Tag Archives: Abortion

Tuesday Picks ~ 6-6-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well..

Our First JobDarryl Dash
Reading BibleWe tend to focus on roles, skills, and techniques. They’re important, but they’re not our first job. Our first job is to cultivate a heart that’s seeking after God…

Every morning we begin the process of waking up again. We wipe the sleep from our eyes, splash water on our faces, and move from grogginess to engagement at our own particular speed. The same is true of our souls. Every morning we need to wake up our souls again to the grandeur and beauty of God, and make it our pursuit to follow him…

Our first job is the one we often forget: to cultivate a heart that’s seeking after God. Everything else flows from that.


Serial Killer Released After Explaining Murder Was Only 3% Of What He Did -Babylon Bee
“My client’s opponents are determined to label him a ruthless killer, as if that’s all he does. In actuality, homicide was really only 3% of his daily activities during the decade in question…”

“He even held a job during the entire time in question, providing valuable services to society, which his accusers completely overlooked,” the attorney added.


Six Attitudes That Kill Evangelism in the Church
Thom Rainer
…why are our churches less evangelistic today?

That question could be answered from a number of perspectives. But one of the key explanations is simply an attitude problem. There are several dangerous and debilitating attitudes in churches that are killing evangelism. Here are six of them…

I have seen churches make dramatic turnarounds when just one person decided to be radically obedient to the Great Commission.

The question should not be: “What about them?”

The question should be: “What about me?”


Why C. S. Lewis’ ‘Mere Christianity’ Received Bad ReviewsTrevin Wax
LewisBBCtalks-firstprintingLooking back at these reviews, there is a delicious irony in the fact that Lewis and Mere Christianity are still read today, while most of his critics who charged him of being “out of date” are forgotten. Those who believed they were at the vanguard of newest biblical scholarship and modernist trends in theology have now been surpassed by other movements and are largely ignored by most churches throughout the world.

Meanwhile, Lewis’s legacy lives on. Why? Because Lewis had learned to see through the “chronological snobbery” that overtakes so many scholars…

True to form, the chronological snobs sneered at Mere Christianity, just like their descendants sneer at traditional Christian beliefs today–everything from our belief in miracles to our reaffirmation of Christianity’s distinctive sexual ethic. But, as Dean Inge has said, those who marry the spirit of one age are always widowed in the next.

That’s why we, like Lewis, don’t have to “dig in.” We can simply stand, smiling, trusting in the power of truths that have stood the test of time, knowing the gospel will go forward in faith while the heresies will go out of fashion.


Do as I say, not as I did…
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Zits – Click image for a larger view.

Thursday Picks ~ 4-13-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Frances FitzGerald on how evangelicals lost their way
David Gushee
When religious folk get entangled with secular politicians in the political arena, the politicians always win. They have home field advantage. The earnest religious types get played. And the people in the pews start heading for the exits.

Faithful Christian discipleship does involve bearing witness to Christian convictions in public. But drawing the line between this dimension of Christian proclamation, on the one hand, and getting used by politicians, on the other, has proved very difficult for evangelical Christians since at least Billy Graham. It’s a sordid story, and it has shaped American religion and public life for more than a generation.


Pastor, Don’t Waste Your Exclamation Points
Jared C. Wilson
exclamation
Pastor, our people don’t usually get excited about what we tell them to be excited about. Have you figured that out yet? Instead, they get excited about what they see actually excites us.

This means we ought to steward our exclamation points wisely. If you’re one of those rah-rah guys firing on all emotional cylinders for everything from bake sales and the book table to baptisms and baby dedications, you create an equality between minutiae and missional milestones that can be disorienting, and ultimately dulling. But more directly, just remember that if everything is exciting, nothing is.


If you haven’t seen The Planet Earth it is simply amazing. It’s way beyond any documentary I’ve ever seen. It’s true that God is not present in the film, but it still leads me to worship…

Planet Earth II: Missing the Maker in the Majesty
John Stonestreet
There’s almost religious reverence and wonder spilling from every scene, as if the producers themselves know that a greater purpose lies behind the beauty of the things they see—as if they know that all of this living magnificence is more than the result of time, chance, and natural selection, but have no One else to credit…

As a feast for the senses, I can’t recommend “Planet Earth II” highly enough. But as an articulation of a worldview, it’s strikingly dissonant. In the face of so much majesty and order that cries out in testament to a Designer, modern man offers only empty personification, as if creation created itself.


 

Who Would Jesus Abort? Confessions of a “Christian” Abortion DoctorRussell Moore
BABY
Willie Parker is an abortion doctor. He says he’s not ashamed of that. Willie Parker also says he is a born-again follower of Jesus Christ. That one’s more complicated…

Parker is a kind of circuit-riding abortionist, spending time at various abortion clinics all over the South. The book, Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice is one part an autobiography, and one-part a political manifesto for the legality—and even the goodness—of abortion. Even as one who has to wade through all sorts of material assaulting human dignity, I found that I would gasp at the lackadaisical nature of Parker’s reflections…

To dehumanize the unborn child, to reduce the child’s mother to her ability to make “choices” about the life and death of others, is to dehumanize Jesus. In Christ, after all, God has “anthropomorphized” himself. And we are introduced to Jesus in the biblical story, just as John the Baptist was, as an unborn child (Luke 1:44). To keep doing his job, Parker must depersonalize the women and children he encounters. He must depersonalize God into an unblinking, non-judging cosmic abstraction.


Preparing to Preach on EasterDarryl Dash
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Preachers face temptations in preaching. I find that these temptations escalate around Easter. We face the temptation to impress, to rely on gimmicks, and to overcomplicate the message. It’s easy to focus on all the wrong things.

We should desire to communicate as effectively as possible. It’s not wrong to try to be clear and to improve our communication skills. It is wrong, though, to rely on our skills as the source of power, or to switch the focus to us from Christ…

Get out of the way this Easter. Don’t give into the temptation to impress. Keep the focus on Jesus.


The Boston Typewriter Orchestra…


The oppression of Earl…
Non Sequitur – Click image for a larger view.

Weekend Picks ~ 3-31-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

We are in a “strange place” indeed…

Pence and PrudenceJonah Goldberg
http://c8.nrostatic.com/sites/default/files/styles/original_image_with_cropping/public/uploaded/mike-pence-wife-marriage-practices.jpg?itok=mTYe6Xb2…it’s worth pointing out that infidelity needn’t be the issue. I doubt Pence would be a lothario save for those rules. Perhaps he followed them simply to reassure his wife? Or maybe this is none of our business? That would certainly be the attitude of many liberals if Pence were a Democrat and had actually cheated on his wife…

It’s a very strange place we’ve found ourselves in when elites say we have no right to judge adultery, but we have every right to judge couples who take steps to avoid it. But ultimately, I don’t think the important double standard is about marriage or adultery. It’s about traditional Christians. If the Pences were Muslims and followed similar rules, as devout Muslims indeed might, I doubt there’d be anything like this kind of liberal scorn. Of course, that’s unknowable. But liberals spend a lot of time and energy defending accommodations for religious Muslims — burqas, veils, gender segregation, etc. — that they would never make for committed Christians.


Why I’ve Stopped Reading All Those ’10 Reasons Your Church Isn’t Growing’ ListsKarl Vaters
Why I've Stopped Reading All Those '10 Reasons Your Church Isn’t Growing' Lists
…I talk to a lot of pastors who are also in your target audience. Like me, they want their churches to grow. And they’re looking for help.

But when an already-discouraged pastor reads a list telling them their church isn’t growing because they’re visionless, self-serving and petty, it doesn’t lift them up, it beats them down. Guilt doesn’t motivate, it discourages.

Besides, those petty attitudes aren’t true for us. Pastors who don’t care, don’t read church leadership blogs.

You know who is reading your blog? Good pastors. Hard-working pastors. Caring pastors. Discouraged pastors. Write with those pastors in mind.


Yes, there is another one. I find myself wearying of these, but I don’t want to succumb. I don’t think it’s a good idea to look away…

Five Takeaways from the New Undercover Video from Center for Medical ProgressTimothy Brahm
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/aeINzcwb3qU/maxresdefault.jpgDr. Taylor: Well the thing is, I mean the key is, you need to pay attention to who’s in the room, right? And like, you know, because the thing is the law states that you’re not supposed to do any maneuvers after the fact to try to cause [fetal] demise. So it’s really tricky. It’s really tricky so, most of the time we do dig, and it usually works. And then we don’t have to worry about that because Arizona state law says if any, if there’s signs of life, then we’re supposed to transport them. To the hospital.


‘One Anothers’ I Can’t Find in the New Testament
Ray Ortlund
coverjudgepeople-1The kind of God we really believe in is revealed in how we treat one another… Our relationships with one another reveal to us what we really believe as opposed to what we think we believe, our convictions as opposed to our opinions.  …when the gospel grips us down in our convictions, we embrace its implications wholeheartedly. Therefore, when we mistreat one another, our problem is not a lack of surface niceness but a lack of gospel depth. What we need is not only better manners but, far more, true faith.


A sustainable plan…

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Zits – Click image for a larger view.

Thursday Picks ~ 2-9-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Are You Not Ready to WorshipJamie Brown
1I always cringe when I hear worship leaders begin a service by asking the question “are you ready to worship?”

…Most people are somewhere on the spectrum of “not ready” when that first song starts up

So worship leaders can’t approach their congregations with the expectation that they’re “ready to worship”. And they certainly shouldn’t ask them that out loud!

Worship leaders should approach their congregations with the expectation that they’re probably not ready to worship. (But they shouldn’t say that out loud either.)

A worship leader who’s aware that his/her congregation is most likely filled with people who aren’t exactly fired up and ready for the kind of epic worship we see in those online worship videos will present a congregation with the gloriously good news of a great and faithful God, a gracious Redeemer, and a generously outpoured Holy Spirit, instead of a guilt-inducing pressure to hype something up that isn’t there to begin with.


It’s Not Me, It’s You: Why Communication May Not Be Your REAL ProblemTiffany Deluccia
Communication-issues-real-problemCommunication is often more effective than we think it is. The frustration comes when, truthfully, we are not actually communicating what we think we are communicating. Who we really are, what we really value and what we really believe seeps out. No fancy schmancy communications plan needed.

Still, when churches sense their message isn’t getting through, they often dive headfirst into changing the technology or the graphics, trying more announcements, redesigning the site, etc. Perhaps you lead at one of those churches. The problem is they are often trying to solve the wrong challenge…


Meet the Pro-Life Group Cracking Planned Parenthood’s Favorite Market -Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra
https://tgc-cache.s3.amazonaws.com/images/remote/http_s3.amazonaws.com/tgc-ee2/articles/client-photo.jpg“I think we have reason to be unbelievably hopeful and optimistic,” Fisher told pastor Matt Chandler on a podcast in December. “I do believe we’ll see legalized abortion ended in this country in my lifetime, and I don’t think that’s because it’s just some hopeful platitude. Data and politics point to it.” …

Human Coalition is looking to anti-slavery activist William Wilberforce for inspiration…

Along with working for political change, Wilberforce was “deeply engaged culturally through education, through transformation, through slave rescue, through attempting to work through other countries to try to create equal rights for all human beings,” Fisher told Chandler. “And so England went from a culture that found slavery to be completely acceptable to finding it to be completely reprehensible in one generation.”

That’s the same goal Human Coalition has for abortion, Matthews said.

“We’re trying to make it unthinkable and unavailable.”


When you’re ready for baseball season and it’s still February…
Calvin and Hobbes – Click image for a larger view.

Thursday Picks ~ 1-26-2016

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

I’m saddened in several ways by this executive order…

Evangelical Experts Oppose Trump’s Plan to Ban RefugeesKate Shellnutt
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/75277.png?w=940Christian aid groups responsible for resettlement mourned and criticized the impending decision to stop accepting any refugees into the US for the next four months. A circulating draft of the order puts an indefinite ban on refugees coming from Syria, and a month-long pause on anyone entering America from a handful of Muslim-majority nations.

“Our concern is that this action really does further traumatize a group of people that have already borne so much tragedy,” said Scott Arbeiter, president of World Relief, one of nine agencies that partner with the federal government to resettle refugees. “The human toll is really crushing.”…

“We have never had an opportunity like we have right now to reach people who are coming to our shores, in many cases from places we have no access to,” said Arbeiter. “The risk that we have right now is that we are closing the doors to the very people that we say we want to share the gospel with.”


The Case for BoredomKevin DeYoung
I don’t get bored as much as I should. Chances are neither do you. And the chances are exceedingly good that your children aren’t as bored as they should be.


Abortion Over the AtlanticSamuel James
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55ee26e7e4b0c46828edb319/t/5609742fe4b0d12d957bea9b/1443460145054/
In many ways liberals have styled themselves the party of scientific literacy ever since the Scopes trial. Whether the cause celebre was removing creationist literature from public schools, lending platforms to overpopulation worries, or climate change, progressives have, for what feels like the last half-century, presented themselves as the political ideology that welcomes scientific consensus and expertise.

Except, that is, when it comes to abortion.


This is the last article in this series and I recommend them all.
These are my decisions for this part of my life…

Aging Brings Life-Shaping DecisionsTim Challies
What are the choices we will have to make as we age? What choices will lead us to age well? What decisions do we need to make right now?

-Choose Zeal Over Apathy
-Choose Discipline Over Complacency
-Choose Learning Over Stagnation
-Choose Involvement Over Isolation
-Choose Hope Over Despair


Fun with portmanteaus…
https://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/more-fun-with-portmanteaus.jpg
Wrong Hands – Click image for a larger view.

Monday Picks ~ 1-23-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

First, two good articles about how we Christians should approach “alternative facts”…

Facts Are Our Friends: Why Sharing Fake News Makes Us Look Stupid and Harms Our WitnessEd Stetzer
Facts Are Our Friends: Why Sharing Fake News Makes Us Look Stupid and Harms Our WitnessChristian, if you post fake facts, you reflect on the faith—and that’s bad for the gospel and it hinders the mission.

Integrity matters.

Many Evangelicals voted for Trump, and many Evangelicals are serving in his administration. That means they have influence, and this would be a good time to use that. It would be a good time to say that “the truth will set you free.”

It’s time for them to say that facts matter. And it’s time for them to call the Trump administration to do the same. But, first, we need to get our own act together…

If there was ever a group that should care about the truth, it should be the people who believe “the truth sets you free.”


“Alternative Facts” and Christians as Gullible Skeptics
Trevin Wax
lightstock_322145_jpg_tgc
…the plague of misinformation infects conservatives and liberals alike, and Christians and non-Christians as well. But surely Christians are called to show a better way…

If we are to be faithful in a world of “fake news,” “alternative facts,” and biased sources, we are going to need to be more careful with the statistics we share, the news stories we read, and the sources we trust. Gullible skeptics, either on the right or left, don’t stand out from the world. And what we need today is for Christians to care about getting the facts straight, whether or not they’re useful or beneficial to “the party line,” because we believe in a God who tells the truth.


Then, two good articles about abortion and sanctity of life…

In a Country Where Abortion is IllegalDave Hare
We tend to think that unjust things happen in third-world countries. But have you ever considered that the practices of your nation are shocking to someone in the third-world? I am not talking about just culture shock, but real moral outrage.

This is the response that I receive when I have talked to some of my neighbors about abortion in America. They have been genuinely repulsed by the fact that abortion is legal in the States.


What If You Aborted a Future Janitor?Jared Wilson
Suppose we could save the future Einsteins and Beethovens from the abortionist. It would still be as tragic and sinful to have otherwise commenced with the offing of future stay-at-home moms, truck mechanics, and janitors. You know, all the “ordinary people” of which there are many more than the so-called extraordinary people. More boldly put: abortion is wrong, whether you happen to be aborting the next Mother Theresa or the next Adolf Hitler.

Pro-lifers, let’s not play that game. Leave utilitarian arguments to the self-appointed engineers of utopia. Let’s be Christians living in the kingdom of God instead.


Good idea…
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Weekend Picks ~ 12-16-2016

xmas-weekend-picks

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

I was just talking with someone about this last night. I always find these posts by Joe Carter helpful…

9 Things You Should Know About Aleppo and the Syrian CrisisJoe Carter
https://tgc-cache.s3.amazonaws.com/images/remote/http_s3.amazonaws.com/tgc-ee2/articles/8211986232_63f6a929f9_b.jpg
The recent struggle for control of the Syrian city of Aleppo has brought renewed attention to the ongoing war crimes that have devastated the Middle East nation. Here are nine things you should know about Aleppo and the Syrian crisis…


When Christmas isn’t Good NewsRob Tims
6491-fx-6-0-12-6-8-0Christmas was not good news for Herod. Jesus was a threat to all he held dear.

And Jesus could be that for you and I today.

King Jesus wants my hard-earned crown.


No Gullible Bumpkins Here: Christmas and the Virgin Birth
Mike McKinley
…roughly a century ago influential theologians began to doubt whether or not that was actually true. They pointed to the virgin birth of Jesus as a superstition that intelligent, modern people simply couldn’t accept. After all, we all know that there is no such thing as a baby being born to a virgin. That’s impossible! If Christianity was going to flourish in the scientific era (or so the thinking went), it would need to jettison these kinds of “myths” that were an insult to our reason and intelligence.

On the surface, that might sound reasonable. But if you look closely, you will see that it does not really do justice to Luke’s narrative. Mary and Zechariah and Elizabeth were not gullible bumpkins who didn’t know how babies were made and believed fantastical stories (nor, for that matter, were Luke and his original readers). They found the whole idea just as unlikely as you and I might, but that’s exactly the point! The great theological truth that Luke is bringing to the forefront by including these events in his “orderly account” is that God’s salvation will come in a seemingly impossible way.


This is an excellent, thoughtful and encouraging article…

If Abortions Are Declining, Why Keep Fighting Roe v. Wade?
Aaron Earls
pregnancy abortion pro-life pro-choice
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the current rate of 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years is the lowest since 1971.

From a pro-life perspective, this is undeniably good news. But should this lead us to change our tactics in the work to prevent abortions?

With this news and previous stories like it, many Christians have taken this as an opportunity to step out of the public and political fight against Roe v. Wade and move toward easier cultural and political wins that could lead to a continued reduction of abortions…

My ultimate desire would be to see us so change the narrative that abortion is all but eliminated prior to any laws ever being changed, and the laws are changed to reflect the perspective of the citizenry.

But that final part is more than ceremonial. It matters what our laws say about life. Pro-life absolutely means more than outlawing abortion, but it doesn’t mean less.


I have a very good friend who has ministered in the same small town in Ohio for several decades. I doubt that I will ever have the kingdom influence that he has had…

A Word of Encouragement to the Small Town Pastor
Ron Edmondson
Many times the small city pastors compare themselves to the big city churches. They compare numbers rather than progress. They compare size rather than context. They compare notoriety rather than influence.

And, because of that, many times, they don’t know how well they are really doing.

I see the connections, networking and influence the small town pastor has and I wish I could have this kind of Kingdom influence in my city. I see the respect they command in their community and know, in my context, in many ways they are miles ahead of me.

Small city pastor. God is using you. You are making a Kingdom difference. You just sometimes don’t know how well you are doing.


Forgiveness…
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Pearls Before Swine – Click image for a larger version.

Thursday Picks ~ 10-13-2016

Picks Thursday

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

A beautiful reminder…

The Gloriously Interruptable JesusMichael Kelley
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What a marvelous thing this is – to see the Son of God, the One who was steadily moving toward His death and then ascension to the throne of the universe, to be interrupted by the likes of these. What an astounding thought that this Savior of our souls is never too tired, too busy, too preoccupied, too driven, too overscheduled, or too regimented to be interrupted.

Pause today and wonder, Christian. Let it not be that we should think that we can inconvenience Jesus with our cares and needs. Let us again today go to Him. Let us approach the throne of grace. Let us come near with knocking on the proverbial big, wooden door.

For this God is gloriously interruptible.


It’s not time to defend and minimize…

It’s Time to Get AngryDarryl Dash
"If bragging about sexual assault is simply 'locker room banter', than it's time to lock up the locker rooms and throw away the keys. #sick" (Boz Tchividjian)
So here’s my modest proposal.

  • When we read that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse, it’s time to get angry.
  • When we read a Twitter thread with a torrent of stories of the first time that women experienced sexual assault, it’s time to get angry.
  • When a candidate for President of the United States dismisses his own admission that he’s sexually assaulted women as locker room talk, it’s time to get angry
  • When Christian leaders defend or minimize such behavior, it’s time to get angry.

There’s no room for ambiguity. Regardless of where we stand politically, let’s be clear that our hearts break over a world in which sexual assault not only exists, but is minimized. Let’s say, “This matters, and I’m against it.” If there’s ever a time for anger, this is it. Let’s not miss it.


This is encouraging for the future of the Pro-Life movement…

The New Culture of LifeRuth Graham
161004_DX_New-Pro-Life-MovementWomen aren’t just leading the next generation of the pro-life movement—many of them are doing it using the language of feminism, which would have been anathema to the old guard of pro-life activists. If you believe, as sociologist Kristin Luker suggested in her influential 1984 book Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood, that opposing abortion is really just a stealthy way of controlling women, the notion of an anti-abortion feminism will sound either absurd or morally outrageous. But the idea that pro-lifers are simply out to oppress women was always an oversimplification, and it’s especially imprecise as a description of the next generation of activists.


I approve this message…

Why I’m Willing To “Waste” My VoteStephen Altrogge
http://theblazingcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/pexels-photo-129112-1700x1275.jpegIt seems to me that, as a Christian, the question I’m confronted with is:

Is this election only about outcomes?

In other words, is a vote only a godly vote unless it truly influences outcomes, both of the election and of other issues, such as abortion, gay rights, and the Supreme Court?

To put a very fine point on it: do the ends justify the means?…

I also believe that voting is more than a numbers game. It is not a neutral activity. When I cast a vote, it says something about me as well. It is an indicator of what I believe about God, sin, people, my country, and a host of other things.

My vote reveals what I think is most important. It shows the lengths I’m willing to go to make something happen. To influence an outcome…

Fear rarely leads to godly choices. Fear almost always leads to self-protection.

Am I willing to make the same choice as Daniel?

Do I believe that God is bigger and more powerful than politics? Do I believe he can achieve his ends without the power of the Republican party?

I do.


Grumpy Bat…
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Off the Mark

My Picks for Wednesday 6-1-2016

Picks Wednesday

This is the stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

I appreciated this thoughtful reflection…

Confessions of a Media-Protective Parent
Michelle Van Loon
Confessions of a Media-Protective Parent“We didn’t say “no” to everything our kids wanted to watch or listen to, nor did we want to. Our hope was that, if we could land somewhere between the extremes—of passive, uncritical consumption, or blocking all pop culture with ironclad filters—our kids would learn to think critically with music and media…

…There is a time to shelter, a time to expose, and it takes supernatural wisdom to know the difference. This wisdom is at the heart of Philippians 4:8 and makes outsiders of each one of us who follows Jesus, whether we know all the words to Purple Rain or not.”


Are you “Pro-Life” or just “Anti-Abortion”?

Pro-Life from Womb to TombMarshall Segal
Pro-Life from Womb to Tomb j2ndutuk
“Developing a heart for human life, all human life, from a vision and reality like this will radically transform and inspire how we treat people — of every age, every ethnic background, every socioeconomic status. The cause for life began at creation, when God made man and woman in his image, and gave us dominion over every other created thing. And God punctuated the cause for life when he chose to enter the womb himself for our sake…

…Léonce says, “I think there’s a big difference between being anti-abortion and pro-life. Anti-abortion means you have a conviction that it is murder to kill a child in the womb. It’s a good position. But to be pro-life means that you not only want that child to enter the world, but that you want that child to thrive when they enter the world. . . . It’s not just about getting children into the world, but about making sure they flourish as human beings once they’re here.”


I think every worship leader struggles with this question from time to time…

Am I a Hypocrite?Michael Farren
Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 2.51.15 AM“Even after all my years of leading worship, knowing full well that it has nothing to do with my worth or perfection, I will admit to still wrestling the question of hypocrisy every time I step onto the stage in a broken or messy state of being.

But it’s not just a worship pastor problem. I would make a very unscientific yet experienced observation that roughly half of all attendees walk into church on any given Sunday feeling more or less hypocritical…

…Harsh as it may sound, for the first time ever I now see that there are way more hypocrites at home on Sunday than are sitting in the pews. And I’d rather stand with my hands raised next to messy, broken, yet hope filled people, than become a hypocrite. I refuse to let the enemy blackmail me with his lies and accusations…if we have placed our belief in the goodness and kindness of the one true God, let’s stop behaving in a way that disagrees with that belief.”


There is a lot of information in this article to digest and I think it’s worth whatever time it takes…

Alarmism And Transgendered KidsRod Drehera katz / Shutterstock.com
“This is what’s happening now. The current state of scientific research says that most kids’ — 75 percent — gender dysphoria resolves (the kids are likely to end up identifying as gay or bisexual). But that is extremely politically incorrect — so much so that respected scientists lose their jobs over taking that position…

…This is where we are: a culture driven by the politics of transgender activists…Activists are writing the policies. Activists are driving the media and academic culture…

…Ten, twenty years from now, there are going to be a lot of maimed, broken people staggering around. This episode in history will be looked back on with horror. We will wonder how we gave in to such madness, and harmed so many people, or allowed them to harm themselves. Doctors, activists, celebrities, the media, and politicians will bear so much guilt, but probably little blame. It will all go down the memory hole. Progressives in the future will say of the transgender madness, “How were we to know?”

If they say anything at all.”


Wally’s political opinion…
Tina: I saw your political opinion on Facebook and now I think you're an awful person. Wally: What did you think about me before? Tina: I didn't think about you before. Wally: Sounds like I got promoted.
Click image for a larger view. Source: Dilbert

What’s So Special About Mary Whaley?


I have no idea who Mary was, except that I saw her headstone in a small family cemetery along a hiking trail in Smoky Mountain National Park.

Here’s what I’ve learned: She was the 12th of 15 children born to Rebecca Irene Phoebe Whaley. She was apparently one of a set of triplets because her brothers, John Ray and Joe Roy were born on the same day. Her last surviving sibling, Stella F. Whaley, died in 1999 at the age of 94.

Mary was born and died on the same day, August 11, 1909.

Mary never had a job. She never made any friends. She never learned to walk. I don’t know if she ever drew a breath. I’m sure infant mortality was not a rarity in the hills of Tennessee in 1909, especially in a multiple birth.

All I know is that someone somewhere hikes about a mile up this trail (You can’t drive here.) to make sure her grave is attended to. The day I saw the cemetery there were flowers. The headstone had certainly been replaced at some point or it would in all likelihood have deteriorated much like the others nearby.

So, what’s so special about Mary?

I suggest that the very fact that I find myself asking that question is a sad testimony to what has become of us. She’s important because she was a human being. She lived. Maybe she filled her parents with joyous anticipation. Certainly they were filled with grief at her passing. Someone was. The flowers and headstone attest to that.

Since 1973 there have been 58,586,256 abortions in the US. With the population of the United States at around 320,000,000 that’s roughly 1/5 of our entire population.

We should give them all headstones.

Why don’t we?

Because, through some twisted form of logic, we have arrived at a place in time where the death of a helpless human being is no longer necessarily a thing to grieve. Now it’s a legal right.

I’m aware of the objections to the “Pro-Life” position.

We are charged with being inconsistent because we don’t oppose the death penalty or war.

First, that’s a pretty broad generalization which is certainly not always the case.

Second, if we seriously cannot see any differences between capital punishment, military conflict, and the mass killing of the most helpless among us, then we’re simply not thinking very deeply.

Third, more lives (innocent and otherwise) have been taken through abortion than all executions and wars combined.

We are charged with caring only about unborn life and having no compassion for the adults whose lives are impacted by an unwanted pregnancy.

While I’m sure there are individuals who fit this description, if a person will simply take a moment to Google “Pregnancy Care Centers,” I believe that charge will be overwhelmingly refuted by the number of Pro-Life organizations who not only do their best to persuade an expectant mother to carry their baby to term, but also will provide any assistance that may be needed to make that possible. They want to help.

We are asked, “What about when the health of the mother is in jeopardy?” or “What about in the case of a pregnancy caused by rape?”

I don’t deny that these are hard choices. But here are the real reasons abortions occur:

      • On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner (AGI).

      • Only 12% of women included a physical problem with their health among reasons for having an abortion (NAF).

      • One per cent (of aborting women) reported that they were the survivors of rape (NAF).

What has happened to us?

It’s like we’re living The Hunger Games. No, I suppose we’re more refined than that. We don’t broadcast the violence for entertainment, we practice it in private and describe it in antiseptic terms. We don’t wait for the children to grow up, we kill them before they are able to fight back.

Our nation’s Declaration of Independence begins with the assertion that all humans “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life…”

In the United States alone there are over 3,000 abortions performed every single day.

With each one we are all a little less human.

What’s so special, indeed…

Lloyd

PS– If anyone is reading this who has had an abortion at some point, I have a word for you, and the word is not judgment. The word is grace. What you may not be aware of is that the Pregnancy Care Centers referenced above often offer compassionate counseling for you as well. Also, many churches, including my own, have loving support groups for women who have had an abortion. I know we Christian “Pro-Lifers” have the reputation for being judgmental and, to be perfectly honest, I can’t guarantee you won’t experience that from some individuals. These individuals tend to forget their own sin and need for grace. But what I can tell you is that, as one who has experienced grace here myself more than once, that judgmental reputation is unfounded. Compassion and grace is available if you’re open to it.