Teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born. Judges 13:8.

God Himself appeared to the wife of Manoah and told her that she should have a son, and that he should be a great man and should deliver Israel. Then He gave her special instructions regarding her diet…. Let us regard this as instruction given to every mother in our world. If you want your children to have well-balanced minds, you must be temperate yourselves. Keep your own heart and affections sound and healthful, that you may impart to your offspring a healthful mind and body.7 Manuscript 18, 1887.

Every mother may understand her duty. She may know that the character of her children will depend vastly more upon her habits before their birth and her personal efforts after their birth, than upon external advantages or disadvantages…. The mother who is a fit teacher for her children must, before their birth, form habits of self-denial and self-control; for she transmits to them her own qualities, her own strong or weak traits of character.8Counsels on Diet and Foods, 218, 219.

Unwise advisers will urge upon the mother the necessity of gratifying every wish and impulse, but such teaching is false and mischievous. The mother is by the command of God Himself placed under the most solemn obligation to exercise self-control. And fathers as well as mothers are involved in this responsibility. Both parents transmit their own characteristics, mental and physical, their dispositions and appetites, to their children.9Patriarchs and Prophets, 561.

Many make the subject of temperance a matter of jest. They claim that the Lord does not concern Himself with such minor matters as our eating and drinking. But if the Lord had no care for these things, He would not have revealed Himself to the wife of Manoah, giving her definite instructions, and twice enjoining upon her to beware lest she disregard them.10Temperance, 233, 234.

The effect of prenatal influences is by many parents looked upon as a matter of little moment; but heaven does not so regard it…. In the words spoken to the Hebrew mother, God speaks to all mothers in every age.11The Ministry of Healing,
Conflict and Courage p. 130
Prayer Requests
—-Please pray for Angie’s husband Mike who is on his way to the hospital with a heart attack. Sherry
—-Please pray for Dick. They have found that he has throat cancer. Planning on radiation and chemo, as surgery is problematic in patients with Dementia, as they have trouble cooperating with their recovery.
Please continue to pray. Sylvia
—-Please be praying for my husband. There was miscommunication and he found out last minute he had to enroll in classes for the summer AND the payment is due this week. Jennifer
—-Please pray for E and family as they embark on a new journey. R
Dear Friends,

About ten or fifteen years ago, we went to southeastern Oklahoma with Ronnie Jay. He had rented a cabin at a state park so he could photograph some of the local animals. He was especially hoping to get some good pictures of black bear.

Before going on one of his photography adventures, he always researched carefully what animals inhabit the area and the best places to find them. Normally, he is successful. Not that time. Those miles and miles of forested land should have been teeming with creatures, but we had never seen an area so devoid of animal life. The thick forest was beautiful to behold, but no amount of hiking, no amount of driving on narrow forest paths produced the desired results. We didn’t even see a deer or a squirrel let alone the desired bear. We looked for the usual animal trails. There were none. We did see one set of deer tracks and a few raccoon handprints on one of the hikes, but that was all. There was nothing but a few birds, a tarantula, a few turtles, and a couple of snakes. It was very unusual and very disappointing.

That lush forest which seemed so lifeless reminds me of the fig tree that Jesus passed one day. The fig tree had leaves but no fruit. He used that fruitless tree to teach His disciples a lesson in faith. “Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matt 21:18-21

How often we are equally as fruitless as that fig tree. Isaiah speaks of this “Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.” Isa 5:1-6 Fearful warning.

Yet there is hope. We do not have to stay in that fruitless condition. If we allow Jesus to work His will in our life, we can yield an abundant harvest of the fruit of the Spirit which “is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance.” Gal 5:22, 23 He shows us the way to obtain these fruits. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” John 15:1-8

May we “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” is my prayer. Col 1:10, 11


Before the Baby Comes