Posts Tagged ‘life’

God’s Valentine

Posted: February 16, 2012 by andreacaresse in Relationships/Love
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This week we celebrated Valentine’s Day, a day when many celebrate love and those special to them.  So often we think of Valentine’s Day as a day reserved for couples and “people in love.”   Some jokingly refer to it as Singles Awareness Day.   But did it ever occur to you that we are God’s valentines?  You may never have thought about it in that way before, but we are.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

“For Your faithful love is before my eyes, and I live by Your truth.”  Psalm 26:3

Jesus told his disciples, “for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”  John 16:27  Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens,  your faithfulness to the skies.” Psalm 36:5

God our Father loved us and by his kindness gave us everlasting encouragement and good hope…”  1 Thess. 2:16a

And speaking about Jesus Christ, John writes, “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood”

So what is love anyway?  “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends…”  1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

With a love like this, why is it that so many people try to find their source of happiness and peace in earthly relationships and not in their relationship with God?  Clearly His is the best love imaginable!   A love where we never have to worry about rejection, lies, cheating, envy, arguments, or arrogance.  This is Perfect Love.  A kind of love that’s impossible for fallen human beings to attain here on earth.  Yet so often in relationships today we place our value in the “other person.”   We find our source of life in that individual, and if something ever happens (and it will) to disrupt the relationship, our world turns to chaos.   We put our hope for a future in them, and not our Savior.  No wonder so many relationships end in tragedy today.  We enter the relationship hoping that the other fallen human being will satisfy our deepest heart’s desires, only to be let down by them (because we are all fallen), and we feel that they no longer satisfy our emptiness, so the relationship ends.  If only we would place our source of life on Who we are supposed to… Jesus Christ.

God desires to be our source of life.  He created all people with that inner desire for a deeply satisfying love that has no limits.  When we try to find another person to fit the bill, they will  always fall short.  No one can fill that God-sized whole in your heart.   People fail us.  God never will.  Period.

Maybe your reading this and you realize, “you know… I’m doing that with my relationships…”  If that’s you, let me tell you it’s never too late to have that soul-filling love you’ve been running after.  God is standing with arms wide open, waiting for you to run into His all-encompassing love.    Perhaps you’ve been a Christian for years, but never gave this over to God… He’s calling you to change, and look to Him as your strength.  But maybe you’ve never heard about Jesus; you’re wondering what this all means…  ask Him to fill your heart.  I would also love to talk with you, my email is below.

Always remember that you are God’s special valentine, created for a purpose, and loved beyond anything you can imagine.  Never let the world or society convince you otherwise.

Andrea MacBean –  listener and contributor
acmb.galatians220@gmail.com
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Abortion

Posted: January 15, 2012 by andreacaresse in Abortion/Sanctity of Life
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Before I begin, let me first say, if you are reading this article and you have already experienced the pain of an abortion and are seeking forgiveness from that… know that God forgives you!  It is not too late to seek His forgiveness.  All sin is equal in the sight of God.  He does not hate you, but loves you and knows you are hurting.  Forgiveness and comfort can be found only through Him, so be assured of His love for you… you may have a past, but you are precious in His sight, and that past can be wiped clean with faith in Jesus Christ.   In fact, if you are a woman struggling with this, please email me (acmb.galatians220@gmail.com)  I would love to talk with you.  But if you are someone who doesn’t know much about the issue of abortion, and is wanting to hear what some real facts are, then this post is for you.

If you know me personally, you know I have very strong feelings regarding this topic.  What many may not know is that I wasn’t always so opinionated on the issue.   To be honest, like many young people, I didn’t really concern myself with such heavy topics, but just had a general opinion as to what was “good and right.”  I knew that generally speaking, abortion was not good, but was unsure in situations like rape, incest, and the woman’s health.  In the last few years, my knowledge on the subject has expanded.  I’ve read God’s Word, talked with professors, read philosophy papers, done research, written reports, and have even created art on the subject.   Now that I have seen all the facts, and know both sides, I have a very strong stand on the issues, even in those situations that seem so grey at times.

In today’s society, abortion is talked about as if it is a woman’s right.  Something that “comes naturally” with being female.  Speaking as a women myself, I can definitely say that abortion is not a right I should possess under any circumstances.  And as to it’s “naturalness,” it is in fact one of the most unnatural concepts related to being female (the sex that is designed specifically for childbearing).  Reading articles like  “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion” by Mary Anne Warren has caused me to despair of many women’s ideas of  “women’s rights.”  (On a purely secular scale, I would question the decision to be pro-abortion simply because I would want to distance myself from such philosophies.)  But what I’ve said so far doesn’t prove anything.. it’s just my opinion.  Now let me talk about facts.

The unborn child inside a woman’s womb is 100% human and %100 separate and distinct from it’s mother.  Biologically speaking, at the very moment of conception, everything needed to create a new human individual is there and life has begun.  There is no one else exactly like this new creation.  Even if this tiny clump of cells were to split and become twins, they would be two entirely different individuals that just happen that share the same DNA.     There is quite a lot of discussion about when an unborn child (fetus, embryo, zygote, clump of cells) becomes a person.  According to a few highly secular philosophies, the concept of personhood doesn’t even begin till many months after the baby has been born! (I reference above mentioned article).  There are those who say that after so many weeks or during a certain trimester, then the fetus is a life, if this is true it would mean that overnight a dead clump of cells became a life!  Now that really would be amazing.   Many argue that an unborn child does not have it’s own identity yet because it cannot survive on its own outside the womb.  Here I make a simple comparison… Can we survive outside the earth?  No.  Are we any less our own identities? No.  Simply because a living thing needs a certain environment to live, does not make it any less an individual life.  The most recent debate however is not whether something is human or alive, but whether it is a person.  This is a very deep philosophical discussion that goes far beyond abortion and stretches into concepts of euthanasia, infanticide, assisted suicide, eugenics, and genocide.   But for the purposes of this discussion, I’m simply going to say that at the moment of conception, absolutely everything is needed to create a full-grown, living adult with purpose and identity.  To explain it another way:  One could define murder as the depriving of another individual a future existence… to take away from them something that belonged to them (their future).  The same is the case with abortion.  The act of killing an unborn child is akin to killing a full-grown adult when looking at it this way.

Beyond the unborn child’s right to a future, there are issues for the woman involved that are largely never discussed.   I’ve seen how abortion not only destroys one life, but also slowly destroys many others (the woman herself, her family, future relationships, etc).  Many women who undergo abortion procedures have long-term psychological and physical side-effects.  The other people involved in the decision-making process during this time also experience their share of post-abortion difficulties.   Studies show that among those who have had an abortion, over 90% experience feelings of guilt.  The same is was said for depression, and a loss of happiness.  Feelings of loneliness, anger, helplessness, self-condemnation, shame, grief, regret, constant stress, withdrawal, suicidal feelings, uncontrollable weeping and more were found in the vast majority of post-abortion women asked.   Beyond the psychological, numerous serious medical conditions are found in women who have had abortions.  She could experience breast cancer, ectopic (tubal) future pregnancy, hemorrhage, infection, cervix injury, future miscarriages, sterilization, and many other serious health problems.  Clearly abortion is something that harms the body both physically and mentally.

So what does the Bible say about abortion?  Well as you can probably guess, “abortion” isn’t found anywhere in the Bible because it is a relatively new word.  (Kind of like how “Bible” isn’t found anywhere either…)  But the Scriptures are filled with passages describing how God is very much aware of the unborn child and how He personally is involved in its development.  Take a look at these passages:

Psalm 139:13-16:  “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”

Jeremiah. 1:4-5:  “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Psalm 22:9-10: “Yet You brought me out of the womb; You made me trust in You even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon You; from my mother’s womb You have been my God.”

Isaiah 44:2: “This is what the LORD says–He who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you … “

And these are only a few passages that speak of God’s care of the unborn child. (If you’d like to read more, and read what the original Greek meanings of some words mean, click here.)  God valued and approved of the development of the unborn so much, that He even conceived in a virgin named Mary a child, His Son, to be delivered into the world.  If God did not greatly love the concept of a developing baby, He certainly wouldn’t have created this part of the life cycle, or allowed His Son to be developed in the same way.

Which brings me to the reality, that God in His sovereignty, allows some things to happen that we just don’t understand.  On the issues of rape, incest, and other issues discussed in abortion, sometimes we just can’t comprehend why a loving God would allow such things to happen.  But behind every problem in life, God creates marvelous opportunities.  I know stories of women who have been raped, decided to carry the child to term, and then realized that now they were able to minister to many broken women in ways no one else could.  Their children have been blessings to their lives, and when they see their new baby, they don’t see the man who raped them, but a small part of her that has been passed on to a new life.    I know that many still see rape as an excuse for abortion, but if we know that God is aware of all situations, then we have to accept that this new baby created by such harsh circumstances, is a life that God is allowing to come into existence for His purpose.  Like many events in life that we can’t explain at the time, it often takes years to see the why behind the bad things in our lives.

There is also the issue of the rare ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.  Unfortunately,  modern medical techniques have yet to reach the point where we are able to re-implanted the embryo to a proper place in the uterus.  I have been mistaken recently in thinking that this technology was available, but at this point it is still in the research phase.   In these cases in which the embryo begins to develop in the fallopian tube or cervix, instead of the uterus, the only course of action is to end the pregnancy, by either medication or operation.   I don’t think it is right to call these instances “abortion” because it implies an act of choice by the mother.  I think a more fitting definition for this would be a miscarriage.  I only mention this type of pregnancy here because many use tubal pregnancies as a reason for legalizing abortion.   However, this is not an abortion issue at all, but a medical necessity to save the mother’s life.  As Dr. H says, “It comes to a matter of allowing two to die or saving at least one.”   Hopefully medicine will progress quickly, and in the future we will be able to re-implant these types of  pregnancies in their proper place so the baby can grow and develop naturally.  Until then, there is no alternative.  My heart goes out to anyone who has had to deal with this type of miscarriage, either personally or with someone you love.   I can’t imagine it; I know it must be very difficult.  But as I have said, sometimes God allows some things to happen that we just can’t understand.  Realize that in His sovereignty, He always does what is best for us, whether we can see it or not.   Rest in knowing that your baby is already in Heaven, rejoicing and praising God! That goes for every unborn child that has lost their life.   If you are a believer, you can look forward to meeting him or her one day, and spending eternity together.

So in closing, if you were unsure on your stance in the abortion debate, I hope this has helped to inform you of what you may not be hearing from the secular side.  If you are still undecided, I encourage you to investigate this issue further, and I would highly recommend you watch Maatfa 21, it will open your eyes to the origins of Planned Parenthood and the greater issue of why abortion was advocated many years ago.

Again, if you are reading this and you already have had an abortion, or sponsored one, please know that God loves you and accepts you.  If you are not a follower of Christ, that’s the first step you need to take.  Without Jesus in your life, healing will be impossible.   If you are already a follower, but had this moment of weakness, then ask God for forgiveness; He gives it freely.  Then, forgive yourself.  Like all people, you made a mistake, but now you can move on and leave your past.  You will still experience the consequences that resulted from an abortion, but in Christ all things are made new and your past is forgiven! God remembers it no more.  I encourage you to reach out to other believers and find someone you trust to open up to.  It is very hard to deal with our issues if we never discuss them with our fellow believers.  This will be hard, I know.  But it well help you move forward and away from this part of your life.