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  • sonnyholmes

OK, it's called a life verse. It is the Bible passage God gave me more than forty years ago when Harriet and I were struggling through some tough decisions about life, careers, and next chapters. Late one night there was one of those old movies on television, long before cable. A man had cancer and was wrestling with treatment options. In frustration one evening he reached into the bed-side table and extracted the Gideon Bible that was usually there then. He threw it open and put his finger down. He read Psalm 40: 1-3 in the King James Version---


I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet

upon a rock, and established my goings.3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth,

even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.


Honestly, I don't remember the outcome of the movie, the treatment plan the man and his family chose. What I do remember is how those verses answered the wavering uncertainty of our decision making process. Harriet and I agree that in that instant our Gracious God lifted us out of the horrible pit of indecision, the miry clay of hesitancy, and gave us the strength to answer what we have learned was God's call on our lives. It was a turning point we'll never regret.


Looking back, it reminds me that the human species always needs reliable truth to stand on when life currents are swift and faltering. Biblical truth places exclamation points when life's question marks leave us guessing. In his high priestly prayer Jesus said, "Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth" (John 17: 17, ESV). And, we all need something solid to stand on when the winds and currents are so unpredictable.


Those Bible verses have been hanging over my desk for forty years. They are my life verses. They steer me when the way is uncertain. A life verse or verses will give you that direction too. Ask God to reveal one to you. Now.

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  • sonnyholmes

Brevity is personal challenge. Keeping it short and sweet, whether in spoken or written words, is a stumbling block. It's one of the reasons this space has been inconsistent in recent months. There are hundreds of topics I'd like to examine and air out. But, who has the time or inclination to read volumes about them. Under the pressures of these times---you know, velocity, complexity and mobility---most of us can devote but a glance at the headlines, devotional readings, or material beyond our work or family duties. It's why most of us seeking to encourage others much learn the discipline of brevity.


Yesterday, a verse from Solomon's Proverbs gripped me---


Whoever restrains his word has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of

understanding.

Proverbs 17: 27, ESV


So, I'm rethinking this word thing, the blog I've been posting for nearly ten years, and my other convictions about providing words of spiritual direction and support for those living in these fast times.


Still, don't expect any ten minute sermons.




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  • sonnyholmes

Not long ago a friend related an article about the sanctity of human life. The author was totally pro-choice in his thoughts and comments about abortion. He articulated the pro-life stance and noted that he had tweaked several of the points of anti-abortion thinking and arrived at his conclusions. My immediate conclusion was that he really had not tweaked anything. He had twisted the biblical doctrines of the sanctity of human life in almost every category. His basic argument was one of the twists we've all heard: a pro-life conviction is hypocritical if adherents support the death penalty or any kind of warfare. Of course, his positions were reflections of his own personal views without the benefit of biblical truth, or factual data truth for that matter.


The twists on the sanctity of human life are numerous. At the same time they are totally puzzling. Of course the twist happy media elites have methods of lacing truth and error in their reporting so that their preferences weigh on their readers, the voting public. Yes, our nation is sharply divided on any of the sanctity line items, abortion at the top of the list. What is totally perplexing to me is how many of the pro-choice population also check the box beside "Christian" when noting their religious preference. Once again, this twist is dealing with such a momentous topic without a standard. Scripture should be, without argument, the final determination in any selection regarding the value of life. If you would like some polling stats on American views about abortion click here. Be warned: the pollsters are champions of gathering opinions. You may get a twist or two in their data as well.

The sanctity, that is the sacredness, of human life is a strong biblical theme. From the creation epics of Genesis to the last verses of Revelation, where the water of life is promised without cost, human life remains the pinnacle of creation and the heavenly aim of redemption. Scripture does provide guidance in those twist areas like the death penalty, and just war. But, human life in valued as sacred throughout the Bible---


So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and

female he created them.

Genesis 1: 27, ESV


Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated

you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

Jeremiah 1: 5, ESV


Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Psalm 127: 3, ESV


And, many, many more. Many Christians twist the sanctity of human life in these and other Bible accounts as ancient Jewish or early Christian thought of times gone by. Yet, there is the promise that God's Word, our Bible, is eternal (see 1 Peter 1: 25). It is our truth today. Even more, most of the scientific and medical community affirm that human life begins at conception and fertilization according to God's design.


You can tweak this doctrine to make it agree with your preferences, religious or political, all you want. Eloquent as you may be, it's just more twist, faulty at the core.


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