Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We Lost The Baby. (My 3 Word Response)

Psalm 19:14 (NASB)
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer."

Last Thursday was Mrs. WretchedSinner's first OB appointment since we found out we were pregnant 10+ weeks ago.  We were quite excited at the  prospect of another addition to our family, and this would make 4 children in 5 years...I guess you can say we like it a bit crazy around the house. :)

We had grand plans, we planned out how we were going to move the boys around to sleep in the same room and we were already picking out names.  Sure, we experienced some trouble with Super George but we knew God would be faithful again and His will would be done in this situation as well.  We prayed a bit, but as I reflect back I realize I was really taking the whole thing for granted.   So much so that I didn't go with my wife to her first OB appointment.  I haven't misssed many (actually I can't think of one) OB appointment's with our first 3 children, but I "needed" to be at work that day.  Then I got the call.

My cell rang, I answered it expecting to hear some great news.  There was a pause.  My wife was almost speechless, but in her typical gracefull manner she said, "Are you busy?"  I knew something was wrong.  She began to cry.  "The Dr. can't find the baby's heart...pause...the think the baby is dead.  They are sending me to get another ultrasound"   

I immediately found out where they were sending her, and ran out of the office.  I made some quick phone calls to two of my most trusted friends for prayer and guidance and then called my wife to talk to her on the way 30 minute ride to the Dr.'s office. 

Now I need to pause a minute to illustrate how the Lord is so amazing and how He was preparing us for this.

At the previous week's Wed night bible study at my church I sat in with the youth group.  My buddy MKB was sharing on Creation vs. Evolution and (as is typical) the youth kind of took it in another direction.  I'm really not sure how it ended up there, but the discussion moved towards questions of why things happen to us as believers...good or bad.

This has been part of my study as of late, so I chimed in and tried to tie it all back together with the topic at hand.   I asked the youth, "Why did God make us?"  After a few blank stares and some silence I said, "Three Words...For...His...Glory!".   I immediatley followed up with "Why do good things happen to us?  I'll give you a hint, it's 3 words."  They responded back "For His Glory!"  Now for the hard part of the mini lesson.  I asked them, "OK then, now I need to ask you why "bad" things happen?  Why is there pain and sadness?"  They paused.  They knew the answer, but I think they were afraid to say it at first.  I gave them the same "3 word" hint and they responded, "For His Glory!"

Little did I know I was going to be on this side of that mini lesson just a few days later.  I knew the answer to "why", and it was so simple and beautiful. I didn't desire to challenge the Holy God and creator of the universe to provide me (a wretched unworthy sinner) with questions or explainations.  It was clear...this happened for His Glory!   And with or w/o my help God would be glorified through this.   Did I know how He would be glorified?  Nope.   Did I care how He would be glorified?  Nope.  Did knowing this make my wife an I less sad?   Nope.  Did knowing this make me cry any less at thoughts of what could have been? Nope.  Did knowing that answer provide me with the real understanding and a senstivity to be able to see how God was using it right in the midst of this challenge?  You betcha.  
We serve an amazing and Holy God, the best thing we can do to give Him the Glory He deserves is to fully submitting to His will in our lives. 

All praise and Glory to God!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Outwitnessed: My Shameful Testimony

Do you have a routine every morning?  I do.  Have you ever had a situation arise that was so totally out of the norm that it blindsided you?  I did.  Were you prepared at all?  I wasn't.

So there I was, at the gas station I stop at every morning.  I drove up to the pump, started filling up and went in for my cup of coffee.  Things were going as planned.  At least how I planned.

I pay for my cup of coffee and head out to my truck...and off to work for the day.  Or so I thought.

As I place the nozzle back in it's place and turn back towards my door, this man litterally  from around the side of the island and says, "Hi".  Kind of shocked and still not properly caffeinated I respond, "Hi!  How are you".  He responds to complete the greeting and proceeds to hand me a gospel tract.  After thanking him I said, "Wait, I have something for you and leaned in and grabbed a "Million Dollar Bill" for him.  I handed it to him and started to share the Gospel with him.  This is a summary of how the conversation went:

W.S. - Here's the million dollar question...what is going to happen to you when you die?"  

J.W.  - What's going to happen to you?

W.S. - Me?  Or all of humanity?

J.W. - Humanity

W.S. - Well, anyone who dies apart from Jesus Christ will receive the Justice of the Lord for their sins and the bible says they will go to hell.

J.W. - *Pause* And you?  

W.S - I have repented and placed my full trust in Jesus Christ who has paid the penalty for my sins.  I will go to heaven.  Jesus is the only way to heaven.

J.W. - Yes, Jesus is the only way to heaven.  Look right here on the front page of this book, it says "What will happen when you die".

This is when I looked down at the literature he had given me and noticed exactly what was going on.   On the back of the book towards the bottom were the words "The Watchtower" which I remember from a recent Way of the Master T.V. Show dedicated to talking about that particular "faith". 

Here's the problem.  I couldn't remember anything from the show.  I couldn't remember anything to ask him.  I knew he was totally prepared for me, but I wasn't prepared for him.  I choked.  I thanked him.  I moved on.

I was and continue to be ashamed.  I failed.  I wasn't prepared to give an account and 1-Peter 3:15 echoes in my mind.

1 Pet 3:15 (NAS)
"but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always {being} ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;"

But all Praise & Glory to the Lord!  He has used this to strengthen me, to make me desire Him more, to make me see Him more.  Do you know what he has taught me?   Do you know what the difference between a Jehova's Witness & a "regular old" (as Todd Friel said on last weeks WOTM radio) Christian is?  One word.


Sure, the man agreed that Jesus was the only way to Heaven.  But what I neglected to ask him (and will next time) is "Who was Jesus?".  The Jehova's witnesses do not believe that Jesus is God.  They believe he is the Angel Michael.  

Here are some other facts about the Jehova's Witness that may prove valuable at your next encounter:
  1. They don't believe in a literal hell
  2. They don't believe the bible can be understood without the help of the watchtower organization.
I hope that by my failure in this situation others may be prepared in the future and all Glory will go to our amazing God!


Monday, November 3, 2008

Your Kids Listen to your actions..

I know this makes two consecutive posts about my kids, but this story I need to share for all of you out there may have children, know some children, or were ever a child.  Really, this isn't about my kids at all, more about my amazing Lord.

Each day before I leave the house for work my wife (who is pregnat) , and my 3 kids form a circle and pray.  We pray for the day ahead that we will seek Him first in all we do, and that we will have(or make) the opportunity to share the Gospel with those who don't know Him.  

Last Thursday was a great example of the Lord answering this prayer, but He followed it up with one of the greatest blessings a parent can have...a child concerned for the salvation of others.

You see, my wife had just finished sharing the Gospel with her cousin over he phone (for the 2nd time) and had quite a lengthy discussion about repentence and trust and what it really means to be a Christian.  My oldest child (4 y.o. daughter) "Minnow" sat there and intently listened to the entire conversation.  When my wife was done on the phone this is how the conversation went:

Minnow:  "Mommy, what were you talking to Aunt xxx about?"
Mrs. W.S.:  "I was talking to her about God's Law, and sharing the Gospel with her."
Minnow:  "Mommy, does Aunt xxx not believe in Jesus?"
Mrs. W.S. "No honey, unfortunately she does not yet."
Minnow: "Does this mean that yyy (her daughter who is Minnow's age) does not know about Jesus either?"
Mrs. W.S. "Unfortunately, probably not honey.  yyy only knows what her mommy teaches her"
Minnow: "Mommy, do you think I can tell yyy about Jesus next time we go up to visit?"

Praise the Lord!  

Brothers and sisters our children are watching us.  Make sure you are who you pretend to be.