Wednesday, February 27, 2008
This video shows actors calling Planned Parenthood and asking to donate money to be used to abort only black babies. The actors clearly stated they felt there were too many black people so they wanted to make sure their money went to eliminate black babies. The most shocking part is that Planned Parenthood workers accepted their money and agreed to earmark it for that purpose.
Here is a link to the video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eygv8qEkiFE
Planned Parenthood was founded on racist principles and they are just following in the footsteps of their founder. We would also challenge you to read the book, "The Pivot of Civilization" written by the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger. You can read that book online on our web site in the educate yourself section, under Planned Parenthood or just follow this link - http://www.standtrue.com/pages/sanger/pivot.html
Tough Questions Series: My Friend is Pregnant and Considering Abortion, What do I Say to Her? Should I say anything to her?
There are several things that we have to consider in order to answer this question. The first thing I would like to address is our own heart and how we react to someone who comes to us in this situation.
If you have been involved in the pro-life movement, or know someone who is heavily involved, you probably have seen the passion we have for life. This passion can often be overwhelming for some and even scare many people away from the pro-life movement if it is not tempered with love.
I can tell you from my own experience that I have turned many people from pro-life work with my own actions. I have used my knowledge and passion to attack those who did not agree with me. I have spoken without thinking about the words I was saying, and hurt people I was trying to reach. While I was trying to love the baby, I forgot to love the mother I was trying to reach out to.
Before I was a Christian I remember Christians preaching at me and telling me I was going to burn in hell. I just laughed at them and disregarded anything they had to say. It was a doctor in a hospital who, instead of telling me how evil I was, told me how valuable I was to God that finally got through to me. That doctor loved me and showed me the love of Christ, and God used that to break my heart and bring me to Him.
In the same way God used that doctor to love me, we must let God use us to love someone considering abortion. The words we use must be words of hope and love, not words of judgment and condemnation. I must make it clear that the doctor who talked with me did not save me, Christ did. While God used that doctor, it was God alone who opened my heart and showed me that I needed Christ.
Something I think a lot of people forget when they're talking to women about abortion is the woman herself. We get so wrapped up in talking about her baby that we forget about her and what she's going through. A woman considering abortion is often scared, confused, hurt, and feeling alone. She often thinks there is no other option for her and there is no one there for her. If we only talk about her baby, and ignore her, then we just reinforce what she is already feeling.
In order to talk to a friend about this, we must first be ready to listen. We must be able to understand what our friend is going through and be able to talk about her problems and needs. Just convincing her that her baby is really a baby does not take away whatever brought her to this decision.
Then it comes time to talk to our friend about the life of the child in her womb. We must never approach this in a situational way. So many people think that the situation someone is in defines the level of personhood of the child. There are no levels of personhood, there is only personhood. We must establish the personhood of the child in the womb.
We must also be knowledgeable about life and what life is. If we cannot answer basic questions about the life of the child, then how can we expect someone to trust us or listen to us. In situations like this I would highly encourage you to take your friend to a pregnancy resource center to talk to a trained counselor. Many of these centers have doctors and nurses on staff and even free ultrasound machines. You can always call 1-800-395-help and they will connect you to the center closest to you.
While getting your friend to a pregnancy resource center would be the best option, many times they won’t want to talk to anyone else. In a situation like this you can always call us at Stand True and we can get you the resources you need to help your friend. We would be happy to mail you literature, fetal models or any other resource you need to talk to your friend. Our contact information can be found on our website, http://www.standtrue.com, and there are a lot of resources for you under the “Educate Yourself” section.
This would bring us to the second half of the question, “Should I say anything?” One of the most common things I hear from people is that they don’t want to push their beliefs on someone else. Though they believe abortion is wrong, they worry that it's not their place to tell anyone else that it is. There is really no logic at all in this line of thinking.
There are people who believe it is ok to beat their children or beat their wives. There is an actual organization that believes it is OK for grown men to have sexual relations with young boys; truly believes that it is OK. I would ask someone who did not like to push their beliefs on someone else if they would ignore someone beating their wife? Would they look the other way if a man was going to harm a young boy?
If the child in the womb is a human person then we have an obligation to stand up for their life. It is not a question of pushing your beliefs on someone, but a matter of loving our neighbor as our self.
With all of this said, I would also encourage you to pray for your friend and offer them prayer. Even if they are not a Christian, many times they would welcome prayer in rough situation. Prayer is the most powerful tool that we have and it works. After all, it's not really you who will change your friend’s heart, it is God.
Please feel free to ask us for prayer in these situations also. You can always e-mail me directly and ask for prayer.
For Christ I stand,
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tough Questions - I Went To Pray at an Abortion Clinic and People Were Screaming and Yelling. How Should We Reach Out To Women Considering Abortion?
When answering this question you also have to address what not to say. I have stood outside abortion mills for over 13 years praying, protesting, and have even been arrested many times for praying in front of the doors. I have watched thousands of women walk into abortion mills and have seen many different approaches by pro-lifers trying to save the babies.
The first mistake I see is anger. Pro-lifers can become so angry about abortion that they sometimes take it out on the women and just scare them right into the abortion mill. I have heard people call women murderers, whores, Jezebels, devil worshipers, and so much more. I have seen anti-abortion protesters so angry that they actually spit while they scream at people. I have never once seen this kind of behavior convince a women to stop and talk and change her mind.
I will admit that in the early years I used to scream and wave signs in people's faces. I let the frustration get to me as I watched these many young girls being taken into the abortion mill by their parents or boyfriends. I would see the boyfriends leave and go to get food, sit in the parking lot and eat and smoke while their child was being killed inside that building. I let the frustration get to me and began to rely on myself for results instead of relying on God.
I want to make it clear that not all people that go to abortion mills to minister and pray act like this. We at Stand True highly encourage people to go to the abortion mills for prayer and witnessing. There are highly effective ways of reaching women and helping them to make the right decision.
When a woman is going to an abortion mill she is usually scared and frustrated. She believes there is no other option for her other than abortion and there is no one to help her. These girls do not need someone yelling at them and telling them how evil they are, they need someone to love them and let them know how precious they are in God's eyes. They need someone to address their needs, not just the baby's needs. They need someone to approach them in the same way Christ would approach someone who was hurting and scared and about to make a huge mistake.
The first thing we tell people if they are going to try to talk to girls entering abortion mills is to not be holding a sign or wearing pro-life messages on their shirts. You should be dressed very friendly so you won't immediately scare the women away. We believe the first words to a woman entering the mill should be geared towards her and how she is doing, not just about the baby. Let her know you care about her.
The most powerful thing you can do when going to the abortion mill is pray. There is nothing more effective than prayer. When we go to our local abortion mill we spend the first hour as a group reading the Bible out loud, not shouting, but just reading out loud the Word of God. We then walk around the building praying for the women, the doctor, the nurses, the escorts, and everyone involved. We also look for opportunities to witness and share, not only with the women going in, but with the escorts and whoever is around. Not calling them names or condemning them to hell, but sharing Christ's love with them.
These ideas and principles are not just for the abortion mill, but for our everyday life when we run into situations like this. I recently read an article about a young girl at a Catholic school who got pregnant and was told she could not walk the stage at her graduation, while the young man was allowed to. Not only was this total hypocrisy, but it was a dangerous way to treat this young girl. It is exactly that kind of reaction and treatment of girls that drive them to abortion.
Our words, especially our first words to a girl who gets pregnant can determine the path she takes and be the difference between life and death. As a father of three daughters I do wonder how I would react if one of my daughters came home one day and told me she was pregnant. What would I say? Would I blow up and lose my temper? Or would I love her no matter what mistake she made?
When we go to God in prayer and confess our sins, do you think He screams and yells and has a huge fit? I don't think so. Do you think he yells at us and tells us how horrible we are, and how much of a disgrace we are to the family? I don't think so. When we go to Him, He is faithful to love and forgive us. I pray that I never have to go through this with my daughters, but if I do, I pray that my first words to her are those of love.
Yes, we do believe that abortion is the act of killing a human person and can never be permitted. Yes, we believe that abortion is a sin and is detestable in God's eyes. Yes, we believe that we need to stand up against this evil and be there to try to help people from making such a tragic and horrific mistake. But more importantly than all of that, we believe those people need Christ and we need to love them as Christ would.
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."
For Christ I stand,
Lately my 3 year old son has been coming in with the cutest look on his face to tell me how much he loves me. "Hi Daddy, I love you," is enough to melt the toughest man's heart. But once I look down at him to give him love he proceeds with the next line, "Daddy, I'm hungry".
It took me a couple of times to figure out that he knew exactly what he was doing. He had figured out that I like to keep a jar of peanuts on my desk and he loves peanuts. He knows that if he butters me up I will be much more sympathetic to his request for some peanuts.
Even though I know exactly what he is up to, I always give him a handful of peanuts. He may think he has somehow tricked me into giving him the peanuts, but I do it because I love him and I want him to be happy.
Isn't it funny how we sometimes do this with our Father in heaven? I have noticed that sometimes when I am praying for something I seem to be extra repentant or lay it on thick as if that was going to make God more sympathetic to my prayers.
At church we have communion every Sunday, which I love so much. But, I find it funny that on Saturday night and Sunday morning I am more aware of my thoughts, words and actions because of communion. Somehow I think because it is so close to communion time I need to watch myself more. I always question myself and ask why I don't have the same sense of urgency and reverence on Monday morning.
I have always held the belief that I will not lie to my children for any reason. I will not tell them there is a Santa Claus so they better behave or they won't get any gifts. I will not tell them that a certain food is something else to get them to eat it. I just want to be honest with them.
I want to instill in them that they should be totally honest with me. I want them to know they never need to manipulate me in any way: they can just come to me with whatever is on their minds. I don't want them to try to be extra good just because they want or need something. I want them to be good because it is the right thing to do. I want them to tell me they love me just because they do, not to get something.
(As I am writing this my son just came in to get some peanuts. This time he sat on my lap and asked me questions about stuff on my desk and then pointed to the peanuts.)
So my question to myself and all of you is simple. Do you change the way you talk to God when you are wanting something from Him? Do you suddenly act more contrite in your prayers? Do you pour on the "Christian buzz words" to make your prayers seem more sincere?
I will be honest, sometimes I do. Just like my son wanting some peanuts, I sometimes think I have to butter Him up to show how much I really want or need something.
God knows our hearts and He sees right through all of that garbage. I do not believe He wants us to clean up our acts just because something special is coming up: He wants us to clean up our acts because He loves us and wants the best for us. He wants us to talk to Him with straight forward honesty. He wants the real us.
I don't give my son peanuts just because he sits on my lap and warms my heart. I give my son peanuts because he likes them and I love him. I still want him to come and sit on my lap and tell me he loves me. I still want him to warm my heart. I just want him to do that because he loves me, not just to get some peanuts.
In the same way, God wants us to come into His presence and praise Him not just when we need something, but because we love Him.
For Christ I stand,
The article really intrigued me as it talked about the amount of money each of the movies' preceding installments had made, and how much they expected the new ones to make. All three are to be released over a three week period, and they are expected to make over a billion dollars combined in US box office totals alone.
I guess when you combine the exhilaration of a half-man, half-spider superhero flying around New York with pirates and zombies terrorizing the high seas, and a sarcastic animated talking donkey, it should be quite an exciting month.
So, millions of people will start lining up in May to spend about $20 a person on a night at the movies. They hope to be taken away in the story and thrilled by the action. Two hours later they will probably leave wishing that there really was a great hero that could always be counted on to save the day. Kids will be begging their parents to buy hundreds of dollars of toys, just so they can reenact the story, until their parents have a headache.
Just another average weekend in America. Of course, they could have gotten even more action, adventure, and drama, even a hero that saves the day, for free if they wanted too. They could have gone to church. That's right, church. Where we learn from the ultimate adventure book with the most amazing stories. Where we learn of a hero that truly does save the day, and offers us eternal salvation.
So why do we spend so much money on movies to take us away when we have such an amazing resource at our hands already? Maybe it is because so many churches have replaced the Bible with light, fun, fluffy stories. Maybe it is because, at so many churches, you end up hearing more about the pastor's weekend than the Gospel of Christ.
I have heard reports that teach us if we truly want church growth then we need to follow certain formulas for success. We need to keep the sermons under 30 minutes or we will lose everyone. We need to keep the sermons light and mellow so we don't offend anyone. We need to make church modern and relevant or no one will want to come.
Since when do we need to make the Word of God relevant? Maybe if people were offended by hearing the Gospel, they might see that they need repentance. Maybe we need to think about the things that we are willing to sit for hours to see before we complain about the length of church (football, concerts, movies).
I am not saying that we should not go to movies, although I will probably get a dozen e-mails telling me that there is nothing wrong with movies and I need to chill out. What I am trying to say is that maybe if we brought the Word of God and the Gospel of Christ back to church then we would not need gimmicks or special books and reports on how to keep churches relevant. The fact is the Word of God is just as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago.
So have fun this summer and go see a movie, I know I will. But, when you are calling all of your friends to ask them if they want to see a guy in tights fly around the city and save the day, ask yourself if you have invited them all to church to learn about a man who died to save us for eternity.
For Christ I stand,
Monday, February 18, 2008
My children are color blind and that warms heart
One of the reasons we picked Troy, Ohio for our family and Stand True was our friends, the Welborns. Brent has done a lot of the artwork for Stand True, as well as the layout work for our educational materials.
Brent and his family have been huge blessings in the lives of our family. They have three beautiful children: Bennett, Johanna and Eve. Our kids love to play with the Welborn kids and were very excited to find out that we would get to live by them.
It's funny how kids don't notice things that so many adults do. They just see the Welborn kids as kids that are fun to play with. Unfortunately not everyone sees them that way. Eve, their middle child, is adopted and also African American. You can imagine the looks they get when they're out and Eve looks up at Amy and says mommy.
What is amazing is how my kids have never said a word and have not seemed to even notice anything different about Eve. They simply see a little girl who they love to play with. They don't care about the color of her skin, they just care about their friend Eve.
Why is it that a young child just sees the human person without adding qualifiers or labels to separate her from other people? Why is it that my children can understand that Eve is a beautiful creation of God and not care about some so called race difference?
Little children see things so purely until adults contaminate their innocence.
They understand that there is really only one race, the human race. They don't care about skin color, nationality or anything that we adults use to hold against each other.
It is not that kids are naive about things they shouldn't be. Kids know things, like what is the difference between right wrong. My kids know when they have done something wrong, you can see it in their eyes.
So why can't we adults take a lesson from the innocent minds and hearts of children? Why can't we recognize the personhood of every single human person regardless of skin color, nationality or any other difference we may have? Why is it that they can look at a baby in the womb and understand that she is simply a baby that is younger than other kids?
This weekend, as my kids played in the back yard with Eve and her sister and brother, I was humbled by the love and blindness that my kids had towards her.
They taught me a lesson this weekend. Even though I saw Eve as the beautiful little girl she was and did not care at all about the color of her skin, I still sometimes ask myself what other people are thinking when they see her and her family.
Why should I care what other people think? Why does my mind think of questions like that? I know that someday, as my children get older and they start to pick up on the hatred and bigotry that surrounds them in this world, they will be faced with decisions about what they believe. I know that I cannot shield them from everything that is wrong with this world. However, I do know that I can raise them and nurture them with the truth that will help mold who they become as people.
More importantly than what I can do for them is what Christ can do. I know that, as their father on earth, I have a duty to raise them with the love my Heavenly Father has for me. I know that I have the responsibility to teach them how to see others as our neighbor, no matter who they are or what they look like. I know that I have to teach them to love their neighbor as themselves as God's word teaches us. I know that the best way to teach them that is to live that way myself, and to love people in the way I want them to love people.
I thank God for the Welborns and the love they have for their children. I thank God that they have shown Eve the same love that they have for their natural born children and embraced her the way Christ embraces us when He adopts us as His own.
We all have a duty to our fellow man to love them the way Christ loves us. We all have an opportunity to live out that love in a way that will teach the next generation that there is only one race--the human race. We can let our love be as blind as a child if we look at the love Christ gives us and embrace that as our standard.
Matthew 22 - 36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[b] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[c] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Like them or not, it seems so called "reality shows" are here to stay. Now I will admit that there are some that I like to watch. The Amazing Race and The Biggest Loser are probably my favorites. I have lost a lot of weight over the past couple of years and I do like the way people's lives are transformed on The Biggest Loser.
Last night I saw a preview for a new "reality" show about teens who are put in a house with borrowed babies. The show was actually labeled in the preview as birth control. The teens are there to see what it is like to raise a kid; first a baby, then a toddler, teenager, and senior citizen. This is supposed to somehow teach them what it is like to be a parent.
There are so many ways in which this is wrong, sick and twisted. First, I want to know who would actually let their kids appear on this show? Imagine the emotional trauma the babies will go through as they are passed around to random strangers who are supposed to act like their parents. I feel so bad for the kids being used in this horrific experiment.
What really bothers me the most about what this will do to the teens, who are contestants on this show, is the false sense of parenting they will receive. It reminds me somewhat of those dolls they give to young moms to show them how hard it is to be a mom.
First of all, the teens will miss out on one of the most important and amazing parts of being a parent, the pregnancy. I remember the first time my wife and I found out she was pregnant and all of the things we did to prepare to be parents. I remember the nights in bed talking to my child still in her mom's womb, reading and singing to her and hoping to make a connection with her.
My wife was so excited to learn all about being a mom and what things she needed to do to prepare. She had such a strong emotional and spiritual connection with our daughter as her pregnancy developed. I remember the first ultra-sound pictures and taking them to my office to show everyone.
The night of my daughter's birth was one of the most amazing nights of my life. The first time I held her was something no simulation of any kind can ever come close to matching. Sitting in that room with my wife and our daughter was so amazing, it did not matter if she cried or anything, we were just so happy.
The thing this show cannot replace or simulate is that love between a parent and their child. The show can never come close to showing the teens the bonding that takes place and the intense connection that a mom and dad have with their baby.
These teens may think the baby is cute and have some emotional connection with the baby but that will fade fast. They know it is only for a short time, they probably just want to get through this experience and move on. The first time the baby starts crying and won't stop they won't have the true empathy and love a parent has for the baby, they will probably just be frustrated.
This show will succeed in scaring some teens away from wanting to be a parent, but is that really a good thing? Of course we don't want to see teens end up as single parents. Of course we want them to know that being a parent is hard work and a lot of responsibility. However, do we really want to scare them with an unrealistic experience of parenting? Do we want them to come away never wanting to have kids because they only see one small part of being a parent?
I think this show is one of the worst ideas I have ever heard of for a reality show. It is un-realistic and will do harm to both the children being used as guinea pigs and the teens who are shown a warped sense of being a parent. Being a parent is hard, very hard at times. I have five children under the age of 9 and it is a challenge. I love it so much, it is one of the greatest joys anyone can have.
This show is in my opinion, anti-life. It is just another way the world portrays children as a curse or a burden. "Children are a blessing from God, an heritage from Him" as Psalm 127 says. We already teach American youth that in the first nine months of their lives they are nothing but a leech or a blob of tissue. Then, when they are old and useless, it is o.k. to call Dr. Death to "mercy kill' them. Now we are showing them that they are nothing more than a burden, that will make us crazy for ever wanting to have had them in the first place. Do you really wonder why kids shoot up schools, kill themselves, get addicted to drugs, and end up in prison?
For Christ I stand,Bryan Kemper
This question is flawed because it is focused on the procedure rather than what abortion actually is. That is one of the fundamental reasons Christians ignore abortion, they look at it as a procedure. We must look past the procedure to the root of what abortion is.
Abortion is the killing of a human person. There are many ways to kill a human person and not all of them are mentioned in the Bible. Using this logic, you could argue that shooting someone with a gun is not mentioned in the Bible; so therefore it is not a sin. Shooting someone with a gun, like abortion, is simply the procedure used to kill that human person.
We all know that killing someone is a sin, "thou shalt not kill" is pretty cut and dry.
As I wrote in the last "tough questions" section, scripture tells us about the beginning of human life. I am sure you have all heard the most popular verse pro-lifers use about God forming us in the womb. Have you read Psalm 51:5? "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me." From the moment of conception you have sin. What does sin stain? It stains your soul, not your flesh. You have a soul at the moment of conception.
Lets look at Luke 1:39, At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist and was about 6 months along in her pregnancy. Mary was only a few days pregnant with Jesus when John the Baptist recognized the personhood of Christ and leapt in the womb. It cannot be any clearer when life begins.
So again it comes back to the core of the pro-life argument, personhood. In reality almost all the tough questions people ask me will be brought back to this principle.
A child in the womb is a human person.
Killing a human person is wrong.
Abortion is killing a human person.
Abortion is wrong.
That was the long answer to the question. The short answer is simple, abortion is mentioned in the Bible, "thou shalt not kill".Bryan Kemper
Trough out the whole experience with the Pro- life Day of Silent Solidarity I have been asked a lot of questions regarding "situational abortion". What if the girl was raped? What if she was poor and the baby was going to have a hard life? The problem with these questions is that they are looking at situations rather than the core of the issue, personhood. These are arguments for the procedure of abortion that ignore the personhood of the child.
While all of these situations can be heart wrenching and seem logical, they have to be weighed against the core truth of personhood. Every single child from the moment of fertilization is a full human person. We cannot take the life of an innocent human person and, therefore, those situations are not valid arguments for the procedure of abortion.
I especially wonder how so many Christians can support these situational arguments. We have the ultimate truth in the Word of God to guide us in questions like these. The Bible clearly states, "thou shalt not commit murder". There are no exceptions written next to that commandment, no footnotes that claim in highly emotional cases it is ok. It is a command.
We also have scripture that tells us about the life and the begriming of life. I am sure you have all heard the most popular verse for pro-lifers about God forming us in the womb. Have you read Psalm 51:5? Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. From the moment of conception you have sin. What does sin stain? It stains your soul, not your flesh. You have a soul at the moment of conception.
Lets look at Luke chapter 1: 39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist and was about 6 months along in her pregnancy. Mary was only a few days pregnant with Jesus when John the Baptist recognized the personhood of Christ and leapt in the womb. It cannot be any clearer when life begins.
When we talk about abortion we must always bring it back to the core issue, personhood. If the child in the womb was not a human person abortion would not matter. The child is, however, a human person and therefore must be afforded all rights as a human person. If we say that in certain circumstances that abortion is ok, then we are saying that there are times when the child is not a human person: that is simply not the case.
For Christ I stand,Bryan Kemper
Go to http://www.standtrue.com/terri/terriphotos.htm for photos
For fourteen years I have been involved with pro-life work in one way or another. Over those fourteen years I have talked to thousands of people about their involvement, why they got involved, how they got involved and what motivates them to continue. We have talked about what happened in 1973 and where were all the Christians when Roe vs. Wade was passed. We would wonder why Christians would ignore human rights and own slaves in the time of the Dred Scott decision. We would tell stories about the few brave Christians that hid Jews during the Holocaust and proclaim that if it were we in those times we would have been a voice. If we were around in those days we would have risked all to save an innocent life; that is what we said, at least.
Three weeks ago a young woman in Florida who was handicapped began an agonizing and painful journey towards death. Her husband, who had once made a vow to love and honor her through good times and bad, murdered her on national television. Her husband, who had already broken his vows to her by living with another woman and fathering children with her, went to court to have his wife starved and dehydrated to death. Terri Schiavo held onto life and fought for 13 days before finally dying on Thursday, March 31.
When I arrived in Florida one week before her death I expected to see thousands and thousands of Christians in front of the hospice praying, singing and crying out for Terri. I expected to see all those people who said, “I would have been there to stand up if I were around in the times of Roe vs. Wade or during the Holocaust.” I was sadly disappointed.
I walked up and saw maybe 150 people at most -- some of them familiar faces from the pro-life movement, some of them just wanting to be on TV. I started to walk around and ask where people were from and most of them were from out of town; it was hard to find anyone from the Tampa area there to stand up for Terri. For years I wondered where the Christians were when Roe vs. Wade was passed, and now I had the answer.
I spent the first day walking around the crowd praying with people, talking about what could be done and simply being there in solidarity with our sister as she was dying. When I arrived the second day I talked to Terri’s sister whom I had met in Washington, DC, in January, when I volunteered my services to the family. I was asked to help guard the family and escort them around as they were being swarmed by everyone.
I spent a lot of time just sitting with them and listening to stories about Terri and her life growing up. Her dad told a story about when Terri ran over a cat and how upset she was over this poor little cat. The friends shared beautiful stories and memories that I will treasure forever.
During this time we also spent a lot of time in prayer, with many different Christian leaders and friends. Everyone would be talking about a possible option and then someone would just stop and say, “Let’s pray.” There was more spontaneous prayer than I had ever seen. I would walk among the people there in support and see small groups up and down the street praying, singing hymns and just reading the Scriptures out loud. There may not have been a large group there, but they were dedicated and focused on prayer.
I spent a lot of time walking the family through the media circus to and from the hospice trying to give them a little privacy. I would walk Terri’s dad through the crowd every night as he thanked all the supporters for being there for Terri.
I talked to many of the behind-the-scenes media people who were obviously shaken by this tragedy. I saw people from all different walks of life and political and religious backgrounds taking a stand. There were many non-Christian people there in support of Terri, and dozens of handicapped people from a group called Not Dead Yet. I even spent time in prayer with the Rev. Jesse Jackson as he came to help the family and speak out for Terri. I never in a million years would have believed that I would sit in a room praying with Randal Terry, Jesse Jackson and Sean Hannity.
Each night at about I would leave the hospice area and go get something to eat and try to catch up on some computer work and grab a few hours of sleep. I talked to a lot of people at different restaurants that would ask us what was really happening there. One night Terri’s brother, Bobby, came out to eat with us. When he left, the people there asked us questions and wanted to know the truth about the whole situation; they were shocked when they got the true facts about Terri.
On Wednesday night I went to the hotel and was especially saddened as we were reaching 13 days. My friend Will and I sat in the pool at the hotel at discussing the past week and what else could have been done. I finally got to sleep at about . Early the next morning, I was awoken by Will telling me that Terri had died.
We quickly packed our bags and went to the car to drive over to the hospice a few blocks away. As I got into the car it really began to hit me what had just happened and I started to cry. I picked up my cell phone and called my wife and children; I just needed to hear their voices and tell them I loved them.
I got to the hospice and stood guard outside the room the family was in to give them some privacy. The room was tucked in behind all the major media trucks and production areas. I watched as many of the media producers and reporters were fighting back tears. I watched reporters hugging the family and giving condolences; they were truly touched by Terri’s family. Many of the media that I had gotten to know expressed their grief to me, some of them on-air personalities who were affected greatly.
After the family was done making their statements for the day, I made my rounds to offer my condolences and say my goodbyes. I told the family about all the Stand True supporters and family that had asked me to send their best wishes and prayers. I thanked them for their strength and resolve in the fight for Terri’s life. I let them know that we at Stand True will never let Terri’s name die and that we will continue the fight for life and others like Terri.
For Christ I stand,
Go to http://www.standtrue.com/terri/terriphotos.htm for photos
I remember, as a kid, that I used to hate to watch the news because it was full of what I considered "boring stuff." They were always talking about what was going on in the world, and I hated it.
As an adult, I grew to like the news. I wanted to be informed of what was going on in the world and know about important events. Unfortunately the news stations don't seem to care about what's important anymore.
I have been trying to watch the news while walking on the treadmill at the gym this week, and all I see and hear about is the fight for Anna Nicole Smith's body and how much Britney Spears' hair should sell for on E-bay. What is wrong with our nation that allows these two things to become the top stories of the week? I knew the news was turning into a joke, but this is beyond what I could have ever imagined. I shaved my head this week, why is CNN not following me around?
Here's some real news that you may not have heard about this week, because it's actually important: Several states have passed, or are trying to pass, laws that make it mandatory for young girls as young as 9-years-old to be vaccinated for HPV (Human Papillomavirus), an STD.
This goes right along with what Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry are trying to teach our youth: that they are just animals, with no self-control, who will have sex no matter what. They don't believe it is possible for young people to remain pure.
What kind of message are we sending the young women of this nation? Maybe we should be using the stories of Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears to teach them what not to look up to. Many high schools put wrecked cars in front of their schools to show kids what happens when you drink and drive. Maybe the same should be done with the stories of these celebrities who live trainwreck lives.
My oldest daughter is going to be 8-years-old in three months. I can't imagine, a year from now, that they would want to start "prepping" her against STDs. Then again I don't allow my kids to have role models like Britney Spears. I guess that makes me a mean dad. I must also be insane to think that my daughters will remain pure until their wedding day, like their mother did.
It all comes back to one thing: this world needs Christ. But then, the news stations might get sued if they talked about that. (Unfortunately, Christ never went to rehab, and he rose from the dead before we got the chance to fight over his body....)
For Christ I stand,
So, my wife and I woke up last Sunday morning to the sounds of our 2-year-old, Jaemison, throwing up on me and the carpet next to the bed. After taking care of Jaemison my wife and I went back to bed. When we woke up we noticed a bad stench and huge stains in the carpet despite my wife's attempt to clean it earlier. Unfortunately, the carpet was holding the stains and the smell.
My wife pulled up the vent near the stains and let out a yell as she realized that under the smelly, stained carpet was beautiful, old hardwood. Over the next few days we actually pulled up the carpet in the living room, dining room and a lot of the upstairs only to find some of the most amazing and beautiful hardwood floors.
While the hardwood has some imperfections from old furniture and years of living, it is absolutely beautiful. In fact, the imperfections and wear spots give it a lot of character. We have decided that we want to leave it how it is and enjoy the character of the wood and the years of stories it tells about our house.
Many times we, as humans, try to mask who we really are. We think that the imperfections we have make us less valuable or less attractive. We "lay down carpet" to cover up the real people, to hide our true character.
I understand why we do that. Because so many people focus in on our imperfections and wear spots, and we, ourselves, often look at people, notice the rough edges and make judgments on those alone. We don't see the whole person and understand that we all have imperfections; we just want to point those things out in others and ignore the fact that we have just as many if not a whole lot more.
It is no wonder people try to hide and cover who they really are. It is no wonder people don't want to share when they are struggling or going through hard times. I meet kids all the time who are so angry with the church because, when they did open up, they were devoured instead of loved and helped. I meet kids that are so hurt and lost inside because they are afraid to let anyone know they are struggling with sin. It seems so many in the church would rather just "lay down more carpet" to cover up our problems so that no one knows they are there.
People are afraid that if anyone knew that Christians struggle just like everyone else then we might get called hypocrites. But it is the very act of covering up the struggles with a pretty exterior and pretending that they don't exist that makes us hypocrites, especially when that cover is ripped away and we are exposed for who we really are.
We seem to think that we have to impress everyone around us to show them how together we are...now that we're Christians. The fact is we are still imperfect humans with struggles and problems just like anyone else. We can't make ourselves perfect, it is only Christ who can perfect us.
Maybe if Christians were to live their lives without all the fancy cover-ups and just be real with each other, then the world might actually see the beauty of Christ and what He can do. Not just a bunch of fake, happy people who pretend not to struggle or sin. Not the bunch of self-righteous hypocrites that the world often thinks we are.
Of course we are happy and we are filled with the joy of Christ. Of course we are made new and washed clean by His blood. But we are still human, and we will still go through human struggles while we are on this earth.
Maybe if we were willing to look past those imperfections in others we would be able to love them and help them to find that victory and freedom we have in Christ. Maybe if we "pulled back the carpet" in our own lives, we would be able to be there to love our brothers and sisters who are so afraid to open up because they think no one can possibly be as screwed up as them.
I would think that if, at any given moment, we could actually see what was in the minds and hearts of all of our friends we would be shocked. I am talking about the inner most thoughts that we all hide away. We would be surprised to see that we all go through some of the same struggles and sins.
We all run this race that we call life and we are all going to fall down and scrape and bruise ourselves along the way. But we must press on towards that goal, that hope we have received through Christ.
Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
For Christ I stand,
I hope everyone is having a happy new year. It is funny how this time of year everyone is resolute on making changes and doing things different. Unfortunately, as we all know many of those commitments and resolutions we make often fall by the wayside within a few weeks.
Here at Stand True it has actually been a year of new commitments and resolutions as God has shown us so much this year. This summer was both an amazing and trying time for us as we dealt with tragedy and death. One of the most important things that God taught us this year, was to look at each day as a new opportunity to live for Him. We realized that each time we wake up in the morning we have been given another day to serve Him, worship Him, love Him and share Him with the world. We truly saw that we are not promised tomorrow and we need to thank Him for today.
As I look at today's date, it chokes me up when I think about what is coming up. Today is January 3, 2008. In 19 days, we will have reached a milestone in America but it is not something to celebrate. In 19 days, hundreds of thousands of Christians will be filling the streets of Washington, DC. In 19 days, we will reach the 35 year mark of one of the most controversial, deadly and life changing decisions ever handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States. On January 22, 2008 we, as a nation will have completed 35 years of decriminalized child killing.
So what does this new year bring for America? What happens as we enter January of 2008? What will be making headlines in the news?
We are entering an election year so politics will be taking up much of the media. Will we see the first woman or African American president?
Will this years top 12 contestants of American Idol actually be able to sing? Who will win and change the world with their polished, pre-written, canned songs?
What will be the big buzz story of 2008 that will send Geraldo, Anderson, Greta, Nancy and all of the other hardcore journalist to a remote location? Will they be able to milk every ounce of useless information out of a story so we know who the father of some courageous, drug addicted, mindless entertainer's baby is? Will we be able to cope with the tragic 13 day jail sentence for this persecuted, rich sudo - celebrity who should not have to face the same punishment as us lowly regular citizens?
We are only three days into the new year and I don't think I can handle waiting for the big story to break. Will Britney get her kids back? Will Lindsay finally finish rehab and learn how to drive sober like the rest of us? Will Britney's mom finally get her book on parenting published? With my five kids, I am biting my nails with anticipation.
While I can't answer those "all so important" questions, I can tell you one thing this new year will bring in. It will bring in a year where over 1.3 million of your brothers and sisters will not ever get a chance to see the ball drop in 2009 and the years to come.
Every day around the nation, men and women will walk into buildings with their precious baby, God's heritage, and leave a few hours later with their child dead. Every day almost 4,000 times a day little hearts will cease to beat. Geraldo won't be there. Greta won't be there. Anderson won't be there.
Who will be there?
Will the media be there? Maybe to show the world how horrible it is that a few Christians have the guts to be there and stand up for these babies and offer hope and love to women going in.
Will the police be there? Maybe to arrest those Christians who have the audacity to practice their first amendment rights.
Will our newly elected president be there? Not likely, although they will surely have an opinion on what is going on and then do nothing about it once they are in office.
Will the church be there? A few, and I mean a few faithful believers will be there. Of course, if it was a potluck we would probably see thousands there at least until the potato salad was gone.
So as we enter into this 35th year of abortion in America, where will you be? What will be important to America? Will America take as much time in standing up for the babies as we do in voting for our favorite American Idol contestant? Will we spend as much time talking about what we can do to bring an end to child killing as we do talking about whether Britney is really too fat, and in need of some psychiatric help before she makes her comeback?
I know where we will be. Stand True is more committed than ever to reach out to this nation with the hope of Christ and the message of life. Will you join us? Will you take a stand with us and make a difference as we challenge the culture of death and shine the light of Christ to this lost world?
For Christ I stand,Bryan Kemper
Last Saturday I went to Aurora, IL to speak at a rally and pray at the new Planned Parenthood "super center" that was opened there recently. Aurora used to be known as the town from Wayne's World, I know that is how I had heard of it. These days it is much more known for the battle between Planned Parenthood and the citizens of Aurora. Planned Parenthood came into town in a very stealth manner as they broke zoning laws and hid what they were from the community until it was to late for anyone to stop them. Or so they thought.
The community is in an uproar over this new "super center" abortion mill. I know super center is a term you probably are more familiar with when talking about a Wal-Mart, but that is exactly what you think when you pull up to this new killing center. I had heard it was big, but when I drove up to it I was in shock: this place was enormous.
I was invited to speak to the community that had been praying there for over two months trying to keep the Planned Parenthood center from opening in their town. The community was successful for two weeks after the original opening date, until the mayor stepped in and ignored all the violations and allowed them to start killing precious little babies there.
When I got there I took some time to walk around the neighborhood and see all the amazing people taking a stand for life. It was amazing to see hundreds, maybe a thousand people peacefully protesting Planned Parenthood. The ally way into the entrance was lined with people praying and counseling with the women going in. The sidewalk in front of the shopping center, away from the entrance was lined with hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds praying and holding signs that read "Planned Parenthood is bad for Aurora" There were teenagers lined up and down the street with pictures of precious little babies, showing the beauty of life. There were clergy from many of the local churches standing in the cold with their congregations as they voiced their concern for their community.
I walked down the side of the building where a group of women were praying as their children sat on the sidewalk with chalk. I started to read what the children were writing and it warmed my heart. The kids were writing prayers and messages to people walking by. They were writing about how Jesus loved the little babies that were going to die and wanted them to live. I walked down the road and noticed one little girl who had proclaimed in pink chalk. "God will close this place".
I sat and watched her as I realized that in her heart she believed this 100%. There was no question about it, she knew that God was bigger than Planned Parenthood and He was going to close this killing center down. She had faith like I wish I could have some times. She did not despair, she just knew that through Christ we would win this battle.
I began to think about what I was going to share with everyone at the rally and I remembered something from my childhood. I remember sitting down to watch the mini-series on television called Roots. It was a mini-series about the times of slavery in the United States. I remembered wondering to myself, if I had been alive in a time when my fellow human persons were treated like a piece of property, would I stand up?
We don't have to wonder what we would have down, we do live in a time like that. This time instead of the color of your skin making you a non-person, it is the your age for the first nine months of your life. We have lived for the last thirty five years in a time when our fellow human person is treated as nothing more than a parasite and can be discarded for any reason whatsoever.
While I am so excited to see the amazing reaction by and dedication of the citizens and churches of Aurora, IL. I am saddened by the non-action of the citizens and churches of so many other cities where 4,000 babies are losing their lives each day. I am heartbroken as people have given up and think it is a losing battle. I truly can't understand how we have lost that faith and trust in our God as we have grown up and become "sensible" adults that live in reality.
The reality is, our God is bigger than the abortion industry and through Him we can win this battle. Our God is more powerful than the nine judges who sit on the court that claims to be supreme. Our God has promised us that we "can do all things through Christ who strengthens us." Philippines 4:13
I believe that if the Church of Jesus Christ would stand up, peacefully, lovingly, compassionately and boldly, we will see an end to child killing in America. I believe if we take our faith to the streets and in front of the places where they need the Gospel of Christ, we will see God move in a powerful way. I believe what that beautiful little girl chalked on the sidewalk in Aurora, IL-God will close this place..
Do you believe?
For Christ I stand,Bryan Kemper
Unfortunately, many times that is not the case when we are talking about ministry for issues like pro-life, homosexuality and other hot button topics. I have seen so much anger, self righteous attitudes and outright hatred in these areas.
Over the last year I have had an abundance of experiences where I saw angry anti-abortion behavior chosen over loving compassionate pro-life action. I have gone to abortion mills to pray and reach out to the women only to find them being screamed at, ridiculed, insulted and
mocked by anti-abortion activists.
At a pro-life conference I listened to a keynote speaker tell the audience that we need to torture the feminists and pro-aborts. Never once did I here anything about loving them or sharing the truth about our only Hope, Jesus Christ.
In a recent brochure I read about an anti-abortion event. It talked about our duty to make life a living hell for the other side. Since when is it our job to convict people? The last time I checked that was the job of the Holy Spirit.
We as Christians are called to spread the Gospel of Christ and to be a voice for the innocent children who are being killed 4,000 times a day from surgical abortion.
Mark 16:15 "And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.'"
Proverbs 24:10-12 "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, 'Surely we did not know this,' Does not He who weighs the heart consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?"
While we must be a voice for the children, that voice must be a voice of Love. While we want those who are taking part in the killing of children to be convicted of their sin, we must share the truth to them in Love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-6 "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth...." (You should really read the whole chapter.)
Before I found the Hope of Christ and His Salvation, I was an evil, sinful person who lived a life of total debauchery. I was often preached at and told how evil I was and how I was going to burn in hell. I was ridiculed and looked down upon by so many religious zealots that only told me of my sin and never shared the Hope and Grace of Christ.
In 1987, that all changed when I overdosed and ended up in a hospital close to death. A doctor in that hospital took me outside and shared with me the Love of Christ and His Grace and Mercy. He told me that there was hope for me and that even though I lived this life in total disregard of anything other than my own selfish pleasure, Christ would wipe all of that clean and give me a new life.
One week later God lifted me out of that horrible pit of sin and debauchery I was living in and set my feet upon the Rock, Jesus Christ. He gave me a new life, and forgave me of all my sins.
Psalm 40:1-3 "I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth? Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD.
Stand True is committed to spreading the Gospel of Christ and restoring personhood to every single person from fertilization to natural death.
We are committed to seeing an end to the killing of innocent baby boys and girls every day.
We want the abortion mills to be closed and the evil practice of abortion to be stopped.
We are also committed to achieving these goals in Love.
We will still go to the abortion mills to be a voice for those who are dying horrible deaths there. But we will treat the abortion mill like a mission field rather than a protest zone. Not only do we want to see babies lives saved, we want to see hearts changed and souls saved.
For Christ I stand,
One hundred and fifty years ago, nine men sat upon a bench that was designed to bring equal justice under law to all Americans and disgraced their office. They lifted themselves above God Almighty and declared that Black people were not fully human. This atrocity is something we teach in our schools as one of the darkest moments in American history.
Thirty- four years ago, nine men sat upon a bench that was designed to bring equal justice under law to all Americans and disgraced their office. They lifted themselves above God Almighty and declared that pre-born babies were not fully human. This atrocity is something we teach in our schools as one of the greatest moments in American history.
These two devastating acts ushered in two very dark and tragic chapters of American history. These decisions have been responsible for the death of millions of Americans and have brought shame on our nation. One of these chapters was brought to a close long ago, while the other is still open and still stains our nation’s streets with the blood of innocents.
So here we are thirty- two years later and still 4,400 babies are killed every day in our country. That is 1,500,000 little baby boys and girls taken from the safety of their mother’s womb every year in the name of choice.
It is hard to imagine these numbers sometimes. They just seem so unreal. Let’s look at a recent event that has caused the whole world to react. The tsunamis in southern Asia claimed over 140,000 lives in one day. The devastation there has brought an outpouring of humanitarian relief and aid that is unlike anything this world has probably ever seen.
140,000 lives lost. That is equal to about 35 days of abortion. That would be about 11 tsunamis hitting America with equal loss of life every year. We would have had to have over 350 tsunamis hit our shores since January 22, 1973, all with equal loss of life to match how many children have been killed by surgical abortion alone.
Where is the outpouring of humanitarian aid for this loss of life? Where are all the news stories about people who are trying to figure out ways to avoid this holocaust? Where are God’s people 34 years later? What are we waiting for?
If you think that voting for a conservative president will solve the problem, think again. If you think that appointing a couple of Supreme Court justices will overturn Roe v. Wade, just look back to Ronald Reagan. We have not done enough, and political victories mean nothing until hearts have changed.
As the people in Southern Asia fled from the tsunami and were rescued, as they clung to floating objects and trees, they were able to cry out for help. The children that will die today from abortion are not able to cry out. They need a voice.
Listen carefully. Can you hear it? Can you hear the deafening silence of 1/3 of this generation about to die? Will you be a voice for the voiceless? Will you break the silence?
For Christ I stand,
Today’s world of advertising will never tell you that. Girls, you will never hear an advertisement tell you how beautiful you already are. Instead, it will tell you how beautiful you will become if you do this or buy that. And, even more disappointing, that end result of “beauty” will have nothing to do with your true self; it will have everything to do with the exploitation of your sexuality. Guys, you will rarely see an advertisement that encourages you to be a respectable man who spends his whole life loving one woman, but you will see plenty that tell you success is measured in how many scantily clad females your deodorant can attract.
Are we really so surface? Is there not more to us than an insatiable sex drive?
In today’s media--commercials, music videos, movies, and television programs--the bottom line is that sex sells. Always. Why? Because, at some point, we actually started to believe that sex was a measure of success. Women think they have to be sexy, meaning constantly willing to have sex, just to be beautiful. And men think that they have to have sex, a lot of sex, to be worth something. And when you take those two ideas, and throw them into fashion and pop culture, you inevitably come up with styles and trends that depend upon the targeting of our sexuality. That which God created for mystery becomes a commodity, and something glorious becomes commonplace.
This is where modesty comes in. Modesty is the decision to reclaim our bodies and tell this society that we do not need to sell ourselves to one another just to feel worthy. Modesty is a girl’s decision to encourage a guy in purity by accentuating her love for Christ, not the curve of her hip. Modesty is a guy’s decision to prove himself a man by running after God, not by making himself physically available to every girl. Modesty is choosing to let your beauty speak of Love, not lust.
Choosing to be modest is not sentencing yourself to a life of baggy clothes and long dresses. That’s not what this is about. Modesty, quite simply, is daring to live a life submitted to God. It is choosing to live outside of the norm.
Are you daring enough to be modest?
Sarah Howell - email@example.com
You can order the Modesty Honors Beauty t-shirts at www.prolifeworld.com
Last night I was sitting on the couch with my 2 year old son after we came home from the gym. I was looking down at him and he looked up and said, "Daddy, I like apples." It's funny how such a simple, little statement can melt your heart as a parent. It was nothing profound, just a smile as he told me he liked apples.
I looked up at the television and saw what triggered that statement. It was a new game show called, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? They use apples on the set, and that is what Jaemison saw that made him tell me that he likes apples.
Now the premise of the show is that most adults can't answer simple questions that fifth graders can answer. If you can answer 11 first to fifth grade test questions you win a million dollars. It's hilarious to see college graduates not able to do simple math or answer english questions.
Now I know how real this is because I see it every day--adults not knowing simple truths that are obvious to children. I can take a set of fetal models or pictures of babies in the womb to any first or fifth grade class room in this country. I can ask the kids to identify what is in the picture, and they will tell me that it is a baby. I see it all summer as parents bring their kids to the booth and, when they see the fetal models, they say, "Baby, baby," as they try to reach down to pick one up.
Now you take these same models and pictures to a group of adults and you will get the most ridiculous answers to the same question: "a blob of tissues," "a potential life," "just a fetus." I have even heard them call the baby "a parasite" many times. It is sad that adults have to cloud a simple truth to justify a horrific action like abortion.
When it comes to something so simple as looking at a baby and knowing that it is a baby, we as a nation are obviously not smarter than a fifth grader. In fact we have killed over 1/3 of the fifth graders before they ever got a chance to go to school.
For Christ I stand,
Lately I have seen a lot of promotion for the "Invisible Children" film and projects. When I looked into it I found it to be amazing and was glad to see so many people willing to take a stand for these children. Anytime we see innocent children being hurt, used and killed we should stand up and be a voice.
I noticed that a lot of bands, individuals and organizations are getting involved to help bring the atrocities that are happening to these children to the light. People are willing to go the extra mile to make sure everyone knows about the plight of these poor children.
While I am in full support of the work being done for Invisible Children and would encourage everyone to take a look at the website, (www.invisiblechildren.com), I am somewhat confused.
I have approached many of these same people who are getting involved with Invisible Children about another horrible tragedy that sees thousands of little children brutally killed every day. I have told them about the over 4,000 little babies that are ripped from the protection of their mothers wombs on a daily basis in our own country. From many of these people I have heard things like:
I don't want to get involved with a political issue.
I know it is wrong but it is not for me to tell someone else what to do.
At least they won't have to grow up in this world.
Abortion is inevitable, so we might as well keep it safe and legal.
We don't know the parent's situation, maybe they can't afford a baby.
That is cool that you stand up, I just have other things I am called to do.
I don't want to judge anyone.
The fetus is not “really” alive yet.
We just need to talk about Jesus, instead of issues.
I can't deal with abortion, it depresses me.
I don't believe in legislating morality.
These are actual things I have heard from people, and there are so many more I can list.
The problem is that abortion is seen as controversial, and the Invisible Children project is not. For some reason Christians have developed an attitude that can't ever offend people so we stay away from things we call "controversial issues".
I say the only real controversy is that people who believe that every child is created by God and has value as a human person are silent. When we know that these children are human persons and we know that they are being slaughtered by the thousands every day in this nation, and we won't take a stand, that is controversial.
The very fact that we believe that God created the universe and sent His Son to die on the cross and that He is the only way to salvation is offensive. It offends people that we would say you can't earn your way to heaven, that Christ is the only true answer. It is offensive to say there is only one truth.
I would also say it is offensive to God that we would turn our backs on His precious little children because we don't want to be political. While there are many aspects to standing up for life that fall into the political arena, the systematic slaughter of over 50 million children since January 22, 1973 is not a political issue, it is a life and death issue.
Abortion is a hidden crime that takes place behind closed doors and we seem to want to keep it that way. Our silence has helped energize the abortion industry and helped them to steer their rhetoric to convince people that it is inevitable, so we might as well accept it.
I cannot and will not ever accept that the killing of an innocent child is inevitable. I cannot and will not ever say that we cannot make a change in this world and bring a stop to the holocaust that is killing over 1/3 of our generation. I cannot and will not ever believe that the killing of a child can be safe and should be legal.
If you think this is a pointless battle and that we can never win, I ask you, "How big is your God"? It amazes me some times that people think that we can't accomplish things. Through Christ we can accomplish anything. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
I know that this may make you feel uncomfortable and if you are one of those who has given an excuse as to why you can't take a stand or be a voice, it should. When people challenge society with things like the Invisible Children film it is meant to get us out of our comfort zones, and make us realize that we must take action.
Christ tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and when we know our neighbor is in danger we have an obligation to stand up. He taught us in the parable of the Good Samaritan that our neighbor is not just the person who lives next door. Our neighbor is our fellow human person. The priest and the rabbi walked by the man in the ditch and ignored the plight of their neighbor. The Good Samaritan stopped and loved his neighbor. He did not stop and ask God if he was called to a ditch ministry, he simply helped his neighbor because he knew we are all called to do so.
The Invisible Children are our neighbors and it is our duty to be a voice for them. The other invisible children, the ones who die by the thousands every day in America are also our neighbors and we have a duty to be a voice for them as well.
It is time we as believers realized the only true controversy about abortion is our silence. If we believe that the children in their mother's wombs are children, there is no excuse for silence. While the world may try to smother us with their rhetoric about "choice" we must hold firm to the truth. The truth is that God is the creator of every single human person, and He commands us not to commit murder.
I want you to think about your reaction to what happened on 911. Think about what went through your mind, what your feelings were when you saw the carnage of the attacks. Remember the overwhelming feelings you may have had that day. We as a nation saw thousands of people die in one day and we reacted. We poured our hearts out and did so much to help as we were confronted with a horrible evil. We saw the truth and had to do something about it
More people die from abortion every day in this nation, than the number of people who died in the attacks on 911. Why are we not overwhelmed by this evil? Why is it not registering that what takes place in abortion mills around the country is not just as horrific? Maybe it is because we have allowed it to remain invisible.
"If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small. Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, 'Surely we did not know this,' Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?" (Prov. 24:10-12)
For Christ I stand,
I have not been able to get the sermon from church out of my mind all week, which is really a good thing. My pastor preached on Philippians 1:21: “For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I really can’t get that verse out of my mind, it is so profound.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge Green Bay Packers fan; you will find me in my Brett Favre jersey whenever the Packers are playing. Such was the case last night as I sat down for a great Monday Night Football match up between the Packers and the Rams. This was not just any ordinary Monday night game; this was Brett’s 200th consecutive start, which is a major feat.
Throughout the game there was a lot of talk about what Brett has accomplished and what kind of a guy he is. They talked a lot about how he is dealing with his wife’s cancer, how he spends time with Make a Wish Foundation kids and just what an all around great guy he is. He is married to his high school sweetheart, he is an amazing father and husband and he is one of the greatest football players of all time. They always talk about how amazing his football feats are, how no one can pass like Brett, no one loves football like Brett or how he simply lives for football.
Now, I love Brett Favre and from what I have heard, he is a Christian, but that is not what I heard about last night. From what the announcers were saying, you would think for Brett, to live is football. I am not saying that is the truth in his case, but that is what he is probably going to be remembered for. That is so unfortunate.
I really sat thinking about my kids, and the people I work with and all the people that follow Stand True and the work we do. I thought about some of the cool things I have accomplished in my life and things that people know me for. I asked myself, what do I live for? Do I live for Stand True? Do I live for traveling around the country giving speeches and doing pro-life work? Or do I live for Christ? If there were TV announcers talking about my life, what would they say?
For years my friends and people I know through work have referred to me as many things. I can’t tell you how many times I would walk through a concert or festival in the past and hear people say, “Hey, that was the Rock For Life guy.” People would refer to me as the “pro-life guy.” I was known for the guy who was on Politically Incorrect, or the guy they saw on TVU. None of these things are bad things, especially if God uses them to reach people.
I began to look at my work with Stand True and how important it is that we put Christ first in what we are doing. I don’t want it to ever be said that “for Bryan to live is pro-life.” That would be worthless to me. I know I am called to do pro-life work, but that work must be Christ-centered.
The pro-life message is not a message about scientific facts and taking a stand against procedures. The pro-life message is not just “compatible” with Christ; it is absolutely, 100 % dependant on the truth and Gospel of Christ. Christ is the foundation of everything, and if we try to build on any other foundation we will fail. God is the creator of every single life and He gives every human person a soul, which is why abortion is wrong. It is wrong because we are destroying God’s precious life, His heritage.
The pro-life message must contain the Gospel of Christ, because that is where life truly comes from. We can stop a woman from having an abortion, but what about her soul? We can save a baby’s life, but what about his soul? What good are all our efforts, if they are not grounded and centered on the truth? In all honesty, we will never save a single life, Christ will. We will never save a single baby, God will. In all we do, we are able to do it because of Christ.
“For me, to live is Christ”; wow, what a powerful and demanding verse. Like I said, I cannot get that verse out of my mind and I hope I never do. If for some odd reason there is ever a highlight reel on my life like I saw for Brett, I hope it ends with one thing, “for Bryan, to live was Christ.” When people talk about Stand True, I pray they say, “For Christ they stood.”
For Christ I stand,
Mark 12:30 “and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. 31 The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
Is your neighbor just the person who lives next door to you or the person that lives across the street?
In Luke 10, a lawyer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus answered with the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus explained that a Levite and a Priest traveling down a road both saw a man in need in a ditch and just passed him up, not offering any help. Then a Samaritan saw him and helped him. The Samaritan loved his neighbor as himself.
Who is our neighbor? I would say anyone in our path that is in need is our neighbor. If we see a homeless man and we give him food, we are loving our neighbor, even if this man does not live next door to us, he is our neighbor.
So let us ask ourselves how we would want someone to love us if we were in danger. If our life was in danger and our neighbor knew about it, would we not want them to help us? Would we expect someone to speak up for us if we were sentenced to death unjustly? That would be expecting others to live by this command to love their neighbor as themselves.
I have heard that verse thousands of times in my life, taught in church and at youth groups and many places. It seems to be a favorite verse to be used by so many to teach us how we should treat others, and I agree it is a great teaching verse.
I would say, however, that for the most part the Christian church had ignored this verse when it comes to children in the womb unjustly sentenced to death by abortion. It is so easy to get people to volunteer for things like feeding the homeless or donating to causes like this. But when I talk about standing up for our neighbor in the womb, the comment I get so often is “I am not called to that”. I wonder, did the Good Samaritan stop and ask God if he was “called to a ditch ministry”? Does this verse say love your neighbor if you are called to that particular need?
Every day in this country over 4,400 of our neighbors face a horrific and unjust death sentence. Every day over 4,400 of our neighbors are lying in a ditch so to speak and have no one to stop and help them, or do they? I say they do have some one to stop and help them; it is just that we do not stop.
Is there an abortion mill close to you? Do you maybe pass one on your way to work every day? Do you ever stop to think what is really going on in that building? Does it register with you that inside that building your neighbor is about to brutally butchered? For the most part we do not want to think about this because it makes us sick. We would never want to actually see the results of what goes on in that building because it is too disturbing or gross. Do we just pass by thinking “what a shame”?
What if it was you in that building and some man or woman was about to tear you limb from limb? What if your neighbors were passing by and knew what was going on, yet just passed on by because they were too busy, or did not want to think about what was going to happen to you? That seems ridiculous to think about. Or what if it was a daycare center and we saw a man walking in with a butcher knife; could actually see him walking towards the kids on the playground? I would bet money that you would stop and do whatever you could to prevent him from reaching those little innocent children.
Unfortunately, the children entering into the abortion mill are not seen and we don’t get that emotional bond that we would if we saw them playing on a playground. The fact is that abortion has become so political that we are clouded as to what is really going on in that building. If we truly saw it for what it actually is, I do not believe that it would still be legal 30 years after Roe vs. Wade.
So I ask you, who is your neighbor? Are you willing to love your neighbor as yourself? Are you willing to live by what Christ taught us in this parable?
There are so many ways to love our neighbor and be a voice for those who do not have one. Here are a few suggestions on how you can love you neighbor.
1. Adopt an abortion mill to pray for. Go to www.standtrue.com and click on the Prayer for Abortion Provider Project and follow the steps.
2. Volunteer at a local Crisis Pregnancy Center.
3. Sidewalk counsel and pray at your local abortion mill.
4. Have a pro-life rally in your area to get people involved. (We would love to help you with that, and can provide a speaker for you.)
5. Organize a baby items drive at your church for your local crisis pregnancy center.
6. Start a Stand True chapter in your area and spread the pro-life message.
7. Distribute pro-life literature and educate your friends.
8. Get educated on all pro-life issues so you can take a strong stand.
9. Cyber-activism, spread the message on the internet through chat rooms, message boards, e-mail forwards... You can use anything from the Stand True website or e-mails to get the message out.
10. Donate. Stand True is starting from scratch and needs to raise funds to continue our work. A donation of any size will help us.
It does not matter which of these you choose to do or if you choose to stand up in another way, as long as you stand up. Today 4,400 of our neighbors are going to die a tragic death, let’s love them as ourselves.
For Christ I stand,