Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy
Today I also read a devotional that just gave me goosebumps as I read it, for it was such an example of forgiveness in intense suffering. Ann Spangler writes of what happened in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania at the Amish school. You probably all remember the incident when Charles Roberts IV killed 5 young students and himself. He left a suicide note expressing his anger at God because his infant daughter died: it would seem he wanted to take it out on young school girls. He let all the boys go but had the girls ages 6 to 13 lie face down on the floor as he tied their ankles with wire and plastic ties. One girl asked to be shot first, hoping he would spare the other ones but he went on to shoot 5 of them before himself. There was blood splattered on all desks and bullet holes and glass everywhere. Think of the sorrow of those parents who kissed their children good by that morning, never realizing they would not see them alive again. But instead of becoming bitter or seeking vengeance they joined as a community and showed grace and forgiveness. One mom even attended the shooter’s funeral and reached out to his family. She also sent meals and flowers to his widow. It’s hard to even fathom such courage and grace and yet only the Lord can give that.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
All over the nation a Mama Bear Movement is on the rise, impacting the political landscape across America. According to The Daily Citizen, “these moms are a diverse group of ordinary women motivated to protect their children from an aggressive and progressive agenda being pushed by special interest groups who believe they know what is best for all children.”
The movement gained momentum during the pandemic as moms began to ask questions about the school curriculum, reviewed books in the school library, and learned what was being taught in the classroom. It became clear to those in the movement that schools “were promoting racist curriculum in the name of racial reconciliation, teaching sexually explicit and abusive material in the name of sexual tolerance, and willfully jeopardizing the safety of children at school in the pursuit of affirming the transgender movement.”
So, Mama Bears all over the country, “motivated by the instinctual need to protect their children…began to courageously push back at school board meetings, write op-eds for local papers, speak at rallies, and organize protests, all the while refusing to be silenced. It remains to be seen if this will be a lasting movement.”
I, for one, admire the Mama Bears. It seems they have been encountering deeply entrenched practices and policies, and are also creating a ruckus, for the National School Board Association even asked the Department of Justice for help, fearing that Mama Bears could be “domestic terrorists.” Can you imagine this taking place in America? Goodness, these are Mama Bears watching out for their cubs. I submit to you, men, that should the DOJ enlist the FBI to investigate Mama Bears, we are in a real battle for who has final authority in our families.
I pray that Dads reading this blog will say, “enough is enough.” We need fathers and grandfathers to stand up and fight for their families alongside the Mama Bears. If there was a parade to protest the intrusion of the state into the family, I hope there would be Papa Bears marching in the front showing the same passion as the Mama Bears.
We are to defend and protect our families. Scripture is clear: children are a gift from God given to parents to raise under the Lordship of Jesus and his kingdom. “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!” (Ps. 127:3-5a NLT).
Deut. 6:4-9 and Exodus 20:12 are devoted to family. Indeed, the fourth commandment is the one commandment with a promise: “Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” The implication is undeniable. When family life is neglected, it will not go well – period. The breakup of the family means culture crumbles. Repairing the family as an institution is not the task of the state or any other institution.
The family is the basic building block of human community. Proverbs repeats in various ways the need for instruction of children. For example: “My son, keep your father’s commands, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching… For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the correction of discipline are the way of life” (Prov. 6:20, 23).
I encourage fathers to wholeheartedly join the Mama Bears. We could use some strong, passionate Papa Bears standing on the frontlines of the battle for the family. Remember it is a battle. They are coming for our children.
We celebrated our daughter’s birthday yesterday with a meal, cake, gifts and balloons. I had so much joy preparing for the celebration as it is a special occasion. Growing up my birthday and my sibling’s birthdays were recognized and celebrated with a party, and we kept that tradition going with our own kids; Everyone needs to know they matter; they are important to us and life would not be the same without them. At the close of our meal. we told Ann some words that describe her that started with her initials, A, M, E, like analytical, aspiring, meditating, methodical, exciting ,exacting (she is a pharmacist) etc. Of course, she is all of them and far more.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
I absolutely believe you have the power to heal. You demonstrated that on earth, and you still heal in miraculous ways today. Even when my faith is weak, you say it is enough, and my love for you is strong. And I know you already hold my heart and life in your hands. It’s up to you. If I can bring you more glory through healing, then that’s what I ask for. That’s what I desire.
But if your answer is no, or not now, I know that your grace is sufficient for me. Ultimately, I want your will to be my will. I look forward to spending an eternity with you. But Lord, if you have planned still more for me to do here on this earth, I not only need and want your physical healing, Lord, but a thorough, deep-down cleansing and strengthening—a whole-hearted renewal of all that I am. Because all that I am is yours. Use this trial to strengthen me from a “what-if” faith to a “no-matter-what” faith. And no matter what, I choose to honor you and give you glory. In Jesus’s name, Amen. “
Challenge for today: Pray this prayer, giving God glory however He answers.