Monday, August 24, 2015

Speak up!

On Saturday I participated in the nation wide protest of Planned Parenthood. I was pleased to see around 400-500 people gathered there in Lawrenceville to protest that place of death and its evil practices. I have stood out there several times with so very few that it is hard to express how thankful I am that there seems to be an awakening in our country in regards to the issue of abortion. It was great to see so many people holding signs and praying. And it was great to see our brothers, Bobby McCreery and Alex Burt boldly preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are both pro-life and pro-eternal life.

Many days Bobby has stood on that sidewalk by himself preaching the gospel and calling attention to what happens in that place. By God’s grace, he has withstood the summer elements and the winter elements, the heat and the cold and the rain. He has also endured the criticism of fellow believers, who even though seem to be absent a lot, find time to assure Bobby that he’s doing it wrong. I have even been criticized for being friends with Bobby and for standing with him there, not by abortion rights advocates, but professing believers and pro-lifers. Yet, as I write this (Monday), tomorrow Planned Parenthood will be open again performing abortions and the 400-500 people will not be there to protest. But Bobby will be there. He will put up his signs, plug in his microphone, pray to our Sovereign Lord, open his Bible and begin speaking. He will talk about the horrors that are happening inside. He will plead with young women and men to not kill their babies, offer them other options, and he will preach the gospel, that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. He will be cussed at, given the middle finger, and probably threatened by pro-abortion folk. And, he maybe even be visited by a professing pro-lifer, not there to protest, but to correct Bobby. And the next time Planned Parenthood is open doing abortions, Bobby will be there again. The other day a lady told me that the Planned Parenthood protest was not the place to preach the gospel. Read that sentence again, slowly. She then told me that we need lots of voters. I told her what we need is Jesus. She then said Bobby was hijacking the event by preaching. I tried to graciously inform her that Bobby is there every time Planned Parenthood is open. I then said, “Maybe you are hijacking his event.”  Bobby continued to preach, even as a couple of ladies tried their best to shut him down. Thankfully, his strength comes from the Holy Spirit.

I pray the Lord would raise up an army of folks like Bobby. I pray that Planned Parenthood would be defunded. I pray that they be prosecuted for their evil practices. I pray that abortion would end. I pray all that work in those places of death would repent and run to Jesus for forgiveness of sin and acceptance by God as one of His children. The Bible says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Proverbs‬ ‭31:8‬.‬

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Our Foster Sons

            As I write this, my wife and I have been spending our week packing up the belongings of our foster sons for their big reunification day with their mother. Our hearts are filled with mixed emotions. On one hand, we are glad that their mom has met the criteria to have her children back. I mean, this is one of the main reasons we do foster care. We want our home to be a godly and safe place for kids in foster care, in hopes that they can be returned to their family. Yet, on the other hand, we are extremely sad. We have had these kids most of their lives, a total of 18 months. We love these kids. When I look at them I see them as my kids. We took them in when they were hurting. We prayed for and with them. We fed and clothed them. We potty trained them. We cared for them when they were sick. We picked them up when they fell and kissed their wounds. In reality, I don’t feel in the least like I am about to deliver over another woman’s kids to her. I feel very much like I am about to deliver over my kids, kids I love and whom I may or may not ever see again. My heart aches and my stomach hurts even as I type that.
            Yet, I signed up for this didn’t I? I knew entering into foster care that I was subjecting myself and my family to possible probable pain. I know that on that day there will be one family rejoicing as my family grieves. It will affect all of us. In fact, I watched as my little girl hugged one of those boys the other day and exclaimed, “I love my brother!” There’s not one of us who will escape hurting.
            It has been attributed to Queen Elizabeth II as saying, “Grief is the price we pay for love.” Grief is exactly what I feel, very deeply. Sure, I will do my pastoral duty of putting on my smile and masking my hurt, but reality is I (we) have been cut very deeply. Know that we are not ok, even as we try to assure you we are. 
       Perhaps, as you are reading this you are thinking, “That is why I could never do that!” The idea is that we should avoid pain at all costs. Reality is, that is very selfish and unlike Christ. Doesn’t the Gospel compel us to run towards the hurting, even at great cost to ourselves? Did Christ look down upon the earth and exclaim, “Well, I could redeem them, but it will hurt so I won’t?” Did Christ run from the pain or did love compel Him to run towards it? This one passage of Scripture really summarizes it all for me,  For the love of Christ compels us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Cor. 5:14-15). The fact is, God never called us to play it safe. He has called each and every one of us, as believers, to deny ourselves and carry a cross.
            And so, we will pack up those boys and we will drive them home. We will hug them and kiss them and say goodbye. We will watch a happy mom and grandmother and try to be happy with them. We will pray with them. And then, we will get in our car and we will drive away, looking back in the mirror and aching. And if God so wills, we will do it all over again. Why? The Gospel! You see, when we were down and out and lost in our sins, Jesus Christ ran towards pain and rescued us, bringing us into his family as his own children.  Yep, that’s why.