Monday, September 29, 2008

Wow, what a day in the stock market. I hope everyone is hanging in there--these are tough times and I have a feeling they might get worse.

I've been working for the local school district the last few weeks and let me tell you, if these kids from a small town in Minnesota are any indication of where our country is going, we are in big trouble. Parenting skills seem to be at an all time low, and when these kids come to school, they act like they don't have to obey anyone.

This is something I just can't live with so I've been spending "quality time" with some of the more difficult high school kids over the last few days. You wouldn't believe how shocked they are when I confront them--it's like they really don't know what to make of it. (This is a school where the Principal is considered "cool"). It amazes me, though, how quickly they respond to discipline when they think it's fair. They leave angry and come back five minutes later (after they've done what I asked them to do) and high five me. Really surprising, and I guess it gives me a little bit of hope.

When I see all of this, I can't help but think of our relationship to God and I wonder: How does He put up with us? How many times are His children rude to Him? How many times do we ignore Him? How many times do we disobey? And now multiply this over several thousand years; millions and millions of people. It's mind-boggling.

As I thought about it tonight, it all seemed so sad . . . and then I remembered a little five year old boy who came up to me yesterday and said, "You are awesome!" and suddenly, it was easier to see how very precious we are in His eyes. I don't know that I will ever understand it until I finally see Him, but I have to say I am so very grateful that He loves us. His patience and love help me to love those around me when I'm not feeling very patient or kind.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 3:1

Monday, September 22, 2008

For those of you who have been praying for my brother, Danny, I just want to say thank you so much, and I hope you will continue to pray. Things are not looking very good at the moment, and we don't know how much longer we will have him with us. It is one of the saddest times I can remember in my life, and your thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated.

Thanks also to everyone who wrote in support of our position on Hank Hanegraaff. So far the opinions are running about 99% positive, and we appreciate every one of your posts. To the person who wrote a lengthy response to my article, "Tim LaHaye and Hank Hanegraaff: The Men Behind the Headlines" I will tell you what I have told several other HH supporters--I am not obligated to post your defense of him. You are entitled to your opinion of me, and I certainly would not want to waste your time or mine trying to change your mind. (Incidentally, you lost me after your first two paragraphs):

I have just read your diatribes about Hank Hanegraaf, in which I felt compelled to respond to, here is a response from an international (British) listener of the BAM programm and CRI supporter hosted by Hank of over a decade, and not only do I not see the portrayed side of this God-houring [sic] and fearing man but a very disturbed person of Jill Martin-Rische. read on if you care to....

In life there are some people that will stand in the shadow of another person forever grateful to them and live by the glory of that person - this is you Jill! You are truly embittered after many years...about how your daddy was hard-done-by by Hank. And you then rally supporters round to have a religious pity-party and a personal vendetta through this meaningless website that does nothing to the glory of God because it has other matters that malign another true minister of God--Hank.

I guess I will say one thing to you in response: It is an honor to stand in the shadow of my father, Walter Martin, and I am not deserving of it.

On a lighter note . . . .

The last couple of weeks have been some of the most difficult and most wonderful. Difficult in the respect that I am now working part-time outside the home and this has meant a total readjustment for my family, and rewarding in the special things I see God doing in our lives. We are so blessed to be part of a church that actively seeks to serve God, a church led by a pastor who is a teacher in the truest sense of the word. We look forward to going to church every Sunday because it means we have another opportunity to learn from him, and I'm sure you know how rare it is to find an exceptional teacher.

We recently began a new Vespers Service (evening worship) at church, and all I can say is . . . wow. I end up singing these songs all week long and the sense of God's presence stays with me. I can't help but think how wonderful it is to praise Him. . . .

We all go through difficult times, and I know with our economy the way it is, times will probably get even harder. But one truth remains a great comfort in all of this--God is good--and He loves us. My prayers go out to all of you who may be hurting at this time . . . I will pray for God's comfort and leading and blessing in your lives.

We sang a wonderful hymn on Sunday (I love the old hymns of the faith; to me they're like Shakespeare--culture and heritage at its finest). Whenever my heart feels heavy, I find so much comfort in them . . . .

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Walter Martin on hearing God's voice:

Nehemiah 2:4‑5, 11-12
The king said to me, "What is it you want?" Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, "If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it.” ...I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days I set out during the night with a few men. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem.

People often wonder how they will know when God is speaking to them. Nehemiah talked of how God put knowledge in his heart. I believe that God speaks to our spiritual natures. The heart is a synonym for soul or for the spirit. I believe God speaks to our hearts very definitively. He tells us things he wants us to do in such a way that we have no rest until we do that specific thing. I can give you illustration after illustration in my own life and ministry where the Lord has done that to me.

I’ve also had the Lord tell me things through people. Not too long ago I was feeling a little bit stressed. I had to finish a chapter on a book that was coming out, and I had some finishing touches on another paperback book. It was a great burden on me with all the other things I’d been doing, and I was feeling very low in my energy levels. I was praying for the Lord to give me some uplifting and some guidance.

Well, that morning I happened to call Christian Research Institute, and they switched me over to the phone system’s background music. There was a guy on there preaching, and he preached to me for about two minutes. His text came from Colossians 1:11 "...being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience....” I needed to hear that exact answer at that precise moment.

I needed to be reminded that it didn’t depend on my energy; it didn’t depend on whipping up my enthusiasm. The Lord’s energy is there when I need it. And sure enough, it was. I finished half a chapter!

God speaks through other people in just that way. Sometimes he speaks through a prophetic word in Church services. I don’t know how many times people have come up to me and said, “That word was meant for me this morning.” God speaks through circumstances—placing us where we can’t help but get the message. He speaks to our hearts and of course, always through his Word. So, there are numerous ways God speaks to you.

You can be sure that God is speaking to you when what comes through is in accordance with the Word of God, when it is for the continuous witness of the individual, for the salvation of other people’s souls, or for the solution to problems that you’ve been praying about. God speaks in remarkable ways.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Just a few more reasons to consider the words of our candidates very, very carefully. . . from my friend, Frank Pastore:

Obama's Abortion Positon: To the Left of NARAL

Frank Pastore
Friday, September 05, 2008

Frank Pastore from KKLA in Los Angeles interviews Jill Stanek, the former registered nurse who served at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois. She testified before Congress about the death of infants who survived the abortion procedure only to die without care, giving rise to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

Frank Pastore: As you know Sarah Palin has five children her youngest is a child that has Down syndrome. She was diagnosed, obviously while she was still pregnant with the child, and she chose to go forward. You have got to remember that 90 percent of Down syndrome children are aborted in this country, and it brings the life question right back regarding Senator Obama and question of what was going on in Illinois, what his record was regarding partial birth abortion—what he claims. You’ll remember that he said pro-lifers were lying about his record in an interview.

We have actually got the nurse who was holding one of those babies that Barack Obama wanted to kill, that had survived an abortion. She is a nurse—a delivery nurse. She has held these children that have survived abortions and rocked them in her arms. She also has been before Barack Obama when he was Chairing the Committee. You may hear all kinds of things in the mainstream media, but this woman was there. She was in front of Barack Obama. She has made the case regarding why these children should live. And Jill Stanek has argued before him and lost because he in fact has refused to support [the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.]
I know there has been a lot of political pressure from the Obama campaign against you, but nonetheless you are standing strong and telling your story. So what happened?

Jill Stanek: I was a registered nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois in 1999 when I discovered that not only was the hospital involved in late-term abortions, but the method of abortion that the hospital used called induced labor abortion—which is not rare, it is committed around this country—sometimes resulted in babies aborted alive and, if they were aborted alive, they were allowed to die in the hospital’s soiled utility room without any medical intervention whatsoever.

This came home to me one night when a nursing coworker was taking a little baby boy (who had been aborted because he had Down syndrome) to our soiled utility room to die because his parents didn’t want to hold him and she didn’t have time to hold him that night. When she told me what she was doing I couldn’t bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone and so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived. Needless to say, this was a life-changing event, and made me into the pro-life activist that I never was before.

After privately appealing to the hospital to stop, and they said they wouldn’t, we asked the Illinois attorney general to intervene and make them stop by law. He said that there was no law that was stopping them—and this was a pro-life Republican AG. This brought about the reason to introduce the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act. This is in 2001 and this had been introduced on the Federal level in 2000 by the same name. And this was a bill that simply stated any baby born alive, no matter what gestational age, no matter what reason, wanted or not, was constitutionally protected as a legal person. And so I encountered Barack Obama in 2001 in a committee and when I was giving my testimony he decided that this would impose upon Roe v Wade—and so he voted “no” in committee. And then he went on to be the sole Senator to speak against it on the Senate floor, not only in 2001, but again in 2002.

He voted against it, it lost, so it was introduced again in 2002. On his Web site he has a quote from Pam Sutherland, the former CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois, and he brags about the fact that she said that he came to her and wanted to strategize with Planned Parenthood about defeating this bill. So, he took a leadership role in opposing Born Alive. And that brings us to 2003 which pertains to … the interview with David Brody. In 2002 it passed with flying colors on the Federal level. It passed 98-0 in the U.S. Senate. Everyone voted for it, it was unanimous: Hillary, Kerry, Kennedy and Boxer even spoke in favor of it on the Senate floor. It passed overwhelmingly in the House….

Pastore: Everyone agreed, “Look if this child can survive the abortion we ought not let it lie there on the table and die or throw it in the trash can. We ought to help it survive. We ought to help the baby live.”

Stanek: Right, and furthermore, the pro-abortion group NARAL even went neutral on this bill on the Federal level. So Barack Obama, in 2003, voted “no” for the identical wording of the Federal bill which had changed slightly through the years. He voted against it. He voted against the very same identically worded legislation that even NARAL went neutral on. So, he voted to the left of NARAL.

Pastore: Let me get this right. So, the 98 members of the Unites States Senate voted unanimous 98-0 in favor of allowing these babies survive and helping them survive and, in the State Senate in Illinois, Barack Obama voted against that exact same language.

Stanek: Yes.

Pastore: Wow. Because he’s been presenting himself as saying, “Hey, if it had the same language I would have supported it. That’s why I’ve rejected the ban.” But it did have the exact same language.

Stanek: Yes, and I want to clarify: We are not talking about partial birth abortion where babies are half-way delivered. We are talking about an abortion procedure where the babies are fully delivered. Labor is purposefully induced before they think that the baby will be viable, so that the baby—they think—will die during the birth process or soon after. But they don’t do anything to kill the baby before the baby is delivered.

Pastore: … There’s no saline, there’s no salt, there’s no suturing, there’s no cutting, there’s none of that? So they just deliver the baby and because the mom wanted to terminate then you just kill the baby rather then help it survive.

Stanek: Yes, Sarah Palin is a great example of what typically happens. A mom is diagnosed with her baby having some sort of an anomaly, and they push very hard for these moms to abort, but the diagnosis comes during the second trimester, or early third. So, this would be the typical abortion procedure that Downs kids have. You know that 90 percent of Downs kids that are aborted—likely, most of them are aborted by this method…. If she had gone through this procedure in Illinois, and if her little baby boy Trig had survived, Barack Obama is on record as saying he doesn’t think there should be intervention.

Pastore: Wow.

Stanek: He actually said that during Senate testimony in 2002, and there are audio clips out there that were recently discovered that you might want to get a hold of. He said that he didn’t think—he acknowledged that these babies could be aborted alive, but he said that it would be a “burden”—that’s his word—on the “original decision”—that’s his word again—on the mother and the doctor to resuscitate these babies.

Pastore: What’s fascinating to me is you are the nurse, the delivery room nurse, you were there, you’ve been before his committee there’s no way to spin this. It’s not you reciting another news story. You are the news story.

Stanek: I think what happened there was that he got back from Hawaii and his people didn’t tell him that we had the actual vote, the actual archived vote from the Illinois general assembly that had been scanned and all over the Web and so when he went on that interview and called us lying liars, he was really waving a red flag not only before National Right to Life, but kind of laying down the gauntlet which really helped create more of the media furor, so that by Sunday night, his staff had had to tell The New York Sun that it was true—he had voted the way he said he had not voted. And actually—you know a non-partisan group—has confirmed that he has voted that way and that he misrepresented his vote.

Pastore: What does this now mean—in your understanding? I mean for so long, for four years he had misrepresented his record, he knew he was lying about it, now he’s caught. The issue of life has surfaced yet again….

Stanek: … What we are talking about Frank, is a man who is so adamantly pro-abortion that he is pro-infanticide. He is on record as being in favor of allowing these kids to die in order to complete the mom’s request, although her request—she has gotten her pregnancy terminated, you know when the baby’s born—but he thinks she has the right to a dead baby.

The Frank Pastore Show
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