The people of God cry out in their oppression for a deliverer. God responds with a child in a barren woman's womb.
The Book of Judges is an account of the 12 leaders (judges) of Israel who lived between the 14th and 11th centuries B.C. The overarching theme of the book is the disintegrating spiritual and national life of Israel as they repeatedly rebel against God and violate his covenant.
The whole nation of Israel was apostate and though God called them time and time again to repentance, yet they were repeatedly unfaithful.
The counter theme in this book is the faithfulness of God toward his people. He continually has compassion on them.
Manoah and his wife are introduced (Judges 13:2) against this backdrop of a disobedient people. Once more, Israel has turned away from God and for 40 years they have been under the oppression of the Philistines. God is about to bring another deliverer to Israel, this time through a barren woman known only to us as "Manoah's wife." Read this article.
Pregnant With Promise is a Bible Study available from Presbyterians Pro-Life (suggested donation $10).
Read a review of the study by Jessica Lalley. Order online.
| What are we to do with this mess? |
by Marie Bowen
As a working mom, I carry an image of the ideal home in my mind-glistening floors that you could eat from, clean corners, pristine windows, everything in order-it is far from the messy reality.
. . .Once, I spoke despairingly to my mother that I would never be able to "catch up" with the cleaning. She wisely quoted her own mother's words, "Clean one room." Her words came to mind recently as I contemplated the "mess" in the PCUSA and my own helplessness to address it.
We are in a mess!
First the GA and then the Presbyteries voted to removed the fidelity and chastity requirement for ordination from the Book of Order. . .The GAPJC had an opportunity to shore up the wall by taking a strong stand on Scriptural principles regarding the practice of homosexuality when they ruled on two ordination cases last week, but they declined to do it. . .Our indecisive policy on abortion vacillates between a Biblical view that "life is precious to God" and the legal view that "no law should restrict abortion." While we seek to hold in our fellowship those of differing views on abortion, we maintain an alliance with the pro-abortion advocacy of The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. . .
With so many issues about which we disagree and with so many different solutions being offered, how can we see through the clutter and know where to begin? "Clean one room."
Begin on your knees.
At home, I like to start with the back bedroom on the 2nd floor and work toward the downstairs kitchen where I spend most of my time. It is a quiet room, away from the hub of family activity--a place to pray while scrubbing on one's knees!
It's a big house, the PCUSA, and I welcome you to join me by getting on your knees in the hard work of prayer for God's cleansing. . . Read the full article.
| Sola Scriptura |
Ecclesiastes 11:5 As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God Who makes everything. (RSV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (ESV)
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Pray for the families of your church; that wives will
submit to their husbands, husbands will love their
wives, and children will obey their parents.
Pray for the children you know who have been
abandoned by their earthly fathers, that they will know
the love of their Heavenly Father.
Pray for steadfastness, wisdom and grace as we struggle with decisions in our denomination.
Pray that as we struggle with the decisions of our
denomination that we will conduct ourselves wisely;
make the best use of our time; speak graciously.
Pray for those brothers and sisters who suffer as
they stand for the sanctity of human life that God our
Father will be their rock and their refuge.
Fellowship meeting; for wisdom for the leaders of the conference; for discernment; for God's grace, unity, and love to pervade all that is said and done.