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Monday, June 27, 2022

Father and son
A father and son riding in their "convertible" on a beautiful day.

"A Lesson From Two Pre-Born Babies"

Message summary: Let us pray for a return to Biblical obedience in regard to God's gift of sexuality, marriage and children. Let us respectfully recognize and celebrate that motherhood begins at the point of conception when God places a new life that he formed within the mother's womb.

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"For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my motherís womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:13,14). "When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?'" (Luke 1:41-43).

Joe and Taylor wedding vows 8/17/19We visited for a few minutes with some new grandparents
yesterday. We see Gary, the grandfather in the course of our chaplaincy and have followed his joy for several months now. I officiated at their daughter's wedding ceremony three years ago on a beautiful bluff overlooking the Susquehanna River.

Their grandson is expected to be born in September but as I always tell men when their wife is expecting: you are not just an expectant father; you are a father. I do the same for grandparents. It was Elizabeth who referred to her cousin, Mary, as the "mother of my Lord" early in her pregnancy. Some get it, some don't.

Especially grievous is when some choose not to acknowledge a parental title due to a worldview that life is determined subjectively on whether the unborn child is wanted or unwanted. If "wanted" there is joy at new life and months of anticipation for the unborn baby, if "unwanted" the same baby is a "fetus", clump of cells or even a parasite to be disposed of. (See link to article below.)

Scripturally and medically life begins at conception. For nearly fifty years our country has been deeply divided on the issue of pre-born life. This last Friday our nation's Supreme Court made a ruling that has really reignited the issue, essentially allowing individual states to determine policy on this matter. Some states will place various restrictions, while others already have and will expand "abortion rights". Here in Pennsylvania we have a very evil governor who is deeply committed to the cause of abortion rights so the Supreme Court ruling really doesn't change anything in our state, at least under the current administration.

Lisa HoslerFollowing our church service yesterday we visited for a few minutes with Lisa Hosler, president of Align Life, a tremendous local organization that stands for the values of life. They provide pregnancy tests, prenatal & parenting education, provide infant supplies, sexual integrity education and post-abortion counseling. Around the country organizations like this have been targeted by pro-abortion activists although Lisa told us locally thus far their buildings have not been targeted, though they have dealt with some hacking issues.

Brooksyne and I unapologetically take a strong stand for the Sanctity of Life; for the protection of the unborn, the infirmed, and the elderly; for those the world regards as being unworthy of life. We have done so since our college days in the 70's and have both attended the pro life march that is held each January in Washington.

Today's first Scripture is straightforward. The Psalmist David acknowledges that he was formed by God while in his mother's womb and gives thanks. Even with his rudimentary knowledge of prenatal development at that time he knew he was "fearfully and wonderfully made".

The second text is from a familiar narrative section read often during the Christmas season though some may fail to see the doctrinal significance in it. Check out the context. The angel assured Mary of God's special plan for her (Luke 1:35) and she submitted to this plan (1:38). She was told that her relative Elizabeth was also with child in her sixth month of pregnancy (1:36).

After the message Mary "hurried" to see Elizabeth and her greeting prompted the baby to leap in Elizabeth's womb. The Greek uses the word "brephos" for baby here. This word is used nine times in the New Testament for both pre-born and infant children. No distinction is made between the two in New Testament Greek. This joyful baby was John who had another three months of prenatal development and security inside his mother's womb at the time of Mary's visit. Today there are babies slaughtered at this age and even older.

However, it's Elizabeth's response to Mary that is most interesting and instructive. "In a loud voice she exclaimed: 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?'" (Luke 1:42-43).

Notice Elizabeth's recognition of Mary as "mother of my Lord". How long had Mary been a mother at this point? Of course we don't know exactly. This is not revealed to us; whether it be just a few weeks or months. Yet Elizabeth calls her "the mother of my Lord". Most all abortions are now performed after the point of Elizabeth's declaration!

Let us pray for a return to Biblical obedience in regard to God's gift of sexuality, marriage and children. Let us respectfully recognize and celebrate that motherhood begins at the point of conception when God places a new life that He forms within the mother's womb.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, when You took the dust of the ground to form Adam and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life You had a purpose for his existence on earth. And You have a purpose for all human life. Forgive us for assuming that we know more than You, the Creator of life, in willfully choosing whether one is allowed to live and another is destined to die before one breathes his or her first independent breath. We thank You for the millions who take a visible stand for life, based not on a popular theme but on truths established in Your Holy Word. Help us to be vigilant in doing what is right and good in Your sight, even when it is inconvenient and costly to our personal lives. In our disposable society help us, as believers, never to dispose of human life that You created or to dispose of truths that You intended for us to live by in favor of a political, intellectual, or financial agenda. We fervently pray for our divided nation that individuals would recognize the importance of biblical morality guiding our decisions and actions, rather than the fluctuating philosophies of any given generation who has contrasting views.  Enable us to be strong, courageous and unyielding in our Christian walk through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Ester wrote this on her Facebook page:

"I was unplanned and I thank God everyday that my birth mom chose life. Here's a wonderful song by Matthew West. "Unplanned"  Video

Every life deserves a voice.
Every child deserves a chance.
You are more than just a choice.
Cause there's no such thing as unplanned.

Ester 33rd anniversary of 1st surgery
33 years ago today I had my first open heart surgery at the age of 3 months. Life hasnít always been easy for me but God is still faithful to me. And here I am 33 years later. #ThisIsMe #TheStoryOfMyLife

"Move Your Heart"  Video  Maverick City

Is an Unborn Child a Parasite, Living off Another Personís Body without Permission? Article by Randy Alcorn

The 5 Most Outrageous Reactions to the SCOTUS Pro-Life Decision  Article

Here's a thoughtful post Brooksyne found on Facebook shared by both our former pastor, John Keefer and Stephen's cousin, Scott Walker.

"I agree that a woman should have control over her body. But here is the problem... That baby? It isn't your body. It is his or her body. Yes, it is a body that is CONNECTED to your body. And yes, it RESIDES in your body. But it is NOT your body. That baby is a human being in a different body. That human being deserves life. So do what you want with YOUR body, but understand that your baby is not you."

Psalm 139:13-16 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my motherís womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, and I know this very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all my days were written in Your book and ordained for me before one of them came to be."

Lisa Hosler has served as Align Life Ministries President since its inception in 1985 and provides vision, spiritual direction, and strategic oversight. She is passionate about clients coming into a saving, life-changing relationship with Jesus.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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