Friday, August 21, 2009

He Changed My Name and Called Me Forgiven

Ephesians 2:1-10
Made Alive in Christ 1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful natureand following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

I just finished a time of prayer because frankly I have just been drained. I have been irritable and not feeling good with the beginning of some throat cold. Anyway, I got up off the floor and had sequins stuck to my legs from my sweet child's little projects. The stuff I pester her to clean up. Evidence of being a mom! One day I will miss finding those things stuck to me and the sticky hand prints on the wall. However, the less time I spend with Jesus the more irritable I become with the little things.

It is so easy to become hardened by watching the news and etc. We use it as a defense mechanism to shield our hearts from the onslaught of emotion of pain (which pain of course is a catalyst to let us know something is wrong. It is a good thing when used to thrust as at the feet of Jesus.). So, I was reading Dr. Al Mohlers blog and I just lost it. It is about abortion. I have never had an abortion, but I understand that when you are not a believer in Christ you do not think with a spiritual mind (the mind of Christ). I do not want to condemn anyone who has had an abortion as I am sure they have felt guilty enough. I pray that if you are someone reading this and indeed you have had an abortion that you would come to Christ and except His forgiveness and restoration for that sin. I pray that God would use something awful in your life to turn and snatch others from the flames of the same thing. To a born again Christian, it should be considered murder and we should have righteous indignation over it. Especially since God created every life with purpose. When I was lost, not knowing Christ Jesus, I may too have done the same as thousands of other women in aborting a child. Who can say for sure. I in no way condone it (as there are consequences for all of our sin), I am just saying that my renewed mind thinks way differently than my old sinful mind, when I had no clue about living for the Lord. We were all born with a certain moral code in our DNA, but I can tell you for sure my convictions are way different from when I did not know Christ. As a believer we have got to quit focusing so much on "our junk" and working that all out that we miss the Healer. When we are constantly focusing on the past we can't get on with the present. I hope you understand what I am saying. There are things that I have struggled with for years that I would dredge up and wallow in unforgiveness when I was forgiven. Yes I will remember that past sin but I have to make a choice to remind myself of the Lords forgiveness and that none of us are worthy and go on in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit. There are so many things that I wish I could do over but I will lose myself to the past if I don't walk on with God and make choices today that were different from yesterday. That is victory...when you are faced with similar circumstances and choose a different path than the one that almost led you to the stinking grave!! I have been disciplined SEVERELY for some choices I have made. Don't take me lightly...I mean SEVERELY CHASTISED out of the Lords great love for me. I had a personal season of being sifted like wheat that lasted, I KID YOU NOT, for about 3 years. Why that long? Because that's what it took for it to take. I NEVER EVER WANT TO GO BACK TO THAT KIND OF SIFTING. I have been reminded all week and just got up from prayer asking God to help me remember that HIS COMMANDS ARE NOT BURDENSOME. They are for the good of me and you. I prayed that for a friend as well that God would be all over her with that and that she would revel in the good the LORD has for her out of obedience to His commands. I prayed that the Lord's desires would trump the desires of her flesh. Oh how we need that (as I am talking to primarily believers who read this blog). I so have to go or I am going to be bad late!!! LOVE TO YOU ALL!

The following is what I read:

Rethinking Abortion -- Two Unexpected Witnesses
Posted: Friday, August 21, 2009 at 4:10 am ET

Looking across the moral landscape of the last half-century, one issue looms larger than all others -- abortion. Considered from a historical perspective, the intensity and duration of the abortion debate came as something of a surprise. Handing down its infamous Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, the majority of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court declared the abortion question settled and closed. They were wrong.
Almost four decades after Roe v. Wade, Americans are still torn over the issue of abortion. Indeed, the intensity of the abortion debate in 2009 exceeds that of 1973. The controversy over abortion is not only unsettled and unresolved -- it is still developing before our eyes. To the great consternation of abortion-rights proponents, Americans have not accepted abortion on demand as a permanent reality. As a nation, we have debated any number of issues beyond abortion in recent years, but abortion remains the controversy that is most central, unavoidable, and deeply personal.
The personal dimension of the abortion controversy came to light this week from two unexpected witnesses. The first is Sarah Kliff, a reporter for Newsweek magazine. In a very personal column, Kliff describes her experience visiting Omaha, Nebraska and the abortion clinic of Dr. LeRoy Carhart, now perhaps the nation's sole specialist in late-trimester abortions. As Kliff writes, her experience covering abortion for the magazine over the past two years has led her into contact and conversation with a range of persons on both sides of the abortion debate. She recognizes that, "both sides feel abortion is an issue worth waging war over."
Given her journalistic experience, Kliff describes herself as "well-versed in abortion policy, the pro-choice and pro-life arguments, the latest legislation." Her next sentence delivers the surprise: "But I'd never actually seen an abortion; I'd never watched the procedure that activists vehemently defend or deplore."
But that is exactly what happened when Kliff went to Omaha to research her article on Dr. Carhart. Even as she anticipated observing the abortion, Kliff confessed to hesitancy and reluctance. She observed a first-trimester abortion, even though Dr. Carhart does perform late-term abortions. Why was she so ambivalent?
In her words:
Why was I reluctant to watch? To be fair, I'd never observed a surgery and knew myself to frequently flinch at 'Grey's Anatomy.' But abortion isn't like the complex, bloody operations you see on television: medically speaking, it's a simple and common procedure. About 1.2 million were performed in 2005, the same, numberwise, as outpatient cancer surgeries. I was nervous, I think, to watch something so controversial; no one protests outside cancer clinics. I didn't know how I'd react. Would I find the surgery repulsive? Encounter women whose choices troubled me? Whom I disagreed with? I was uneasy about coming in such close contact with such substantial decisions.
Observing the abortion, Kliff writes of seeing a woman prepared for the procedure and then of the suction tube that was inserted within her. Her report is both chilling and honest. "Carhart used a suction tube to empty the contents of the uterus; it took no longer than three minutes. The suction machine made a slight rumbling sound, a pinkish fluid flowed through the tube, and, faster than I'd expected, it was over."
As Kliff recounts, she felt no physical discomfort observing the procedure. Nevertheless, she did experience a very strong emotional reaction. After describing this emotional reaction and her encounters with patients in the abortion clinic, Kliff tells of returning home only to discover that her friends who supported abortion rights "bristled slightly when I told them where I'd been and what I'd watched."
In a profound statement, Sarah Kliff acknowledges that Americans just do not talk about abortion as they talk about other surgical or medical procedures. "Abortion may be a simple procedure medically," she explains, "but it is not cancer surgery."
Sarah Kliff does not condemn abortion in her article and she does not articulate a pro-life understanding of the abortion issue. Indeed, she speaks of abortion as involving a weighty choice that, "depending on how you view it, involves a life, or the potential for life." This is a very weak way of describing the moral question of abortion, but it is at least a start. Sarah Kliff's honest reflections on her experience of observing an abortion are, perhaps more than she knows or recognizes, a witness to the horror of abortion. Her description of "pinkish fluid" flowing through the suction tube is almost impossible to force out of one's mind.
Another unexpected witness this week is actress Kourtney Kardashian. Her recently announced unplanned pregnancy became part of Hollywood's scandal and publicity circus. But what caught the attention of the media this week was her decision to keep the baby and the straightforward logic behind her decision.
Kardashian has not adopted a pro-life position on the abortion question. Indeed, she told People magazine: "I do think every woman should have the right to do what they want, but I don't think it's talked through enough." The actress told of many friends who just assured her that abortion was the easy way out. "Like it's not a big deal," the actress recalled.
Interestingly, Kardashian's decision to keep her baby was at least partially prompted by her experience of reading the testimonies of women who regretted their abortions. "I looked online, and I was sitting on the bed hysterically crying, reading these stories of people who felt so guilty for having an abortion," she explained.
"I was just sitting there crying, thinking, 'I can't do that,' . . . And I felt in my body, this is meant to be. God does things for a reason, and I just felt like it was the right thing that was happening in my life."
As she thought about her decision, Kardashian concluded that "all the reasons why I wouldn't keep the baby were so selfish." She also received encouragement from her doctor. "My doctor told me there is nothing you will ever regret about having the baby, but he was like, 'You may regret not having the baby.' And I was like: That is so true."
The Culture of Death looms as a massive threat, but its foundations are crumbling. Unexpected witnesses such as Sarah Kliff and Kourtney Kardashian help us to see how moral insight can emerge from unexpected experiences, reflections, and witnesses. Some of the most profound witnesses to the horror of abortion and the sanctity of human life do not even know that they are so. The evil of abortion cannot be hidden once it is seen, and a voice for life cannot be forgotten once it is heard.
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Yolanda said...

Jenny Hope...I've been through a sifting period, and feel like I may actually be coming out of one. Only to find the midst of hurt once atain. I would appreciate your prayers and just a glimpse into my heart once again, over at Higher Grounds. Lovingly, Yolanda

Steve said...

Really liked this post. I've wrote 100 post on a blog about my mistakes through life until the Lord saved me and changed me. The blog is called ,( steve-themaninthemirror ). God told me that was enough on that blog. My main thought on that blog was to let people know that no matter how bad you've been, He still love's you, and wants to save you. God allowed me to start another one. I liked it when you said He changed my name. If there has been no change, then it could be that nothing happened. God bless you and keep you.

michellemabell said...

Thanks for posting...I have to say I needed to read this through a few times. Much to think about. Blessings,


Warren Baldwin said...

This story of the reporter gave me chills. Perhaps her description of her experience will encourage people to think twice about submitting to an abortion. You've done a great service telling this story here.

And your description of your personal experience with forgiveness was moving as well. We need to hear each other's stories to be reminded that the Gospel really does still work! People are forgiven, joy fill their hearts again, and lives are genuinely changed.

Very good post.