Friday, November 30, 2012


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The Biblical Book of Acts tells the story of King Herod's wrongful imprisonment of Peter who was a disciple of Christ and a leader of the early Church.  Chapter 12 Verse 5 says "So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the Church to God."  Not only did the Church pray for Peter but in Verses 6 - 12 we are told that the Lord sent an Angel who supernaturally freed Peter from the prison.  Not much doubt that those prayers were answered in a big way.

Many leaders find themselves facing great trials much like Peter.  While they may not be physically imprisoned they are often restrained by the fear of the consequences of big decisions or may be paralyzed by indecision in the face of uncertainty.  The leaders sometimes find themselves in seemingly hopeless situations where their failure would most certainly affect their lives and the lives of those they lead.

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How many members pray for the leadership of their church routinely?  How many citizens pray for the leadership of their country each day?  How many employees regularly pray for the leaders of their organizations?  The Church learned thousands of years ago about the power of prayer and the miracles it could accomplish.

What if we fervently prayed:
  • That our Pastors and Staff would be empowered with crystal clear teachings divinely delivered from God that spoke clearly to each and every person who heard the Word and those who heard the Word responded in complete obedience to the Word becoming servants in their communities and devoting themselves to making their communities places of peace, harmony and cooperation.
  • That God would fill the hearts and minds of our President and nation's leaders with His commandments such that the actions and accomplishments of the leaders would result in the establishment of a nation where hard work, justice, respectfulness, kindness, service and selflessness were the cornerstones of daily life.
  • That the Presidents and CEOs of large corporations would lead their organizations to seek the betterment of the consumers they serve, to make a positive difference in the lives of their employees and to seek to return even more to the communities they operate in than they take.
Almost everyone who has ever earnestly sought God in prayer knows that He answers prayers according to His will.  You wonder just how different our world could be.  WHAT IF WE PRAYED for the leaders in our lives routinely; what might God do for us?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


In Judges 14 the story of Samson's trip to claim his Philistine wife is told. Samson belonged to a people called the Nazirites. While there was no strict prohibition against a Nazirite marrying a Philistine woman, Samson was wrong in pursuing her because her people worshiped false gods. Samson's parents strongly advised him to consider marrying within his own tribe which were people who worshiped the living God. But Samson did not heed their wise counsel.

On his way to secure his Philistine bride Samson was surprised by an attack from a wild lion. God came to Samson's aid and gave him super human strength to kill the lion. Now you would think an encounter like that might cause one to reconsider the rest of the trip.  Not Samson.  Undeterred by the extraordinary encounter with the lion Samson continued on and collected his Philistine bride.

On the return trip to his home Samson passed by the dead lion carcass only to find it filled with delicious honey. It was so tempting that Samson tasted the honey. Other than being a little "gross" that probably doesn't sound like a big deal.  But the Nazirites lived by strict vows that prohibited them from touching anything dead as it was considered unclean.  So the decision to take a bride he shouldn't have put him in a position where he committed an even more serious offense against God.

Warning shots.  Everyone understands the concept.  You get too close to some place you're not supposed to be and someone fires a warning shot overhead.  Not meant to harm you but instead to make you stop and think about what you are about to do or enter.  I don't know for sure but for some reason I think God was trying to get Samson's attention with the lion encounter.  In a sense it was a warning shot.

Here are a few things as leaders we should consider about "warning shots":
  • When wise people offer us counsel we should always take and weigh it very seriously.  We rarely see things we are close to or emotionally involved with as objectively as those who are removed from it.
  • If we decide to proceed against the judgment of wise counsel we should be on the look out for signs that our decision may not have been well advised.  I'm not suggesting that we be "superstitious" or continually second guess ourselves.  But if we proceed against the recommedation of wise counsel just be sure that if something unusual happens along the "road" to the final objective to be sure to give the circumstances due consideration before continuing on.
  • Even if you achieve your goal while going against the advice of wise counsel be cautious that your success does not blind you to other risks that may present themselves as benefits of your success.  It's easy to make a big mistake in a moment of supreme self-confidence.
While we may not always follow the advice of wise counsel we should always pay attention to things that happen along the way when we take a path that strays from the advice of wise counsel - just in case a WARNING SHOT gets fired.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


A few weeks ago as I was travelling around I had occasion to hear a single statistic about abortion rates that had me in tears moments later as I began to think about what the statistic actually meant.  Surely, I thought, there was a better way than the horrible picture I had in my mind.  After some thought about it I came to realize there were alternatives to abortion that are simple, effective and achievable.  Elective abortions are not a necessary fact of life.

Here Are Some Facts about Abortion

Sonogram of Baby In Womb
According to statistics published by the Guttmacher Institute, a nationally recognized abortion information source, approximately 3,300 babies will be aborted today. In a year’s time approximately 1,200,000 (1.2 Million) babies will be aborted. Since 1973 approximately 55,000,000 (55 Million) babies have been aborted. And this is in the United States of America ALONE.

According to the world renowned Mayo Clinic within a couple weeks after conception a baby's organs are already forming. Just four weeks after conception the baby's heart is pumping blood. Within days after the heart begins to function the arms, legs, hands and feet begin to emerge. At seven weeks after conception the baby's arms grow, develop bones and bend at the elbow as toes form and eyelids and ears continue developing. Almost 40% of abortions occur after this point of development when the heart, head, brain, arms and legs are already formed in the womb.

According the Orlando Women’s Center the predominate methods of abortion in the United States are: Menstrual Extraction where a hand held manual suction device along with a sterile curette (a specially formed hook/scraper) is inserted inside the cervix and the "pregnancy tissue" is removed; Dilation and Curettage (D&C) where the cervix is anesthetized and dilated followed by insertion of a sterile curette the size of a straw inside the uterus and the "pregnancy tissue" is removed; Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) where the cervix is dilated and softened and where special forceps maybe be used to help to manually pull out the "pregnancy tissue" inside the uterus; and Medical Abortions where drugs are used to induce destruction and elimination of the "pregnancy tissue".

And Here Is Where It Starts

Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice the clear losers in the debate are the aborted children who are not afforded the right of choice. They are sentenced to death with no rights, no due process and no chance. Inside the womb in the one place a baby should be safe from harm they are poisoned, crushed during extraction or in effect stabbed and pulled out in other procedures. All these actions are considered crimes outside the womb and would be considered an atrocity of the greatest proportions if they were carried out against a baby outside the womb.

Yes, I’m aware I am using the terms “baby” and “inside the womb” together. Yes I am aware that makes me sound as if I am taking the position that a human life exists within the womb prior to the birthing process occurring. The question of exactly what this "pregnancy tissue" is that is chemically destroyed or mechanically extracted from the womb during abortion will be debated for time to come. Regardless which side of the debate you choose, let me make the proposition that elective abortion is almost always unnecessary if we accept responsibility for our personal actions and consider the following simple alternatives.

Alternatives to Abortion

The following simple alternatives could eliminate any possibility that a life is being taken during an elective abortion procedure:

Accountability is making the clear choice to take responsibility to raise a child that is conceived as a result of sexual intercourse. If you choose to have sex you choose to accept responsibility for any outcome.

Abstinence is making the clear choice to refrain from sexual intercourse to eliminate any possibility of unwanted conception occurring.

Contraception is making the clear choice to take responsible action to significantly reduce the possibility of unwanted conception occurring as a result of sexual intercourse.

Adoption is a responsible alternative for children born to parents who choose not to raise the children or are otherwise unable to care for the children.

There is no situation that can develop where one of these four alternatives is not preferable to elective abortion and the risk of being wrong about when life begins. But they all require that we accept personal responsibility for our actions.

In Closing
I’ve presented simple, reasonable and well known alternatives to elective abortions. I didn't come up with them.  They are not new or unique.  They are not based on religion.  They are not judgmental. They are alternatives that only require us to take personal responsibility for our own actions to avoid being placed in a situation where elective abortion becomes a consideration.

As a follower of Jesus Christ I cannot close without sharing what God has revealed in scripture that is relevant to the act of elective abortion.  These are not personal judgments about any one's actions.  They are simply statements of what is found in the Bible and why abortion tends to lead to other problems in our lives.

Life begins at conception in the womb. In Psalm 139:13-16 David says “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”  It's clear that life exists in the womb.  We inherently know it whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.  That is why many people become depressed and have difficulty dealing with the elective decision to abort a baby.

Elective abortion is sinful fact the Bible considers it murder. Because I believe life begins at conception in the womb and Jesus said in Matthew 19:18 “…You shall not murder…” I have no choice but to accept that elective abortion is sinful and murder since the process of elective abortion is a willful act to end a life that has been conceived in the womb.  We are called to care for babies from conception as in Psalm 127:3 scripture says “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”  God places a sense of sanctity for life within each of us and that is another reason why many people become depressed and have difficulty dealing with the elective decision to abort a baby.

Personal responsibility for sexual activity prevents the need for the majority of elective abortions. The large majority of elective abortions are reported as performed on unmarried women.  That does not mean it is the sole responsibility of the unmarried woman.  The Bible is very clear that sex outside of marriage is not permissible for men or women. In I Thessalonians it is said “…that you abstain from sexual immorality;”. Scripture is clear that sex is only to occur between husband and wife as to do otherwise is immoral.  Immoral activity, sin, always leads to undesirable consequences - in the case of sex outside of marriage it can lead to the elective decision to abort a baby.

Forgiveness is available for those in need. If you or someone you know has chosen to electively abort a baby it is not a hopeless situation where we can never come to live with what has happened. We have all made mistakes in our lives and we all sin sometimes without understanding the full nature or consequences of our actions. The amazing thing about God’s grace is that He is willing to forgive us for any sins that we commit as stated in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” No matter what we have done God will forgive us if we seek Him.  It is His Promise to us.  For information on God’s forgiveness you can visit at or speak with a Christian pastor.
There are alternatives to elective abortion and they require that we TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HUMAN LIFE.