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Lena VanAusdle

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  • Lena VanAusdle

    Hi Karen! I would probably point out a couple of things... First, Adam was an exception to the rules of conception; he couldn't have been knit together in a womb, since no womb existed. The exception doesn't change the rule.

    Second, we can't take a single verse out of the context of the entire Bible. We have lots of other verses that talk about life in the womb. In addition to the verses included in the video above, I would point you to Jeremiah1:5 and Psalm129:13-18 that talks about the prophet being formed in the womb and Psalm refers to David being knit together in the womb. Then in Luke 1:41-44, John leaps in his mother's womb! and in verse 15 it says that John would be filled with the Holy Spirit before he was born!
    We know so much about the development of a baby in the womb; we know that the baby has it's own distinct DNA from conception. We know that it has a heartbeat at five weeks. It's thought that a baby can feel pain at the seven-week mark. Brain activity can be detected at the end of week five.
    The Bible and science both back the claim that human life begins at conception, rather than at first breath.

  • Lena VanAusdle

    Hi Samantha! There's no one path for a relationship to follow, that's something that you and your friend need to discuss. I would ask why you cut communication completely? What's the purpose behind it? Any strong relationship should be built on a foundation of friendship. Since you're a good distance away from each other, it's a great opportunity to build your friendship even stronger as you prepare to have a more serious relationship in the future.

  • Lena VanAusdle

    Hi Charming Chum,
    If you read Leviticus 23, you will find that God outlines His Feasts (verse 2), and they are referred to as "sabbaths" (verses 3, 23, 32, 39). There are seven of these Feast days that occur throughout the year. For example, this year the Feast of Trumpets (2022) falls on September 26 (a Monday); there will be two Sabbaths during that week. I hope this helps!

  • Lena VanAusdle
    Hi Rajvir, the Sabbath is from sunset on Friday evening until sunset on Saturday evening. How people observe it will vary from family to family, but one thing in common is we should be studying God's word, singing His praises, and resting (not doing our normal work or housework or school work). We should also gather together with other believers. You can visit www.ucg.org/congregations to find the congregation nearest you where you can worship with God's people, or at least speak with the pastor of the closest congregation.
  • Lena VanAusdle
    Hi Pat, based on the service of Abijah, it does seem likely that Jesus Christ was conceived in December. What day in December is impossible to know based on the information in the Bible and current historical records.
  • Lena VanAusdle

    Hi Melinda,
    that's a tough spot to be in. I typically avoid events and parties on the Sabbath, but I understand how challenging it can be to explain to friends and family when you can't be at some events. I think it's also okay to back out of an event if you sincerely didn't realize it was on the Sabbath, and you just explain to your friends your belief. Praying it gets easier for you!

  • Lena VanAusdle

    Hi Arrey,
    You might not find the act of a woman being ordained as a deaconess, however, you will find a woman holding the office of deaconess. If you notice, as Skip mentioned, Romans 16:1-2, " I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also." The word "servant" is the exact same word for deacon in the Greek. This sermon, by Steve Myers, might be helpful to you. https://www.ucg.org/sermons/the-new-testament-on-women

  • Lena VanAusdle
    Hey Deb, You may want to go and take another listen to this message. While, yes, Mr. Crane does mention several politicians in the first two minutes of his message, he never refers to a particular political party, nor does he mention political agendas or policies. What he did say is that various politicians put specific mandates in place during the pandemic, and all those he mentioned were caught breaking them in one way or another. He doesn’t mention whether the mandates are good or bad, just that they exist and that the folks that implemented them were caught breaking them. They’re considered role-models, but in these instances they were hypocritical. He then discusses a famous musician cross-dressing, before continuing on with the message on what our actual role model should be, and what kind of persons we ought to be. His entire introduction lasted 2.5 minutes.
  • Lena VanAusdle
    Hi Larry, I think Mr. Miller did an excellent job in explaining, but I thought I might add just a little. When we say, "Jesus is God of the OT" we mean, Jesus (the Word) is the God that interacted with human beings in the Old Testament. God the Father still existed, but as the New Testament describes, no one has seen Him or heard His voice (John 5:37; John 1:18). Jesus Christ (the Word) has existed eternally with God the Father (John 1:1-3, 14) and He has been the "spokesperson" of the God family throughout human history, particularly in regards to the nation of Israel (1 Corinthians 10:1-4). I hope this has been helpful.
  • Lena VanAusdle

    Hi Evins5,
    It's tough to go against what everyone else is doing, but God will bless your efforts. You may be interested in reading this article, "Keeping Family When You Don't Keep Christmas" at https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/keeping-family-when-you-dont-keep-christmas. The author gives lots of practical advice, but I found this paragraph very compelling, "Throughout the year, I make a point to spend time with my family at other opportunities that are meaningful to all of us: Thanksgiving, birthdays, a summer family gathering, and other special events such as graduations and weddings. I make an effort to see them more often than before so they don't feel I'm pulling away from them. It's Christmas I've rejected, not them. You can keep the commandment to honor your parents and not keep their desire for Christmas."

  • Lena VanAusdle

    Hi Grahame! It's wonderful that you are seeking to please our God! What kind of business do you own? The building has to remain open, but what is the reasoning behind you having to remain open as well? Is it feasible to relocate your business? Have you discussed with your landlord your religious convictions regarding the Sabbath? Do you have a local congregation to attend; if you do, have you spoken to your pastor about your situation? Or possibly other believers who have faced similar circumstances?

  • Lena VanAusdle

    Rejoice,
    The first question I have to ask is, have you repented of this sin? Have you gone before God and humbly asked Him for His forgiveness? Have you stopped committing this sin, and are you determined to never repeat it? If you've done these things you, then you need not fear God. Notice the quote from above, "At any time, God can and will forgive the sin of departing from Him, if the sinner wants forgiveness and genuinely repents. God inspired John to write, 'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness' (1 John 1:9). Clearly, God will extend mercy to all who sincerely repent and change—regardless of their sin."
    God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), He offers you peace (2 Timothy 1:7), but you have to take the steps of engaging with God through prayer and His word, through repentance and change.

  • Lena VanAusdle

    Hi Dennis, the only instance that I can find in the Bible of someone questioning or accusing God is Job (read chapter 7). But, ultimately, God is in control and everyone will have to answer for their actions, including accusing God of wrongdoing (Galatians 6:7).

  • Lena VanAusdle

    Hi Francisco,
    Family relationships are always complicated. One thing to keep in mind is that "being friends" and honoring and respecting your parents are two different things. God does not require us to "be friends" with our parents, though that is a laudable goal. What you should focus on is being respectful to them, and honoring them despite the difficult relationship. This article might be very helpful to you, https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-ten-commandments/how-should-we-treat-parents-who-are-difficult-to-honor.

    In addition to the above, I do hope that you're able to communicate with your parents and forge a new and healthy relationship with them.

  • Lena VanAusdle
    Hi Jerry, I'm so sorry to hear of your health trial, but certainly encouraged that you are once again seeking God. Honestly, this is going to be a personal decision. If you believe your first baptism was valid (fully immersed, you repented of your sins, and you had hands laid on you -- https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/bible-questions-and-answers/do-i-need-to-be-re-baptized), then perhaps not, but if those things are not true, then you may need to be rebaptized. You may want to speak with a pastor that can help you answer these questions. You can find the pastor closest to you at https://www.ucg.org/congregations