Monday, July 27, 2009
This past weekend I went to my 30th High School Reunion in Charlotte. Fun stuff! I spent the night Saturday, and went to church with my friends Sunday morning, where I was blessed with being able to sit through the same sermon...twice! The sermon was on the Fear of Rejection, and we all know about that, and how we are taught not to fear man over God, so we can have much more confidence in witnessing. But I learned a couple of different things also, and was given more clarity in an area that I had not really focused on before. The area where all of us have rejected God. We have all gone astray. Our sinful natures are so rebellious there is not one person that deserves salvation. God owes us nothing. If everyone died and went to hell it would be absolutely just punishment for our sins. It seems nowadays we live in a world of entitlement.(that would include myself) For some reason we believe happiness and prosperity is our "right". We can see it everywhere, and that is what keeps people going, the pursuit of happiness. Going from one thing to another, or one person to another. It got me to thinking about how good God truly is. For Him to come die on the Cross for people who would never, ever turn to Him without the Holy Spirit to soften and change their rebellious hearts. He alone is good. It made me realize how dependent I am on Him for everything. From the outside to the inside. Even changing my heart, for my heart "is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?" Jer. 17:9 I mean if we can change our hearts and cry out to Him without the Holy Spirit, why do we need Him? We are Holy in and of ourselves, which is absolutely hilarious! The other thing I really saw was how we can reject someones behavior, but not them as a person. The Lord didn't reject people, they rejected Him. I saw where we are not to reject people either. We may not like some of their actions, or what they stand for, but the Lord could have plans to save them, and then what? We decide to like them because they are saved? The Lord saved us while we were sinners! We didn't get Holy and then the Lord save us! This has been very freeing for me, because growing up I was rejected as a person because of my behaviors, causing me to do the same to others. Now, I understand how disagreeing with an area of a persons life doesn't mean I have to reject the entire person! The Lord knows I have some pretty bad areas in my own life that need work on! I am hoping this will not only help me with those people around me, but also with those in the Pro Choice movement that are so blinded and lost. I definitely don't like what they are doing with the killing of babies, but I also know that tomorrow the Lord could open their eyes and save them. Giving them the very same mercy and grace He extended to me, who didn't deserve salvation at all, because I absolutely, one hundred percent, rebelled against Him. He alone is Good. Pam
Thursday, July 16, 2009
19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
The 1925 Scopes Trial (Monkey Trial) as defined by Wikipedia:
The "Scopes Trial" (State v. Scopes, Scopes v. State, 152 Tenn. 424, 278 S.W. 57 (Tenn. 1926), often called the "Scopes Monkey Trial") was an American legal case that tested the Butler Act, which made it unlawful, in any state-funded educational establishment in Tennessee, "to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals." This is often interpreted as meaning that the law forbade the teaching of any aspect of the theory of evolution. The case was a critical turning point in the United States' creation-evolution controversy.
After the passage of the Butler Act, the American Civil Liberties Union financed a test case, where a Dayton, Tennessee high school teacher named John Scopes intentionally violated the Act. Scopes was charged on May 5, 1925 with teaching evolution from a chapter in a textbook which showed ideas developed from those set out in Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species. The trial pitted two of the pre-eminent legal minds of the time against one another; three-time presidential candidate, Congressman and former Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan headed up the prosecution and prominent trial attorney Clarence Darrow spoke for the defense. The famous trial was made infamous by the fictionalized accounts given in the 1955 play Inherit the Wind, the 1960 film adaptation, and the 1965, 1988, and 1999 television films of the same title.
I went to a conference not long ago where this case was highlighted as the beginning of the church separating itself from culture. If you haven't heard of this case before click here to read a brief summary. Basically, what this case did was bring the teaching of evolution into the classroom, where it had once been banned. The other side was it caused Christians to go inside their churches and themselves. The church is declining in America and especially my own denomination, the Southern Baptist. Just google Southern Baptist Decline. We are even lacking in our missions giving, which is an area we are usually very "proud" of. I believe next month we are taking up a special offering to try and make up the difference. At the conference I attended, there was a debate where the President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Danny Aiken, was participating. The debate had to do with the Culture and the Church, basically who is influencing who? As we can see from this last Presidential election, it is quite obvious that the culture has come to have more influence over the church, than the church over culture. Why is this you may ask? One of the biggest reasons is because the church quit going. We decided to huddle in our churches and small groups, and play it safe. We decided we didn't want to be around sinners that were smelly, and drank, and cussed, and did things we didn't think were right, and believed things different than us. We only wanted to be around "good" people. We kept our "christianity" hid, and didn't really talk to any of those people "out there". Now, here it is 2009, and basically christians are laughed at, or ignored. We have no authority in culture, and our churches that look exactly like the world, do not impress the world. At this conference I attended there were many, many young people in their 20's and 30's. The one major theme of the entire conference was repentance. Repent, repent, repent. Repent of your self righteousness, and your desire for your own lives and comfort. Go out, go out, go out. Jesus went to the sinners. He went to the smelly people, the ugly people, the major messed up people. One Pastor who spoke said his congregation had gone to Durham County's WORSE elementary school that was about to close, and volunteered to work in the school to assist the teachers and students. Two years later it was the top elementary school. They couldn't MENTION Jesus, but they loved like Jesus, and when it was over they gave GOD all the glory. That school was impressed. They saw Jesus through those people. They saw a body of believers that served. That church of believers didn't just talk about Jesus and say verses, they lived it. They went out in the culture and showed people the love of Jesus. They influenced people by serving and loving them like Jesus. We have to go my friends, because that is what Jesus calls us to do. He did it for us. Pam
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
by Amy Sobie
July 6, 2009
LifeNews.com Note: Amy Sobie is the editor of The Post-Abortion Review, a quarterly publication of the Elliot Institute. The organization is a widely respected leader in research and analysis of medical, mental health and other complications resulting from abortions.
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A new review of studies examining various types of prenatal loss and the effects on subsequent parenting has concluded that abortion may be "particularly damaging to the parenting process."
The article, published in Current Women's Health Reviews, looked at already published studies on miscarriage, induced abortion and adoption. The author, Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University, focused on psychological reactions to these various types of loss and discussed how they might affect a mother's relationship with children born after the pregnancy loss.1
It is now known that women usually begin feeling maternal attachment in the early stages of pregnancy. The paper notes that despite the increased responsibilities and stress involved in raising children, "numerous studies have documented positive psychological characteristics associated with motherhood including increases in life satisfaction, self-esteem, empathy, restraint, flexibility and resourcefulness in coping, and assertiveness." Losing a child before or at birth, for any reason, however, "can be a profound source of suffering."
While all forms of pregnancy loss can cause emotional distress that can impact future parenting, the available research indicates that emotional responses after induced abortion are more likely to go unresolved and to persist for a longer time period.
While "society understands that women who miscarry or relinquish a child through adoption may experience sadness and grief; however, grief after socially sanctioned because abortion is not acknowledged by our culture as a human death experience," and help to deal with the experience is usually not offered.
"In many cases, women may suppress thoughts and emotions related to an abortion, because they have not been able to process and or/openly express negative emotions," Coleman wrote, adding that the lack of acknowledgement and support after abortion gives the "covert message that others would rather not hear what we have to say, and this makes it difficult to even identify our reactions to our losses."
Finding help and support after abortion is further hampered by the belief that, unlike other forms of pregnancy loss, abortion is optional and therefore women experience less distress afterwards. However, having an abortion is "sometimes quite inconsistent with the woman's true desires" (one survey found that 64 percent of American women who had abortions reported feeling pressured to abort), and many women, especially those who feel conflicted or didn't want the abortion, do feel emotional distress afterwards.
"The best evidence regarding negative effects of abortion indicates that 20-30 percent will experience serious psychological problems," Coleman wrote. "With 1.3 million U.S. abortions performed annually, a minimum of 130,000 new cases of abortion-related mental health problems appear each year."
And while abortion advocates frequently argue that abortion is better than carrying an unplanned pregnancy to term, the evidence suggests otherwise.
Studies of women with unplanned pregnancies found that women who aborted had higher risks of depression, substance abuse and anxiety, and teens who aborted an unintended pregnancy were more likely to experience negative mental health outcomes than their peers who carried to term. Further, a recent New Zealand study led by a pro-choice researcher found no evidence that abortion provided any mental health benefits to women even in cases of unplanned pregnancy.
How Abortion Can Impact Parenting
The paper described a number of ways that a previous abortion can effect a woman's relationship with her living children:
Increased depression and anxiety. Abortion has been linked to higher rates of maternal depression and anxiety before and after birth, which may effect the woman's relationship with her children. In addition, depression is a common predictor for child abuse.
Sleep disorders and disturbances. Women who have had an abortion are more likely to experience sleep disorders compared to women who carry to term, and one survey found that many women attributed the sleep disorders to a past abortion. These sleep disturbances "could render the high energy demands of parenting more complicated."
Substance abuse. Studies have found that women who had an abortion were more likely to engage in substance abuse, and also more likely to smoke or use drugs or alcohol while pregnant. Mothers who abuse drugs or alcohol are more likely to "engage in authoritarian and punitive parenting practices," and parental substance abuse increases the risk that the children will suffer abuse or neglect.
Child abuse. Abortion has been associated with lower emotional support for one's children and with a higher risk of child abuse and neglect.
Abortion has also been linked to higher rates of suicide and to a wide range of mental health disorders. Coleman was also the lead author of a study published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, which found that the children of women who had abortions have less supportive home environments and more behavioral problems than children of women without a history of abortion.2
While the review noted that not every woman may experience psychological problems after abortion that will carry over into their personal relationships, "some women will have carryover effects into the parenting realm." The paper pointed to a need for better screening and awareness of possible psychological problems after miscarriage, adoption and abortion, and for more research to examine the effects of abortion.
Learn more: For more information on the impact of abortion, download and share our free "Recent Research" fact sheet.