Friday, October 31, 2008

"True Religion"

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27

Meet the Kovacs family. Now, folks, let me tell you: People like them are the ones who inspire me. Actually, this post is an addendum to my last post (before the Phillies one) and I'm applying it to the whole subject of abortion. Actually, I was going to incorporate this in Tuesday's post but kept writing and writing, so I decided to make this separate. At any rate, this family is a prime example of how we can make a positive impact while abortion by choice is still the law of the land. I know from experience that there are many organizations out there who are trying to counsel women away from the decision to "get rid of" their babies in the womb, and lead them towards the courageous decision to carry the baby and place him/her for adoption. These organizations are working with them and helping them in more practical ways than you can imagine. I know, because our family was once a part of one of these organizations. I'll give a few links at the end and would encourage you to pray about the possibility of you and your family and/or church being positively involved in this national fight for the right to life.

So, the Kovacs are one of the families at the receiving end of this great work. I read their story in this month's World Magazine, which tells the story of them as a newly married couple developing a strong passion for adopting. Actually, the story is about organizations which help churches that want to establish adoption funds so they, in turn, can help families like this one. I cannot tell you how strongly I feel about this, friends. Most evangelicals are appalled at the fact that our country has fallen into the "legal" position which it has regarding the choice of the mother over the life of the unborn. But are we doing more than complain? Sure, we can vote with the hope that down the road something will change, but in the meantime, what can we do? Well, this idea of establishing adoption funds in our churches is a wonderful answer to the question, and then, pray that the Lord will raise up more couples like Jason and Shawnda above. Look at that family, will you? Now don't tell me that God is not pleased!

About those organizations, here are a few of them:

The Abba Fund: This is the organization that World's article was about. A lot of money is needed to cover the costs of an adoption. The Abba Fund helps with that by helping churches. My personal opinion is that churches, not government, should be doing more to deal with many of the economic woes we're experiencing. This organization is just one example of something that can be done.

Lifesong for Orphans: This is another organization that provides adoption grants and loans and also works with churches that have adoption funds.

Family Legacies: The mission statement of this group is "The mission of Family Legacies is to provide interest free loans to couples who practice the Christian faith and are called by God to expand their families through adoption, who might otherwise not be able to adopt. "

Bethany Christian Services: This is the organization our family was once a part of. We were interim care foster parents, taking care of newborns while their moms were making the difficult decision as to whether to place them for adoption or raise them themselves. Bethany works with crisis pregnancy centers all over the country. They can help those who want to adopt to find help with funding and logistics. Our youngest child was adopted through them and I can attest to the fact that they work with you if you sincerely want to adopt. They'll help you find a way to do it, even if your resources are low, and of course, for most people, they are.

There are more, but in the interest of time and space I'll leave it at that. I want this post to be an encouragement for anyone stopping by who may have been thinking about how they can have more impact regarding our nation's abortion crisis. You might think about adoption as something you might do, but if not, perhaps you can give to one of these organizations, or even start something in your own church. Maybe your church just needs someone to get things going. Maybe that's you.

Also, if by chance anyone should stop by here who's pregnant and it's a crisis situation, I implore you, call Bethany. I can tell you without a doubt that they'll pray for you and that they'll help you. If any person has any questions about Bethany that you think I could help with, please feel free to email me. You can do that from my profile.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Who are all these grown men acting like maniacs? Yep, you guessed it--they're the Philadelphia Phillies, the team I have been rooting for and following the whole entire baseball season. Last night, the Phils won the World Series, and I am proud to be one of their fans! This is a photo of them seconds after the last out of the final game. Just wanted to break in on all the heavy duty election stuff we've been discussing to say I am proud to be a Phillies fan, and to congratulate them on their victory. World Champs! Yaaaay!

(I won't talk about the sorrowful behavior of many of the fans in the name of "celebration" that went on throughout the night.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Plea to Christians

Most of you know how strongly I feel about the abortion issue. You know that I believe it is one of the most crucial issues in this election. It is not by far the only issue, and as I vote, I am taking many other important matters into consideration, but I will say this: I will NEVER vote for a candidate that is pro-choice. That is, unless someone pulls a fast one on me. I think that abortion is one of the worst travesties to ever hit this nation. I believe the blood of the countless babies who have been murdered is something that God will not allow to go unrequited. And at the risk of sounding like an alarmist, I have to say that judgment is in order, unless He extends His mercy. Moral issues such as abortion, gay marriage, sex education to young children, etc. MUST be at the top of our list when we make ANY decision in our life as Christians. They MUST be. If they're not, we have to answer to God. HE will be there in that voting booth when no one else will see what we do. HE is the one who will hold us accountable for our actions. "What about the economy," you say? "I have to look out for the well being of my children," you add. In another post I want to talk about that a bit. But for now, YOU have a responsibility to make a choice based on righteousness, not practicalities. Let me repeat, you have a sober responsibility as a Christian to do what you KNOW is right in the eyes of God. I am not saying you should vote for any particular candidate when I say that. If you cannot in good conscience vote for anyone from the two leading political parties, then find someone else to vote for. But vote, dear Christian friend, and vote with the knowledge that God is watching you.

This has been weighing on my heart, dear ones, because I have been grieved to hear so many who name the Name of Christ say they are voting for a candidate that they know in their heart is clearly not even coming close to adhering to biblical principles. I have to say with all love in my heart that God is not pleased, and He is not mocked.

Perhaps you don't hold the same views that I do about these moral issues. Then these words are not for you and you needn't respond to them. But if you say you love Jesus, I am imploring you to not throw mud in His face when you vote next Tuesday. Not when He's done what He has for you. Not with all that He's suffered for His own. Not with the blood that came pouring out at Calvary for poor helpless sinners. Please, at least do that much for Him: make whatever tiny effort you can to stop the shedding of the blood of innocent, helpless babies and to steer this country back in the direction of our Lord.

And one other thing. I cannot tell you how disturbing it is for me to think of the droves of blacks, my people, who are going out to vote for a pro-choice candidate, as they did the last election. And many of these dear ones, who are folks I love, profess to be Christians. It just boggles my mind. And it was just this year that I learned of the statistics and some background facts regarding this, which only adds to the horror of the whole thing as far as I'm concerned. I've seen the statistics and facts many places and they are documented. Thus, please allow me to add this video which recently has come to my attention:

Note: See the first post in this series for the ground rules on comments.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Calling Prayer Warriers

Please read this post at Susan, Penless Writer, which is an important letter to voting Christians.

Please let this letter speak to your heart about this election!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Quotes From the Past

Sorry to have been MIA. Last week was, well let's not talk about last week.

Thought I'd give you a few quotes from a few people who contributed much to making America not a perfect nation, but surely a great one. What they said years ago counts for a lot with me, what about you? Maybe their words need to be carefully considered between now and election day. Do you want our country to maintain the spirit found in the hearts of these men? Let's pray that it will.

Note: It's especially important that we think about some of these in light of recent developments in the news.

Abraham Lincoln
"Property is the fruit of is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."

Booker T. Washington
"Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work."

George Washington
"Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. "

Benjamin Franklin
"The longer I live the more convinced I become that God governs in the affairs of men. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance. "

Thomas Jefferson
"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."

"Agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are then most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise."

Martin Luther King, Jr.
"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."

"If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well."

James Madison
"The personal right to acquire property, which is a natural right, gives to property, when acquired, a right to protection, as a social right. "

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."

And finally,

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.

John Quincy Adams
1767-1848, Sixth President of the USA

Monday, October 20, 2008

Campaign Dog

I couldn't resist it! You folks know how I am about dogs--this was just too much cuteness for me to resist posting it. This puppy is Rose La Rose from Ohio and I stole this picture from the blog of Senator McCain's daughter Meghan. If you want to see some excellent photography from the campaign trail of Meghan's father, go to her blog. Most of the photography is done by her friend Heather, who is a professional. Beautiful shots--well worth perusing:


If you want to see more photos of Rose La Rose, go to the post from October 5th entitled "California and Ohio." She is just tooo cute! Did I say that already?

Prayer Power

I was very happy to find out that there is a group of people in America who have organized a concentrated prayer effort to pray for our country at this critical time. Go to this blog for details. (Also see image on sidebar for link.)

This is a portion of the post:

"If you would like to participate: each evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time, 8:00 PM Central , 7:00 PM Mountain, 6:00 PM Pacific, stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, for peace in the world, for wisdom and courage for our leaders, the up-coming election, and that the Bible will remain the basis for the laws governing our land and that Christianity will grow in the U.S. "

Award from Connie

I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank Connie for an award she passed on to me, among others. I have a while ago taken the position to not pass on awards to specific folks (I'm chicken that way), but I did want to acknowledge this from Connie, a precious blogger friend. Go to her blog, "Connie's Thoughts From the Heart," to see the rules, but most of all, to see her response to this award. I would say I would echo everything she says, and that it's well worth your reading.

Thanks, Connie. Love you!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

President Bush

For me, one of the most poignant moments of last night's debate came when Senator McCain said "Mr. Obama, I am not George Bush. . ." To speak honestly, it made me a little sad. You see, somewhere beneath the rubble of all the campaign rhetoric lies our current President. He often emerges when the opposing party wants to make a point on how bad things are for our country and he never is able to show his face in support of his party's candidate. Because of his unpopularity, his own party understandably seldom mentions him as they push to maintain the White House. However, the left brings him up at every possible opportunity, almost as a beacon of national disgrace.

I'm sorry for this. Actually, it grieves me. You see, I believe that like all of humanity, he has made his share of mistakes. I think he fumbled the ball on the fifty yard line with the Iraqi war and admittedly erred in some other areas of his ministry, but sadly, I don't think he'll be given the credit for all he has done for this nation until far down the pages of history. (I won't even get into the fact that he's taken the brunt of the blame for the financial disaster, when, of course, there are many others who are equally, if not more, at fault, including the Democratic Congress.) And sadly again, I think he's hated the most and viciously attacked the most by some of the people he's helped the most. A blog post I recently read has a list of 35 accomplishments of this man who has led this country, in safety at home and abroad, for almost eight years now. After reading it, you'll see that it's one of those unfortunate realities of life that those who may have benefited most from your efforts often are those who most maliciously oppose you:

You know, life is often like this. The truth does not always seem to prevail. But God will prevail in His time. I have a portion of a poem for you. For some reason, some of the words in it have been ringing in my ears throughout these days of searching for truth. May I say that we all should be searching for truth. James Russell Lowell was the author of this poem; many of you may know about it already. This brave man was an abolitionist who lived from 1819-1891. These words are from The Present Crisis, one of his writings against slavery. It's the portion Neesie had to learn in her ninth grade English last year, another reason I appreciate ABeka Video School. It is my contention that these words would also apply to the current crisis that is raging in the United States:

Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,
Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right,
And the choice goes by forever ’twixt that darkness and that light.

Hast thou chosen, O my people, on whose party thou shalt stand,
Ere the Doom from its worn sandals shakes the dust against our land?
Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet ’tis Truth alone is strong,
And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng
Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong.

Careless seems the great Avenger; history’s pages but record
One death-grapple in the darkness ’twixt old systems and the Word;
Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,—
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

I hope this post isn't offensive to anyone. It shouldn't be. I felt constrained, literally, to speak on behalf of this public servant to whom I owe a great deal. And needless to say, I won't accept any comments that seek to malign him in a contemptible way. Finally, this is a call to all who want to do what is right, to pray for him during these difficult, and probably quite painful, days.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

National League Champions!

Just let this Phillies fan enjoy herself tonight. We just won the National League Championship and are on the way to the World Series! This has been a good week! I've even been forgetting about the election. (Did watch some of the debate while listening to the game on the radio.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Good Links

You know that one of my main purposes in all this is to get us all to think. But, you know, as time passes on and there are but three more weeks to this election, I am hoping more than anything that as we think about all the issues, work our way through all the claims and accusations, and go beyond the mainstream media to dig for facts (I hope that's what you're doing), that we're seeing the dire need for prayer. Try to be knowledgeable about all that's happening in our country, and then seek the face of the Lord.

Well, I have a few links which I hope you guys will please check out. They all should have an impact in one way or another with helping to spur us on to thought and prayer.

1. I was very excited to have discovered Freedom's Journal Magazine, an online publication inspired by the first African American owned and operated newspaper in the United States, which was founded in 1827. Finding this website was exciting for me because it is not just a black publication, but primarily a Christian one. Please, I ask you, listen to this video by Freedom's Journal Magazine wherein several individuals respond to some important questions for Black Christians (This contains snippets from a longer video posted on the FJM website.):

2. I don't know how far this is going to go, but what happens next month may have an impact. Where the candidates stand on the education issue has come up several times in the campaigns. I want a good, solid education for our children as much as the next person, but I'm more concerned about where is our country headed with with this type of issue (As for me, this happening is yet another plug for homeschooling where folks can't afford private school):

3. My blogger friend Diana sent me a link to a website that she recently visited. A two part series which was broadcast regarding faith in our political system has helped her a lot, and she wanted me to pass it on to my readers. Because of my busyness and all, with grandchildren and the like (ahem!), I haven't gotten to listen yet, but trust it will be helpful to some:

Note: See the first post in this series for the ground rules on comments.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Granddaughter No. 2! Shana Elizabeth was born late this afternoon, at 4:45 PM, weighing in at just a smidge under seven pounds. We love her!

Selena loves her too!

I won't give too many details as I'm sure Bev will want to do that at her blog when she's able to. Rejoice with us, dear friends, for the kind mercies of God to our family.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Gen. Washington's Prayer

You've probably noticed that I haven't been getting into the events of the day, which at this time would be analyzing last night's debate (one of those "eyes of the beholder" deals); the latest polls (depends on who and how); who said what (every single word under scrutiny!); and who didn't say this or that (good grief!), etc. etc. etc. I'm not saying I won't ever get into the current election happenings in the next 27 days, but I think we're all hearing enough of these things. Don't get me wrong. I understand why much of it is necessary, but I just don't have the stomach for talking about it right now. What a divided state our country is in! May the Lord help us.
One of the things I wanted to do here for this series was to include a few quotes from some of the people who were instrumental in the building of this nation in the first place. George Washington is an appropriate person to begin with, wouldn't you say? I found this little prayer in a gospel tract containing the prayers of some U.S. presidents who have led America in praying for peace and protection throughout history. According to this tract, "From our earliest days as a nation, a legacy of blessing has been poured on America through the prayers of her presidents." Would that their prayers would follow us today!

This was Mr. Washington's prayer, written on June 14, 1783 to all the governors of the newly freed states, and urging them to join him in praying for their new nation:

"Almighty God, We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection: that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large.

"And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."

We need a blessing! We need those quality of charities outlined here in the second paragraph! Can we hope to be a happy nation again?! Grant it Lord, please! Oh that the prayer of President Washington would be a charge down through the corridors of time to help us today!

Note: See the first post in this series for the ground rules on comments.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Another Messenger

I just wanted to take a quick moment to give you the link to a post made by the seventeen year old son of a blogger friend of mine. He had to do a school assignment about the American Dream and has posted it on his blog. I am encouraged! I love it when I find more young people who are going forth as the messengers I spoke about a few posts back! Please read this--I think you'll like Jared's rendition of the dream! It makes me just a tad bit less worried about the future.

Give Me Jesus

Well, what a precious Lord's Day we had yesterday. We had a guest speaker , a young man who comes to minister the Word to us from time to time. He's not a minister, but a school teacher who has been gifted by the Lord to preach. So, he spent the day with us and we were blessed as usual. This is going to be an American Dream post, but you may find it to be a rather unusual one.

I really wanted to post about this today, because of what was said in both of those sermons. He mentioned the election and the condition of our country several times. The things he said really hit home with me. You see, I think I told you before that I tend to get a bit fretful about these things. That's why I'm so glad Mr. X. reminded us of something that's at the core of our existence as Christians: We must not depend on any man or any political party to rescue this troubled world. This country, this world, needs Jesus. I was thinking as I was sitting there that yes, I'll go vote for someone next month, but I won't be looking to that person to save our country. We must never forget that no matter who it is, it will be a sinner and we're going to be disappointed in one way or another before we know it, even if it's the one we vote for. No, I'll be looking to Jesus to help me in this sad state of affairs. Now, we'll do our best to get in someone who has some semblance of integrity and character and right views on the issues, but he 'll never measure up altogether. So, I'll keep looking past that person to Jesus.

In the evening message Mr. X. said that we don't need Dr. Phil, or Oprah, or Obama, or McCain. We need Jesus. In the days ahead, I'm pretty sure I'll remember his words and it will settle me. And as he said that, this song started echoing in my mind. I went to YouTube to find a video of it (there are many) and this one grabbed me. At first I thought it didn't fit, but for some reason I have the sense that the Lord would have me post it. Maybe the reason is that we need to look at the faces here and that may help us put this threat of the loss of our economic god in right perspective.

"You can have all this world, but give me Jesus."

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Who Made You?

I found this picture of Selena in my picture folder on the laptop and wondered why I've never used it, because I like it a lot. At least I don't remember using it. It was taken almost exactly one year ago, which means she was just over a year old. Now she's just over two. In case you don't know, Selena is our first grandchild, and the only way you wouldn't know that is if you've never been to this blog before. She's star of the show here, you know. Soon, by God's mercies, she is going to have to share that status. Tomorrow, our daughter Bev will be thirty-seven weeks pregnant, which most of you know means she will be considered full term and should be delivering at any time. The child she is carrying is a girl, as far as modern technology is correct, and Edie and Bev have named her Shana Elizabeth. (Shana: SHAY-nuh)

In the summer of 2006, when I first began blogging, I wrote a post about Selena before she was born. If you don't mind, I'd like to repeat that post here now, making changes to dedicate it to Shana. I'm including it in this series about the election because I think this topic is one of the most crucial as to where we stand morally as a nation. In fact, I have heard many ads by one of the candidates concerning this very issue; it's that important. Yes, indeed, the one who resides in the womb is THAT important. And it will affect my vote -- and that of many others.

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:13-16

What an amazement—that child in the womb. The people in the medical field and the ones who write the books call this little one a fetus. From a scientific point of view, I would admit the term is correct. But I prefer to use the term "baby." No matter what stage it is in from its inception, as far as I’m concerned, it's a child, a little baby, with a beating heart from almost the beginning and adding organs and bones and muscles at breakneck speed. He or she puts on quite a show for all who are privileged to open the curtains from time to time by means of one of technology’s most popular wonders—the sonogram. No matter whether what is seen is a he or a she or maybe sometimes even more in number than had been expected, each and every one who is in that initial stage of life there, sheltered, protected and growing, is a child.

That is where my second grandchild is now, and she's not a fetus, she's a child. And her name is Shana. Before she officially makes her entrance, I would like to ask her this one simple first catechism question that her PopPop and I taught her mommy more than twenty-five years ago. It is one of the most crucial issues she will need to come to grips with in all of her life which is now just beginning: Who made you, Shana? That's the question I’m addressing today, and the catechism answer is just one simple word: God. That is all the answer that it provides, and do you know what? That's really all the answer that is needed.

I would like to tell her that it has to be God who made her. There is no one else who could have written such a master plan as this one, where two itsy bitsy cells, one from her daddy and one from her mommy, could join up to create that microscopic creature she once was and called, of all things, a zygote. What other mathematician could have computed the cell division that would then take place, eventually graduating her to the status of the much more sophisticated title of embryo? And then the development process already mentioned which would bring her to the current position of so-called fetus? Who else could have innovated such a provision for her as that wonderment called the placenta? Who else could have contrived the intricate manner in which food and oxygen get transported from her mommy to her by means of such fantastic inventions that we know by strange names such as villi and umbilical? Who else could have made the transportation arrangements which bring her into a waiting world riding in a vehicle called travail? But after arriving amidst breaking waters and sweat and all kinds of tears, she will not be left to fend for herself. For who else would have thought of a way to still provide sustenance, manufactured in a factory of which He Himself was architect? Who else could have done all this and done it so magnificently?

Yes, there is just one answer to this catechism question. It is the only possible response that there could be. Shana can’t tell yet, but I hope someday she will know the answer to the question. But not only that. I hope someday she will know the One who is the answer. So I’ll repeat, once more, that first catechism question that I would pose to my second grandchild: Who made you? And I will repeat the answer with all of the exuberance I can muster from within me: GOD!!!

Note: See the first post in this series for the ground rules on comments.