring Well conference last weekend. “Anger is an appropriate response, a biblical response, in that circumstance.”

Greear praised the outspokenness and ongoing courage of SBC abuse survivors, naming from the stage both those who spoke at the event in surburban Dallas as well as others who have continued to critique the denomination’s response.

After hearing his remarks, “I actually choked up,” tweeted Tiffany Thigpen, whose story of allegedly being attacked by pastor Darrell Gilyard in the early 1990s was recently featured in the Houston Chronicle.

She wrote on Friday, “Yet there is no apology for [church leaders not rushing to defend abuse survivors from the start]. There are hundreds of victims out here in great agony from the secondary abuse & you still haven’t said, ‘We all have taken part and we all failed greatly, and now we are going to show you.’”

At the three-day event, more than 1,600 Southern Baptist pastors, leaders, and laypeople gathered to hear abuse prevention experts and survivors share on topics from how to screen church employees and volunteers to how to recognize grooming behaviors and respond to abuse disclosures.

Sexual abuse survivors Megan Lively, Mary DeMuth, and Susan Codone took the stage along with prominent leaders who are also survivors themselves, such as Beth Moore, Kay Warren, and Jackie Hill Perry.

Greear’s statement came during a Thursday night keynote to address myths about abuse in the church. He called out the idea that “Sexual abuse in the church is not really a problem; it’s simply the latest leftist attack against the church,” saying:

Friends, you understand that the problem of sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention did not begin in February with the publication of an article in a newspaper.

Survivors and advocates have been calling our attention to this for years. And many, like Megan [Lively] just now, have shown great courage in doing so. Honestly, [it’s] courage they should not have needed to show.

Believing this myth has caused us as a convention to miscategorize the words of people like Christa Brown and Tiffany Thigpen and Mary DeMuth and Anne Marie Miller and Dave Pittman and Jules Woodson and Megan Lively and so many other victims as attacks from adversaries instead of warnings from friends.

It is wrong to characterize someone as “just bitter” because they raised their voice when their warnings were not heeded. Anger is an appropriate response, a biblical response, in that circumstance.

Survivor Christa Brown, whose memoir This Little Light of Mine documents her account of sexual abuse and subsequent coverup in the SBC, tweeted, “For me, the only truth resides in the reality of their deeds. Action is what matters. Action is what will protect kids and congregants. Action is what shows care. I think my view is similar to what [Greear] himself acknowledged.”

Author Anne Marie Miller—whose abuser, Mark Aderholt, went on to become an International Mission Board missionary—tweeted, “Thank you, @jdgreear. As I told you and @ToddUnzicker last year, I will choose to believe the best about what you say. I’m grateful you acknowledged many of us by name, and hopefully you see the thousands of other survivors that walk with us. #CaringWell.”

Southern Baptist Bible teacher Beth Moore led a session where she brought up the question of whether complementarian theology fosters abuse.

“The answer’s no,” she said. “Sin and gross selfishness in the human heart cause abuse. Demonic influences cause abuse.” However, she added, complementarianism shaped “a culture prevalent in various circles of the SBC” that has contributed to abuse.

“Complementarian theology became such a high core value that it inadvertently … became elevated above the safety and well-being of many women,” she said.

Sexual abuse wasn’t the original theme for the ERLC’s annual conference. But after the Houston Chronicle reported on over 700 cases of sexual abuse in the SBC, convention leaders changed the theme.

The SBC passed a resolution at its annual meeting in June that names pastoral sexual abuse as grounds for disfellowshipping an SBC church. It also released a 52-page report detailing the failures of the denomination to adequately respond to abuse allegations.

Earlier in the year, Greear requested internal investigations of ten churches, but a subcommittee determined that all but three did not have credible claims of wrongdoing to investigate in the first place. Survivor and advocate Rachael Denhollander said at the Caring Well Conference that this response “undermined everything [Greear] had done … and no one said a word.”

In the eyes of Denhollander and many fellow survivors, the SBC has yet to take sufficient action against sexual abuse. The denomination has made more resources available to churches, but the training is voluntary. As of August, about 750 churches (less than 2%) had signed up.

While attendees received a copy of the Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused guidebook, which accompanies the free, video-based Caring Well curriculum, many survivors have also voiced frustration that the resources are provided by an institution that is itself inundated in scandal.

“Behind every statistic, there is a story,” said Phillip Bethancourt, ERLC executive vice president, during his message at Caring Well. According to survivors, the time to listen to each and every story is now.

Abby Perry is a freelancer writer. Her recent Prophetic Survivors series at Fathom Mag featured profiles of survivors of #ChurchToo sexual abuse. She lives in Texas with her husband and two sons.

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/october/southern-baptist-president-greear-caring-well.html

He Preached More Than He Slept

GEORGE WHITEFIELD (1714–1770)

By John Piper Sept 30, 2019

 

The facts about George Whitefield’s preaching as an eighteenth-century itinerant evangelist are almost unbelievable. Can they really be true? Judging by multiple attestations of his contemporaries — and by the agreement of sympathetic and unsympathetic biographers — they seem to be so.

From his first outdoor sermon on February 17, 1739, at the age of 24, to the coal miners of Kingswood near Bristol, England, until his death thirty years later on September 30, 1770, in Newburyport, Massachusetts (where he is buried), his life was one of almost daily preaching. Sober estimates are that he spoke about one thousand times every year for thirty years. That included at least eighteen thousand sermons and twelve thousand talks and exhortations. The daily pace he kept for thirty years meant that, on many weeks, he was speaking more than he was sleeping.

Preaching Phenomenon

Keep in mind that most of these messages were spoken to gatherings of thousands of people. For example, in the spring of 1740, he preached on Society Hill in Philadelphia twice in the morning to about six thousand and in the evening to nearly eight thousand. The next day, he spoke to “upwards of ten thousand,” and it was reported at one of these events that his expression of the text, “He opened his mouth and taught them, saying,” was distinctly heard at Gloucester point, a distance of two miles by water down the Delaware River (George Whitefield, 1:480). And there were times when the crowds reached twenty thousand or more.

Add to this the fact that he was continually traveling, in a day when it was done by horse or carriage or ship. He covered the length and breadth of England repeatedly. He regularly traveled and spoke throughout Wales. He visited Ireland twice, where he was almost killed by a mob from which he carried a scar on his forehead for the rest of his life. He traveled fourteen times to Scotland and came to America seven times, stopping once in Bermuda for eleven weeks — all for preaching, not resting.

Whitefield was a phenomenon not just of his age but in the entire two-thousand-year history of Christian preaching. There has been nothing like the combination of his preaching pace and geographic extent and auditory scope and attention-holding effect and converting power. J.C. Ryle is right: “No preacher has ever retained his hold on his hearers so entirely as he did for thirty-four years. His popularity never waned” (Select Sermons of George Whitefield, 32).

Eloquence and Anointing

Where did such power and popularity come from? At one level, Whitefield’s power was the natural power of eloquence, and at another it was the spiritual power of God to convert sinners and transform communities.

On the one hand, there is no reason to doubt that Whitefield was the instrument of God in the salvation of thousands. I do not doubt that his contemporary Henry Venn was right when he said, “[Whitefield] no sooner opened his mouth as a preacher, than God commanded an extraordinary blessing upon his word” (Select Sermons of George Whitefield, 29). Thus, at one level, the explanation of Whitefield’s phenomenal impact was God’s exceptional anointing on his life.

But at another level, Whitefield held people in thrall who did not believe a single doctrinal word that he said. In other words, we must come to terms with the natural oratorical gifts that he had. How are we to think about these in relation to his effectiveness? Benjamin Franklin, who loved and admired Whitefield — and totally rejected his theology — said,

Every accent, every emphasis, every modulation of voice, was so perfectly well turned, and well placed, that without being interested in the subject, one could not help being pleased with the discourse: a pleasure of much the same kind with that received from an excellent piece of music. (The Divine Dramatist, 204)

Whitefield: “Let my name be forgotten, let me be trodden under the feet of all men, if Jesus may thereby be glorified.”

One of Whitefield’s contemporaries, Alexander Garden of South Carolina, was not optimistic about the purity of Whitefield’s motives or the likelihood that his effects were decisively supernatural. He believed that Whitefield “would equally have produced the same Effects, whether he had acted his Part in the Pulpit or on the Stage. . . . It was not the Matter but the Manner, not the Doctrines he delivered, but the Agreeableness of the Delivery,” that explained the unprecedented crowds that flocked to hear him preach (“The Grand Sower of the Seed,” 384).

In one sense, I do not doubt that Whitefield was “acting” as he preached. That is, that he was taking the part of the characters in the drama of his sermons and pouring all his energy — his poetic effort — into making their parts real.

Making Reality Seem Real

But the question is, Why was Whitefield “acting”? Why was he so full of action and drama? Was he, as biographer Harry Stout claims, merely “plying a religious trade” for the sake of fame and power (The Divine Dramatist, xvii)?

I think the most penetrating answer comes from something Whitefield himself said about acting in a sermon in London. In fact, I think it’s a key to understanding the power of his preaching — and all preaching. James Lockington was present at this sermon and recorded this verbatim. Whitefield is speaking.

“I’ll tell you a story. The Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 1675 was acquainted with Mr. Butterton the [actor]. One day the Archbishop . . . said to Butterton . . . ‘Pray inform me Mr. Butterton, what is the reason you actors on stage can affect your congregations with speaking of things imaginary, as if they were real, while we in church speak of things real, which our congregations only receive as if they were imaginary?’ ‘Why my Lord,’ says Butterton, ‘the reason is very plain. We actors on stage speak of things imaginary, as if they were real and you in the pulpit speak of things real as if they were imaginary.’”

“Therefore,” added Whitefield, ‘I will bawl [shout loudly], I will not be a velvet-mouthed preacher.” (The Divine Dramatist, 239–40)

This means that there are three ways to speak. First, you can speak of an unreal, imaginary world as if it were real — that is what actors do in a play. Second, you can speak about a real world as if it were unreal — that is what half-hearted pastors do when they preach about glorious things in a way that implies they are not as terrifying or as wonderful as they are. And third, you can speak about a real spiritual world as if it were wonderfully, terrifyingly, magnificently real — because it is.

Outacting the Actors

So if you asked Whitefield, “Why do you preach the way you do?” he would probably have said, “I believe what I read in the Bible is real.” So let me venture this claim: George Whitefield was not a repressed actor, driven by egotistical love of attention. Rather, he was consciously committed to outacting the actors because he had seen what is ultimately real.

His oratorical exertion was not in place of God’s revelation and power but in the service of them. He acted with all his might not because it took greater gimmicks and charades to convince people of the unreal, but because he had seen something more real than actors on the London stage had ever known.

I don’t deny that God uses natural vessels to display his supernatural reality. And no one denies that George Whitefield was a stupendous natural vessel. He was driven, affable, eloquent, intelligent, empathetic, single-minded, steel willed, venturesome, and had a voice like a trumpet that could be heard by thousands outdoors. All of these, I venture to say, would have been part of Whitefield’s natural gifting even if he had never been born again.

But something happened to Whitefield in the spring of 1735, when he was 20 years old, that made all these natural gifts subordinate to another reality — the glory of Christ in the salvation of sinners.

Whitefield Born Again

On a break from school, Whitefield’s friend Charles Wesley gave him a copy of Henry Scougal’s book The Life of God in the Soul of Man. When he read Scougal’s words about true religion being “a vital union with the son of God, Christ formed in the heart,” a new world opened to him. “Oh what a way of divine life did break in upon my poor soul,” Whitefield later testified. “Oh! With what joy — Joy unspeakable — even joy that was full of, and big with glory, was my soul filled” (Revived Puritan, 26).

Whitefield: “I am the chief of sinners, and therefore fittest to preach free grace to a world lying in the wicked one.”

The power, depth, and supernatural reality of that change in Whitefield is something Alexander Garden — and others who reduce the man to his natural abilities — did not sufficiently reckon with. In the new birth, Whitefield was given the supernatural ability to see what was real. His mind was opened to new reality. This means that Whitefield’s acting — his passionate, energetic, whole-souled preaching — was the fruit of having eyes to see “life and light and power from above” (Select Sermons of George Whitefield, 15). He saw the glorious facts of the gospel as real. Wonderfully, terrifyingly, magnificently real. This is why he cries out, “I will not be a velvet-mouthed preacher.”

None of his natural abilities vanished. They were all taken “captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). “Let my name be forgotten, let me be trodden under the feet of all men, if Jesus may thereby be glorified” (George Whitefield, 2:257).

Slaveowner

New birth, however, did not make Whitefield perfect. In fact, one of the effects of reading history, and biography in particular, is the persistent discovery of contradictions and paradoxes of sin and righteousness in holy people. Whitefield is no exception, and he will be more rightly honored if we are honest about his blindness as well as his doctrinal faithfulness and goodness. By far the most glaring blindness of his life — and there were others — was his support for the American enslavement of blacks.

Even if one argues that the biblical way to move beyond the institutionalization of slavery (which in the New Testament is tolerated, but implicitly contested, Luke 4:18Acts 17:261 Corinthians 7:212 Corinthians 3:171 Timothy 1:10Philemon 1:16Ephesians 6:9Galatians 3:285:1Colossians 3:11Revelation 5:9) is to adjust to the eighteenth-century institution, but ameliorate it with kindness (as Whitefield did), one must still reckon with the fact that Whitefield did not, so far as we know, come to terms with the institution itself as biblically challenged. Nor did he seem to see that the racially dehumanizing effects of Southern slavery called the “peculiar institution” into question. This is what I mean by “blindness.”

Before it was legal to own slaves in Georgia, Whitefield advocated for legalization with a view to making the orphanage he built more affordable. In 1752, Georgia became a royal colony, slavery was legalized, and Whitefield joined the ranks of the slaveowners. That, in itself, was tragic but not unusual. Most of the slaveholders were professing Christians. But in Whitefield’s case, things were more complex. He didn’t fit the mold of wealthy, Southern plantation owner.

Whitefield said he was willing to face the “whip” of Southern planters if they disapproved of his preaching the new birth to the slaves (The Divine Dramatist, 100). From Georgia to North Carolina to Philadelphia, Whitefield sowed the seeds of equality through heartfelt evangelism and education — whether or not he felt any contradiction in his views.

“Whitefield was consciously committed to outacting the actors because he had seen what is ultimately real.”

Whitefield’s preaching to slaves infuriated many slaveowners. Almost all of them resisted evangelizing and educating the slaves. They knew intuitively that education would tend toward equality, which would undermine the whole system. And evangelism would imply that slaves could become children of God, which would mean that they were brothers and sisters to the owners, which would also undermine the whole system. One wonders if there was a rumbling in Whitefield’s own soul because he really did perceive where such radical evangelism would lead.

He went public with his censures of slaveowners and published words like these: “God has a quarrel with you” for treating slaves “as though they were Brutes.” If these slaves were to rise up in rebellion, “all good Men must acknowledge the judgment would be just” (The Divine Dramatist, 101–2). This was incendiary. But apparently, Whitefield did not perceive fully the implications of what he was saying.

What seems clear is that the slave population, in great numbers, loved Whitefield. When he died, it was the blacks who expressed the greatest grief in America. More than any other eighteenth-century figure, Whitefield established Christian faith in the slave community. Whatever else he failed in, for this service they were deeply thankful.

Phyllis Wheatley (1753–1784), the former slave and first African-American woman to publish a book of poetry in America, eulogized Whitefield in a popular poem of the time. It contained these lines:

Ye Preachers, take him [Christ] for your joyful theme:
Take HIM, “my dear AMERICANS,” he said,
Be your complaints in his kind bosom laid:
Take HIM ye Africans, he longs for you;
Impartial SAVIOUR, is his title due;
If you will chuse to walk in grace’s road,
You shall be sons, and kings, and priests to GOD.

However seriously Whitefield erred, God took the good he did, and the Christ he preached, and made Christ to the “Africans” an “Impartial SAVIOUR” and means to being sons and kings to God.

Fit to Preach Free Grace

So, the greatest preacher of the eighteenth century, perhaps in the history of the Christian church, was a paradoxical figure. There was, as he himself so freely confessed, sin remaining in him. And that is what we have found in every human soul on this earth — except one. Which is why our lives are meant to point to him — that sinless one. Christ’s perfect obedience, not ours, is the foundation of our acceptance with God. If then, our sin, as well as our righteousness, can point people away from ourselves to Christ, we will rejoice even as we repent.

“Whitefield’s daily pace he kept meant that, on many weeks, he was speaking more than he was sleeping.”

“I know no other reason,” Whitefield said, “why Jesus has put me into the ministry, than because I am the chief of sinners, and therefore fittest to preach free grace to a world lying in the wicked one” (Revived Puritan, 157–58). Yes. But as we have seen, God would make not only his unworthiness redound to the grace of God, but also his passionate oratory, his natural dramatic giftedness, and his poetic effort. This too, imperfect as it was, no doubt contaminated as it was with flawed motives, God made the instrument of his supernatural work of salvation.

No eloquence can save a soul. But the worth of salvation and the worth of souls impels preachers to speak and write with all their might in ways that say, “There is more, there is so much more beauty — so much more glory — for you to see than I can say.”

 

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/he-preached-more-than-he-slept


George Whitefield and the American Revolution

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/016909.html

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/159652

The Great Awakening and the American Revolution

VIDEO Your Life Has A Purpose

by Greg Laurie  Sept 29, 2019

In this webcast, Pastor Greg Laurie shares a message from Hebrews 11 titled “Your Life Has a Purpose!” in our “Sunday Morning” series at Harvest Christian Fellowship.

Sermon Notes

Whatever hardship you are going through, it will not last forever, and you can even grow stronger from it. Whatever you are facing right now will pass, and it will get better.

God can take all of the hurt and pain you have experienced in life, use it to touch other people, and make us into the men and women He wants us to be. The devil wants us all to abandon hope; God wants to abandon hopelessness. Satan wants to bring death; Jesus wants to bring life. Life is worth living! It is a precious gift to us from God Himself. Did you know your family loves you! We love you in this family, the church! No matter what you are going through in life, it is going to get much better.

Application

Did you know that your Father in Heaven knew exactly when your existence would begin? God chose you before you were even conceived. In this day of “instafame,” and so much focus on the way we look, know that God sees things much differently than people do. God is far more interested in character than charisma.

  • When you choose to walk away from temptation, you will be glad that you did.
  • Moses chose what God had for him.
  • God has a purpose for you!
  • Whatever you give up to, follow Jesus will be more than made up for.

Scriptures

  • Hebrews 11
  • Hebrews 11:23–26
  • Jeremiah 1:5
  • Psalm 139:16–17
  • Acts 7:20–22
  • James 1:12

 

https://harvest.org/resources/webcast/your-life-has-a-purpose/

A Man Crying

Hello my beloved readers! I’m grateful to God finally I could spend my time to write my own post again. This post inspired by a conversation between my husband and his friend some time ago. I hope and pray this post could be a blessing to all of us. Thank you very much to the all loyal readers who always visit and read my blog posts.

“As the only man and the eldest brother in family, I shouldn’t show my grief and shouldn’t cry. A mam must be strong!! This word came out from a best friend of my husband who some time ago just lost his beloved mother. Then my husband said, “But actually you are very sad and want to cry, right?”  My husband’s friend replied, “I cannot lie to myself. Yes, actually I am very sad and want to cry to express my sorrow. But you know, since childhood my parents have taught that men should be strong and should not be whiny.”

My dear friends, I kept quiet during the conversation. Those conversations made me thinking and ponder. There was something I didn’t agree of my husband’s friend’s statement. I didn’t agree that a man shouldn’t show his sorrow and shouldn’t cry. I just feel that a man as if made from iron and wire like a robot that didn’t have feeling at all. In fact, the same as women, men could face a similar situation. Death, pain, loss, and various other things that can make a man feel sad. And all of them need a way to express their feeling.

Talk about crying, I remembered one of David saying when he got deep distress. Let’s see what David said at the time. “You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?” (Psalm 56:8) At the time, the Israelites were using a bottle as a container for water or milk. Other than that, there was a unique culture that comes from Egyptians where they contain their tears into the bottle and then put it on the grave of their family or brethren as an expression of their grief. Well, I will not talk about the culture but I want to talk about David’s word.

We all know very well who David was. Though David was a man who was brave facing the lion, a man who was very brave against Goliath and successfully defeated him, and finally become a king, it turns out, he didn’t ashamed to cry. Why David crying? At that time David was under great pressure because besides being on the run to be chased by King Saul who was jealous with him, he faced another danger of entering the enemy territory of the Philistines in Gath and he was arrested. In the stressful situation, David didn’t look that crying is something shameful to do. He cried just because his mind was depressed but not because he weak. David cried not because he was afraid. Let’s take a look to the following verse,

When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me. In God (I will praise His word), In the Lord (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid….” (Psalm 56: 9-11)

These verses are proof that even though David cried it doesn’t mean he became weak and afraid and his faith remained strong. Although he was crying, David remained steadfastly surrendering his life to God, and still fully believed that God remained with him.

So, whether a man shouldn’t cry? Is crying a symbol of Men’s weakness? My dear readers, allow me to take all of you to reflect on these three things.

First, in my whole life I have never found a rule of life or laws that forbids a man to cry or crying for a man is a disgrace! There’s no single verse in the Bible stated that a man shouldn’t cry. Even Jesus was crying (Luke 19:41) My husband said that, “Crying is how your heart speaks the pain you feel when your lips can’t” So I say firmly, there’s nothing wrong if a man cries and a man doesn’t need be ashamed and feel weak when he cries. The important thing is, when a man cries, his faith doesn’t weaken. David was crying because he was totally under pressure but didn’t mean his faith weakening. At that time David still believed God was by his side. The wrong one is, when a man crying then it makes his faith weaken, weaken his mental, and made he didn’t dare to face all the problems of life.

The second, Actually God doesn’t require us to pretend to be strong even though inside of us are broken. He knows suffering is painful, and for that He is ready to be with us through those painful time. God doesn’t forbid us to have sad feeling. God doesn’t scold us when we crying. My husband’s friend just lost his beloved father. God Himself also definitely understands very well what it feels like to lose. God knows it feels hurt because He also experienced hurt when He let His only begotten Son died to redeem our sins in the cruel ways.

The third, crying because our suffering and sadness isn’t a waste thing. Why? Because actually God know every single teardrop that flows from our eyes. God really understands the tears language which expresses unbearable suffering and bitterness of life. Not only understand, God also collect and record every single of our tears as David said. “… Put my tears into Your bottleAre they not in Your book?” (Psalm 56:8) This verse shows us one important thing that God actually never leaves us alone. Even when we feel like “abandoned by God”, indeed, God doesn’t leave us. God is on collecting and taking note every tears of our crying and as if He said, “My child, I will never leave you alone…Please be patient… Just a little more time will be fulfilled and I will declare my glory”

My beloved readers, through this post allow me once again to express my opinion that there’s nothing wrong at all if a man crying. Crying isn’t a taboo thing for a man. Crying isn’t a symbol of weakness of a man. Beside mind, character, intelligence, and feeling, God also give man tears. As long as a man has feeling, same as a woman, when the lips isn’t able to speaks, crying is a good way to express our sorrow. Crying is the way our heart speaks. But… We must remember that behind our weeping there’s still strength in us. Behind every single teardrop there’s still a firm faith, there’s still strong trust that God will never leave us alone. We have to always remember God’s promises,

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Revelation 7:17)

Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh(Luke 6:21)

At the end of this post, I long to encourage all of men that there’s nothing wrong at all if one day you have to crying and there are compelling reasons why you cry. Not just for women, crying is something normal and humane. Don’t ever feel ashamed to express your feeling through crying. Crying doesn’t mean weak. Cry if it can make you relieved and the burden on you is lighter. But let me remind you one thing, don’t be a whiny man. Like David, keep strong, still have firm faith, and keep trusting God that He will wipe every of our tears as He promises, He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) Amen.

 

Karina Lam – Living by Faith

Image source: themanmodern.com

 

https://karinasussanto.wordpress.com/2019/09/12/a-man-crying/

Late-Term Abortionist Offers Mothers The Chance To Cuddle Their Dead Babies

The open practice of killing then cuddling does not simply represent a ghastly declaration that children are both fully human and disposable. It signifies a war against the mother-child bond.

Late-Term Abortionist Offers Mothers The Chance To Cuddle Their Dead Babies

The infamous abortionist LeRoy Carhart invites women to cuddle with their freshly killed babies. His clinic also offers them take-home keepsakes such as photographs and footprints of their child.

Carhart specializes in third-trimester abortions, those done when the baby is approximately 24 weeks of gestation and older. You may recall that he was at the center of the debate on partial-birth abortion when the Supreme Court ruled in his favor in 2000. Seven years later, the court upheld a ban on partial-birth abortion.

As I’ll try to explain below, the open practice of killing then cuddling does not simply represent a ghastly declaration that children are both fully human and utterly disposable. It signifies a full frontal war against the mother-child bond itself, the bond which is the fount of all empathic human relationships. To scorn it so openly cultivates social acceptance of infanticide. And it insinuates mothers in that very acceptance.

We’ll Help You Feel Better About Killing Your Child

On page seven of a brochure posted on the website for Carhart’s abortion clinics in suburban Maryland and Nebraska, you can browse an array of post-abortion services that seem more in line for a mother grieving over an unexpected miscarriage than a woman intentionally aborting her baby.

Carhart’s practice brazenly uses the word “baby” instead of fetus. In Orwellian manner, he references “delivery” of the child rather than abortion. As if this is not destabilizing enough, the brochure goes on:

Many patients request a remembrance of their baby to take home with them. The following lists items and services that some of our patients have found helpful in their emotional recovery. Every family approaches this experience with their own unique emotional, spiritual, and cultural background. There is no right or wrong way, just ‘your way.’ Once the process of healing has begun, you may want to consider a token of the precious time you and your baby had together. All of these features of our program will be discussed with you while you are with us.

Ignoring the possibility that the entire killing process may itself be the “wrong way,” the brochure offers the following “Services After Your Delivery: Viewing your baby after the delivery; Holding your baby after the delivery; Photographs of your baby; Cremation services referral; Funeral arrangements referral; Footprints; Spiritual and ceremonial accommodations [through the facility’s partnership with pro-abort clergy of various stripes]; Remembrance certificate.”

The page also shows a photo of an open gift box containing a soft toy ducky, a tiny knit cap, footprints, and the open lid inscription: “In loving Memory of Baby Doe who lives in the hearts of Jane and John Doe.” In other words, the warped idea is to first exterminate your baby, then hug your baby.

Pushing the Overton Window to Infanticide

Abortionists no doubt develop weird pathologies brought on by their gruesome choice of work. Consider, for example, the cases of notorious late-term abortionists Kermit Gosnell and Ulrich Klopfer, both of whom ghoulishly hoarded human remains.

Most tend to be unapologetically aware that they are in the business of killing people. Veteran abortionist Forrest Smith recently testified that he believed Planned Parenthood was deliberately inducing live births in order to get fresh and intact fetal organs to harvest.

As an expert witness in the recent hearings of undercover investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, Forrest stated: “There’s no question in my mind that at least some of these fetuses were live births.” And this (emphasis added): “You can kill a human being, which I admit abortion is, but you have to do it in certain ways.” By which he meant, inside the womb, not outside.

Forrest also indicated that Delaiden only uncovered the tip of the iceberg in his work. Indeed, in other testimony at that hearing, we learned of more gruesome practices, such as keeping the hearts of live-born infants beating so they are of greater value to the labs that pay for them and the trafficking of whole bodies for experimentation. Such blatant examples of infanticide and human vivisection should sicken all but the most barbaric of us.

A New Surreality of In-Your-Face Abortion

The abortion industry and its promoters have always known full well that they market in the death of human beings. But today they flaunt that fact as never before. Gone are the days when pro-abort legislators would deny and squirm when asked if they support third-trimester abortion. Talk about “hard choices” or “keeping abortion rare” is quickly disappearing.

Instead, we hear Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a pediatrician, calmly discuss what to do if an aborted child is born alive, and whether to kill it after consultation with the mother and doctor. We see New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo lighting up the Empire State Building in pink to celebrate a new law that specifically boosts third-trimester abortions.

A campaign encouraging women to proudly “shout” their abortions took off last year. There are even subreddits that indulge in talks about abortion fetishes, in which a woman deliberately gets pregnant, enjoying both the pregnancy and the abortion, as does the male partner. The list goes on.

All such developments are a logical part of the trajectory of the pro-abortion culture. Lies get less manageable over time. At some point when denials no longer work, we can expect to hear taunting admissions in the gangster spirit of: Yeah, I killed them, and I’d do it again, so whaddya going to do about it?

Maybe the fig leaf of denial was blown off by Daleidan’s exposes of Planned Parenthood and the grim cruelties of late-term abortion practices such as Gosnell’s and Klopfer’s. Maybe one of the reasons for the decline in abortion rates is that fewer buy the lines about “clumps of cells” and “reproductive health” anymore. If so, that would be a promising sign that conscience still has an effect on people. But something else is afoot.

An Ominous Shift in Mood

In this broader context, how do we make sense of Carhart’s open offer of the post-abortion cuddle option? After 45 years of doing late-term abortions, Carhart is no doubt familiar with the need for emotional recovery. At the same time, he seems content to admit to “delivering” killed infants.

Later, what does the woman do with the memory of cuddling, the photo, the footprints of her dead child?

It’s a twisted and Orwellian picture. On the one hand, the cuddle offer is logical in an upside-down and calculating sort of way. The maternal bond is compelling and strong, no matter how much licentious men, their feminist stooges, and the leftist media try to tell women it’s just a matter of choice.

So maybe there is a superficially calming effect on some women who hold the baby afterwards, especially if the corpse is in fresh enough condition to look asleep and still be warm. On the other hand, it serves the abortionist by directing all responsibility onto the woman. A subtext could easily be: “Here’s your dead baby. See. You signed onto this. I only did what you paid me to do. I delivered on your decision.”

Later, what does the woman do with the memory of cuddling, the photo, the footprints of her dead child? Does the knowledge of her baby’s face haunt her? Or does it just harden her heart, perhaps even leading to a perverse sense of empowerment, as the “shout your abortion” cohort would recommend? The haunting would be a sign of hope for the maternal bond, a sign of conscience. But the hardening of heart, I fear, is where we may be headed with all of this.

This shift in overall mood among many abortion proponents—from denial of killing a person to defiant acceptance of it—is the stuff that brutal societies are made of.

Reminiscent of Ancient Attitudes about Child Sacrifice

Callousness is one logical outcome of denial and regret. If we consider the practice of child sacrifice, we might ask how consenting mothers got through it without hardening their hearts. James Michener’s historical novel “The Source” contains a harrowing scene in which a husband insists his wife sacrifice their firstborn son to Malek, the pagan god of ancient Palestine.

‘Could we just run away?’ she pleaded.

‘Timna!’ The idea was blasphemous for Urbaal . . .

‘I will not surrender my son,’ she persisted. . . .

‘We all do,’ he reasoned gently. . . ‘It is to Melak that we look for protection.’

‘. . . Why must he be so cruel?’ Timna pleaded.

‘He does much for us,’ Urbaal explained, ‘and all he asks in return [is] our first-born sons.’

The husband not only views his son as a disposable object, but also anticipates the status he will get from community elders for being so willing to make the sacrifice. Later, Timna watches helplessly as her baby is thrown into the fire. She starts to cry, “but with his free hand Urbaal caught her by the neck and preserved the dignity of sacrifice. He saw that the priests had noticed his action and had smiled approval.”

Modernity offers many parallels to that story. Just as child sacrifice was a male-dominated institution in the ancient world, most of the front-line pushers for unrestricted abortion in modern times have been men. Abortion is also a means to improve or maintain social status. After all, the idols of modernity “do much for us.”

Abortion appeases many of these idols, including the idols of cash flow, career advancement, the meticulously planned life, relationship preferences, social status, body shape, self-will, and sundry other shiny objects. At the same time, the men who impregnated the women along with the priests of modernity are those who most demand the sacrifice. Her choice, you see.

So destroy your baby, then hug the body. This concept signifies a chilling new level of acceptance for infanticide. Nothing more, nothing less. It adds grave insult to grave injury. It doesn’t matter how few women actually undergo that process if it gains cultural acceptance. To accept it is to give a nod to infanticide, an open invitation to ever more barbarism.

Stella Morabito is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Follow Stella on Twitter.
Photo NataszaBlack / NeedPix.com

https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/03/late-term-abortionist-offers-mothers-the-chance-to-cuddle-their-dead-babies/