The Case for Siblings

Given the current events at the Pauper’s Hovel (bed-rest and pre-term labor hospitalization at 21 weeks and then some more indefinite bed-rest) the article below was a great reminder of why we believe what we believe and why then we welcome that theology to impact our lives.  In the last few weeks we have heard some of the strangest thoughts voiced in regards to the current difficult pregnancy, many stemming from the same mentality that Simcha has experienced:

“But everyone else seems to think that a new baby is bad for the other kids. Dozens of times, I’ve had strangers peer around my enormous belly to coo at the toddler, “Aww … now you won’t get to be the baby anymore.”

Thanks, lady. Thanks for informing my child that she’s suffering. Luckily, she doesn’t know what you’re talking about—and neither do you.”

You see a man-centered, materialistic (meant in the basic sense of tied to the material world as opposed to the spiritual one but the common usage relating to the pursuit of material wealth fits too) worldview does understand why anyone would want to go through the madness of a large family! One of my favorite quotes from the article gives a great reason:

“Because one day, I won’t be here, and the kids will only have each other. They are getting used to caring for each other, and care engenders love.”

– Click Here to read the whole article

Thanks to Kelly @generationcedar.com for bringing this article to my attention. It resonated with me as well!

London Baptist Confession – Week 5

1. The Holy Scriptures – cont.

8.   The Old Testament in14 Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of its writing was most generally known to the nations) were immediately inspired by God, and were kept pure through subsequent ages by His singular care and providence. They are therefore15 authentic , so that in all controversies of religion , the church must appeal to them as final.16

But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God who have a right to, and an interest in the Scriptures, and who are commanded to read and search them17 in the fear of God, the Scriptures are therefore to be translated into the ordinary language of every nation into which they come18, so that, with the Word of God living19 richly in all, people may worship God in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.

9.   The infallible rule for the interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself20, and therefore whenever there is a question about the true and full sense of any scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched by other passages which speak more clearly.

14 Romans 3:2;

15 Isaiah 8:20;

16 Acts 15:15;

17 John 5:39;

18 1 Corinthians 14:6, 9, 11, 12, 24, 28;

19 Colossians 3:16

20 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Acts 15:15, 16

Tears of a 4 year old

The Baby Conference – Day 2

July 9th, 2010
San Antonio, TX

Tonight we watched many things for which happiness flowed. We watched Michelle Duggar receive the “Mother of the Year” award and heard her testify of the grace of God in their lives. We watched John Moore preview his next film which like his life will give great glory to the God he serves. We watched as the audience used feedback devices to share a bit about themselves and the work God is doing among the conference attendees. Each of these moments came with deep emotion and more than a few moist eyes.

However, the hardest part for this dad came when the  evening was drawing to a close and Doug Phillips began to give a report on Vision Forum’s mission to Rescue Haiti’s Children. As the footage rolled of the story of the 1,000,000+ orphans in this tiny nation the tears began rolling down the face of my tender-hearted 4 year old. My heart broke while I watched and prayed as her little mind began to try and process such horrors that even adult minds are left reeling. Her little heart broke with a godly sorrow and compassion that wants nothing more than Jesus to give each of these children homes with godly mothers and fathers. What is a father to do in such a moment? I held her tight and began to speak the truth to her, that God was not surprised by this horror and that he deeply loves each of these children, that God has not abandoned them and the same God that gives her confidence to sleep in safety (Ps 4:8) will do the same for them. I also reminded her that we have been praying for these children and supporting the efforts to care for them from the beginning. I also reminded her that we have been praying for the opportunity to adopt one of these precious ones. I shared with her that our tears and our “thinking” of them is useless but our praying is not.

A 4 year old does not understand the intricacies of international adoption law. She cannot fathom the all out war the UN, UNICEF, and Hollywood are waging against Christian adoption. All she knows is that she wants Rood and the other boys and girls to have homes where Christ is taught and they are loved. She could not sleep until she was confident that God was working for these children and that our family is committed to being part of the solution.

Oh that we could be more like The Little Pauper, that we could be so moved with compassion that we could not sleep until we are sure of God’s answer and help.

The Baby Conference – Day 1

We have come to pick a fight

July 8th, 2010
San Antonio, TX

Tonight 1500 people met together to declare war on our culture. As Doug Phillips declared in his mince-no-words fashion, “[We] have come to pick a fight.” The culture that surrounds us has become one that without even realizing it or thinking about it, has embraced a culture of death instead of life. We prioritize convenience, temporary financial security, leisure, “freedom”, and ease over responsibility, obedience to God and his Word, and life.

You see, tonight as many women go to bed they will take a benign looking little pill the goal of which is to prevent pregnancy. Many of these women are unaware that one of the mechanisms by which this is accomplished is not by preventing conception but rather by making the reproductive tract inhospitable to the child which is already conceived. This pill in fact causes an abortion (even the AMA admits that there is no such thing as a non-abortifacient form of oral contraceptive, see here. Or here for non-AMA argument ). The human baby is already conceived and is therefore ensouled but is then by human action caused to die by making the very womb meant to nurture it, comfort it, protect it, by making this same womb toxic to its life, a life already created by a sovereign God who willed this child into existence by his own divine decree.

These mothers, many of who profess to by pro-life, will decide by taking that pill to reject the blessing of God that the bible declares children to be (Ps 127:3) and will instead take active steps that will kill their own children in their wombs by taking this little pill, many without even knowing it. They do this for many reasons, some will claim financial reasons, some will claim they are trying to “be wise”, others will be honest enough to specifically say that it is for convenience. Whatever the reason, they have, knowingly or unknowingly, chosen death of their children over life and trust in God.

I have already offended many of you by even typing these paragraphs because the culture of death has so permeated our world. It is offensive to you that someone would even suggest that you should not “control” your reproduction. But stop for a moment and ask yourself, what if God really does have something to say about this issue? What if the Bible does address how many children you should have? What if our culture is wrong? What if obedience to God requires an entirely different worldview and value structure? Are you willing to examine your prejudices? Are you willing to lay your worldview on the table and admit your sin if the Word of God points it out? Are you brave enough to seek the face of the God of the universe with a heart to obey what his Word commands? If so then hang in here with me for the challenge of a lifetime, hang in with me for a battle that has been raging for 6000 years and which will rage until Jesus returns, hang in with me for a painful, challenging journey of obedience!

(Look for upcoming posts on the Theology of Birth Control after this series on The Baby Conference concludes ……)

Quote of the Day: Sola Scriptura

Phil over at http://teampyro.blogspot.com says this:

“A follow-up message asks me if I am suggesting it’s wrong for someone to
abandon all books and human teachers and rely only on what he can glean from
the Bible for himself. Answer: yes, I think that’s wrong because it’s arrogant
and reflects a sinful kind of unteachability. This is my whole point: sola
Scriptura doesn’t rule out the valid role of teaching in the church.

Furthermore, it is simply not the case that any common, unskilled, unschooled
individual, sitting down with his Bible and no other tools, can expect to come
to a full and mature understanding of Scripture without any help from godly
teachers who understand some things better than he will ever get it on his
own.”

“Click http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2010/07/desert-island-exegesis.html to read
the entire post)

I could not have said it better myself. Bravo Phil!

London Baptist Confession – Week 4

1. The Holy Scriptures – cont.

6.   The whole counsel of God concerning all things9 necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture, to which nothing is to be added at any time, either by new revelation of the Spirit, or by the traditions of men.

Nevertheless, we acknowledge the10 inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word.

There are some circumstances concerning the worship of God and church government which are common to human actions and societies, which are to be11 ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word which are always to be observed.

7.   All things in scripture are not equally12 plain in themselves, nor equally clear to everyone, yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed and observed for salvation, are so13 clearly propounded and revealed in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the educated but also the uneducated may attain a sufficient understanding of them by the due use of ordinary means.

9 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Galatians 1:8,9;

10John 6:45; 1 Corinthians 2:9-12;

111 Corinthians 11:13, 14; 1 Corinthians 14:26,40

122 Peter 3:16;

13Psalms 19:7; Psalms 119:130

Faith and Freedom Tour – Day 3

Today I Walked among Giants

July 7th, 2010
Fredericksburg, TX

Today I walked among giants as we walked the streets of Fredericksburg, TX.  No there are not nephilim roaming the streets, I walked with men who are giants of the faith. I spent time following Doug Phillips, Scott Brown and Lt. Bill Brown around listening to them tell the stories of the true history of our nation. I watched them with their families. I heard them cast the vision given them by the Lord and watched the passion such calling brings. Their vision and excitement is contagious.

It also made me feel very small. Feeling small is not necessarily a bad thing, we all need humility. I am reminded of how far I have to go, just how little I measure up to the biblical standard of manhood. I am reminded how measly my own vision for my family is and how poor my leadership is. I am rightfully known as The Pauper for I am a mere beggar among such godly men as these. It is not that I believe that they somehow do not put their pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us or that I think they are perfect for they are not. They are merely the type of men who inspire the rest of us to excel still more. They are the type of men who I wish I  could spend time with regularly to hope that some of their wisdom, vision and passion could somehow rub off. They are the type of men a godly man would want as mentors. They make me long for that discipleship in my own life, they make me long for the company of real men, men unafraid of challenge, men ready to defend what God has given them to guard.

Since God has seen fit to move  me away from the men who have done that in the past for my life, I am glad for 3 days to follow such men at a distance and learn. However, it makes my desire for such companionship of arms that much stronger and deeper. It casts my lack in  sharp relief. So what is one to do? I am that much more committed to encouraging the men God has put in my circle. I want to inspire them to be the type of godly man the Word encourages, men of action not words, men of fearless mettle, men who will defend the innocent with their last breath, men who will fight to the end for their families, who will die fighting the good fight. I aspire to this not because  I have arrived but because, I have not and I need those type of examples in my own life.

Lord, make me a better man. Make me faithful to the end and give me a vision for your kingdom that will outlive me and my grandchildren. May your name be great in all the earth and may we be known as your faithful servants.

Acquit Thee like men!

Texas Faith and Freedom Tour – Day 1 cont.

7-5-10
San Antonio, TX

Today we walked holy ground. I don’t mean spiritually holy ground  but holy in the sense of consecrated ground, ground set aside by the blood of the men who died there. We walked the grounds of the Alamo today. As an unwilling hostage in the state of Texas I often think that Texans have an inflated view of themselves and their state. This sense has certainly filtered my thoughts of the Alamo through the years. However, today I began to understand why the Alamo should matter to every christian father in the US and maybe the world. You see this little band of 180+ Texicans stood against tyranny in the face of overwhelming odds and they did so like men!

These brave men, knowingly or not were firmly in the middle of a battle of worldviews. On one side the Spanish heritage and worldview of the divine right of kings, Catholicism, imperialism driven by greed, and hunger for power was represented by Santa Anna who had set himself up as dictator and had as his aim the subjugating by force everyone within his reach. On the other the heritage of freedom born of the Protestant Reformation, incubated in Calvin’s Geneva, birthed and given legs in the Puritans of the American colonies and carried out through the vision of settling families to create a nation which would become a city on a hill to light the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ represented by the Texas colonists. There was no mistaking the prize in this battle, it was the fate of freedom that was being decided at this little Spanish mission. Both sides recognized it and neither was willing to cede their position.

It is these high stakes that make this significant to us today because when Santa Anna raised the red flag over his headquarters, he was declaring he would give no quarter. It is this declaration that makes these Texans important, they could have tried to run or sue for peace in the face of overwhelming odds but instead they did not hesitate but returned this ultimatum with a cannon volley declaring that they would rather die like men then shrink from their duty. Today we have lost most of the ideals of manliness and do not understand what it means to fight and die like men but those men did not. They clearly understood what Col. Travis was saying when he drew the line in the sand and asked who was willing to die with him. Every man who stepped across that line would die within the walls of that mission and they knew it but they crossed the line anyway. What is even more significant is that many of these men were not merely adventurers but family men who many would say had so much for which to live. Yet they saw it as they had so very much for which to die. And to the last man, they acquitted themselves as men fighting so long as they had strength, each one meeting his maker on that fateful day but each one meeting him as one dying like a man.

What is the lesson for us? What is your line in the sand? What is so important to you that you would go down fighting to the last man? What is so important in your life that you are willing to suffer deprivation, ostracision, persecution, and even prison or death to follow your convictions? May we as fathers be the protectors we are called to be and may we acquit ourselves as men fighting even to the death if neccessary in defense of our families, country and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A Quote I Just Can’t Shake

“Flip pointed to a friend of his in the audience who has 16 children. He told of how this family went to stand in the gap for Terry Schiavo when she was being killed. The father was arrested in front of his children as their eyes filled with tears and fear.

‘Watch, children’, he said. ‘We are in a battle for life and truth. It’s a battle you will be called to fight too. And if I die in the battle, you trample over my dead carcass and continue to storm the gates of hell‘.” (Emphasis mine)

– Kelly at http://generationcedar.com quoting a message by Flip Benham from The Baby Conference

Family Vision

Moses Austin

Day 1 Texas Faith and Freedom Tour

Father of Vision

07-05-10
San Antonio, TX

Today as we embarked on this 3 day odyssey we began the day at the monument to Moses Austin. Here the historians leading our tour began to unpack the heritage and vision of this man and how he fit into the larger picture of providential history. Here was a man who had such a vision for his family that when he led his family to move from the east coast to Missouri he wrote a 37 page letter to his not yet 4 year old son, Stephen F. Austin, to explain the reasons why they moved so that when he was old enough to read it he would see and embrace his father’s vision. Then when Stephen was 11 Moses would again be writing his son to help him become a man and stressed that this was important because he never knew when death might come to Moses and Stephen would then be the family patriarch so he needed to be ready should that occur. Little did Stephen know that a mere 11 years later he would be called to leave his comfortable study of Law in New Orleans to do just that, fulfill his father’s vision to settle Texas. So equipped was this young man at 22 that he was named the Empressario of the new settlement effort and acquitted himself with distinction.

What a challenge to me as a father. Will my children be able to take up the family vision of victory if I am called home to heaven? What am I doing today to prepare them to lead our family after I am dead and gone? What markers am I leaving that point them to our mission for the Kingdom of Christ?