Do All Human Lives Matter?

babyMy wife and I were recently visiting with one of our married daughters and our random talking happened to rehearse our favorite family vacations. Our daughter remembered one trip we took to the East Coast, where we delighted in seeing and touring many of our nation’s historical sites.

On that trip, we visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and its Civil War memorial, where 51,000 soldiers were casualties (killed, wounded, captured or missing), in what remains the largest battle ever fought in North America. By the end of that tragic war, it is estimated that over 750,000 Americans (from the North and the South) were killed.

As sad and shocking as that statistic is, it fails to compare to the 58 MILLION unborn American citizens who have been killed by abortion in this nation, since the January, 1973 Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling on the non-personhood of the fetus in the womb. Surely the blood of these babies cries out to God, just as Abel’s blood did, when he was killed by his brother, Cain (Gen.4:4-10).

ALL LIVES MATTER

In addition to this month’s reminder of the barbaric practice of abortion, we also are alerted, by the shocking videos which recently exposed Planned Parenthood harvesting aborted baby body parts, that greed often drives it. It is critical we all understand that murder by abortion is much more than a cultural or political issue—it’s a Biblical issue, which carries severe consequences.

All lives matter to God, Who takes the killing of innocent lives—each one made in His image—very seriously! His Word clearly states there must be an “accounting” for the shedding of innocent blood.

“Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning…Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed;  for in the image of God He made man.” — Genesis 9:5–6

DEFINITIONS MATTER

The Roe v Wade decision by the Supreme Court revolved around defining the fetus in the womb. Certainly the fetus has human parents and all the needed human genome to develop postnatally, but if it were defined as a human person, then all the issues of slavery, due process, and human rights would have to be reviewed before other persons could be permitted to choose to kill the unborn person in the womb.

Retired judge Andrew P. Napolitano has pointed out that a simple one-line statute could have been enacted during the years Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush were in the White House and Republicans and anti-abortion Democrats controlled the Congress. They could have chosen to end the slaughter of millions of babies by legislatively defining the fetus in the womb to be a person.

They did not.

Their failure to define and declare the legal personhood of human offspring and the Supreme Court’s unprecedented dance around the requirement of due process and the prohibition of slavery has resulted in 58 million murders of pre-born persons in 43 years.

ALL HUMAN LIFE MATTERS

How long can a society last that “chooses” to kill its babies in the name of “sexual freedom”?

As Judge Napolitano asks, whose personhood will the government define away next?

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Happy A.D. 2016!

2016 Banner As you know, A.D. is an abbreviation used with a date, in common Julian or Gregorian calendars, indicating how many years have passed since the birth of Jesus. The abbreviation stands for anno Domini, a Latin phrase meaning “in the year of our Lord.” It reminds us that the birth of Jesus of Nazareth was the turning point in human history and has brought “good news” of joy and peace to all mankind.

 Accordingly, I would like to wish you a Happy A.D. 2016!

As we begin this New Year, the world’s news is filled with alarming reports of murderous mayhem, climatic chaos, and moral mutations.

While we may be quick to ask for God’s favor and covering for our personal lives and our family’s well-being for this New Year, someone has suggested it seems a little presumptuous to ask God’s blessing on our nation, considering:   Continue reading

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A Hanukkah Message from Jesus

 

hanukkahSurprisingly, the only place in the Bible where we find the festival of Hanukkah mentioned is in the New Testament’s Gospel of John (10:22-30). In the context of this eight-day celebration of the “Feast of Dedication” [Hanukkah, means dedication in Hebrew], Jesus was teaching in a broad, open colonnade of the great Temple in Jerusalem, known as the “porch of Solomon.” This setting forms the backdrop to a “Hanukkah Message” from Jesus.

The gospel writer tells us that many Jews surrounded Jesus and asked, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ (Messiah), tell us plainly” (vv. 22-24).

The Savior from God

During this winter-time celebration each year, the Jewish people remember the victory God gave to a militant group of Jews, the Maccabees, in 139 BC. They revolted and threw off the evil oppression of the pagan Seleucid empire, based in Syria, who had desecrated the Jewish Temple. The Maccabeees rededicated the temple and restored true temple worship, during which the menorah burned miraculously for eight days, despite having only enough oil for a day.

Each Hanukkah season thereafter, the Jewish people would remember this historic victory and desire their prophesied Messiah from God, to come and free them from yet another oppressive enemy. In Jesus’ day, this enemy was the Romans.

When the Jews questioned Jesus if he was this Messiah (10:24), the long-awaited savior from God, it was a timely question. Yet, Jesus (whose Hebrew name was Yeshua, meaning “Salvation”) did little to satisfy their human expectation for a political warrior to lead them, with his simple answer. “‘I told you, and you did not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you'” (John 10:25-26).

Jesus’ critics challenged His miracle ministry (John 5:16-18), His integrity (7:12), His paternity (8:41), and His spiritual purity (8:48). So Jesus wisely responded, “I’ve already told you.” In both word and deed, He had already repeatedly answered their question (John 8:58, 10:25).

More than a mere, temporary solution, for which the Jews desired, God provided the eternal salvation, for which all mankind needs. The Maccabean victory, cleansing and rededication of the Temple were short lived. But Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection would rescue our “desecrated temple” and restore us, so we might walk in continued, eternal fellowship with Father God.

The Shepherd to God

Jesus continued His Messianic teaching, by using the familiar allusion to a shepherd (John 10:27-28). He said that His sheep will recognize Him and respond to Him, in obedience: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life. They shall never perish, nor shall anyone snatch them from My hand.”

Earlier, in verse 16, Jesus told His disciples that He had “other sheep…which are not of this fold.” This anticipated the mission, which His disciples would undertake after His resurrection and empowerment by the Holy Spirit, eventually included the Gentiles and their incorporation into the one “sheepfold” of God. Jesus of Nazareth, the Jewish Messiah and the Gentile’s Savior, is the Great Shepherd of Father God’s one flock!

The Son of God

Jesus concluded His Hanukkah message by declaring that He is one with Father God and is His Son. In John 10:29-30 He said, “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them from My Father’s hand. My Father and I are one.”

Yeshua’s statement, that He is one with the Father, is meant to give assurance to His followers. Frustration is found in measuring our lives by our problems, rather than by the greatness of our God. Despite temporary trials, there is ultimate victory in Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God. As such, the Messiah demands a greater loyalty than the Maccabees, because He provides greater security.

Menorah.<><This Christmas and Hanukkah season, I invite you to trust in Jesus (Yeshua) as Savior, Shepherd and Son. Following Him brings us victory, in this life and the eternal life to come!

 

Music of Christmas - Listen 24-7Enjoy Christmas music 24/7:  at home or on your way to work or play. Tell your friends, today!

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Awaiting El Niño

El Nino WinterOne of the most powerful, periodic, warm-weather conditions, known as El Niños, continues gathering strength and is likely to drench California beach communities and drought zones, this winter and spring!

Both San Francisco and Los Angeles are expecting a wetter-than-average winter, during the first and second quarters of 2016. Population centers in the southwestern U.S.A are rushing to clear storm basins and repair roofs and gutters, as they await the heavy, anticipated precipitation, pushed by the Pacific Jet Stream.

El Niño is so named because periodic warming in the Pacific, near the equator, is often noticed around Christmas. The capitalized term “El Niño,” in Spanish, refers to the Baby in the manger, in countless nativity scenes and Christmas pageants.

The Christ Child

That Christ child, the Messiah incarnate, is foretold in countless Old Testament passages.

One of the most familiar is from Isaiah, chapter nine:

 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV)

The names and attributes of this “El Niño” show His future ability as a political guide and leader. He will be an infallible source of guidance and wisdom. This hero of His people will eventually be “everywhere present,” as His “everlasting” rule, on the throne of Israel’s King David, extends within the hearts of the saints, whom He redeemed by His death, burial and resurrection!

Unlike the rain of the El Niño weather condition, this El Niño’s reign will usher in peace—in all its forms and future happiness—even as it triumphs over death, hell and the grave.

Feliz Navidad!

Christmas 24.7

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Thanksgiving Amid Crises

This Thanksgiving season

This Thanksgiving season

This Thanksgiving season, I’m especially sensitive to the many crises and calamities across our country and around our world. While believers can genuinely give thanks to God for his love and blessings, many need his special mercy and grace in these days!

Not long ago I attended, with several hundred others, a special study class with Pastor Jack Hayford on the book of Revelation. Pastor Jack, a well-known teacher on the subject of prophecy, began that study series on Revelation with an assignment to read three related Gospel chapters: Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.

In Luke 21:25-28 we find the familiar recital of certain end-times predictions, where Jesus said, “Strange things will happen…nations on earth will be afraid…and won’t know what to do…because of what is happening to the world.” Then, as if He had been rehearsing a countdown list of calamities, He said, “When all of this starts happening, stand up straight and be brave. You will soon be set free.” [Contemporary English Version]

Jesus’ promised liberation, at His Second Coming, is the highest hope a believer can have. But, we also must believe that our King is able and willing to come today and enter our life’s circumstances, to extend His kingdom’s grace, love and power! His grace is sufficient to sustain us through all the calamities of the end times as well as the challenges of the present times!

For that, we all can be thankful!

Now, let’s prepare to celebrate our Lord’s first coming! Invite others to enjoy the music of the season, online 24/7 at MusicOfChristmas.org .

www.musicofchristmas.org

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Terror is Terrible

Terror Is Terror

Terror Is Terror

Terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.”

The horrific violence in Europe and current stabbings in Israel against innocent civilians is “what terrorism looks like.” It is being incited by radical Islamic imams in mosques and radicalized Islamists in social media, to promote religious and political agendas. It could occur here, at any time.

HonestReporting.com believes terrorism needs to be “called out” wherever and whenever it occurs. This media watchdog invites us to sign their petition, demanding the media use the word terror consistently, whenever innocent men, women, and children are attacked or murdered by radicalized religious or political zealots. There may be various contributing causes for the regional and religious unrest, but never an excuse for “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.”

Please add your name to the petition, if you agree:  http://honestreporting.com/a/petition/halabi-street.html

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Long-Term Risks of Abortion

PremieMost everyone knows of someone who has had a preterm delivery and is aware of the emotional, psychological and physical toll such events consume from families. And the babies, who do survive preterm delivery, may have health problems for life.

November is Prematurity Awareness Month and an advocacy group, Prevent Preterm, has identified over 100 peer-reviewed studies that show a link between abortion and subsequent premature birth.

The studies, involving mothers and premature births in 34 countries on multiple continents, were published from 1972 through this year. Individual studies looked at the histories of fewer than a hundred women to tens of thousands. They took into account many factors, like prenatal care, smoking, drugs and mothers who had previously had abortions. Their “statistically significant” results show that the more abortions a woman has had, the more likely it is she won’t be able to carry a baby to term.

According to Prevent Preterm, the link is strong, repeatedly verified and unmistakable. Women who have abortions are at significant risk of being unable to carry a baby to term, when they do want a child. Some of the believed culprits are: abortion may damage and weaken the cervix, infection could be introduced, and hemorrhage plays a role. While not all researchers agree exactly how abortion compromises future pregnancies, they do agree the link is real.

Does Planned Parenthood tell women about the “strong, repeatedly verified and unmistakable” link between abortion and premature birth? No. They deny it, and call it a myth. For this significant surgical procedure, there is no real “informed consent” at America’s largest abortion agencies. It would be bad for “business.”

 

 

 

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