Earliest Surviving Preemie

You shall not murder.    Exodus 20:13

This won’t take long.

Curtis Zy-Keith Means has been named the most premature baby to ever survive by the Guinness Book of World Records.  He was born only 21 weeks and 1 day into his mother’s pregnancy on July 5, 2020 at the neonatology division of the University of Alabama.

His family celebrated his first birthday last summer.  He is healthy and energetic with no problems from his early birth.

Babies born that early rarely survive.  Some hospitals don’t even try to help them.  Curtis, however, responded to oxygen and other treatments.  It wasn’t easy.  He stayed in the hospital for 275 days before going home.

So…here’s my question to everyone who is pro-abortion.  If you think abortions are OK, because fetuses aren’t really human beings yet, at what point would you have stopped calling Curtis a non-human and welcomed him into the human race?

What’s that you say?  Once born he was no longer a fetus?  Well then!  You just admitted that there was no change in his physical development or condition that changed him from fetus to human.  That makes abortion like real estate – it’s all about location, location, location.

In the womb, kill them.  Outside the womb…too late!

See?  That didn’t take long at all!

Quote for 11/28/2021

The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.    Philippians 4:9

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Allow me to paraphrase this verse as I hear it.

“OK, people.  I know I’ve spent a lot of time with you talking about Jesus and how He forgives our sins.  I’ve shown you the scrolls of God’s Word and taught you from that.

“If neither of those happen to be your best way of learning, try this: imitate me in how I go about my life.  Treat others as I have treated you.  Don’t take advantage of people.  I mean, here I am running my tent-making business to support myself so I’m not a burden to anyone here (Paul did this!).

“If nothing else helps get my message across to you, at least try to act like me.  Imitate me just as I imitate Jesus.  Do that, and God will be pleased!”

Quote for 11/27/2021

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.    Romans 12:1

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Offerings.  We’re often reminded to give money to the church in proportion to our income.  We are not reminded as often to offer ourselves.

When you have the urge to say something nasty, check yourself and say something more temperate and helpful.  When you have the opportunity and urge to drink alcohol excessively, refrain.  Leave it at one drink or maybe just a soft drink.

The point is to offer your body and all it does as a sacrifice to God.  He made us, and we should be careful with that gift, always using it for His purposes.  We certainly should not abuse it!

See it this way; if a friend gave you an exceptional car, would you take care of it?  When you go to pick him or her up to go out, would you have cleaned it first or just show up in a muddy mess with garbage littered inside.

I should think we’d all want to go “pick up” God in a pristine vehicle – our bodies – when we go out into the world to have some fun.  God’s way.

Quote for 11/26/2021

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”    John 11 :25-26

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These were Jesus’ words to Martha before raising her brother, Lazarus, from his grave.  He asked her this before she could see the proof of His power for her brother.

He asks us the same question prior to our own resurrection, given to us by His death and resurrection.  That power is ours by faith, not good works or anything else.

If you die, you will live again.  If you are still alive at His second coming, you will never die.  All it takes is faith.

Do you believe this?

How to Thanksgiving

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.    Philippians 4:11-13

What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year?  Are you traveling?  Are you giving thanks with family or having a “Friendsgiving?”  Whatever you do, I wish you safe travels, full bellies, and full spirits!

But let’s extend Thanksgiving.  Let’s start this weekend to practice thanks to God in all we do.  Let’s act like we’re thankful instead of over-eating and falling asleep to a football game.

I wrote on November 17 about Getting Ready for Christmas.  I ask you to revisit that and think how you’ll start extending your Thanksgiving and make that your path into Christmas.

Are you content as St. Paul was?  Surely you must be, if you are eating well tomorrow!  Will you be content without the latest toy/gadget/must-have item?  Will you forego buying what is unnecessary in pursuit of elusive happiness or will you bask in the abundance God has already given you?  Will you be fighting the crowds in a self-centered chase of the material for yourself and family or will you remove yourself from the fray and show your children how to appreciate all we have?  Will you splurge the money God has given you or manage it as one of His wise stewards?

Will you give of yourself as did God the Father and God the Son?  Will you offer your step away from the traditional Christmas race as your return gift, your offering to the Christ child?

What better way to truly celebrate Thanksgiving than to merge it in humility with your Christmas celebration!  Make Christmas your Thanksgiving for Jesus!

That’s it, isn’t it?  Today is giving thanks for the material blessings that our heavenly Father certainly enjoys giving us.  Christmas should be our…

Spiritual Thanksgiving!  Christmas should be a focus on the spiritual, not the material.  Christmas should be humbly recognizing the sacrifice of Father and Son.  Christmas should be a demonstration of the contentment St. Paul preached.

Can you be content this Christmas?  Can you sacrifice your Christmas “habit” on the alter of Jesus’ love, a pleasing aroma to God to celebrate and say “Thank you!”

Quote for 11/25/2021

…because “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.    1 Peter 1:24-25

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Good news/bad news.  First, we’re nothing.  Yeah, God made us a “little lower than the angels,” but we have covered ourselves in sin.  We have a brief, shining moment on earth and then pffffft!  We’re toast!

Ah, but there is God’s Word which lasts much longer than we.  It’s the Word that promises our ultimate victory Jesus won for us.  It contains His promise that He left earth to prepare places for each of us when we arrive in heaven, delivered there by our faith in His precious blood.

Quote for 11/24/2021

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”    Matthew 10:16

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It was with these less than encouraging words that Jesus sent his disciples to surrounding villages to preach he good news of salvation.  He was telling them to expect to be attacked and harried.  Do not expect a smooth ride!

Indeed, He gave instructions on what to do when – not if – they encountered opposition:

And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!

This was not going to be a glamorous gig.  This was going to be real work with real threats!

His words were recorded for our benefit.  The warnings are for us too.  Following Jesus is not for the faint of heart.  He gave us further warning:

Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.    John 15:20

But He also promised blessings greater than earth can offer:

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.    Matthew 5:12

Our defense is God’s Word, which makes us wise as serpents yet innocent as doves!

Quote for 11/23/2021

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.    Hebrews 4:12

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I’ve shared this story before.  You’ll probably recognize it, but it’s a great example, so here goes…

A charity I’m on the board of used to bring a small group of Russian orphans to the US every year to let them have a 2-week “family” experience along with church and vacation bible school.  Roughly half the kids were adopted by their hosts.  Those that were not were reported to show improved behavior.  It seems seeing how a real family can work gave them hope.

An orphanage official always chaperoned.  One year the chaperone was a curmudgeon of a woman who seemed happy about nothing.  Still, the charity resident took her on a shopping trip to Chicago where they stayed with her sister and family.  They put the curmudgeon in their daughter’s bedroom.  Her white confirmation bible rested on the nightstand as always.

The following morning a bleary-eyed woman came to the kitchen with that bible in her hand.  She had cracked it open and started reading.  She couldn’t stop.  She looked at her hosts and said she never knew about any of this.  Was it possible she too could be a follower of Jesus?

They prayed with her and she gave her life to Jesus.  The first item she wanted to shop for was a white Bible just like the one she had read that night.

Never underestimate God’s Word!!!

Quote for 11/22/2021

As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.    Psalm 103:13

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We love our kids.  Sure – they may try our patience and anger us, but we still love them.  They make mistakes and do hurtful things, but we pity them, because we know they aren’t really capable of more yet.  And they always come back and apologize in one way or another.

Of course, there are the proverbial bad seeds who just seem incapable of love, respect, or even fear.  At some point pity gives way to resignation as we have no choice but to leave them to their own designs despite our best efforts.

So it is with God.

Quote for 11/21/2021

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.    2 Timothy 3:16-17

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When you read the Bible carefully, study it, and keep an eye on the world you can’t help seeing that it really is God’s infallible Word to mankind.

There is science that agrees with so much of God’s Word. As we continue to learn more about this incredible world He created, the more we see incredible design.

The wisdom of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes is unimpeachable.

Archeological finds confirm the truth of the Exodus and so much more.

Even the tales of struggle and disputes among the Apostles enlighten us in dealing with proper doctrine. Paul’s lament over his sinful nature in his letter to the Roman church gives us hope that Jesus’ first followers struggled as we do.

Read. Study. Find other materials to help you understand the ancient history of those times, especially surrounding the writings of Daniel. Strive to be “thoroughly equipped for every good work!”