Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Daily Encouragement (01/22/14) "Not The Only One Left"

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2013 March For Life
2013 March For Life in Washington DC.

"Not The Only One Left"

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too" (1Kings 19:10)."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).

Unborn baby
Today tens of thousands will gather in Washington DC for the annual "March for Life" commemorating the 41st 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.

I had planned to take a bus down along with my brother Pat but due to the snow storm the trip was canceled. But regardless of the weather there will be a very large crowd gathered, though likely the secular news media will do one of three things: ignore it, focus on some strange fringe group that in no way represents the true cause, or give coverage to the minuscule group of pro-abortion demonstrators who'll be out as well.

I first went down to the March For Life when we lived in Saint Marys, PA back in the eighties. People come in from all over the country, such as my Aunt Mary, who is a devout Catholic. Though in her mid-seventies she traveled on a bus each year all the way from western Missouri.

You can count on them every year, rain or shine, bitterly cold or unusually pleasant weather, taking a visible stand to publicly proclaim, "We have not forgotten the estimated 55,000,000 unborn babies 'legally' murdered here in the US since 1973." I have enjoyed my association with these dedicated pro-lifers over the years, and I bless them in their stand for life and righteousness today.

Today's text may seem an unusual one for today's topic and certainly there are verses more specifically related to unborn life which we have used when writing on this theme in the past. But today we consider the discouragement that we may face any time we take a stand on an issue in opposition to the world. Any of us standing up against the waves of evil flooding our world may wonder if we are really making a difference.

Just consider the recent hate-filled remarks of the governor of New York as evidence! Our nation is confronted with two fundamental violations in God's created order: the sanctity of life (God values all human life from conception to natural death) and the sanctity of marriage (God's design for marriage is one man and one woman committed for life).

As we stand up for righteousness we may wonder if our efforts matter. We may sometimes feel alone; whether it's in our own household where other family members are not believers or in the workplace where there may be no other coworker who takes a visible stand for Christ.

Elijah discouraged
Elijah was discouraged on Mount Carmel. Although he had just seen a mighty demonstration by Almighty God he still felt alone in his stand and expressed his weariness and discouragement by exclaiming, "I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too" (v. 10). But Elijah was wrong, he was not the only one left!

God's word 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 and stridently avoid bowing to the Baals of our age we may sometimes feel that we are alone. Be assured that God always has a faithful remnant that remains true to His Name. We want to be in that faithful remnant and continue standing for Christ and His righteousness today. We welcome each reader to join us. We are not alone!

Be encouraged and stand faithful today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, we look at Elijah who took a mighty stand for You during the plague of unbelief that spread throughout the land of Israel. And yet there were moments when he allowed the mindset of the unbelievers, instead of the absolutes stated in Your Word, to weaken him, leading him to think that he was alone in standing true for You.  But You sent word to Elijah, that You have a remnant more interested in obeying You than bowing down to the ever-evolving philosophies of their generation. When we stand with You, Almighty God, we are a majority no matter the number of evil forces we oppose. Keep us looking upward as we walk onward in the truths of Your Holy Scripture. In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

Pro-Life Prayer: Father, we thank You for the courageous girls and women who, in the most difficult of circumstances, choose to give life over choosing to dispense of their "problem." We thank You for the vast groups of men and women who lend support to crisis pregnancies, to those who take in and raise children who are given up for adoption. We thank You for those who have dedicated their lives to this tremendous cause, keeping it very much alive, so that those who accept it as a viable option due to its legalization in 1973 will come to realize that Your Word is the first and final authority on life, not the legislation of our day.

Bless those who speak today, those who march, and those who work among pregnant girls and women who are presently in the very midst of making a life or death decision regarding their unborn child. We also pray for those who made the wrong choice to abort, that they may find Your enduring grace that brings healing and restoration. In many instances, You have used their troubling experience to be an influencing voice for others to make a right choice. We commit the Pro-Life cause to You this day, in Jesus' name.  Amen.

A Sanctity of Life note we have shared several times before: The church I pastored in Massachusetts was located on US 44, a busy highway that was the main east/west route through the city of Taunton (and main route from Providence, Rhode Island to Plymouth, MA). We had a lighted message sign along the highway that was changed virtually every week by Bill and Veda, a very dedicated couple in the church. Scores of people were regularly exposed to spiritual truth in a very spiritually desolate region of the country. Through the years we got a number of positive remarks from passersby concerning these messages which was very encouraging.

However a message we placed up in January one year got some very interesting feedback. We posted this simple, unambiguous, irrefutable message: "Abortion Stops A Beating Heart." A lady who'd seen the sign called my office extremely upset. She told me she thought there should be a law against posting such a message and threatened that she was going to check into it. She claimed her children were so upset they cried. Truth really hurts and in this case illustrates the awful blindness that sin causes.

Washington pro-life March in 1990
Here's a photo taken at the "March For Life" about 25 years ago.
I am in the red jacket holding the sign.

March For Life 2013
Here's a photo of us at last year's march. We were very cold and tired. For any who may be interested here is a map with place marks of our day. See here for more photos from last year's march.

A fun time in the snow!

Mollie with frisbee in snow 1/21/14
Yesterday the snow storm didn't stop Mollie from enjoying playing frisbee catch.
Here's a composite video Ester made!

Clearing snow 1/21/14
The snow storm ended about ten last night after about 7 inches in our area. Then we heard our neighbor's tractor with a snow blower in our driveway. What a blessing we have in good neighbors like Leon! We'll be stopping in today to thank him for his kindness.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Here's a short  video from last year's "March For Life" that Brooksyne and I attended.

"Those Who Never Were"  Video  Lindsey Thompson

"Sanctity of Life"
  Video  Made for Sanctity of Life Sunday at Lancaster Alliance Church in Lancaster, PA. (A church I preached a series of sermons at about ten years ago)

"Orphans Of God"
 Video  Talley Trio

"Let Them Be Little"
 Video  Billy Dean

"Give me A Chance"
 Karl Kohlhase

"Stunning videos with musical background"  Video

Here's a message we shared several years ago related to this topic titled "Being Hated"

Here is info about the March For Life.

I read this yesterday on Gary Bauer's "End Of Day" report: "Tomorrow thousands of Americans will come to Washington, D.C., to take a stand for the sanctity of human life. America was founded on the principle that everyone is created equal and endowed by our Creator with the inalienable right to life. Yet that promise is tarnished by the reality that more than one million unborn children are destroyed in abortion facilities every year. We are better than that.

We fought a civil war to settle the question of whether some men possessed no rights we were bound to respect. In keeping with our founding principles, we rightly determined that every life has dignity and is worthy of respect.

Roe v. Wade is an injustice based on the same misguided philosophy as Dred Scott -- that some humans are not "people" for the purposes of our Constitution. But I have confidence that this good and decent land will someday once again live up to its image as a "shining city upon a hill," when every child is welcomed into the world and protected under the law.

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Stephen and Brooksyne Weber 12/11/13 Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
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