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In speaking about the world situation before His return, Jesus said “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Luke 21:32-33). But what did he mean in saying this? He also said “watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkennes and cares of this llife, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap” Luke 21:34).
Are you ready for the return of Christ? And, does it really matter if Christ returns tomorrow or not for many, many years? Once you listen to this message, you’ll realize that the timing of Jesus’ return, while important, is not nearly as important as how we live until that time. Listen carefully and share it with your friends, so that Christ’s return doesn’t come upon you, or your friends and family, suddenly like a trap.
Absurd is the new normal. What kind of country do we live in where the people of Planned Parenthood, who were filmed boasting about selling the body parts of aborted babies, are cleared – but the people who filmed them are indicted? What has happened to us – and how can we recover? I really don’t care about stirring the pot and creating “water cooler” talk – and neither should you if you are really following Jesus Christ. What we should care about is doing something productive, to act as salt and light in a distasteful, dark world. So, this blog will not only address the problem, but also give you simple, practical, powerful things you can do this week to make a difference.
(In case you’ve been living with your head in the sand, the actual videos with proof of what Planned Parenthood did are below).
Can a man or woman who professes true love for Jesus Christturn the other cheek when the lives of innocents are not only being taken, but their body parts are also being harvested and sold to others? Do we even care about society any longer? Consider Isaiah 5:20 (NIV):
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”
Consider Proverbs 24:11-12:
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,and will he not repay man according to his work?
HERE ARE SIMPLE, POWERFUL, PRACTICAL THINGS YOU CAN DO THIS WEEK TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Talks is cheap, actions are priceless. Instead of simply disagreeing with what Planned Parenthood did (and may still be doing with perhaps greater stealthiness), you can do FAR more. In fact, you are called to do this as a Christ-follower. Here are practical, powerful things you can do:
What we in the Church keep forgetting is that 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 is an “IF-THEN” statement.Revival and spiritual awakening are not things that come from thin air. They are the result of God’s people becoming so sick and tired of the absurdity of resisting Him and being complacent that we start doing what we were supposed to do in the first place:follow and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. REMEMBER, LOVE IS A VERB.
Here’s the infamous first video of a Planned Parenthood executive talking about selling body parts of aborted babies:
Here’s yet more footage that will make it clear baby body parts from abortions have indeed been sold:
More evidence is found here:
If you’re not yet convinced, please visit The Center for Medical Progress web site. If that doesn’t convince you, you might want to make an appointment with a cardiologist. He will need to make a thorough examination of your heart. Thereafter, consider contacting Dr. Ben Carson for a referral for a brain specialist.
The following is courtesy of David Daleiden, from The Center for Medical Progress. He can be reached at email@example.com, (949) 734-0859.
LOS ANGELES, July 14, 2015 — New undercover footage shows Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describing how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted fetuses, and admitting she uses partial-birth abortions to supply intact body parts.
In the video, Nucatola is at a business lunch with actors posing as buyers from a human biologics company. As head of PPFA’s Medical Services department, Nucatola has overseen medical practice at all Planned Parenthood locations since 2009. She also trains new Planned Parenthood abortion doctors and performs abortions herself at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles up to 24 weeks.
The buyers ask Nucatola, “How much of a difference can that actually make, if you know kind of what’s expected, or what we need?”
“It makes a huge difference,” Nucatola replies. “I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps. The kind of rate-limiting step of the procedure is calvarium. Calvarium—the head—is basically the biggest part.”
Nucatola explains, “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
“And with the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex,” she continues. “So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last step, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.”
Using ultrasound guidance to manipulate the fetus from vertex to breech orientation before intact extraction is the hallmark of the illegal partial-birth abortion procedure (18 U.S.C. 1531).
Nucatola also reveals that Planned Parenthood’s national office is concerned about their liability for the sale of fetal parts: “At the national office, we have a Litigation and Law Department which just really doesn’t want us to be the middle people for this issue right now,” she says. “But I will tell you that behind closed doors these conversations are happening with the affiliates.”
The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2).
A separate clip shows Planned Parenthood President and CEO Cecile Richards praising Nucatola’s work to facilitate connections for fetal tissue collection. “Oh good,” Richards says when told about Nucatola’s support for fetal tissue collection at Planned Parenthood, “Great. She’s amazing.”
The video is the first by The Center for Medical Progress in its “Human Capital” series, a nearly 3-year-long investigative journalism study of Planned Parenthood’s illegal trafficking of aborted fetal parts. Project Lead David Daleiden notes: “Planned Parenthood’s criminal conspiracy to make money off of aborted baby parts reaches to the very highest levels of their organization. Elected officials must listen to the public outcry for Planned Parenthood to be held accountable to the law and for our tax dollars to stop underwriting this barbaric abortion business.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ABSURDITY BECOMING THE NEW NORMAL? WHAT ARE YOU DOING, AS A CHRIST-FOLLOWER, TO BE SALT AND LIGHT AND HELP TURN THINGS AROUND? HOW HUNGRY ARE YOU FOR THE TRUE REVIVAL AND SPIRITUAL AWAKENING THAT WE DO DESPERATELY NEED?
SNOW HAS A WAY OF DOING SOMETHING MAGICAL TO YOU. I’m not talking about snow flurries. I’m talking about a LOT of snow. The nearly 30 INCHES that fell the day before yesterday – all in one massive purge – left our family and many others completely snowbound, unable to go anywhere or do anything other than shovel snow, recover, make a toboggan run, eat, spend time together and repeat. But the snow has also has given me ample time to be with no one other than myself. Herein lies the problem. There are painful joys in being snowbound.
Sometimes I like myself. At times, I even like myself a bit too much. Then there are other times when I don’t like myself at all.
“A sail is a poor excuse for travel if the wind is wanting.”
Being snowbound means the usual ability to get out and move about is shut down. Completely. Never mind the milk and eggs, honey. This means I will definitely run out of distractions – those things that subtly take me away from living the kind of life for which I was designed, and destined, by the Almighty. With all this snow and time on my hands, I have lots of distraction-free time to get back to the business of life – the only one I’ll ever get.
“As a Christ-follower, I must wrestle – really wrestle – with the culture of self. And, I must wrestle it to the point of daily extinction. If confession is good for the soul, I’m now immersed in a lake of God-inspired goodness.”
I tend to think too much of myself. Accordingly, I get in my own way. Actually, I get in God’s way a great deal, as well. Who needs the devil when we can be our own worst enemy? It’s easy to do in a culture where each of us is encouraged to be center stage. But culture doesn’t make it right. As a Christ-follower, I must wrestle – really wrestle – with the culture of self. And, I must wrestle it to the point of daily extinction. A Christ-follower is to run counter culture.
Do I truly care about my two boys – to the point of being emotionally engaged in the interests, hurts, fears and thrills that eleven and nine-year old boys experience? Do I care to the point of being so engaged that it will make a difference for them when they become young men, middle-aged men and perhaps even old men, long after I’m gone?
What about my wife, who sacrificially gives herself to both of them, and me, in ways that only a wife and mother can appreciate? Do I truly care for her at an emotional level, and put myself aside so that she can be a lot more successful, in ways that would not be possible if I were not around?
“A reflective, repentant, renewed and refocused life is a powerful weapon in the war against mediocrity.”
Though solitude and self-examination can be painful, they can also be LIFE-savers. I’ve found that it’s leading me to the feet of Jesus in a bit of confession. Well, let me be brutally honest – a lot of confession. If confession is good for the soul, I’m now immersed in a lake of God-inspired goodness. It’s agonizingly beautiful. Paul’s advice to the Corinthians so many centuries ago is so excellent for us in these hectic times:
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” – 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV, italics mine)
What about my church? It’s so frighteningly easy to go through the motions of ministry without being moved by the Holy Spirit.It concerns me so much that with nearly each passing year I reach the conclusion that this year will be the unique year. Thiswill be the year when I truly begin walking with God, listening to Him, surrendering fully, and allowing Him to carry me along with the ease at which Philip was blown into the path of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40). And then the snow comes, and I am reminded of how much the sail of my life needs the wind of the Holy Spirit. A sail is a poor excuse for travel if the wind is wanting.
“It’s so frighteningly easy to go through the motions of ministry without being moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Yes, ma’am, when a soul has nowhere to go but within, a soul sure does think. There are so many distractions I’ve not only allowed in my life, but also welcomed, that I have forgotten the painful joys that can only be found in solitude. Solitude helps us reflect, repent, renew and refocus. A reflective, repentant, renewed and refocused life is a powerful weapon in the war against mediocrity. I’m sure this is not only true for me, but also for you. It’s true for all of us.
We could all use a bit more solitude and self-examination. The interruptions of life can be welcome interruptions if we see them as God-given opportunities to get back to what LIFE – the only one we’ll ever have this side of eternity – is all about.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? HOW’S THAT SOLITUDE THING GOING? HAVE YOU WELCOMED DISTRACTIONS INTO YOUR LIFE TO SUCH A DEGREE THAT YOU’VE SETTLED FOR A LIFE THAT’S FAR BELOW YOUR GREATEST POTENTIAL – AND GOD’S GREATEST DESIRE?
On January 22, 1973, the SCOTUS decided to legalize abortion in the U.S.A.* Here are some compassionate, Christ-centered thoughts about life that I hope will help you – no matter where you stand on the issue. My prayer is that my words not only make you think, but also facilitate healing and help you act in God-honoring ways. Are you ready? Let’s roll . . .
1. LIFE OUTSIDE OF EDEN IS HARD, AND NONE OF US SEES THINGS AS CLEARLY AS WE ONE DAY WILL. We spend much of our lives trying to recreate the paradise we lost. It’s an impossible feat for mere mortals – but it will be done one day by the Immortal One, when Christ returns and establishes a new heavens and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). In the meantime, we see things through a murky mirror (1 Corinthians 13:12). None of us has the full, complete understanding of God, His love, His beauty and His holiness that we will one day have. In light of this, we could all use a lot more patience when we talk with each other, even over issues that are hot topics, like abortion.
2. ON ONE HAND, A WOMAN DOES INDEED HAVE A RIGHT – AND A RESPONSIBILITY – TO CARE FOR HER OWN BODY. There is something beautifully sacred about the human body – because it unlike every other creature. It is created in the very image of God (Genesis 1:27-31). This means that the body was created exactly as He wanted it to be. When God made the first humans, He was not surprised with the outcome. It fit the bill, accomplished His purpose and hit the bulls-eye. It was, and is, “good.” If a woman doesn’t care about her own body, and doesn’t see it as her primary responsibility to protect it, she doesn’t understand in whose image she has been created. In light of this, a woman is right to tell others to keep their hands off her body, so that the sacredness of what God created cannot be damaged.
3. ON THE OTHER HAND, NEITHER MEN NOR WOMEN HAVE AN EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO THEIR OWN BODIES. 1 Corinthians 6:19:20 are life-altering verses that help us understand that there is Someone who is the Ultimate right to the body of each and every one of us:
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (NIV, my italics)
In light of this, we must let this reality sink in: what we do with our bodies matters to more than just ourselves. It matters to God, the One to Whom we will ultimate give an account. Consider 2 Corinthians 5:10:
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (NIV, my italics)
4. THE BIBLE DOES INDEED SAY, VERY CLEARLY, IN BLACK AND WHITE, THAT AN UNBORN CHILD IS ALIVE, HUMAN AND PRECIOUS. Consider Psalm 139:13:
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” (ESV, italics mine)
Consider, also, Jeremiah 1:5:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you . . .” (ESV, italics mine)
In case you are yet not convinced, consider Psalm 139:13-16:
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.” (ESV, italics mine)
“From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. (Psalm 22:10, NIV, italics mine)
And there is yet the famous passage pertaining to the response of John the Baptist – who was yet unborn – when Jesus’ soon-to-be mother, Mary, visited his mother, Elizabeth:
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:41-45, NIV, italics mine)
The truth is, there is not one Bible passage – anywhere – that suggests an unborn child is not precious to God and not alive. The overwhelming evidence doesn’t merely suggest this. It makes it impossible to make a biblical case otherwise. The only way one can make a case for an unborn child not being precious, alive and important is if we ignore what the Bible teaches. With this in mind, it does not mean we can resort to being insensitive when talking to those who disagree. This is why the following point is so very important . . .
5. REGARDLESS OF WHERE YOU ARE IN THE PRO-LIFE, PRO-CHOICE DEBATE, YOU CAN PROBABLY BE A LOT MORE CIVIL, A LOT MORE HUMBLE AND A LOT MORE LOVING IN THE WAYS YOU EXPRESS YOUR VIEWS. Consider these important, very real, facts:
a. Forgive: There are women who have had abortions who wish they could take their decision back. There are men who find themselves in the same boat, too. All the regret in the world cannot, however, reverse their decision. They need grace, mercy, compassion and friendship – from you. ABORTION IS NOT THE UNPARDONABLE SIN. If abortion is part of your past, forgiveness can be part of your future. This is true for anyone. And, for those of us who do not have abortion in our past, we must be compassionate, forgiving and courteous to those who are weighed down with guilt, helping them realize this tremendous, freeing truth found in Ephesians 4:32:
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (NIV)
b. Recognize: There are many people who simply don’t believe the Bible. And, there are many people who now believe the Bible, but at one time did not. It’s a spiritual thing, to understand the Bible. I remember, after coming to Christ at the age of 17, reading my Bible after several years of going to Catechism, and it seemed like I was reading an entirely new book. In fact, I was. There was nothing wrong with the Bible. There was something wrong with me. The reason I could finally understand it was because I became an entirely new creature. Consider 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (NIV). Another important passage to keep in mind is 2 Corinthians 4:4, which says, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (NIV).
c. Refrain: Arguing with people who are not open to having their thinking challenged is a waste of time. Spend your time empathizing and encouraging those with open minds to consider what the Bible teaches about life, abortion – and even life AFTER an abortion.
Remember: To err is human, to forgive, divine.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? CAN YOU BE MORE COMPASSIONATE, LOVING, KIND, FORGIVING AND COURTEOUS TO THOSE WHOSE VIEWS DIFFER FROM YOURS ABOUT WHEN LIFE BEGINS? MY HUNCH IS THAT ALL OF US – ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE – CAN BE.
Which would you like to have dominate your life, fear or faith? What will be the “sign” before the return of Christ – and will you be ready? Are we living in the last days, and if so, how bad will things get before the end? Ignite your life with this hot podcast, “So THIS Is How It Ends.”This message also sheds light on the identity of Jesus Christ in fresh, powerful ways. For instance, you’ll learn the tremendous significance of why He continually referred to Himself as the “Son of Man” – and what this means for you.
There are many people who think Jesus was being cryptic in how He spoke, but nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus deliberately described Himself as He did so that His immediate audience – which was familiar with the Old Testament – would make no mistake about His claims or His identity. This message will help demystify your understanding of Jesus.
God can banish fear, build your faith and help you live victoriously in these trying, troubling times. Ignite your life, and share this message with your friends, because they need to be encouraged, too.
It’s message 92 in our Life of Christ message series through the entire Gospel of Luke.
HOW DO YOU THINK THINGS WILL END? ARE YOU READY? DO YOU REALLY UNDERSTAND WHO JESUS IS? Chime in, because we’d love to hear from you.
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C&P Copyright, Michael Anthony. All rights reserved.