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Posts Tagged ‘religion’

We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work (John 9:4).

It took us many decades to get to the place where the argument over abortion is not 27 week old babywhether or not the unborn baby is a human being, but when and under what circumstances you get to kill it.

A look at the political scene in our country is enough to cause anyone who loves the Lord to despair. Those in power are forcing their ungodly ways on Christians. We used to be a Christian nation in the sense that no one questioned God or the Bible or the sanctity of life. I’m old enough to remember a time like that. Now those things are all “politically incorrect”.

I cannot remain silent while there is still hope. We are quickly getting to the place where we will not be able to speak out without being arrested. My sisters and brothers, I beg you to stop whatever else you are doing and pray. Then, get involved in whatever organization you can to help stop the holocaust against unborn babies. What is being done to helpless babies is just a symptom of the whole problem. As a nation we have deserted God. We must turn back to righteousness.

Before you say you have given up in despair, consider that others are working very hard and some gains are being made to protect the unborn. If enough people join them we may have a chance to roll back the evil that is being done.

Marjorie Dannenfelser has done a heroic job as president of the Susan B. Anthony List. She needs our support. Go to the SBA website and donate some money. You can also see what currently proposed legislation needs your action. Pray for Lila Rose and her colleagues in Live Action News as they go undercover to film stories about what is really happening in abortion clinics.

Join your local pro-life group. They will keep you informed as to what is going on in your state. If you are blessed enough to live in a state like Texas with pro-life leaders, support them. They can’t do the job alone.

WendyDavisBabyBooties-240x360Do your best to defeat legislators like Wendy Davis who advocates barbaric late-term abortion. Texas women can abort a healthy baby up to the 26th week of pregnancy for any reason under the current law. Ms. Davis is considered a hero by her abortion friends for blocking a law that would protect healthy babies from what is nothing less than murder. A 26 week-old baby can survive outside of the womb. What is the difference between killing the child inside the womb or out? Thankfully, Governor Rick Perry will call another legislative session to get the bill restricting abortion passed.

Even if we leave God out of the discussion, most people (80% according to a January Gallup poll) think that abortion should be illegal in the third trimester. 64% say they disagree with abortion in the second trimester. In many European countries you can’t get an abortion past 12 weeks except in exceptional circumstances. Ms. Davis along  with Obama, Pelosi, Cecile Richards and other abortion “rights” advocates would make America the most barbaric country in the world.

Read and support (LifeSiteNews.com). There you will be able to keep up with state and national legislation as well as many other articles about the sanctity of life.

There is a beautiful story at LifeSiteNews with photographs of a baby, Walter, born at walter, 19 weeksnineteen weeks gestation. The family has shared the photos of the baby and wishes others to pass them on. Mother, Lexi Fretz encourages, “Please feel free to share our photos. In all our hurt, I am glad that some good can come out of this. I pray that the Lord will continue to use Walter’s photos to impact many.”

A picture is worth a thousand words, so share photos especially with women you know that are contemplating abortion.

It is not enough to just talk about the seriousness of killing babies. We must help women who find themselves in a tough situation. The answer to their problem is not to do away with the baby. The baby did not choose to be conceived. The mother and father made the mistake; the baby should not pay for their sin with his/her life. Find out where the adoption organizations are in your state and inform yourself as to what the options are that they offer. Churches used to have homes for unwed mothers. How many women would choose to carry their babies if they only had some help?

If you are brave enough join Operation Rescue or other groups that peacefully protest outside of abortion clinics. Pray for the women who go inside, but also pray for the women and men who work in the abortion clinics. Many women, like Abby Johnson (see my March 14, 2012 post), have had enough of the barbarism and left abortion clinics. Pray that God will open the eyes of others and that soon there will be no one left who wants to kill babies.

We are in a war. The church has been asleep for far too long. The opposition knows that they can win the fight while we sleep. WAKE UP! GET BUSY! We don’t have to let the forces of evil completely rule in our country. We can’t afford to while away every night in front of the television anymore. If every Christian would even spend one night a week doing something – anything – we could restore justice in this land for the unborn.

Let us work for the night is coming. One by one laws are being passed that are targeting Christianity. Don’t fall for the lie about “separation of church and state”. The opposition pushes that to keep Christians silent. They are passing their laws while we’re expected to sit around and be “tolerant”. They are not tolerant. Just witness the behavior at the Texas Capitol this week.

Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found (Psalm 32:6).

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Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though your were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. (Romans 6:16-18)

—  For the last month we have looked at the lives of four very remarkable women. Three lived in the nineteenth century and one in the eighteenth century. Three were slave-born blacks; one was a free black. In spite of the fact that they had seemingly everything going against them as black women, at the bottom of the social scale, they rose above their circumstances and gave much to humanity while serving their Savior.

Why were they able to live in a realm above their circumstances? It is because they all received strength from God. They all answered the call in their lives to serve.

Phillis Wheatley came to Boston from West Africa in 1761. Her owners, John and Phillis Wheatley - 1Susanna Wheatley, were devout Christians. Susanna recognized Phillis’ gift for learning and educated her. Phillis was brilliant enough to read and understand even the most difficult parts of Scripture. She loved poetry and was familiar with Alexander Pope, John Milton, Horace, Virgil and many others that twenty-first century college students cannot read.

Phillis lived as a slave until the death of her owner in 1778. During that time she wrote poetry and much of it reflected her thoughts on the cruelty of slavery. But her poetry also reflected her strong Christian faith. She was able to put into perspective the difference between physical and spiritual slavery. One reason she was able to rise above her circumstances was that she knew that her life with Christ would be forever and life on this earth is short. She was grateful to God for saving her soul:

“On being brought from Africa to America”
‘Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
“Their colour is a diabolic die.”
Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain,
May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train.

Phillis looked forward to the day when slavery would be ended but lived a righteous life that honored God in spite of her circumstances.

 

If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:1)

Sojourner-Truth - 1   —  Isabella Baumfree (Sojourner Truth) was born around 1797 to slave parents in New York. She ran away from a cruel owner around 1826. Kindly Quakers took her in and purchased her from her owner when he caught up with her. Isabella had a life changing experience where her faith became more real to her. There came to her “the true revelation of the character and attributes of God, and of the office of Jesus Christ as the Mediator and Savior; and the converted Sojourner became from that time henceforward one of the most faithful, consistent, and zealous of Christian disciples.” It was during this time that Isabella changed her name to Sojourner Truth.

Sojourner wanted to do something to help her people. Besides trying to get the United States government to give land to the colored people, she became a reformer. She was nearly six feet tall and had a strong, deep voice. When she spoke, people listened. She was active in the temperance movement and argued for better treatment of women.

In Sojourner we have another woman who lived above the pettiness of society. Many other black women of her day went on to live mediocre lives after their emancipation, but not Sojourner. “People ask me,” she once said, “how I came to live so long and keep my mind; and I tell them it is because I think of the great things of God; not the little things.” Sojourner kept her eyes on the things above.

 

I’ll meet you in de mornin’,
When you reach de promised land;
On de oder side of Jordan,
For I’m boun’ for de promised land.    

—  The little lady who rescued three to four hundred slaves in the mid-nineteenth HTubman-1century, earning the title, of a “Moses to her people” was born Araminta Ross around 1820 to Benjamin Ross and Harriet Greene, both slaves. Harriet Tubman later took her mother’s name, Harriet. She took her husband’s name when she married John Tubman.

Harriet would not blame God for any of the hard circumstances of her early life, but acknowledge that her difficult upbringing prepared her for the tasks ahead of her when she followed her calling to rescue slaves.

In 1849, she and some other slaves were to be sold. She determined not to be sold and so one night she just walked away. Eventually she arrived in Philadelphia where a white woman befriended her and she got a job. She saved her money and two years after her own escape from slavery she went south to rescue her husband. She found him living with another woman and unwilling to take her back. This did not stop her from her plan of rescuing other family members. She just moved on trusting in the Lord.

Harriet didn’t acquiesce to her slave condition; she did something about it. Risking her health and even her life she lived in crude circumstances in order to rescue and move slaves to freedom. She had to live by her wits but she always gave the credit to God. When someone would express surprise at her boldness and daring she would reply, “Don’t I tell you, Missus, ’twasn’t me, ’twas de Lord!”

Harriet’s life is an example of what can be done, even in horrible circumstances, when a person does not give up or give in. It was her faith in God and her attitude that made all of the difference.

 

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

MariaStewart_   —  Maria Miller was born a free black in 1803 in Hartford, Connecticut. Other than their last name, we don’t really know anything about Maria’s parents. She was orphaned at the age of five and became a servant girl in the home of a minister. While there she learned to read and became very familiar with the Bible. She understood it so well in fact that one she would later incorporate it into her speeches in very intelligent and appropriate ways. When she was twenty-three, Maria Miller married James W. Stewart at the African Baptist Church in Boston. She took not only his last name but also his middle initial and became known as Maria W. Stewart after that.

Maria is well known for her speeches and article on abolition and women’s rights. She was cruelly robbed of her inheritance by white, unscrupulous businessmen when James died. She knew how unfair life was for blacks and especially for female blacks.

In spite of that, she was also a devout Christian who knew what God expected of His people – all of His people. Maria boldly lectured the blacks themselves for doing little to better their own plight. “It is useless for us any longer to sit with our hands folded, reproaching the whites; for that will never elevate us,” she said.

Here was another woman who understood that the most important thing in life is to be right with God. She fought for social justice, but always in the context of the Bible.

All of these women understood that the most important freedom is freedom in Christ. Yes, human slavery is wicked and cruel. We still have it with us today in the form of human trafficking. As long as wicked men have the power to abuse others they will. We will not be free of sin until Christ comes again. We can fight for social justice as all of these women did. It is in service to others for the Lord that we find a meaning in our lives that keeps us going. We are able to rise above our circumstances keeping our eyes focused on Jesus and on the tasks at hand.

We can learn from the examples of these four remarkable women who understood that:

And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise (Galatians 3:29) and If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)
 

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But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world, and things which are despised, God has chosen, and the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, that no man may boast before God.   (I Corinthians 1:27-29).

One of God’s special children who proved these words to be true was Pandita Ramabai Dongre Medhavi. When we study her life we see how wonderfully the Lord works in the lives of His children; how He blesses and saves others through their testimonies; how the Holy Spirit uses them to minister to others; and how He providentially cares for them.

Ramabai was born in 1858 in India to Hindu parents. Her father, unlike the other Hindu men in India, believed that women should be educated. Though doubtful that Ananta Shatri Dongree, a wealthy Hindu guru, was ever a Christian, God used him as an instrument for His providential purpose of raising up Ramabai for a great Christian work. Ananta educated his wife and daughter. By the time Ramabai was twenty years old she had memorized 18,000 verses of the Puranas, the Hindu holy book. God would use her remarkable abilities in her later life to start a school for women. (You can read a little more detail on Ramabai’s life in an earlier blog posting – December 2011).

Today I want to further explain how we can learn from her faithfulness. There are many important characteristics that we all need to cultivate, and Pandita (a title that means “learned” or “wise one”) Ramabai displayed more than a few. I would like to concentrate on three: reliance on the Holy Spirit, patience, and humility.

All through her life, Pandita Ramabai gave the glory to God for the things that He did through her. She never sought fame, but only to give to others what God had given her – peace and joy through salvation in Jesus Christ.

An early incident shows her humble attitude as she sought to change the cruel conditions for women in India. Ramabai was offered a government job teaching high caste Hindu women, but she chose to open a small school where she could work with the women herself. Her first school had only two pupils but she was overjoyed that God had answered her prayers and allowed her to realize her long cherished dream.

Ramabai’s work was not easy. She firmly believed that the way to reach the Hindu women was to keep her school “neutral” religiously. That way the Hindu fathers would trust her with their daughters. She made it plain that they would study the Bible, but she would not proselytize. Of course, the Lord used her work to convert many girls to Christianity anyway. But because of her methods, she received criticism from the people in her country as well as from the missionaries who thought she should just join a mission group and preach the way they did. The problem was that the Indian populace did not trust Westerners. Ramabai knew this and she kept her Hindu customs in dress and her strict vegetarian diet. She knew that God had given her the opportunity and she wasn’t budging. Of course, time would prove her right.

A remarkable incident that shows the spiritual maturity of Ramabai was centered around her desire to reach more girls for Christ. Ramabai had attended a camp meeting with fifteen of her girls. These girls were converted Christians and were very serious about learning the things of God. They attended with pencils and notebooks and showed that they understood the teaching. This warmed Ramabai’s heart because it was further proof that women can be taught.

One morning while praying in the woods and enjoying the sunrise, Ramabai felt overwhelmed with gratitude to God for the fifteen young women and girls and wished with all her heart that more of her people would open their eyes to the Gospel and be filled with the knowledge and the joy of salvation. She was led to pray that God would “square” the number of her spiritual children and give her two hundred and twenty-five before the next camp meeting took place.

This was a really bold move on her part. At this time there were lots of reasons against increasing the number of girls in the school. The total number of girls in the school was only forty-nine and the summer break was about to begin. She did not know if there would even be fifty girls in the fall. But she was compelled to pray and trust in God.

Some of Ramabai’s friends tried to encourage her to give up the school and become a full time evangelist. She was willing to do whatever God wanted her to do, but she still felt convinced that He had led her in the right direction so far.

The enrollment in the school stayed low for many months. Ramabai gave up her salary and lived a life of poverty to keep the school going. Enrollment dropped to forty-one. But God was preparing her for the fulfillment of her dreams; just not like she expected.

A famine had been going on in central India. Thousands were starving to death. Many widows were especially destitute.

I must put in a word here about the widows in India. When we think of widows here in America, we think of older women primarily. But in India, in the high caste system, the widows could be as young as babies. The girls were sold into marriage by their parents whenever their parents could get a good price for them. Sometimes the “husbands” died before the girls got married or consummated the marriage and they were considered widows. They were then at the mercy of the husband’s family, including other jealous wives, or cruel mothers-in law. During the famine many were just turned out of the house. Ramabai thought that the system was cruel and heartless and she longed to change it.

And so, Ramabai went on a journey during the famine and gathered three hundred widows to bring home to her school to feed and care for. This was even more than the two hundred and twenty-five that she asked God for. Many of these were as young as five years old. Before she left on her journey, God sent the money from many unexpected places.

Just getting them home was a big challenge, but then she had to feed them and care for them. Here again, God showed His love and providence by providing enough money for Ramabai to purchase some land and plant fruit trees. She also raised animals. This provided work for the widows and of course nourishing food. During the drought she was able to dig some wells and obtain that most precious of commodities during a drought – water. It wasn’t a huge amount, but because of her poor, struggling childhood, Ramabai knew how to conserve and there was enough to meet the pressing need.

During this time of hardship the girls learned the Christian principles of work, caring, praying, and giving. So many would become serious, devout Christians that Ramabai would be able to send out groups of twenty at a time to the surrounding towns to evangelize.

From two pupils to over 25,000 at a time! Ramabai was surely blessed by God to help people in India. Yet one further anecdote shows her tremendous humbleness in spite of her fame throughout India, England, and the United States.

When she knew that she had only a few years left to serve the Lord she began to make plans for her work to be carried on by others. An organization was formed with highly respected trustees to oversee it. She insisted that her name not be used as the title of the organization. “Ramabai is dead,” she said. Her work was to be God’s alone as the work continued. Many of the women and girls that she raised up, including her own daughter, carried on the evangelization that she so earnestly desired.

The Mukti Mission is still active today providing housing, education, medicine, and vocational training to widows, orphans, and the blind.

How amazing what one little woman can do while serving God with patience and humility! Ramabai is a great example to us of faithfulness to the Lord, reliance on the Holy Spirit, and courage to follow a dream. May this be an encouragement to us as we seek to follow the Lord.

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