What motherhood was meant for

2E5D3CD5-B75F-4DB4-B154-759438F9C11EIt was never intended for you to be mine
Only that my womb would be the secret place where you were knit
Only that my body would bear the pain that gave you breath.

It was never meant that I would get to keep you close
Only that my days would be crouched low telling you what you did not know
Listening and smiling at your every coo
Wondering at the fact I get to raise you

It was never the plan that I would keep you from falling
Only that when you did I’d come running
Holding you close while you were crying.

It was never my role to teach you everything
Only to rub that spot on your back all knotted up
While you told me you didn’t feel like you would make the cut.

It was never meant for me to hold you tight
To keep you from sin’s deadly plight
Only that I should proclaim to you
The good news that could make you new.

It was never scheduled that you would stay
Only that while you were away
I would pray, and pray and pray…
You were born that way.

One day you will leave
And it is not me to whom you will cleave
Only to another
Someone never meant to be your mother.

Mothers: Tell your kids to trust the God of their mother.

boy child childhood happiness
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Yesterday at church my pastor taught through the story in Genesis where Jacob wrestles with “a man.”  Toward the end of the sermon he referred to the passage in Genesis 32: 9-12 where Jacob prays.

And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude. – Genesis 32:9-12

I’m raising two men. My sons are now sixteen and fourteen and everyday I wake with a burden to see them bend their knee to Jesus. I’ve approached my desire for them to know Jesus from different strategies as a parent, hoping to plant the seeds that only God can make grow. I’ve sung to them, as infants and toddlers, songs and hymns dripping with the doctrine of salvation by faith through grace. I’ve taught them Bible verses and told them Bible stories. I’ve prayed and pleaded with God, pouring out my concerns and intercessions for them. I’ve taken them to church with me and have tried to use every daily life opportunity as a teachable moment or a chance to hear their heart and learn how to pray better for them. I’ve sought God’s wisdom and have asked other parents for their help in knowing what to do in various situations. I’ve read books and blogs and articles. And as the long days and short years have flown by I continue to do the above on repeat.

I’m not sure exactly when it happened but I remember a time when I was praying and struggling to say what was on my heart and I remembered Jochebed, Moses’ mom, who placed him in a water-proof basket and put in him in the river like Pharoah decreed, hoping he would live, and I cried, “God of Jochebed, please save my sons!” It was a powerful moment. I wasn’t conjuring up some proper Christian prayer, I was drawing on the accounts of those who trusted God and acknowledging that I was calling for the help of the same God they trusted in.  It was a turnaround in my prayer life. Since then, I often call on the God of people in the Bibles who trusted God through various circumstances, as well as people in my life I’ve watched trust God when their faith was tested.

This has led to me teaching my sons to do the same. They both have expressed their doubts and questions when we’ve talked about Jesus or the Bible and their need for a savior. And in recent years I’ve found myself saying, “If you can’t believe because of what the Bible says, or what you hear at church, believe because you’ve seen me. Trust in the God of your mother. Look at my life. Look at my faith. And put your hope in the God who continually hears me and gives me hope and wisdom and a faithfulness to love others and turn from sin.”

It isn’t a strange practice, to call new or unsure believers to believe because of the witness of another person. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he said:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1 (emphasis mine).

When Paul was trying to stir up Timothy to courageous faith it’s not only Jesus he draws him to look to, but the faith of his mother and grandmother.  Hebrews 12:1 points back to chapter 11, calling the reader to look at the long history of people before them whose faith helped them endure through suffering an trials.

I am raising my sons in a post-modern, post-Christian culture with an unbelieving husband, who I love. I want to point them to Jesus, but in recent years I realize God would have them look to me to help them trust the Jesus they cannot see.  I’m calling them to follow me as I follow Christ. I’m calling them to look to a cloud of witnesses, including me, and to call on the God of their mother just like Jacob called on the God of his fathers.

It puts a holy fear in me to do this. Not a fear of not being good enough. But a fear of loosing sight of grace and ceasing to point them to Jesus. Asking my kids to trust the God of their mother means I am asking them to trust the God who called a coward like me to repentance and faith in Jesus and has provided for me, rescued me time and time again and is able to help me stand.

My faith has to be real to do this. As Moses wrote, I must love the Lord my God with all my heart, and all that Jesus has commanded must be written on my heart before I can tell my kids to follow the God of their mother (Deuteronomy 6:4-7).

Mothers, we can’t save our sons and daughters. But we can call our kids trust the God who saved us!

Thoughts on late term abortion from a labor and delivery nurse perspective

grayscale photography of woman holding ultrasound photo
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It’s hard for me to remain calm while thinking about the insanity behind bills like the ones in Virginia and New York that seek to make normal and acceptable the act of ending the life of a late-term, pre-born human baby; and in the Virginia case, a newborn infant.  But I’m going to try to remain calm and hopefully speak some reason into the insanity from my perspective as a nurse who has worked in labor and delivery.

When I became a nurse 18 years ago I worked in a labor and delivery unit in a large county and small town in Southwest Oregon.  During my 4 years there I saw early and late gestation fetal demise (the death of an unborn child early and late in the pregnancy), full-term seemingly healthy infants die in resuscitation, deliveries of infants with serious health problems and still birth.  I also witnessed many healthy, normal deliveries.  In some of those situations when the mother’s health was at serious risk, we delivered them of their babies, often premature and then we took every measure possible to save their babies lives. Sometimes the babies lived. Sometimes they did not.  In some cases the mother had to endure the pain of labor or the pain of surgery with the torture of grieving the unexpected death of their child.  In other cases mothers experienced the pain of labor or surgery with the joy of a new life, which would soon be mixed with the pain of healing and long-sleepless nights followed by a life of self-sacrifice to raise the child.

I have read through some of the arguments of  women I respect about why they think these late-term abortion laws are needed.  The argument about women having the right to do with their body what they want without government interference I’m not going to address here except to say, I agree. It’s your body and you should have the right to care for it without interference from the government. But when you cross over from caring for your body to harming another body that’s a whole other argument. The human growing in a woman’s womb is not her body. She may not want that human growing in her body. But it’s not her body. But I digress. What I want to address here are the two arguments I keep hearing that pull at our heart strings and should be wisely considered.

It’s Not Fair to Make a Woman Suffer When Her Baby Will Die Anyway

What about the woman who’s infant is severely deformed and will die as soon as he/she is delivered?  Why should the woman have to go through the suffering and dangers of pregnancy and delivery?

When you’re in the last trimester of pregnancy, there is no way around the pain and suffering your body is going to have to endure. For that matter, no matter the stage of pregnancy, even if you miscarry (spontaneously abort) at an early gestation, you’re body is going to go through some pain and healing.  If you delivery your baby and he or she is dead or dies soon after birth or even days or weeks after birth, you’re going to suffer. Your body is going to hurt and have to heal. You’re going to go through the stages of grief and face the demons that want to destroy every postpartum woman.  And if you elect to abort, you’re going to suffer. Your body is going to hurt and have to go through the healing process. You’re going to have to deal with the emotional trauma of the death of your baby and the decision you have made.

I believe delivering a pre-term infant that is putting the health of a mom at serious risk or the election to deliver a severly deformed infant pre-term who will not survive a normal labor and delivery at full term is physically and emotionally the healthiest way to walk through the pain and suffering of death and birth together. There’s no need for an abortion. When the oath, “do no harm” is taken, the life of the mother and the child are upheld. There will be pain and delivery and death. When harm is elected as the only option to uphold one life over another, there will still be pain and delivery and death, but with the added torture of being put in a position where people think you shouldn’t grieve because you chose to have an abortion.

My point is, when it comes to pregnancy and abortion, delivering the woman of a child, whether wanted or not will come with pain and suffering, and aborting a child will also inflict upon the woman pain and suffering. Choosing to abort your late-term baby does not delivery you of pain or suffering. I believe we honor the necessary grieving process and the image of God in both the woman and the baby human when we deliver a woman of her child, not abort her child.

The Pro-Life People Are Hypocrites

What about the hypocrisy of those who say they are fighting for the rights of the unborn but then neglect to provide for the needs of unwanted children and mothers and father’s struggling under the weight of raising children?

People who make this argument as a justification for abortion are rightly inditing pro-lifers, but they’re crossing wires. It’s hypocrisy and a shame that people will march and be filled with vitriol over abortion but do nothing to care for unwanted children.

I recently wrote a post about how even the unwillingness some of us have to lower ourselves to teach children the gospel exposes our hypocrisy in our pro-life stance. But the fact that so many among the religious right, or conservative Christians fail to do what they are commanded by God to do: care for orphans and welcome children…all children, does not mean women should be empowered to end the life of their unborn child.

The blood of many of these children may very well be on the hands of us who have done nothing to care for the children lost in the foster care system and the mothers and children living in poverty and without the gospel and love of the church.  But that evil does not justify the evil of abortion.

My perspective as a labor and delivery nurse comes from a Christian ethic which says all people are created in the image of God.  That means the unborn, the severely deformed, the grieving and guilty mother, the single-mom, the teenager who’s grown up in foster care, the disabled, the foreigner, the abortionists. This ethic means I must repent of and call out the evil we do that does not reflect the image of God. It means I must take up my cross and follow Jesus in laying down my life for women and children, whether they’ve had abortions, disabilities, been abandoned, or are just tired of the daily pains and sufferings of raising children.  It means I must be willing to suffer along side those who are suffering. It means I don’t counter evil with evil, but overcome evil by doing good.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[g] serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:9-21

 

My heart for Kids Ministry and Senior Saints

Taking up the role of leading the kids ministry at my church was not something on my radar of plans for the future. But the push of the Spirit in my life over the past year or so has been to stop holding on to what God has so graciously poured into me, and start using those gifts and callings to serve others.

Last night I had a speech prepared to deliver to the group of families who came to our first Kids Ministry Parents, Kids and Volunteer Get Together. Although I’m trusting what needed to be said was said and God will continue to be gracious and use my weakness to accomplish his will, looking back over my notes, there was a lot I didn’t say. So I thought I’d share it here. It’s sort of a testimony of my own call out of comfort-lust to life by faith in Christ. And it is a call for others to join me in leaving self-made comfort for the joy of walking wherever Jesus leads.

I have been married for 25 years to my husband James and have two sons, Connor 15 and Ryland 14. I’m a nurse. And my home life is not Pinterest worthy. I love quiet and enjoy writing. I’m an introvert, so the small-talk of Sunday mornings and the business of reaching out to people to cast vision and hear their stories and expend energy bearing the burdens of others who’s lives are at least as messy as mine, is Jesus at work in my life.

Without Jesus, I wouldn’t love God or people. I love my own peace and comfort more than I love others.

Without Jesus I might be nice to people I really hate so as not to disturb my own comfort but I wouldn’t really love them.

Without Jesus I might be a philanthropist, giving tokens to people in need to increase my own comfort and protect myself from my need for Jesus, but I would never lay down my life for them.

Without Jesus I wouldn’t really love my husband or children- I’d do whatever I had to do to protect my comfort.

But Jesus has destroyed my illusion of self-made comfort. He’s led me out here to scary places where people and their problems are, but also where faith in him is.

There’s two main ways I see that Jesus has done this in my life: through his word and his people- especially older people.

Over the years God has used the Bible and older women in my life to help me hear and see this Jesus I have never seen or heard.  Reading my Bible and asking it questions, praying for answers, regurgitating what I’ve read with others and praying even more has given me an appetite for the things of God and an ear to hear what he sounds like. And it’s been the church, especially older women in the church, who have come along side me in my day-to-day life and helped me see what Jesus looks like. These older women discipled me and what they’ve poured into me is a treasure I want to pour out on others.

It’s my prayer that as we at Valley Life Church seek to make disciples, and help parents raise kids who love Jesus, God would use his word and his people to draw us out of self-protecting comfort into living by faith more and more.

Our mission at Valley Life Church Surprise in Kids Ministry is: Help parents raise kids who love Jesus. And if you notice, that means kids ministry is really parent ministry. Yes we teach kids for an hour or two on Sunday, but that is just a tiny piece of the mission we have. And the way God has laid out for us to help parents raise kids who love Jesus is by the older folks, as Deuteronomy 6:6 says, having God’s message on their hearts, and by those older folks teaching the younger folks the things God has said and done.

In Deuteronomy, Moses told the adults in Israel to love God with all their hearts and teach their kids what God had done for them and to show them his ways. He told them basically, “Hey, you have seen what God has done for you! This new generation has not. You must tell them!”

The psalmist in Psalm 71 cried to God to strengthen him so he could tell a coming generation the wonders of all God had done.

Jesus told us to let the children come to him and to welcome them in his name.

Paul, in the letter to Titus told the “older” men and women in the church to teach the younger how to follow Jesus and love their spouses and kids.

And so this is central to my main focus this year for kids ministry: That in 2019 we would help parents raise kids who love Jesus not just on Sunday, but by forming relationships of older to younger and welcoming each other into our lives throughout the week.

There is a group of senior adults at Valley Life Church who would tell the younger parents they attribute all of their hope to the grace poured out on them through Christ. They would come along side these parents and encourage them, pray with them, give them wisdom and good counsel and just be there for them. And we need them!

I have had the great privilege of having older women in my life over the years and I know God used them to help me endure living by faith. It’s my prayer that the younger families at Valley Life Church will connect with these folks. They won’t regret it.

Our mission- help parents raise kids who love Jesus- if you notice is really parent ministry. Yes we teach kids for an hour or two on Sunday, but that is just a tiny piece of the mission we have.

All this was on my heart last night as I stood before volunteers, my community group of older adults, noisy toddlers and their parents trying to look at me and listen while keeping their little one’s safe. And it’s on my heart this morning as I leave for work with the geriatric population laying beds at the hospital. It’s a prayer resounding in my heart constantly these days, that God would raise up the senior saints in his church to turn and tell the coming generation His mighty deeds; and that the young families in our churches would turn and listen to the silver-headed folks in their churches and communities who have a testimony of God’s faithfulness we need to hear.

body, bread and gummy fruit

four toddler forms circle photo
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I “teach” a preschool class at my church a couple times a month. It’s not really teaching, it’s an effort in preventing total rebellion amongst 4 year olds for 1 hour. This poem was sparked by how God always uses those kids to teach me what it’s like to be part of his family. When I sit down, on their level, pull out some food, and read them a story about Jesus… their rebellion stops and they listen. It’s a testimony to me. I wrote this for a writing contest at Fathom Mag, and although I wasn’t a selected winner for the contest, I loved trying to condense my feelings about God’s work through 4 year olds into appropriate words.

 

Projectiles fly
Bodies collide
“That’s mine!”
Untamable troop
Condescend to crisscross thighs
Offer of gummy fruit
Brings instant mute
Rebellion invaded with feast
Snack and story
One came to our waring
Offered body, bread and juice
Peace introduced

The glory of motherhood is Christ

pexels-photo-701014.jpegYesterday on Twitter I wrote, “Motherhood is the Shadow. Christians discipling others in Christ is the substance.”

Today I spent the morning chasing shadows.

All the Hallmark ideas about being a mom were a no go at my house today.  Fifteen years of raising sons in a hard, “even if” marriage have taught me not to expect Hallmark on Mother’s Day. They have also shown me that I tend to chase shadows when it comes to being a wife and mom.

I can tell when I’m chasing shadows, I feel the disappointment of reaching for a substance that slips through my fingers like air.

The message of the Bible is that God is making all things new through his Son.  Motherhood included. Radical statements like, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,” shake our grip on shadows.  Like a person lost in the desert, desperate for water, we tend to look to the nuclear family like an oasis that will quench our thirst for belonging and love, only to find our mouths all of the empty promises of the ideal and the gritty sand of each others sin.

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:37 ESV

 

C.S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

There is a desire in being a mom that motherhood in this world will never satisfy.  Christ’s death and resurrection has brought the other world motherhood in this fallen world makes me long for. His kingdom. His people. In Christ’s Kingdom, the beauty of motherhood is made tangible.  It won’t slip through your fingers. People like Paul being gentle among new believers, like a nursing mom with her children, are very real and eternal relationships.

The satisfaction of motherhood is not Hallmark moments.  The satisfaction of motherhood is giving your life to another to see them complete in Christ.

‘But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. ‘

1 Thessalonians 2:7-8

“…my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!” Galatians 4:19 ESV

The glory of motherhood is Christ in motherhood. The weightiness of motherhood is found not in having the ideal nuclear family, but in laying down your life for your children to know Christ, for the new believers in your church to grow up in Christ, for the single-mom in your neighborhood to be discipled in Christ. In Christ, motherhood is redeemed and made eternally significant. And it isn’t limited to being a biological or adoptive mother.  In Christ, the fulfillment of motherhood isn’t Hallmark moments or Pinteresitc images.  In Christ, motherhood isn’t having a lovely child who does lovely things.  In Christ, motherhood is self-sacrificially loving a child, or any person, who isn’t lovely and doesn’t do lovely things, so that they may know the love of Christ and follow him.

April fools, Easter, the Prodigal and my son

 

pexels-photo-897296.jpegI wonder what the son who betrayed his father’s love and provision, left home squandered it all and came back seeking restoration was like the years before he decided to leave.  I wonder if he resisted his father’s love and discipline.  I wonder if he threatened that as soon as he was of age, he was out of there!

Obviously I don’t know.  And I’m sure scholars who know these things could give me a better historical idea of what a father and son in the ancient Middle East might have typically been like in their culture. But I thought about the prodigal the other day when my oldest son, who will be 15 on Easter Sunday (which also happens to be April Fool’s day) scowled at my every instruction and resignedly breathed out a, “Yes, mom” instead of an argument.

He is the spice of my life and is also the reason I have so many frowning wrinkles in my forehead.  My April Fool’s day baby has been testing the boundaries and seeking a thrill since before he turned one.

As an infant, he wouldn’t be held and cuddled.  I bought a rocking chair while I was still pregnant with him, but the only time he was still in my arms in that chair was when he was nursing.  Once I tried to hold and rock him and he squirmed and wiggled and strained to raise his head. I laughed and starting tickling him and within minutes he was asleep.  This boy didn’t want to be rocked to sleep he wanted to be tickled to sleep. Before he turned one he managed to figure out how to escape his crib.  And when we decided to put his crib mattress on the floor for his safety he wouldn’t stay in his room at night.

This boy ripped out his first tooth gnawing on a bar stool before he could walk.  He fell down a flight of stairs when he was 2 because he was curious about the door we had told him, “No” to.  Everywhere we went I worried that he would run in front of a car, or jump in a pool of water or fall off a cliff because he had no fear and boundaries seemed to say, “Come here and test me!”

As I’ve watched my son’s personality come to light I laugh at God’s timing in making April Fool’s day the day he would be born.   No mom wants to call their son a fool, but I’m pretty sure that the 15 year old, impulsive, curious, pubescent, strong-willed boy is pictured in the dictionary as the definition of fool.  And to be fair, right behind it is the 15 year old, shallow, silly, emotional, pubescent, self-focused girl (that was me at 15).  This child loves to make people laugh.  He seeks thrills, often without thinking first.  He’s curious, especially when there are boundaries. He opens his mouth and at least 5 minutes of senseless arguing about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G comes out before being corrected for the offensive nonsense that just spilled out or he stops himself and walks away.

I worry about him.  I know worrying does nothing to help him or me, but I can’t stop the downpour of stomach acid and tears that come with my daily interactions with this young man I would endure years of obstinance and resistance for.

The other day he looked me in the eye and said, “All I know is as soon as I’m 18, I’m out of here!”   He was angry.  He’s tired of running into his parents boundaries.  And he’s not ready to willingly bend his knee to God or his parents.  He’ll acquiesce.  He’ll do what we ask after lots of resistance, for now.  But the will to run hard into a wall is strong with this one.

That’s hard on a mom. And a dad.  But I think it’s hard on a mom even more.  I think the dad can let the resistance increase his resolve a little easier than with the mom.  With the mom, well, “…a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.”

I do have hope though. I have hope for the fool because I have been, and still show myself to be, the fool.  God broke through my foolishness and gave me wisdom and a heart to love him.  He’s done that with many an infamous fool.  Nebuchanezzar. Jonah. Paul. Peter…

It’s fitting that April fool’s day is Easter Sunday.  Before Christ rose in our hearts and we saw a glimpse of his worth and pledged our hearts to him, we were foolish, stiff-necked, rebellious, children of wrath.  We thought we knew better than the One who made us and we were going to do life our own way, thank you very much! Psalm 107 poetically tells what some of us did with our lives when we gave our Maker the finger and set off to do life better than He. We found ourselves ruined and He brought us to our senses like the prodigal son.  Then we turned to him, receiving lavish unearned favor and love.

Before my son was born I sought God, asking Him for a scripture that I could cling to and pray over his life.  The verse that resonated with me was Psalm 119: 73.

Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. Psalms 119:73

This little sentence has been my hope over the years for this strong-willed son of mine.  He didn’t make himself.  God did.  And although right now he has no understanding and is like a brutish and ignorant beast (just as I was) before God, the same God who made him is able to give him understanding.  He is able to take our foolish ignorance and make us wise.  He’s able to make us actually love God’s boundaries and embrace his ways as beautiful.

Before the prodigal left home and chased his self-loving pleasures, he probably spent years chomping at the bit to do so, much to his father and mother’s grief.  But the love of the father brought him to his senses.

I don’t want my son to go through ruin.  But I do want him to see the love of God in Christ for himself.  I want him to want to submit to this God who gave him life.  And so, I must trust the one who made him- who knows how to save him.

On Easter Sunday, lots of fools will gather in buildings around the world to worship the one who took them from being brutish and ignorant beasts of rebellion, to fools for Christ’s sake.  We, who once gave God the finger with our lives, now fall prostrate in awe of the one who calls us sons and daughters.  We came to him filthy and defiled like the prodigals we are and he embraced us and set a new garment of acceptance and worth on us and has called us his own children.  A bunch of fools in love with this Jesus we’ve never seen. A bunch of fool’s taking up our crosses daily and following him.  A bunch of fool’s turning from the temporary pleasures of sin and enduring suffering for the glory that is set before us in being united with the Father who has graciously forgiven, restored and loved us.

This is the foolishness this mom is called to.  Somehow, in God’s wisdom, to take what is foolish to a strong-willed son and endure, trusting in the one who takes the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.

‘We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. ‘ 1 Corinthians 4:10,12-13

‘For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; ‘ 1 Corinthians 1:18,20-21,25,27