Human Rights: What Rights Do We have?

Stephen Nielsen

There are many cries these days about our rights. Some say that every person has a right to free health care. Some of these same people have been saying for years that every woman has a right over her own body, and that she has a right to choose whether she wants an abortion or not. Well, this is a topic that we all would do well to seek God’s will on—to seek the Scriptures. With some help from an internet source (listed below), I have come up with the following biblical directives.

According to The Bible, What Rights Do We as Humans Have?

1.Since we all are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27), we have a certain dignity, and thus, we have a right to be treated with dignity.

2.God has said to us that we should not murder (Gen. 7:6), that we should treat everyone humanely. Thus, all…

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On the Farm: The Delano Farm

Stephen Nielsen

This is me on the right with my little brother Jimmy, sitting in the dirt in back of the old Delano farm house.

As I wrote previously, I lived on a farm near Montevideo, Minnesota when I was about six and seven years old, and then later when I was about ten and eleven. In between those years we lived on a small farm near Delano, Minnesota. I have no memory of school there (3rd and 4th grade), but I have plenty of other memories.

The house was quite small and rickety—much smaller and older than the large Montevideo house. The ceiling leaked, the walls creaked, and the inside of the walls were infested with mice. We would hear them all the time. Though my mom and sister hated them, me and Mark had fun killing them with mouse traps. We would get at least one a day.

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The Meaning of Intercession — From Luke 11:5-13

According to Peter Wagner’s study, from his book Prayer Shield, “Intercession is derived from the Latin inter, meaning ‘between’ and cedere, meaning ‘to go’.”1  We may conclude then that intercession means to go between or to stand in the gap for another.

Wagner also pointed out in his study that “all intercession is prayer but not all prayer is intercession.”2  Intercession is a particular kind of prayer that demands our unselfish devotion to God and to those whom we are interceding for.  It is a willingness to lose ourselves for others and for the will of God.

To further explain the meaning of intercession we will turn to the scriptures.  In this post we will look at a story from Luke that will help us see how intercession works.

 

Luke 11:5-13

And He said to them, “Suppose one of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and from inside he shall answer and say,’ Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8 “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 9 “And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. 10 “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. 11 “Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 “Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

 

Here is a story about a man who goes to his friend at midnight and asks him for three loaves of bread so that he can feed another friend of his that had come on a long journey.  At first his friend refused to give him the bread, but then when he persisted, he gave him as much as he needed.

This is a powerful illustration of what intercession is.  It is one person going to another to get bread for a third person.  In the story the person who came on a journey and who needed bread represents the one who needs prayer; the person who went to his friend at midnight asking for bread is of course the intercessor; and the friend who gave the bread represents God.

From this little story we may observe three things about what an intercessor is:

He is extremely bold. For who would normally go and ask for bread from a friend at midnight?

He is stubborn and persistent. We see from the story that the friend was at first unwilling to give the bread, until finally he gave it—but only after much persistence.  God is not like the unwilling friend, but He still desires our persistence.  It is a principle of prayer that He has established.

He feels a great responsibility to intercede. For the man would not have gone out at midnight to ask his friend for bread if this were not the case.

 

1 Peter Wagner, Prayer Shield (Ventura, Calif.: Regal Books, 1992), pp. 26.

2 Ibid., p. 27.

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On the Farm: Free Time

Stephen Nielsen

In previous blogs I talked about my chores and the field work.  But I hope I didn’t give the idea that I was working all the time. The chores were only in the morning and evening, and the field work was mainly during the harvest season. And even then, my dad didn’t always give us jobs to do. Sometimes he got so busy plowing or whatever, that he sort of forgot to give us jobs. So, we just ran off somewhere. And there was plenty of things to do. In fact, my mom didn’t mind at all that we were out playing. She just wanted us home for supper. And if we weren’t home at supper time, believe me she had a loud voice and she would call us home by name for supper—at the top of her lungs.

I think the main fun thing I remember doing is exploring…

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A Prisoner in My Own House

Stephen Nielsen

This is exactly the place I was thinking of going for a walk today. It is overlooking the Mississippi river. I took this picture a year ago today. Hopefully I will see some of the same sites.

I feel like a prisoner in my own house—apartment. I woke up this morning with the reality that I was scheduled to go to work—actually, to help a friend paint a room to be used as a church office. My pastor was sort of counting on me to help out. But I feel lousy. I hope I’m not getting the coronavirus. I’m 69 years old and ripe for the virus; old people like me are really suppose to stay home. I didn’t want to do it, but I really felt that I should—that I should text the pastor and tell him that I can’t come, that I wasn’t feeling well. So, I did…

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On the Farm: Field Work

Stephen Nielsen

This is a very old blurry picture, but I know who everyone is. I’m on the top right, and that’s my sister on the left. My dad is on the wagon and those little kids in front are my brother Jim and Donna. They came along later.

During harvest season there was always work to be done in the fields. Baling hay was especially fun. I would usually be on the wagon receiving the hay bales as they came off the baler. It was hard work, but fun. I would grab the bales by the twine and then turn around and stack them on the wagon. Then when the wagon was full, we would unload it and pile the bales onto a huge haystack (pictured above). If stacked properly, it would keep through the winter; but much of it we would transfer by conveyor into the barn hayloft to feed…

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On the Farm: The Chores

Stephen Nielsen

This isn’t me, but that ‘s how I remember it. I had a pail just like that, and a stool like that. But I never had a hat like that!

Farm chores consist of those daily duties that just have to be done, like milking the cows, feeding the animals and gathering the eggs. In our farm, my dad took charge of all the duties, but he liked to keep us kids busy too. His idea was that the whole family should work the farm. We did have some hired help from time to time, but it seemed like us kids did most of the work.

As I mentioned previously, there were two periods of time when I lived at the Montevideo farm: when I was about 7 and 8, and then again when I was about 11 and 12. When I was at the younger age I don’t think…

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