The time leading up to and the birth of our third child was one of the most momentous occasions for our family. It was a time of great spiritual growth for many involved. I would like to share some of what I wrote in my journal during those three weeks of hospital bed rest. I will not share every word nor will I share names as I feel some details are just for my family’s remembrance. For the blog posts I will simply say, “A friend.” For clarification I will be adding in details that I didn’t actually write in the journal. To keep the posts short I will share only one or two entries at a time. My purpose in doing this is to give a testimony of God’s amazing mercy, power, sovereignty, and provision. Also, to encourage any of you who do not journal to begin! This has become a wonderful part of my walk with the Lord. It is so uplifting to read back through all the things God has taught us and really see His faithfulness.
Monday, Oct. 22, 2007 (actually written the 28th, looking back over the week)
Jason and I went for an appointment today with a specialist concerning placenta previa. This was a visit just to get the details and recommendation for the type of delivery I would need (c-section or not). The specialist conveyed to us how serious our situation was and said we need to be prepared to come immediately to the hospital if I should have any complications. He even went as far as asking us how far from the hospital we lived and if we had close neighbors. He said I should be careful with lifting and not to take any long walks. (I have to tell you here that we went camping two days earlier and went on a hike! Wow, how merciful God is!) We went home and began to make plans for possible scenarios.
That night as we arrived at Lydia’s riding lesson, the very situation the doctor warned us about, happened. We left and drove straight to the hosptial. I was told I might deliver the baby that night, at 32 weeks, but I would at least be staying the night and watched closely. We began to pray for mercy-specifically for the baby’s health, my health, and care for the girls. Jason called a friend and she came and picked up the girls from the hospital, went by our house for their things and took them to spend the night with her.
As I look at that now, I see how quickly God answered our prayers. That night was very long as I was monitored constantly in the Labor and Delivery department. We were scared, but we also had a peace knowing God was in control and He had our girls taken care of.
To be continued…
I have realized something today much more clearly than ever before. I have been preparing myself for future ministry. In fact, I am constantly wrestling with issues that arise within the local church. My brothers and I discuss them quite often. You can imagine the issues that may come up around a theological seminary. For example, we have discussed the issue of divorce and remarriage numerous times. Some of us have come to conclusions on the issue. However, some of the conclusions differ even among my group of brothers at work. The issue of divorce is not the topic of this post, but the process of coming to conclusions.
In a pastoral setting (and professors need to make this aware to their students), people do not need your conclusions only. They need for you to “show your work.” Any math student knows that you cannot merely write the answers done for the homework; you must show your work. Too often, pastors arrive at the church with most of their conclusions and when faced with the issue simply state their position without working through the issue within the church body. How can this be? What is the biblical way to state our positions?
I Peter 5: The pastor should lead the sheep. He should build fences for the sheep with the sheep and give them reasons for building fences. He should not send the sheep to build the fence until they know how. Thus, the shepherd should be showing the sheep how to build a fence. This fence is for their protection and the process of building a fence is necessary for the sheep to know why they are in need of protection. Remember pastor, you are a sheep too. Therefore, all conclusions to the issues that arise in the local church should be sought in the Word of God. This will take time and much prayer with the church.
The fence is not an option. You will have to work through issues such as divorce within the church. The fence makes a clear statement of the conclusions wrought from Scripture. This will make clear where someone will stand–inside the fence or outside the fence. There will be times when a wolf in sheep’s clothing makes his way inside the fence. This wolf must be removed and placed outside the fence. If you do not have a fence you will have no place to put the wolf. If you do not have the process of building the fence you will have angry sheep who cannot understand why the wolf was placed outside the fence. Therefore, the biblical pastor will lead the sheep through a study and discussion possibly for a few years before the fence is built. Then the biblical pastor and the biblical church will stand within the fence together on a foundation.
The other side of this thought is necessary too. When you (anyone in the church) encounter a sheep outside the fence, then you can explain the fence and maybe rescue the wandering sheep. If you encounter a wolf outside the fence, then you will know how to defend yourself. STAY INSIDE THE FENCE! Now, do you believe the fence is important? Let me know what you think.
Is it not amazing that God reconciled Himself to us? If our bank account is cleared to a balance of zero is this enough to stand before God? In other words, is it enough to say we only need our sins forgiven? Do we not need merit? Yes, we need to be righteous. However, we cannot become righteous. The only way for a guilty man to be righteous is a declaration by the Judge. Essentially, that is what justification is–namely, being declared righteous though we are unrighteous. So, we need our sin nailed to the cross and we need the righteousness of Christ in our account. This is what we bank on in justification.
By Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, to the Glory of God alone…Jusification: one piece of the salvation of God.
In an attempt to encourage the ladies, I (Kimberly) hope to contribute to our blog regularly on things God is teaching me. In Titus 2 we read that the older women are to encourage and teach the younger women. To be honest, and feel free to laugh, I have just realized that I am not always the younger woman anymore! As I think back over the almost 10 years of marriage and three children, the LORD has done a mighty work in me and I believe He would want me to share it. By no means do I have it all figured out, or even begin to think I have all the answers, but over the years I believe God has allowed Jason and I to experience situations that have given us wisdom to pass on. I look forward to your thoughts and comments as we encourage each other.
This post, I pray, will help us all be mindful of how we interpret the Scriptures. A recent look into Roman Catholic Doctrine has taught me a great deal concerning hermeneutics and doctrine. Let us look closely at a text that has major implications within the history of the church.
Mattthew 16:13-20 contains several controversial interpretations. The key verse of the controversy is verse 18 which says, “I (Jesus) say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matt. 16:18). The question has been asked, “Who or what is Jesus talking about?” One of the main reasons it is asked is because the Roman Catholic Church states that the church is built on Peter (supposedly the first bishop of Rome). Reactions have developed concerning this doctrine due to the overemphasis placed on Peter. The RCC goes on to say that a succession of bishops has taken place from Peter until now. Of course, there is much more to this doctrine however this will suffice. The point of the post is not their error but ours.
The reason I bring this to our attention is due to the way many have reacted. The main four interpretations are: (1) Jesus is going to build his church on the confession of Peter; (2) Jesus is going to build his church on himself; (3) Jesus is going to build his church on Peter; and (4) Jesus is going to build his church on the previous three. Keep in mind, the Roman Catholic Church probably stated their doctrine first then found a Scripture to back it up. But, the same error can occur when one reacts by going to the text to find an alternative view that may not be right. Make a note to yourself, do not say, “The Holy Spirit just laid a sermon on my heart now I just need to find some verses to go along with it.” This is bad hermeneutics.
Which interpretation is correct? Many times we need more Scriptures to bring to light the truth. Paul says, “…God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles, and the prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building being fitted together” (Eph. 2:20-21 emphasis mine). The point of this post is to reveal a hermeneutic based on a reaction toward someones incorrect doctrine. The RCC has pushed this text further than it was meant to be. However, we must not come to this text and deny that Jesus was not going to build his church on Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ. I believe Matthew 16:18 means all three: The church is being built on Jesus Christ the cornerstone, the foundation of the apostles (those who saw Christ), and the apostolic confession. Let us now review the point of this post.
There are many Scriptures this principle could be observed. We must be aware of our presuppositions. Certainly, one brings the presupposition that the Bible is infallible and inerrant. However, do not come to the text unaware of the presupposition that you may be fighting against the truth. Furthermore, be very careful that you state your position clearly. You could say that Jesus is building his church on the confession and be wrong. The correct way to state this would be that Jesus is building his church on the apostolic confession. This is a big difference. Hope you enjoy the thoughts. I would like to know what you think.