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Monday, January 22, 2007

Uncle Don and Aunt Mary
Uncle Don and Aunt Mary

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"Keep Standing!"

"Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel--all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him"  (1 Kings 19:18).

I visited my neighbors, Jesse and Anna, this weekend.  Anna asked me if I would like to hold their new baby Eli, just five days old. I clumsily held him while Anna laughed, asking me if I had ever held a newborn baby before.  (The answer is "yes" but the smaller they are the more uncomfortable I am.)  What a blessing to hold this new life and ponder his future. I considered the powerful lyrics to a song I will link to below. Please listen to it.

Today tens of thousands are gathered in Washington as I prepare this message for the annual March for Life commemorating the 34th anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.  I don't know how many will be there this year, but in the past it's numbered in the hundreds of thousands.  There is certain to be a very large crowd, although the secular news media will likely do one of three things: ignore it, focus on some strange fringe group that in no way represents the larger group, or give coverage to the miniscule pro-abortion demonstrators who'll be out as well.

Among the typical participants will be my Aunt Mary (pictured above), who though in her mid seventies, travels each year all the way from western Missouri for the Cause.  This morning I spoke to Uncle Don and he told me of the extraordinary devotion of the group in their area. That's typical of the altruistic motivation of those who come from all over the country for this march.

It's been several years since I last participated,  but you can count on their presence every year on January 22, rain or shine, in bitterly cold or pleasant weather.  They stand to say, "We have not forgotten the 50,000,000 murdered since 1973."  I have enjoyed my association with them in the past when I've attended, and I bless them in their stand for life and righteousness today.

Without a doubt they face discouragement at times. Any of us standing up against the tide of evil flooding our world may wonder if we are making any difference. We may wonder if our efforts really matter. We may wonder if we are alone; whether it's in our own household with other family members who are not believers or in the workplace where there is no other coworker who takes a visible stand for Christ.

Elijah was discouraged.  Although he had just seen a mighty demonstration by Almighty God he felt alone in his stand and expressed his despair by exclaiming,  "I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too" (v. 10). 

God's words of assurance to Elijah is powerful and timely for us as well.  "Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel--all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him."  As we take a stand for Christ we may feel that we are alone.  Be assured that God will always has a faithful remnant who  remains true to His Name.  Keep standing for Christ today.  You are not alone!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: I choose to be loyal to You, Almighty God. Help me not to be surprised or troubled when I'm in the minority since Your Word reminds me that "Many are called but few are chosen." When the enemy  tempts me to think that You are present only in big crowds or when You rise in the popularity polls,  bring  Scriptures to my thoughts that remind me that You are found in the quietness of a humbled heart.  You can be found in a gentle whisper, through the guiding words of a close friend, a baby's first cry, or in the booming thunder overhead.  Though many of those around me place their allegiance in manmade gods, I choose to follow You, the invisible, living,  and eternal God!  Amen.

I have shared two remarkable testimonies in the past regarding this matter:

Matt is a friend from this area. I spoke to him this morning and he is doing well and staying faithful to the Lord. He and his wife have one child and are expecting their second in April. His testimony is a remarkable demonstration of the big picture.  "Choose Life"

Yvette attends the church in Massachusetts where we formerly pastored. She called this weekend and is pressing on in her walk with the Lord. Yesterday she and Wayne celebrated their first wedding anniversary. I conducted their wedding last January 21 in Taunton, Massachusetts. "No Hopeless Cause"

Brooksyne's Note: In my devotions with Ester this morning we talked about "Making Good Choices" a subject we revisit time after time.  As we were discussing Abram and his nephew Lot and the consequences of their choices I turned the discussion to Ester's birth mother who made the choice to carry her to full term during her pregnancy.  We talked briefly about this being the 34th Anniversary of Roe V. Wade and gave thanks to God for the choices people made in Ester's favor:  her birth mother, the health clinic in Guatemala and her adoptive family in the states.  Statistics record that 80% of the mothers who undergo testing to diagnose "birth abnormalities" choose to abort when abnormalities do appear.  I wonder how many of us who've enjoyed pretty normal lives would have been aborted due to inconvenience, embarrassing circumstances, unhealthy diagnoses, too large an expense, or other reasons too numerous to list if we were conceived in the last 34 years.  Legalizing abortion may change the justice system within the United States, but it doesn't change God's justice system.  May our view be reflective of God's unchanging justice not the world's ever-changing justice based on the views of humankind.

Today's suggested music resource is a powerful, thought-provoking song called "Deliver Me" (audio file).  It's written from the perspective of an unborn child and his pregnant mother with a choice.  Here are the lyrics.  It's on the website of a ministry called "The Ranch".  (I had also placed the link to this song up last week but felt i should place it up again.) Please listen to this song!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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