November 28, 2012

Grandson Baptized

Last Sunday, November 25th, our 11th grandchild received the sign and seal of holy baptism. The water is a sign of Christ's blood that is able to wash us from our sin. The seal is God's one sided covenant promise that He is willing to be our personal God and Saviour. What a blessing to witness this event together with family members and the congregation of God's people, who also promise to do their best to teach and raise Lucas George in the fear of the Lord.

Baptism is a pleading ground for parents, grandparents, and the whole congregation to bring before the Lord in prayer to fulfil His covenant promise to Lucas George personally. It is not an automatic resting ground that we may presume upon, but a reason for prayer. What a wonderful blessing and privilege we have been given.

I was not able to attend the service in person, but with modern technology, I was able to witness and participate in the event from the second row seat through skype. It was the next best thing to actually being there. Thank you Willem for that special gift of making that possible.

Baptism is a blessing that I receive much personal comfort from. Before I was even conscious of it, God gave me His promise of salvation, I was set aside in a Christian family, given a Christian upbringing and a Christian education at home, church and school. These are wonderful privileges, but also great responsibilities. I will have to give an account for what I have done with these gifts. Thankfully I can say that God used these gifts in my life to draw me to Himself. I pray that will be true for all of my 11 grandchildren.

For the Beric family, Lucas and his siblings represent the second generation of souls who have been incorporated into the covenant. God promises to bless to the 3rd and 4th generation of those who love and serve Him. A brand has been plucked from the fire, and a new limb has been added to the family of God. Prayers need to multiply for this new limb.


November 20, 2012


"Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray." (James 5:13)

This verse is from the meditation on 'Suffering' in the book titled "The Everlasting Word", by Frans Bakker, published by Reformation Heritage Books. Often, we try everything else first, and then turn to prayer as a last resort. But the text 'commands' the afflicted to pray before doing anything else. This means trusting in God's providence and sovereignty instead of jumping to our own solutions or relying only on the help of man. This is a lesson that is hard for us to learn, because it goes against our pride and the natural tendencies of our heart. Affliction is meant for our profit (Psalm 119), and to drive us out to God.

I must admit that it has not always been my habit, when confronted with a difficulty, to go to God in prayer as a first resort. But now that I am in the middle of a prolonged affliction, I am more likely to cry out to God for help. Perhaps that is one of His reasons for my sickness, to bring me closer to Him.

As for the progress of the ALS, I have lost the ability to chew my food, drink with a straw, and move my hands. I still eat, but the consistency has to be like mashed potatoes or pudding that I can swallow without chewing. Lena uses a little hand grinder to mince the meat and vegetables, and then she mixes it with gravy or mayo or ranch dressing (slider) so that I can get it down.

I am also having difficulty drinking liquids. It takes me a whole day to drink a glass of juice using a straw. So to keep me hydrated, Lena gives me 1 liter of water every day through the G tube in my stomach.

Last week I had to have my computer modified because I can no longer use my thumb to click the switch that functions as my mouse button. I now use the reflective tape on my glasses to direct the cursor on the screen. If the cursor rests on a letter or a word for 1.2 seconds, then it is selected, and appears in my document. Needless to say, it is a tedious process, but I am thankful for the technology.

"Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46) I pray that I may continue to be submissive and content while under affliction, and that I might not sin against such a good doing and merciful God. I am comforted knowing that my Saviour is in heaven, seated at my Fathers right hand, never slumbering or sleeping, preparing a place for me (John 14), and sending His angels and His people to care for me. He prays for me, and He hears my prayers.

The Word is full of comforting promises, and I plead with Jesus to remember me, and to not forsake me. He keeps His promises.


November 5, 2012

The Power of the Cross on Your Death-bed - J.C. Ryle

Are you a dying believer? Have you gone to that bed from which something within tells you you will never come down alive? Are you drawing near to that solemn hour when soul and body must part for a season, and you must launch into a world unknown? Oh, look steadily at the cross of Christ, and you shall be kept in peace! Fix the eyes of your mind firmly on Jesus crucified, and He shall deliver you from all your fears. Though you walk through dark places, He will be with you. He will never leave you, and never forsake you. Sit under the shadow of the cross to the very last, and its fruits shall be sweet to your taste. There is but one thing needful on a death-bed, and that is to feel one’s arms around the cross. ~ J.C. Ryle