Tag Archives: life

Two Cocoons: a Love Poem… My Premature Twins on their Teeny Tiny Miracle Journey 

Two Cocoons

When I see your tiny red naked bodies

clad only in diapers the size of a Kleenex,

I think that nothing is more fragile, and

you’re just like the wings of a butterfly.

 

While one of you cries out like a hungry kitten,

the other cries out like a bleating sheep.

It hurts to see you suffering,

but I know God is good.

All the other newborn babies are giants

lying near your skinny, premature bodies.

I long to hold you in my arms,

my two little boys, and breathe in your warmth.

 

Already, you both have heads with hair.

Your daddy smoothes it down for you,

making you look like little men. He holds

your hands in his, no bigger than his thumb.

Deep blue eyes peep out to take a

look around at the world, but bright

fluorescent lights make you pinch them shut.

You frown, and we laugh at the wrinkles between your eyebrows.

And with our laughter, and time,

comes more light. This light from

God brings changes, which give

us more hope and double happiness.

Bare naked bodies are leaving soft downy hair behind.

Wrinkly elephant knees are going away.

You’re filling out, and I’m so filled with joy

that my milk is helping you to grow.

 

I can see your ribs beneath your skin,

starting to disappear, and your tummies are poking out.

The hollow of each chest pulls in,

as you both use all your strength to breathe.

I marvel at the sight of your hands in mine.

You can barely curl them around my

magnified pinky, but you try, and you succeed,

and your knuckles turn white, because you don’t want me to go.

 

When you are both finally four pounds,

you still look like peanuts in your isolettes

or happy lima beans when you are all curled up.

You are happy that you are no longer bare,

but wrapped up snug and safe,

like caterpillars in your cocoons.

I’m your mommy,

your butterfly,

holding you tight,

and I can’t wait to fly you home with me.

© 1999 Angela Royse Pelleman


“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13 New International Version). 

My babies have grown up before my very eyes. Today they are 18 years old, and no longer boys, but young men. I thank God for bringing us through our many trials. Their very lives are a miracle, for they were born 2-1/2 months early, at 29 weeks. The older by just 15 minutes was only 2 pounds, 15 ounces. His twin was not much bigger, at 3 pounds, 5 ounces. The older spent 1-1/2 months in the NICU, and his brother came home after two months. Our family was finally together!  Both babies spent five months attached to heart and lung monitors, and the second twin needed an oxygen tank. We had to learn CPR.  It was not an easy road for them, nor for our family; but God has never left our side. There has been trauma and severe illness along the way, but our God has been Faithful; and He has given us miracle healings through Jesus Christ. My young men are overcomers; victorious because their strength lies in Christ alone.

I am grateful for the many gifts and talents which God has bestowed upon them in His infinite mercy, grace, and love. As homeschoolers, they are now graduating from high school, and we look forward to what God has planned for their futures. God has given them some amazing gifts and talents in the areas of art, music, computer science, and politics; and we are excited to watch them fly!  But what gives me the most joy, is the comfort that both of them have knowledge, wisdom, and discernment in the Word of God. They chose to give their lives to Jesus at the tender age of four. So, as I struggle with a bit of sadness for having to say goodbye to their childhood years, I look towards the silver lining: My young men will always be children of God! They can go to Him in their greatest times of need, for they have privileges which are only given to children of God, through Jesus Christ. They have God’s protection and the ability to approach His throne without fear. They are cleansed by the blood of Jesus for their past, present, and future sins. Rejoice!

Thank you God for watching over my children who are men today. Thank you for watching over them as they get ready to make their way into the world as adults. Watch over them, guide them, and give them extra wisdom and discernment. Cover them with the blood of Jesus, and surround them with your hedge of protection, in Jesus’ name. Be their spiritual eyes and ears, as they go about working, and being the hands and feet of Jesus. Give them courage and strength to reach the lost. like King David; bless them, Lord, and make them men after your own heart. In Jesus’ name, I pray, and I thank you for the privilege of raising these two precious souls, who received you so young; and were baptized in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit! Amen! 


“Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer. 3:15).


Before Your Loved Ones Die, Give Them Jesus… Expect a Miracle!

I can’t believe it’s been six years since my friend Donna Dehart passed away. I love this photo of the two of us giggling, trying to play the Wii (and failing miserably) on Christmas Day, 2008. It’s the only photo I have of the two of us together. 

Donna’s daughters were at their dad’s on Christmas Day, so we had the blessing of having her spend Christmas Day with my family.  We enjoyed good food, love and laughter, and the fun of playing with Christmas toys! That Christmas, Donna gave me a beautiful gift. I opened a small, delicate ceramic angel box; and what was inside, took my breath away: Donna had written wise sayings on teeny tiny pieces of long paper, and she had curled them around a pencil. Then she had lovingly placed them one by one, into the angel box… just…for…ME! One of the sayings said, “Expect a miracle… Expect a miracle…”

Even though I knew Donna struggled greatly with chronic illness, I had no idea God would take my friend home just three years later. Donna was adamant that Jesus was a great teacher, and that was where it ended. She was stubborn when it came to her beliefs, so I decided to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus for my friend; so she could see Jesus living me! We had lunch dates, painted in art class together, met at the Farmer’s Market, shared secrets, and had spiritual conversations on the phone. 

Finally,  against everything she said she wouldn’t do; she began to attend my church, where some of my friends had been loving on her and ministering to her too. We also formed a team to help her with house repairs, and another friend fixed her vintage car; which was in the garage more than out, and ran on a few bucks and a prayer! My sisters and brothers in Christ let our love speak for itself. 

Donna didn’t have much as far as earthly possessions, but she had a contagious laugh and positive attitude that filled me up. She had a fierce love for her daughters, and great empathy for animals without a home; so great, that she gave them a home at her own house! Though we didn’t always agree, our friendship was one of respect, trust, loyalty, and love. Donna did believe in Jesus and his death and resurrection, but she would only let me witness up to a certain point. I had to trust that God would reveal Himself through compassion from our church, other godly organizations, and her Christian friends. 

When she lay in the hospital, close to death, and unresponsive; I thought of the silver lining… Expect a miracle. I prayed an intercessory prayer for her. I held her hand and whispered in her ear, and I asked her to receive Christ if she had not. I told her it wasn’t too late, and she could receive Jesus without talking. While still whispering in her ear, so she could hear me above the noisy machines working hard to keep her alive, I asked God in his infinite mercy to let her hear my prayer. I asked God to lead her to say yes in her heart, and to have peace, so she could go to Heaven. I told her I would meet her there, and I kissed her goodbye. And to this day, I… expect a miracle!

We never know how much time we have with our friends and family here in earth. Tell them about Jesus while you can, even if it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do! People need Jesus, and they are more ready to receive him than we realize. Out of every act of friendship, telling someone about Jesus is the most loving thing you can ever do! 

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 Jn. 4:11).


Here’s how I think of you, up in Heaven, my dear, precious friend! Peace be with you!

This is the poem I wrote and read for Donna’s memorial service:

Dear Donna, this is what I know;

that lots of people loved you so.

 

You truly had a heart of gold,

so kind to others: young and old,

 

Accepted people as they are;

It’s why you’re still a shining star.

 

Down on his luck, you’d find a friend,

Make up a bed, and take him in.

 

A dog or cat left out to roam

Could find your house and call it home.

 

I’ll not forget your loyalty…

You named a chicken after me!

 

Nature, music, animals, art:

Happy passions of your heart.

 

But even more, you loved your girls,

Who brought you pride and filled your world.

 

Long black hair, and a great big smile,

Always time to chat for a while.

 

Your hearty laugh would make my day,

My troubles would just melt away.

 

A flash of green erased my frown;

Your Ford Galaxy on the town!

 

 When my heart hurts, I’ll feel a tug,

and give myself a “great big hug”.

 

My friend, why did you have to go?

It’s hard, but now I think I know.

 

God must have had some extra paint.

He looked until he found a saint.

 

He thought He’d free you from your pain

And since you loved the sun and rain,

 

He’d give you something fun to do,

And make you feel much better too.

 

You’d paint His rainbows with His brush

To be enjoyed by all of us. 

 

When orange and purple clouds roll by,

I’ll know you’re painting in the sky!

 

 ~Angela Royse Pelleman

   © 2011

Jesus Is INSTRUMENTAL to your Healing!

No one can tell me there isn’t a GOD! God gave my son a MIRACLE! He gave my dad a MIRACLE at the same time! They are no longer sick. They have been healed! JESUS IS THE MIRACLE! Repent, and ask him to come into your life!

I posted this good news to social media, on March 27, 2014; three years ago, and as a ‘butterfly blip’ on my blog. How timely, to discover it again during this Easter month, when I’ve chosen the theme of HEALING. 

There is more to share about our family’s trial of suffering through the terrible diseases of eosinophilic esophagitis, cancer, and a pulmonary embolism resulting in three brushes with death. There is much to say, in order to offer hope to those who’ve given up because they’re so sick; and to tell them how Jesus heals generational illnesses through the simple act of forgiving through Jesus Christ. Those stories, and more, will come. 

But today, it’s the day before Easter! And I want to tell you that Jesus is The Great Physician! He is a Miracle Maker! He can do what no earthly doctor can; simply by choosing to answer our prayers! Doctors, nurses, and medicine are wonderful things. Of course they are, for they only came about, because God created them. God guides doctors’ hands and gives them wisdom. God fills nurses’ hearts with compassion and knowledge. God creates men and women with intricate brains, so they can research and invent medines to help cure what ails us. 

But none of it works without God’s healing touch, and God needs none of it at all to heal us; when He can simply reach down… and perform a miracle! The power of prayer and anointing makes modern medicine go farther… and it can also stand alone, leaving us in awe at what God can do without human intervention. Prayer and anointing bring us closer to God, and they point us to the Great I AM; proving He is solely in charge of our health. God can heal in an instant… but He wants a relationship with us. He wants to show us how much He loves us!

This is why, three years ago, I was able to write this post on social media!  And GOD gets ALL the glory! For both my son, and my father, had over 500 people praying for them to be healed. Both were anointed in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. And both… were mightily, and miraculously healed!

My Easter praise from 2014:

“Praise the Lord!

My son is in remission from his Eosinophilic Esophagitis!

There are no eosinophils (white blood cells) in his esophagus. Zero!

No signs of damage. Complete remission!
God is so good!


How interesting it is that God’s timing for healing my son is at the same time that God’s saved my father’s life!

It is true that God does things in a big way (abundantly).

Both my father and my son each have more hurdles, and they both each have a big one, but God is good, and I’m excited about the plans he has for us!

“The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness” (Psalm 41:3 New International Version).

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 ).

Thank you everyone for your prayers!”

That was my message in 2014, and I believe in it three years later, more than ever! So, go ahead; make your appointments, and go to the doctor. Do not neglect your health, which should be high priority; as we care for our children, parents, and ourselves. But in doing so, do not spiritually neglect your health. I’m not talking about “meditative states,” “colorful energy,” or “sending positive vibes.” These actions do nothing; and in fact, can cause both believers, and unbelievers, to stray from The Truth. I’m talking about reading healing scriptures from the Bible, praying to God,  and pursuing The Great Physician; Jesus Christ! NOW we are talking about HOPE for HEALING!

Take your suffering, pain, illness, infirmary, sickness, emotional distress, depression, incurable disease, hopeless dire situation… and LAY IT BEFORE THE FEET OF JESUS, AT THE CROSS, FIRST! Then go where God tells you to go, and take it one step at a time. Let Jesus carry your burden. He has already promised to do it for you!

” ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’ ” (Matt. 11:29-30).

Now I must get some sleep. For it is almost time to enjoy “Easter in the Park,” where my now healthy son, will be playing music under the gazebo with his twin brother… ALL to serve GOD; so children can enjoy the day hunting for colored eggs, and most importantly, learn about Jesus Christ… The Miracle Maker!

Trust in Jesus to heal you… and give you VICTORY! 

GOT JESUS? He’s got enough love for YOU too! Here how to get to know him! HOW TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART, AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!

Visit The Silver Lining Facebook page for even more encouragement on: HEALING, by other Christian authors, poets, and bloggers as well as myself.  I invite you to join my page, and invite others, so they can be lifted up by godly truths founded in scripture; which when applied, can change, heal, and save lives!  

Read more blog posts on HEALING!

Original link:  Looking Back on Easter Miracles

The True Sacrifice of Lent and how you can take part

Little hearts during Lent 

When I was growing up, there were only two main religions on the Air Force Base. You were either Protestant or Catholic; there was nothing in between. I wished to be Catholic, because I liked that the children took communion wafers. No one realized that I already knew and loved Jesus, and had it been explained, I would have rejoiced in the partaking of communion. I also liked the way the Catholics made the sign of the cross across the front of their bodies after saying a prayer. I thought it to be beautiful. What I did not envy, was the time of Lent. Here’s where the Catholic children dramatically sighed and rolled their eyes, complaining that they would be deprived of candy or soda, or both… for 40 days up until Easter! We Protestant kids would shake our heads in sympathy, as sticky popsicle juice melted down our chins and arms, on a warm spring day.

Neither we Protestant, nor the Catholic children had really figured out that Lent is the 40 day period of time before Easter, when God’s children take time to repent and pray, and reflect upon the amazing sacrifice of Jesus Christ; God’s Son who willingly took our place on the cross, dying for our sins. The whole point of God sending a sacrifice was missed in childish translation, covered up by the tradition of giving up favorite sweets in order to prove loyalty and love to The Savior. Children want to be good, please Jesus, and show him that they love him. Children first need to know Jesus loves them, just as they are!

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’ “Matt. 19:14 New International Version).

Lent and the Temptation of Christ

Traditions vary, according to region and religion, but traditionally Lent is a 40 day time period of reflection, repentance, prayer, and sacrifice; which begins on Ash Wednesday, and ends the Saturday before Easter, often with a special Easter Sunday feast to celebrate the risen Savior. Participating in Lent is a way for Christians around the world to recognize and remember that Jesus spent 40 days alone in the wilderness of the Scorching Judaean Desert, completely fasting from food. Yes. After being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus truly went hungry for 40 days and nights to spend time solely with God, his Father, and focus God’s will for his life. This time of deep dependence on his Father would prepare him for his ultimate sacrifice, giving up his very own life to save the world from its sins.

When Jesus was at his most vulnerable, the devil came to try to tempt him. He offered up something pretty amazing; a huge glittering kingdom on a mountaintop… plus the food Jesus so desperately craved, needed, and desired. But the devil is a liar and can’t be trusted. And even if Satan would have handed it over, there was no way Jesus was accepting. His mission would be demolished and destroyed; the very mission meant to save us Christians from the burning fires of hell.

“‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”‘ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him” (Matt. 4:9-11).

Lent as a desire to draw closer to Christ 

If Jesus sacrificed so much for us, Lent is nothing in comparison, but it can give people a sense of walking with Christ, and experiencing (albeit on a much smaller scale) a minuscule taste of what Christ experienced those 40 grueling days. Though it was difficult, exhausting, draining, and seems utterly impossible; Jesus made it through. And in doing so, he was humbled, blessed, anointed, and brought even closer to God, his Heavenly Father.

Whatever Christians may choose to give up for Lent, be it diet soda, coffee, smoking, alcohol, carbs, chocolate, TV, social media, or other; let it be known that all God really wants is the sacrifice of our own lives; repentance of our sins and the laying down of our own desires, wicked ways and selfish gains. God wants us to let go of all the sin, pick up our cross, and follow Jesus! Otherwise, all our sacrifices are in vain. If one is going to participate in Lent, might I suggest sacrificing our time? Because, time given up and given to God, is time given up to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. If we spend more time focusing on Jesus, and less time focusing on ourselves; our little sacrifice will end up doing what pleases God the most: drawing us closer in our relationship with Jesus Christ! What sacrifice could bring The Holy Spirit more joy?

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25).

THE Sacrifice

If you do not participate in Lent, or if you do participate, and cave due to temptation, look for the silver lining: Jesus IS the sacrifice. He already paid the debt for our sins. You don’t have to be perfect, or strive for it. When you receive Christ, your sins are washed away, and you remain white as snow. You are washed free of the guilt, fear, anxiety, self-condemnation, and lies that get in the way of your hope leading to healing, joy, freedom, and peace in Jesus Christ! Jesus paid it already for you at the cross! Rejoice! Worship him! Give him praise!

” ‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isa. 1:18).

An invitation to take part in The Silver Lining Sacrificial Lent Blessing…

In 2017, Lent Season is from Ash Wednesday, March 1 to Saturday, April 15. Choose to complete some days during the Lent Season, or all 40 days. Choose from any of the sacrifices of time from below. You might want to do one of the choices for many days, or several of the choices for just a few days each. It doesn’t matter how you choose to offer God your sacrifice of time. The key is to do as The Lord God leads. You will be blessed!

Seven ways to take part:

~ Read a Proverb a day. There are 31 Proverbs in the Bible. When completed, read over your favorites for the remaining days, or choose another chapter of the Bible which you feel led to read. 

~ Journal out seven praises of thankfulness each day. At the end of Lent, you will look back on 280 blessings God has given to you! When you’re having a hard day, pull out your praise journal to remind you how much God loves and cherishes you! You may want to continue your journal after Lent. It’s a refreshing revelation to see the gifts God has given to you, penned out on paper!

– Journal out seven prayer requests each day, for yourself, and others. At the end of Lent, look back and see how many prayer requests God has answered! You will be amazed at God’s responses! Continue checking back to watch how God answers your prayers in His own perfect timing… for a reason!

– Journal out seven sins you struggle with, where you need God’s forgiveness. Each day, ask God to forgive you if you have committed any of these particular sins, again. Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and ask Him to break down the strongholds of these sins in Jesus’ name. At the end of Lent, look back at the growth God has completed in you, and thank Him for His grace and mercy and forgiveness!

– Pray first. Ask God to lay seven people on your heart for whom to pray. Lift these people up to Jesus each day. If possible, ask them how you can pray for them, and let them know you are praying for them. At the end of Lent, ask God to show you the many ways these people’s prayers have been answered! 

– Pray first. Choose seven small acts of service to do for God during Lent. Though these acts of service may bring joy to people, they should be first and foremost, acts of service to please Jesus. There may be a couple you don’t want to do, but you will be blessed! 

~ Pray first. Choose seven people to bless in small ways. Ask God to lay people on your heart who need it most. You will be surprised at some of the people who come to mind whom you didn’t expect! 

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God bless you, in Jesus’ name. He has risen!

Visit on Facebook to get involved, be encouraged, and share your experiences with The Silver Lining Sacrificial Lent Blessing.

March, Pray, and Thank God for Life!

May God bless and protect all those today who are marching for the right to life. May God protect the unborn children who have been conceived, and those yet to come. Be thankful for the life we are given on earth, and for the promise of eternal life we are given through Jesus Christ!

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Psalm 139:13-14 New International Version

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”  Matt. 6:26

The Good Life…Do We “DESERVE IT?”   (Compassion Series)

The flawless looking model on TV flashes her bright white teeth, but her smile doesn’t reach her eyes. Her pretend fiancé presents her with a jewelry box containing a pair of expensive diamond earrings. She looks at the camera and says you should have some too, because she insists, “You deserve it!” But I know I don’t, and neither does she. When the world tells us, “We deserve it,” it tells multiple lies to hopeful, hurting people.

The world tells us we deserve nice, expensive things because we are all awesome and wonderful people. The problem is, not everyone is awesome, and most people are not so wonderful either. In fact, none of us deserve anything, because we are all sinners. The world also lies by placing false requirements upon us. It deceives us by telling us we need to pay a lot of money to get the things we rightfully “deserve.” Advertisers and businesses want us to believe that we will become even more awesome and wonderful people if we buy their products. On top of that, the sad truth is these items are only going to temporarily make us feel better.

We are sinners: broken hurting people, raised by broken, hurting people, trying to raise broken, hurting people. That is not so awesome. But the silver lining is that we don’t have to stay that way. We have Jesus. Jesus is NO Band-Aid. Jesus is a HEALER. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 New International Version). Try as we may to: be a good person, do good deeds, spread goodness…we will never be good enough. We are only good because Jesus lives inside of us. If we continue to follow him, some of his awesome and wonderful goodness will rub off on us too.

We don’t deserve good things, best things, or better than best things. We deserve death: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). Sin leads to death; so how can there be hope for anyone? Every day, people lie, cheat, steal, gossip, covet, blame, bully, envy, fight, cuss, and manipulate. People do these things with the intentions of being “good.” That’s because we are born with sin and will battle it until we die. But Jesus loves us still. “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you” (Psalm 39:7 New Living Translation).

In fact, Jesus loves us so much, that he agreed to sacrifice himself on the cross, as a love offering for you and me. He agreed to have our sins transferred unto himself. But Jesus was perfect! He didn’t deserve death! Yet, he took the punishment that each of us deserved, so we could have a chance to live forever! He took our punishment, so we wouldn’t be in danger of going to Hell. He never changed his mind, even though he could have chosen to save himself from torture and death at any moment. People spat on him. He took it. People insulted him. He took it. People beat him. He took it. People killed him… He died. And then… He LIVED! Why would anyone reject Our Savior who loves us so much? “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8 NIV).

Only with Jesus, do we become awesome and wonderful enough to enter the gates of Heaven. What if we sin? Those of us who accept the sacrifice, and ask Jesus into our hearts, are now cleansed of sin. “ ‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they shall be like wool ” (Isa. 1:18). If we have Jesus, we are forgiven through Christ! We no longer have to fear God’s judgment. We can’t get into Heaven without Jesus, because sin cannot be in the presence of God. It separates us from Him. Besides, God has promised us a perfect paradise in Heaven. The tiniest sin would spoil it, just like it did when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. Isn’t it humbling that God is willing to give us everything we could imagine, including eternal life, even when we don’t deserve it? God offers us a free gift, His Son, Jesus Christ. When we accept the gift, we are receiving eternal life, and the salvation of our souls.

I’m so thankful for Jesus. I’m only good because he lives in me. Though I mess up and make mistakes over and over again, God forgives me, erasing all my sins: past, present, and future. Having a relationship with Jesus means he will help me to become more like him each and every day. I have to be willing to pick up my cross and follow Jesus. When I do this, God will bless me along the way. God gives me good things…not because I deserve them…but because He loves me, and He wants to bless me. And when I die, I will get the biggest reward of my eternal life…a reward which I don’t deserve, but a reward which I will eternally grateful to have; a life in Heaven with God, and His Son Jesus Christ, and all those I love who know him…amazing, incredible, paradise…and it will never, ever end!

“Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me’ ” (Luke 9: 23).

Part 1 in the 5-part Compassion Series: “Being Compassionate to Yourself through Jesus Christ”

Titles in this Compassion Series:

“The Good Life…Do We ‘DESERVE  IT?’ “

“You are Worthy”

“Be Good to Yourself”

“Why Am I So Hard on Myself?”

“Battling Lies that Hurt Us”

 

 

YOU Are Worth More Than A Gorilla…God Says So!

I love animals. They were created by God for us to enjoy. We are to care for them, as they help us with our work and comfort us.  However, given a situation where I had to choose between the lives of my children or the life of an animal, I’d choose my children’s precious human lives in an instant. I’d also choose the lives of other children and adults over any living animals.

Each human life is unique and created with love from the beginning of conception: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well ( Ps. 139: 13-14 New International Version). There is no one like you, or me, in existence, and never will there be again.

Animal Kingdom
“The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel” ( Prov. 12:10). This verse shows God clearly cares about how animals are treated. He is angry when animals are abused, just as we are. However, God did not create animals to be equal to humans, just as humans are not equal to angels.

Humans were given dominion over animals, and expected to treat them well. God gave Adam the job of naming animals and reigning over them. “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground’ ” ( Gen. 1:26). Noah was given the job of saving two of every kind of animal from the great flood. Then he was given the job of caring for them for forty days and nights as they bobbed around in a storm, on a gigantic ark. God wasn’t playing around when it came to saving animals.

Sanctity of Life
God gives permission in the bible to hunt. Native Americans and other respectful people used every possible part of the animal: meat to eat, fur hides for blankets and clothing, and bones for tools. God demanded specific animals to be killed as sacrifices for people’s sins. Though the sacrifice of Jesus replaced animal sacrifices, hunting animals as a source of food supply is permissive and mentioned multiple times in the New Testament: “He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat’ ” (Acts 10: 11-13).

However, one of God’s Ten Commandments is “You shall not murder” ( Ex. 20:13). This sixth commandment refers to the killing of human beings. God’s laws, which were brought down from Mt. Sinai by Moses, are still in effect today. These commandments are repeated over and over again in the New Testament. God clearly differentiates between killing an animal for food, versus killing a human being, which is murder.

Justice
Sometimes people make grave mistakes, and sometimes they just participate in outright sin. In these situations, animals may be placed in danger, hurt, and sometimes killed. These tragic events make people angry, and they seek justice. But God is just! People who hurt animals will have to face God and answer to Him. So will those who kill humans.

What about when a human falls into the dangerous path of an animal, such as a child falling into a gorilla’s habitat at the zoo? If it’s in our power to save a human life God considers to be of utmost value, will we help? Tragic events do not change truth. God has gone through great lengths to protect his children and keep them from being killed. Wouldn’t he expect us to do the same if it is within our power to do so? One saved human life can lead to another saved life. God doesn’t play around when it comes to saving people, especially when their eternal salvation is at risk.

Judgment
People are life guards, doctors, and nurses for a reason; they want to save lives. Human life is more valuable than that of any other creature. Unfortunately, protecting human life may occasionally mean taking the life of an exotic, endangered animal. In the midst of the shock, won’t we at least rejoice and praise God that a child has been spared from death? Would anyone dare judge, demanding, “That child better grow up and be somebody special!” Sadly, yes. People judge, as if an animal has more right to life than a child in peril.

Do people not understand God doesn’t want anyone to die without knowing Him? As sin threads its way through our society, people become blind to the truth. Yet, God waits: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” ( 2 Peter 3:9).

Privilege
Those who love animals more than humans, do not understand the sanctity and value of human life. To not understand this, is to not understand the truth of God’s scripture. It’s true that many humans are in a place where they need healing. They may have been rejected, abused, and abandoned by humans. Animals may bring temporary comfort, but they will not bring the comfort that comes from living eternally in Heaven with Jesus Christ. Humans are given the opportunity to make this decision; animals are not. It is a privilege to be given another chance at life, a gift to be offered eternal life, a free gift!

Sacrifice
God made it clear in the bible that Jesus died for PEOPLE. He did not die for animals. In the Old Testament, God demanded animals as sacrifices for people’s sins. In the New Testament, that changed. God sacrificed His one and only Son, so that PEOPLE, not animals, could receive Jesus and have eternal life. Jesus died, but God loved him and us so much, that he brought Jesus back to life! There is no death in Jesus! Nor is there death for those who accept him!

Death
In the bible, Solomon muses, “Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth” (Eccles. 3:21)? There’s a distinction of questioning the difference between the spirits of two different kinds of living beings. However, God makes it clear that humans have a soul and will face judgment in the afterlife. Who wants to go through judgment without Jesus? We need him to tell God, “They’re with me,” as he opens the gates of Heaven and walks us through!

“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Rom. 8: 34).

Eternal Life
Even though the life cycle can be sad at times, and we do experience sorrow when a beautiful animal is killed, the silver lining is in knowing that our lives are much more valuable to God…so valuable, that God is willing to redeem us and give us a second chance at life, so we can live eternally in Heaven with His Son Jesus… “For God so loved the world, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Won’t you pray, and ask Jesus to forgive your sins and come into your heart today? He loves YOU! He is knocking at the door of your heart. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Rev. 3:20).

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Matt. 10:29-31

 

Enter the Race…Win the Prize!

Two years ago, God saved my dad’s life three times in the span of two months! I’m so grateful God entrusted me to be the third family member to get my dad to the hospital on time. Once more, his situation was grave.  He was septic again, and the ER doctor pulled me out of the room to whisper that my dad was indeed very, very sick.  I prayed and slept, off and on that night, in a chair in his room in the ICU.  My heart hurt as I watched him try to rest.  How could he sleep with all the lights, voices, beeping, and painful poking and prodding?

The morning brought sweet relief, with news that he was pulling through, just as before. The doctors and nurses were amazed by my dad’s progress in battling a giant saddle pulmonary embolism, along with an aggressive cancer.  But it came as no surprise to me; for I knew that an army of Christians was praying for him, at least 500 prayer warriors. My dad had a positive attitude.  He is tough and brave, and he fought hard. But he belongs to God, so he didn’t have to fight alone.  God loves him, and He had a plan to heal him.

God had been helping me to battle my own anxiety and fear.   I was still working through it, during those three flights to Arizona that summer.  God did a great and mighty work in me. I felt His bubble of protection surrounding me; fear was unable to enter.  Without fear having the authority to sap my strength, I had energy to focus on ways to best help my dad.  I was able to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and give him the love and care he needed, so he could rest and heal.  Without lies clouding my mind, there was more room for discernment.  This helped me to be able to communicate well with doctors and nurses, in order to make the best possible medical decisions on my dad’s behalf. God also revealed many spiritual things to me, which are only understood through a relationship with His Son, Jesus.

I was never afraid the night I called the hospital, as I’d been instructed to do if his situation started going downhill.  Nor was I  afraid when I drove him to the hospital…but I drove with urgency. I talked to him, asking him questions, even though I knew he wanted to sleep.  Every couple minutes, I asked, “Are you okay?  Are you awake?”  I didn’t want to annoy him, but I needed to know he was still breathing.  As I drove, it suddenly struck me, that if we did not get to the hospital soon, he was not going to make it.

I’d followed exact caretaker instructions: I’d called ahead, because both his blood pressure and temperature had dropped. I’d convinced him to get into the car to drive him to the hospital. He was beyond exhausted, but agreed to go when I said my only other option was to call an ambulance. As the car radio played softly in the background, I also found myself going over the steps for CPR.  Through it all, God filled me with a surreal calm.  He made me understand that I had an assignment from Him, with a specific time limit, but that he was going to make sure I completed it. I just had to trust Him. I was not to worry.  I was to love and care for my dad. I drove along in darkness, but I knew that Jesus had the wheel.

It’s an amazing gift to receive a second chance at life, and definitely a time to turn to God and ask Him what plans He has for us.  Yet, how many times does God give us second chances, third, and fourth in our every day lives?  How many times does God help us get back up again, when we’ve fallen down in the race? We fall hundreds of times, and we will continue to fall throughout our imperfect lives.  Sometimes we fall physically, and we are literally unable to pick ourselves up from the ground.  Other times we fall emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. Fear sets in, because we get discouraged and begin to believe the lie that we are going to lose the race.

But God has already promised us that we are going to win the race!  We only need to keep going. We will run, and we will fall, and we will get back up, and run again. But we will reach the finish line!  Jesus will be waiting for us at the finish line.  He’ll be there, because he’s been running with us the whole way. Sometimes he may have to carry us, but God promises us, if we race with Jesus as a teammate, we are guaranteed a victory! Keep running! There’s a trophy waiting at the end of the finish line. It’s for you…and it’s bigger,  and better, than anything you could ever imagine!

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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me–the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.”
2 Tim. 4: 7-8 
New Living Translation