Memories Archives

Article taken from Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
(May 12, 2017)

It’s your secret. One that you’ve vowed you won’t share with anybody. Nobody talks about that sort of thing anyway. But inside, the memory of your abortion pierces your heart. And Mother’s Day only serves as a crushing reminder of what could have been. Would you believe God not only sees you in your pain, but He loves you? He does. And He is waiting, ready to forgive your sin and heal your heart.

We pray you will draw encouragement from the following Biblical truths, shared by Sandy Day from Caleb Ministries. Abortion is part of her story, but so is healing. Through the years, she has learned to lean on the power of God’s healing love as she walked through the aftermath of her decision and then a subsequent miscarriage. It hasn’t been an easy road, but it’s one that God continues to use as she ministers to other women in similar situations.

“When I look at Mother’s Day now, it’s a joyful time to say, ‘Thank you, Lord, that I’ve worked through these things,’” Sandy said. “Now in years past, it wasn’t quite that way.”

Four powerful truths for the woman who has experienced abortion:

1. God forgives your sin, and the guilt of your sin. Sandy knows firsthand the guilt and shame associated with having an abortion. She was 19 and a new Christian when she said she bought into the lies that it was her only option.

“Even though I was a very young Christian, I knew that day I had disobeyed God,” Sandy said. “Even though I believed all the lies, that this is tissue, I’m too young, I’d embarrass my parents, all of those lies. After it was over with, I thought, ‘I have made a terrible, sinful decision, and it’s going to last my whole life.’”

She was committed to keeping her secret to her grave, but she continued deepening her walk with God, and by her early 30s, she felt the tug to release everything to Him. It’s not easy, but she points to Psalm 32:5 and Romans 8:11 as Scriptures that offer encouragement and strength.

After that, Mother’s Day was a different day for me because I knew the forgiveness of God, and I understood the forgiveness of God, and I could truly live there.”

2. God can use this painful experience to bring about good. Consider Romans 8:28. “God never says it’s good, but He causes it to work together for good,” Sandy said, noting God uses pain, affliction and even death to draw us into a closer relationship with Him. From that relationship, healing and then serving in His name is possible.

3. The hole in your heart will heal. But God has to do the healing. Psalm 18:6 declares, “In my distress, I called to the Lord, and cried out to my God. He heard my voice from His temple.” Cry out to Him openly, honestly. The Bible says He hears you.

Referring to Psalm 138, Sandy points out that He is not a far-off God. “He is ever so present in the midst of our suffering,” she said.

Be patient with yourself, Sandy also advises. “[Your heart] will mend. But this is the key: It won’t mend in the way that we think it will because God is doing His work in your heart and life.”

4. God’s loving grace is abundant for you, too. Sandy encourages women to live as a product of the finished work of the cross rather than a product of their past. It takes time, but after turning her life over to Jesus, Sandy can’t imagine any other way today. “It’s just so freeing to understand not only what Christ did, but that we can truly live and walk in it.”

And try not to get sucked into the advertising mania surrounding Mother’s Day. That can turn your thoughts inward. Instead, lift your eyes higher. Of course, that doesn’t mean your emotions are invalid and should be ignored, but don’t let them dominate your thought life. Focus on the Lord instead.

“When we think about Mother’s Day, I think that we need to think about the Lord and His plan and His purpose for me, and not the fact of this is what happened,” Sandy said. “[Ask God], ‘How are You using this in my life, and how can I use it to help somebody else?’”

Draw near to the Lord this Mother’s Day!

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Reading the Bible

Unknown Riches
Many years ago an old man living in New Jersey discovered about $5,000 in a family Bible. The bank notes were scattered throughout the Book. In 1874, the aunt of this man died, and one clause of her will was as follows:

“To my beloved nephew, Steven Marsh, I bequeath my family Bible, and all it contain, with the residue of my estate after my funeral expenses and just and lawful debts are paid.”

The estate amounted to a few hundred dollars, which he soon spent. Because this nephew’s only support was a small pension from the Government, he lived in poverty for the next 35 years. That precious Bible with thousands of dollars in it, was always within his reach. He would pass it by and look at it, but not once did he pick it up to read it.

At the end of his life, while packing his trunk to move in with his son, he discovered the unknown riches. What thoughts of regret must have come to his mind. If he had only opened the Bible years ago, he then might have used the money to great advantage. Instead the treasure lay idle for 35 years.

Although this is a sad story, there is something sadder than this man’s experience. It is the neglect of reading the Bible by God’s people. Our God has given His people a costly treasure of His own Words. In the Bible, we find the riches of God’s Wisdom and Knowledge for life…yet these riches are unknown and unused by many.

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Are We Living Intentionally?

Whether we are old or young, we all have to deal with our own character defects. It might be our bitterness, our selfishness, or our pride. When we were young, we tried to cover up those character defects with our makeup and clothes, our natural abilities, or our personalities. As we get older, those outward things fade away. If we have not sanctified those defects in our younger years, those defects will become more pronounced and visible during our senior years.

There are days when I see my own short comings, temptations, and struggles and wonder to myself…will I make it to the end of my life more sanctified than when I started?

I look around and see other pastors’ wives and Christian leaders who gave up living the Christian life. Because of selfishness, greed, and thoughts, “I deserve better than this.” They start searching outside their marriages, families, and ministries for easier and more prosperous lives…ultimately these women lose their ministries and testimonies.

Although I have my own temptations and struggles, what a joy it is to watch older pastors’ wives and Christian leaders who have stayed faithful into their senior years. Listening to their testimonies and seeing them stay faithful to the Lord all the way to the end is such an encouragement to me.

Ladies, if we don’t live intentionally, our days become weeks, our weeks become months, our months become years, and our years become decades…then before you know it…our lives are over.

We have all watched Christian women, who over the course of their lives, fail to get more spiritual. They become more narrow, more bitter, more selfish, more whiny, more fearful, and more petty. But Praise the Lord, I’ve seen other women, who over the course of their lives, become more mature, more godly, more gracious, more dependent on the Lord and His blessing on their lives.

This morning, let’s determine to live our lives intentionally. Let’s set our eyes on Christ and press on to become more like Him.

Our prayer today should be…“Lord, by Your grace, help us to be more godly and gracious as the years go by. Help us to be the kind of women that encourage others as we grow older. We don’t want to just drift through our Christian lives. Help us live intentional about the way to the end for You. Although there are days in all of of our lives when we have things to do; places to go; people to check on, lessons to prepare, work to do, cards to send, emails and texts to answer… help us live the remainder of our years intentionally for You. Help us to become more gracious and kind to everyone all the way to the end.”

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We Are All on a Journey Toward Heaven

When I accepted Christ as my Savior, He ordered my steps and set me on a journey. His desire for me was to keep me moving and to bring me closer toward His eternal heart. The most amazing part of my journey is that He goes with me each step of the way. I came across this poem, and it really spoke to my heart.  May you feel His presence today on your journey toward home (heaven).

The Father spoke, “Come, child, let us journey together.”
“Where shall we go, Father?”
“To a distant land, another Kingdom.”
“So will the journey be long?”
“Yes, we must travel every day.”
“When will we reach our journey?”
“At the end of your days.”
“And who will accompany us?”
“Joy and Sorrow.”
“Must sorrow travel with us?”
“Yes, she is necessary to keep you close to me.”
“But I only want Joy.”
“It is only with Sorrow that you will know true Joy.”
“What must I bring?”
“A willing heart to follow Me.”
What shall I do on the journey?”
“There is only one thing you must do—
“Stay close to Me. Let nothing distract you.
Always keep your eyes on Me.”
“And what shall I see?”
“You will see My glory.”
“And what will I know?”
“You will know My heart.”
The Father stretched out His hand. The child knowing the great love her Father had for her placed her hand in His, and she began her journey.

               Things To Remember on Our Journey

  • I must begin each day’s journey with a daily commitment to travel toward the heart of God.
    Deuteronomy 6:5
    And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
  • Although some days on my journey might be discouraging, I must draw near to Him.
    Psalms 73:28
    But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.
  • I must follow His paths of mercy and truth.
    Psalms 25:10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
  • I must lay down all my emotional burdens, release old hurts, and learn to travel light.
  • I must not get angry with my traveling companions of Joy and Sorrow.
    James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
  • I must constantly check with my Guide and follow my Guidebook.
    Psalms 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
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Encouraging Others through Hospitality

Hospitality Is a Tremendous Tool for Encouragement and Edification  written by Terrie Chappell  June 20, 2014

One of my first official attempts at gracious hospitality came early in our family’s ministry, and it was not what I imagined it would be. My husband had just started a couples’ class, and he was so excited the Sunday our first visiting couple attended church. Imagine my shock when, right in the middle of class, he invited them over to our home for lunch!

I was expecting our second child and was not feeling very pleasant or hospitable. We also did not have any food at home! (In fact, I was praying someone would have us over for Sunday lunch that day!) By the time our class was over, I was convinced that he had not been serious in his invitation.

As we walked home from church, I reached for my husband’s hand and said, “I’m so glad you were teasing about having people over today.” It was when he assured me that he was not joking that I looked behind my shoulder and saw the visiting couple following us to our apartment.

I quickly began to formulate a plan. The closest store was a 7-Eleven on the corner of our street, and we only had seven dollars. I ran to the 7-Eleven with the little money we had and bought a package of spaghetti noodles, a can of green beans, and a half gallon of ice cream. So, our big Sunday afternoon meal and my first debut in hospitality consisted of buttered noodles, green beans, and ice cream. To my surprise, the couple joined the church the next Sunday! (I think it was the ice cream!)

Hospitality is a wonderful opportunity to encourage others in the Lord! First Peter 4:9 admonishes us, “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” Why don’t you take some time this summer to be a blessing to others in this way, and do so with a joyful spirit? Here a few quick reminders that may help:

• Your meal doesn’t have to be fancy. There are many affordable and fun options (popcorn, ice cream, brownies, etc).
• Your home doesn’t have to be perfect. If you wait until you have every upgrade or decorative item on your wish list, you may never have anyone over!
• Once the food has been served, focus on your guests and enjoy your fellowship with them.
• Ask for help! If you do have a more extensive menu planned, recruit help. It gives others the opportunity to serve and be a part.
• Don’t stress. Be thankful for the privilege of Christian fellowship and savor the time spent with God’s people.

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What are My Goals for the Coming Year?

Unless I attempt to do more than I am now doing, I will never achieve all that I can do. If I aim at nothing, I am sure to reach nothing. Setting goals helps me keep my eyes focused on something bigger than my own problems and adversity.

Here is sample of some of my simplified goals:

Physical goals: Lose _____lbs by December ? Consciously drink more water and eat more fruits and vegetables; exercise at least 3 days a week.

Mental goals: Memorize 5 verses every month, take an on-line class, begin to learn another language.

Spiritual goals: Read/listen through the Bible, keep a prayer journal, fast one day a week, pour myself into a new convert.

Family goals: Pray diligently for my family members. Have morning devotions with my husband. Tell my family members that “I love you” more.

Financial goals: Consistently give tithes and increase my mission’s giving. Avoid making frivolous purchases. Avoid using charge cards unless it is an emergency.

Church goals: Pray more diligently for my pastor, our church leaders, and our church families. Send cards to the discouraged, shut-ins, and children; Look for opportunities to give alms (benevolence causes) Pass out more tracts and don’t pass up any soul-winning opportunities.

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An Open Letter to the Dad Looking at Porn

Dear Dad,

I want to let you know first of all that I love you and forgive you for what this has done in my life. I also wanted to let you know exactly what your porn use has done to my life. You may think that this effects only you, or even your and mom’s relationships. But it has had a profound impact on me and all of my siblings as well. I found your porn on the computer somewhere around the age of 12 or so, just when I was starting to become a young woman.

First of all, it seemed very hypocritical to me that you were trying to teach me the value of what to let into my mind in terms of movies, yet here you were entertaining your mind with this junk on a regular basis. Your talks to me about being careful with what I watched meant virtually nothing. Because of pornography, I was aware that mom was not the only woman you were looking at. I became acutely aware of your wandering eye when we were out and about. This taught me that all men have a wandering eye and can’t be trusted. I learned to distrust and even dislike men for the way they perceived women in this way.

As far as modesty goes, you tried to talk with me about how my dress affects those around me and how I should value myself for what I am on the inside. Your actions however told me that I would only ever truly be beautiful and accepted if I looked like the women on magazine covers or in porn. Your talks with me meant nothing and in fact, just made me angry.

As I grew older, I only had this message reinforced by the culture we live in. That beauty is something that can only be achieved if you look like “them”. I also learned to trust you less and less as what you told me didn’t line up with what you did. I wondered more and more if I would ever find a man who would accept me and love me for me and not just a pretty face. When I had friends over, I wondered how you perceived them. Did you see them as my friends, or did you see them as a pretty face in one of your fantasies? No girl should ever have to wonder that about the man who is supposed to be protecting her and other women in her life. I did meet a man. One of the first things I asked him about was his struggle with pornography. I’m thankful to God that it is something that hasn’t had a grip on his life. We still have had struggles because of the deep-rooted distrust in my heart for men. Yes, your porn watching has affected my relationship with my husband years later.

If I could tell you one thing, it would be this: Porn didn’t just affect your life; it affected everyone around you in ways I don’t think you can ever realize. It still affects me to this day as I realize the hold that it has on our society. I dread the day when I have to talk with my sweet little boy about pornography and its far-reaching greedy hands. When I tell him about how pornography, like most sins, affects far more than just us. Like, I said, I have forgiven you. I am so thankful for the work that God has done in my life in this area. It is an area that I still struggle with from time to time, but I am thankful for God’s grace and also my husband’s. I do pray that you are past this and that the many men who struggle with this will have their eyes opened.

Love, Your Daughter

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Do You Believe in Ministering Spirits?

Friday morning, July 27, 1991, my husband and I left our home in Rhode Island to travel to Quebec, Canada, where my husband was to preach a mission’s conference.

When we reached New Hampshire, we noticed the sky growing darker. Soon we found ourselves driving into a torrential rain storm. My husband tried to turn on the windshield wipers, but nothing…

Being blinded by the rain, my husband left the interstate and drove onto Route 4 near Lebanon, New Hampshire. He drove our car to the side of the road and turned on the car’s emergency flashing lights. He then got out of the car, retrieved some tools from the trunk, and  opened the hood to inspect the problem with the wipers.

While he was bending over the left fender, a motorist struck him and knocked him 49 feet. Watching my husband’s body  fly past my side window, I jumped out of the car to see where his body had landed. It had landed down a deep muddy embankment. Staring at his motionless body, I heard a moan and frantically thought, “He is not dead!”

I turned toward the road and began waving my hands for help. Soon a kind man in a black trench coat appeared. As I stood there in shock and confusion, this strange man put his arm around me. I remember his presence gave me comfort. He spoke to me in a gentle, but firm voice, “Honey, your husband will be alright. There is a doctor with him right now.” I thought, “How could this be true? There is no ambulance–no rescue workers–no police”.

Soon an ambulance and rescue workers arrived. Workers stabilized my husband and loaded him into the ambulance.

The kind man, who was still holding me, instructed me to go with my husband in the ambulance. He told me that he would take care of my car. Shaking uncontrollably, I crawled onto the front seat of the ambulance. As the vehicle  swiftly rushed toward the hospital, I opened my handbag and reached for my small pink Bible. It was as if my Bible opened automatically to Psalm 120. In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me. I then glanced down to Psalm 121. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hill, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. As I read those verses, my body stopped shaking, and a warmth began moving slowly from the top of my head all the way through my whole body. I experienced a peace that I cannot explain…but I knew that God was in control.It was at that moment I realized–God had sent me a ministering spirit to help me in my distress.

When I arrived at the hospital, hospital officials escorted me to a private room with a telephone. They advised me to start calling my family. My children arrived a few hours later. We sat together through the night waiting to hear news of my husband’s condition. At 5:30 in the morning, a doctor entered that small room to share his prognosis. In a low voice, he said, “I’m sorry. I would like to give you more hope, but I have lost patients with fewer injuries than your husband received. We will just have to wait and see.”

The next morning at 10:00, a missionary organized a prayer meeting to pray for my husband at our church in Rhode Island. At 11:00, during that prayer meeting, a nurse came to me and said, “We are going to try to take your husband off the ventilator; if he can breathe alone, there is a good chance he might make it.” At 11:20, she came to me and said, “Well, he’s breathing by himself.”

That afternoon, I went to the cafeteria to get something to eat. A doctor approached me and said, “Do you remember me?” I told him, “Yes, your face is one that I do remember from yesterday”. He introduced himself and said, “I am Dr. Silvestre. I am a pulmonary specialist. I was the doctor who was with your husband at the accident. I reached your husband before the ambulance arrived. Your husband was lying face down in running water, and I knew that if I didn’t turn him over, he would drown.”

Fifteen days later my husband left the hospital. As the nurse wheeled my husband to our car, my husband’s attending physician walked beside him and said, “I really thought we would be taking you out the back door (morgue).”

It took my husband several months get back on his feet. For several years, we didn’t understand the reason for this incident (not accident), but God eventually showed us that all the suffering it produced was for our good and for His glory.  You see, we had been praying, “Lord, make us fruitful.” God had answered our prayers, and He used that circumstance to mold us to become more like Him.

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What Will Be Your Legacy?

Max Jukes lived in the state of New York. He did not believe in Christian training. He married a girl with his same convictions.  From this union there were 1,026 descendants.  Out of this family, 300 died prematurely, 100 were sent to the penitentiary for an average of 13 years each, 190 were public prostitutes, 100 drunkards and the family cost the state $1,200,000.00. They made no contribution to society.

On the other hand…

Jonathan Edwards lived in the same state.  He believed in Christian training.  He married a girl with his same convictions. From this union there were 729 descendants. Out of this family, there were 300  preachers, 65 college professors, 13 university presidents, 60 authors of good books, 3 United States congressmen and 1 vice-president of the United States, (except for Aaron Burr, a grandson of Edwards who married a woman of questionable character), the family has not cost the state a single dollar.

What was the difference in the two families?  Christian training in youth and heart conversions.

 

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When my children were small,  I remember continually thinking, “What will my children think of me when they are twenty, thirty, or even forty years old?” I wanted to create memories for them that would last throughout their lifetime.  

Mother, what kind of memories are you creating for your children. Will they remember the times that you?

  • Knelt beside their beds and prayed with them
  • Took them on walks and talked to them about God’s wonderful creation
  • Memorized Scripture with them
  • Shared with them about God’s wonderful provisions and sovereignty
  • Hosted missionaries in your home
  • Read Bible stories and fun stories aloud to them
  • Listened to godly music while traveling and doing errands

It is so sad that some mothers are creating bad memories for their children. Will they remember the times that you?

  • Sat in front of the television and watched immoral programs
  • Yelled and fought with their fathers
  • Told them how stupid they were when they were just being children
  • Constantly criticized them
  • Became so involved with your own pleasures and hobbies that you did not have time to love and to nurture them
  • Listened to music about sex and immorality

Mothers, your children will remember!  You are creating memories. Make sure that that those memories are good ones.

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