Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Top New Posts for February 2012

Here are the top three blog posts for the month of February, based on readership. I'm always open to feedback, so let me know what you think. I've added links to new articles if you're interested.

The most read article is an ongoing story about Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani. He is sitting in an Iranian jail facing a death sentence that could be carried out at any time.

Yusuf Naderkhani and familyIranian Pastor Conviction Is In - Death
Here's a related article: Iran to lynch Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani: Say nothing, do nothing

The second most popular article was from the sports world, speaking of the new phenom Jeremy Lin. Jeremy has taken the NBA by storm, helping to rescue the failing New York Knicks season and vaulting them into a playoff spot. His openness about his Christian faith has drawn the inevitable comparisons to Tim Tebow of the NFL.

0211_jeremy_lin_tebow_gettyIs Jeremy Lin the next Tim Tebow?
Here's a new article all the way from the UK: Jeremy Lin: How good is he?

Finally, the third article in the list is a subject that I'm afraid won't be going away anytime soon. It's about the "Gendercide" that is taking place in our world, eliminating millions of baby girls. We have assumed that this is an issue for China and India maybe, but surely not us. Sadly, as you'll  read, in the "civilized" West, women are aborting their babies now solely because they're girls. Inform yourself.

 "Gendercide" - A Deeper Look
Here's an article on the topic from The Economist: Gendercide

Related Articles:
Why the abortion issue won't go away
Words of Death: "It's A Girl!"
Iranian Pastor Sentenced to Death - Update
Tim Tebow Mania

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Caring Enough to Confront

I hate confrontation! I just thought that I'd get that out there right at the outset. I've never enjoyed difficult conversations; I'd much prefer to avoid them altogether. The truth is, however, that sometimes confrontation is necessary.

That being said, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. If you want to look at the wrong way, take a peek at how the Parliament of Canada operates - or the U.S. Congress for that matter. In both cases the issue rarely matters, what seems to matter is who can yell the loudest or score the most points with their sound bite. It's not the place to take your child to learn about civil discourse.

The wrong way is also modelled often on Facebook and other social media. The airing of public laundry seems to have become the equivalent of a pre-emptive strike for some people. It's certainly not the place to get into a confrontation - you do know you can send a private message, right? As Ravi Zacharias says, "When we start throwing dirt, we both get dirty and everybody loses ground."

So, why and how should we confront? Let's look at the why first. (Full disclosure: I'm looking at this from a Biblical perspective.)

We should confront when we firmly believe that we are doing so for the good of others. Confrontation should not be about evening the score, or putting someone in their place. That is revenge. In Romans 12:19 God says, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.” No, confrontation ought to be done, first of all, for the good of the person being confronted. I try to assume that everyone wants to do the right thing until proven otherwise.

We should confront when coming to the aid of someone who cannot defend themselves.
There are times when we see things that need to be dealt with. Bullying is one example. When we stand by and watch someone being bullied without doing something about it, we are giving our tacit approval. One of the most powerful quotes I have read on this subject was written by Martin Niemoller, A Lutheran Pastor in Germany during World War II. He said, "When they came for the Jews, I did nothing, for I am not a Jew. When they came for the Socialists, I did nothing, for I am not a Socialist. When they came for the labor leaders, the homosexuals, the gypsies, I did nothing, for I am none of these, and when they came for me, I was alone, there was no one to stand up for me."

We should confront when it's for the common good.
There are times in leadership when we must confront because not to do so would allow the organization to be damaged. The same goes for society as a whole. There are times when we do need to speak up firmly, but respectively, and confront - when we see injustice, abuse or neglect for example.

We should confront when we are in a position of accountability to someone.
When in a position of trust we are to act accordingly. I am often asked to provide accountability for people, I take that very seriously. If I see something wrong and don't say something about it, that becomes my responsibility. Too many people are guilty of benign neglect - allowing things to slide because they don't want to step on toes.

Those are some of the whys of confrontation. Here are a few reasons why people don't confront.
  • Fear of being disliked.
  • Fear of making things worse.
  • Fear of rejection.
  • Don't know how.
  • Who are we to confront? We're not perfect either.
Now let's look at some suggestions on how to confront.

Deal with issues as they arise.
Don't store up issues until you're so frustrated that you can't take it anymore. Nothing is worse, as an employee for example, than thinking that everything's fine only to be blindsided with a list of things you've been doing wrong for months. If it bothers you, talk about it politely when it's fresh, then move on. 

Check your attitude first.
Remember, when we confront, our goal is to fix the problem or to restore a relationship - not to destroy a person. What are your motives? If they aren't right, perhaps you need to take some time to pray about it before you have the meeting. Don't contribute to the problem; be a part of the solution.

Start on a positive note.
People are much more willing to hear you out if they know that you care about them. As someone said, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

Outline the problem.
What is the issue that is causing the problem?
How is this affecting you or others?
Why is this a problem?

Encourage a response.
Prepare yourself for an emotional response. Often people may feel shock, bitterness or resentment and may want to "vent."

Put yourself in their place.
Try to understand how they may be feeling. Restate back to them what they've told you to demonstrate that they've been heard.

Communicate the expected result.
Focus on moving forward. People of good will want to move towards a solution. Let them know that you have high expectations for them.

Put it in the past.
Don't keep bringing it up again and again unless the problem is recurring. We have all made mistakes and would appreciate it if we could just move on after correcting them.

Here are some parting thoughts on confrontation that I've learned from experience.
  • The longer you wait to confront, the harder it is.
  • It's rarely as bad as you think it is.
  • Aim for a better understanding; a positive change and a growing relationship.
  • If you truly care about people, it shows - so work on you first. 
  • It's not about you, so don't make it about you.
  • You really can be nice and honest at the same time. Try it, you might like it.
Related Articles:
Growing a Thick Skin
Key Leadership Qualities - Communication
Are You a People Person?
The Power of the Mind

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Gendercide" - A Deeper Look

I just read a very disturbing article by, Allison Pearson, a British journalist writing for The Telegraph. The article was following up on the same subject I posted about yesterday - the fact that girls are being aborted now in the U.K. simply based on their sex.

The article is disturbing enough based upon the fundamental facts discussed - sex-selection abortions. What was also disturbing to me was the line of reasoning followed by the writer, who can't seem to follow a logical argument. She rightly criticized this practice of killing girl foetuses because it was against the law. She called the practice "Unbelievable. Horrifying." I couldn't agree more.

But this is where Allison and I part company. She went on to declare that she was in favour of abortion in general, based apparently on the "kind of life" some of these babies would have if carried to term. She goes on to rail against those women who use abortion as a form of contraception, giving examples of many who have had multiple abortions. She also quotes this alarming stat: "Over the past 40 years, there has been a 3,700 per cent increase in abortions." (Emphasis mine)

Here's a shocker, the medical director of the largest abortion provider in the U.K. shared this statement: "I’ve had a consultant colleague in the north of England who expressed a view – that consultant was from an ethnic minority –… he didn’t think [gender selection] was ethically wrong because he thought that the cultural reason why some communities may prefer to have four male babies is as good a reason as the, if you like, Anglo-Saxon cultural view of: 'Well I’m pregnant, I just don’t want it anyway’.”

The problem with this statement by the "ethnic minority" consultant was that he's absolutely right. We in the West have lost the moral ground to defend the life of a baby girl in the womb. It brings Psalm 11:3 to mind,
"When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” What indeed?

Allison makes reference to the "slippery slope" that Western Civilization has been on but doesn't seem to recognize the fundamental issues involved. A history lesson is necessary here.

Our basic principles in the West have been based upon a Christian consensus. This is true of the U.K., most of Europe, Canada, and particularly the U.S. There was a common framework and worldview upon which to establish the role of government and even the laws by which we are governed.   

Delegates to the Charlottetown Conference assembled on the steps of Government House, also known as Fanningbank, the Lieutenant Governor's residence, 1864.
Delegates to the Charlottetown Conference
This worldview accepted the fact that there is a Creator God who is sovereign and who has established boundaries within which mankind should function in a civilized society. In Canada, our founding fathers looked to Psalm 72:8 to paint a picture of the future of the nation. Today the following words hang in the corridor near the Confederation Chamber in Province House: ‘In the hearts of the delegates who assembled in this room on September 1, 1864, was born the Dominion of Canada.  Providence being their guide, they builded better than they knew.’” 

The Us. Declaration of Independence presented, within it's preamble, the foundation for the decisions of future generations: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It was God who provided life - an inalienable right!

Over the past 50 years or so we have seen a rapid change in how we view government and its role and how we view ourselves and our rights. We have focused on individual rights versus the common good. We have "created" rights never intended by our forefathers, which have promoted selfishness and the breakdown of the family - the building block of a civilized society. We have denied that there is a role for God in culture and have therefore removed the very ground under our feet.

The result of our folly is the kind of faulty reasoning that Allison Pearson is using that says, in effect, "It's okay to kill babies in the womb, as long as you're not killing them just because they're girls." It also leaves us in the position of having to explain to those in India and China why it's wrong for them to kill their baby girls because they're girls, but it's okay for us to kill our girls or boys because it's inconvenient for us to raise children right now.

Face it, Allison, you have nowhere to stand. It's simply your opinion against theirs.

Why is sex-selection abortion wrong? It's wrong because that is a living child that is being killed, and that child has a God-given right to life. It's the same reason that abortion is wrong - period. If you deny that there is a God-given right to anything, prepare to lose your own rights, because they have no sustaining force other than the changing opinions of men.

We took the top off the bottle a long time ago and the genie doesn't want to return. This moral relativism we have been left with has given rise to organizations like NAMBLA, lobbying for the right to have sex with minors. What is our moral ground to refuse them? What about polygamy? Why can't a man have as many wives as he can support? And while we're at it, our health care system is under strain, wouldn't euthenasia take a lot of pressure off by doing away with the sick and frail? According to recent stats, 90% of all pregnancies of Down Syndrome children in the U.S. end in abortion. What if we end the lives of all children with a high likelihood of abnormality, even after they are born? After all, who are you to tell me that I should have to raise a child that I fathered? Isn't that my business, not yours?

It's a scary world when we remove an objective moral standard from the table. It was T.S. Eliot who said, "If you will not have God (and He is a jealous God) you should pay your respects to Hitler or Stalin." What he was saying was that in the absence of a moral consensus, it is simply survival of the fittest, and strong men rise to rule with an iron fist.

As Dostoevsky so eloquently put it: "If God is dead, then all things are possible!" Victims Against Crime, a South African organization, states that. "At least 180 million people have been killed by secular governments in the 20th Century. And that is a very conservative estimate. We are not here talking about people who have died in wars caused by secular humanist states, because that would massively increase the body count. No, over 180 million people have been killed by their own secular humanist governments in the 20th Century... More people were killed by their own governments in peace time than were killed by foreign invaders in war time."

We rightly condemned Hitler for his barbarism during World War II, in his attempted annihilation of the Jews and others, but on what basis? Was Stalin wrong to kill millions of his own people during his reign of terror? What about communist China and their strict one child policy? This has resulted in millions of cases of infanticide, little girls murdered at birth. Of course these are wrong - all of them. They are wrong because they violate God's law.

We, all of us, have been created in the image of God. Every human being has rights that have been endowed by God, rights which no-one else has the right to violate. If we do not grasp this fundamental truth, we will continue down this road which leads to the victimization of the weak and the vulnerable.

Yes, it is wrong to kill our unborn baby girls. But please, Allison, understand this. It's wrong to kill the boys too.

Related Articles: 
Why the abortion issue won't go away
The Manhattan Declaration
Following Up - The Latest News

Friday, February 24, 2012

Following Up - The Latest News

Here are a few recent blogs that I've written with links to articles I've found that provide a deeper look. I hope that some of you find it helpful.

Iranian Pastor Conviction Is In - Death
The first is an update on Pastor Yousef (Youcef) Nadarkhani, the Iranian Pastor sentenced to die because he refused to recant his Christian faith. Click on the picture for the original article, a link to a newer article is posted below the picture.

Yusuf Naderkhani and family

Why the abortion issue won't go away
The second blog is a piece I wrote to give a synopsis of where we stand in Canada on the issue of abortion. This has been, and will continue to be, a hot and uncomfortable topic in Canada and deserves more attention. Again, click on the picture for the original article, and the link beneath for related articles with updated news.

The War on Women
The final story is related to the last piece, but different. It's the current worldwide trend toward "gendercide." It's becoming common to do sex selection testing during pregnancy only to abort if the baby is found to be female. Canada has become one of the places to go because of our lax laws and new technology. The new article is about a revealing report out of the UK. Again, click on the picture for the original article and the link below for the updated one.

Related Articles:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Triumph and Tragedy - Whitney Houston

It's now been almost two weeks since the death of Whitney Houston at the age of 48. I don't normally pay too much attention to the hype surrounding the death of celebrities, but I have been watching and reading with interest the pieces and articles about Whitney. I believe she was one of the greatest talents of our generation, but also one of its saddest characters. Her challenges, once fame took hold, are well documented and put her in storied company.

I look out on my church on any given Sunday and see a lot of talented children and young people. They, all of them, have dreams. Many of them have probably pictured themselves on a stage with the bright lights on and the house lights down, playing to a packed crowd. That was one of my dreams. It's amazing how many of the greatest stars got their start singing in church choirs or doing special songs on Sunday morning.

I think of people like Elvis Presley, who actually was cut from the choir of his church! Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Beyonce, Katy PerryAvril Lavigne, Bobby McFerrin, Tina Turner, Johnny Cash and a host of others got their starts this way. Yet, for many of them, success did not bring them happiness - far from it. It has really made me stop and think over the past couple of weeks.

Whitney and Elvis and Johnny Cash, at least, appeared to be very sincere in their faith. Elvis did a number of gospel albums and regularly performed gospel songs in his concerts. Johnny Cash publicly returned to his faith before he died. Whitney appeared with Be Be and Ce Ce Winans on numerous occasions, and, according to Be Be, wanted to go on tour with them. Both Elvis and Whitney spoke often and openly of their faith, yet both of their lives spiralled out of control due to substance abuse.

Many blame former husband, Bobby Brown, for Whitney's fall from grace, but others have pointed out that she was a "party girl" long before Bobby was in her life. No, it seems that there was a conscious choice to involve herself in a scene that was far removed from her church background. The same can certainly be said of Elvis, and of Britney Spears.

A trade-off was made: the glamorous life of a star took the place of a relationship with Jesus Christ. It's the parables and teachings of Jesus lived out in real life. In Matthew 16:26 Jesus said, "What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?" In The Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl, Jesus teaches that a relationship with God is to be valued above all other treasures.

He speaks to this directly in Matthew 22:37-38 when He said, “'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment." Yet this kind of commitment is foreign to a great many North American "Christians." We have become used to a Christianity that accommodates and excuses. Rather than making God a priority in our lives, many settle for including Him, like one of many options. He's an influence - but not the Lord. He's an interest - but not the focus. When that occurs, our lives can spiral out of control.

We have seen this in the lives of these and many other celebrities, but we also see it in the lives of many ordinary people who have attended church at one time or another. They profess to "love God," and we believe them to be sincere. But Jesus asked a good question in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?"

So, what are we to make, then, of the claims that Whitney was a Christian, and Elvis was a Christian? Do those who live lives contrary to the clear commands of Scripture go to heaven? Here we turn to what has been called the "scandal of grace." Grace is defined as "the unmerited favour of God." It cannot be earned. Heaven is not for "good" people; it is for sinners saved by grace. If Whitney Houston and Elvis Presley called upon Jesus Christ in sincerity and accepted His sacrifice for their sins, I have no doubt that God received them as His children. But we look to 1 Corinthians 3, which speaks of people whose works produce no eternal reward but who will be saved "though only as one escaping through the flames."

One of the greatest tragedies I find in all of this is the wasted potential; the years spent wandering in the wilderness, destroying their God-given gift. I just find it so sad.

From what I've seen and heard, Whitney was a wonderful person, but one who was a slave to alcohol and drugs (both illicit and prescription). A friend of mine shared that her pastor was giving counsel to Whitney on a regular basis. We all heard the many reports of other Christians who were sought out by Whitney. I believe that she sincerely desired to live her life as a Christ-follower. Fame exacts a heavy price.

Each of us can learn a lesson from these stars' very public tragedies. We must be sure that we get our priorities in order. It's like the leadership lesson of "The Mason Jar," if we don't put the most important things in our lives first, there's no room for them later. I teach this on a regular basis because I believe it's one of the most important things we can learn. Put God first and the other issues will take care of themselves. Much of it comes down to trust.

Do we really trust God with our dreams? What if God wants me to be a missionary in Africa rather than make it in Hollywood? Here's what we need to remember: God made you and knows you better than you know yourself. He knows how you're wired and what will provide you with fulfillment. He wants what is best for you. Make the decision early on to trust God with your future and live your life accordingly.

I think a large part of the reason that more people don't do this is that our culture views faith as merely a quaint relic of the past that can be a source of comfort. The Biblical view of Christianity is all encompassing. It informs and affects every area of our lives. As C.S. Lewis rightly said: "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."

So what can we learn from the tragic lives of Whitney and Elvis and the rest?

Fame is not all that it's cracked up to be and the rich and famous are often to be pitied rather than envied.

Having a purpose beyond simply fame or wealth for their own sake can help avoid pitfalls.
See Tim Tebow as an example, who views the fact that he has gained some notoriety as simply a greater opportunity to make a positive difference in people's lives.

Building your life on principles enables you to keep a moral compass.
See the words of Jesus at the conclusion of His Sermon on the Mount“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)

In all of our lives we will have challenges and problems, some our own making, some not. It is there that our foundation will be tested. Let's avoid the big crash, there's too much at stake.

Related Articles:
I Love Me!
“Put God First” - The Principle of Priority
What Is A Christ-follower?
Tim Tebow Mania

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Iranian Pastor Conviction Is In - Death

Yusuf Naderkhani and familyYousef Nadarkhani has received the final verdict from the highest Iranian Court, according to sources close to the Pastor. He has been sentenced to death for the crime of converting from Islam to Christianity.

Christians worldwide have been following his case for over two years as the 34 year old Pastor and father of two has been told repeatedly to recant his Christian faith or to face death. He has consistently maintained that he has no intentions of turning his back on his faith, regardless of the consequences. He can now be taken any time and killed without prior warning, or it could be dragged out for up to two years.

According to reports from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Iran may use the current international turmoil as an excuse to kill Nadarkhani, letting the world know that they answer to no-one.

The ACLJ recently launched a Twitter campaign to publicize Nadarkhani’s case, asking participants to dedicate a daily tweet to “Tweet for Youcef,” stating the number of days he has been imprisoned (currently 863) and ending the tweet with “ViaOfficialACLJ,” sending readers back to the organization’s website where they could learn more about his case.

Here is the real face of fundamentalist Islam, there is no mercy for those who would dare convert from Islam. No religious liberty here. The difference with this case is that this Pastor was actually charged and had a trial. More often than not, in countries like Iran, Christian converts are simply murdered or "disappear," never to be seen again.

This case draws attention to the plight of Christians in many parts of the world who are facing extreme persecution, places like Pakistan, Sudan, Nigeria, Egypt, China and many others. Most cases are unreported as attention is diverted to the political firestorm taking place in the Arab world. We are reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul in Colossians 4:18 - "Remember my chains."

If you are a Christian, please pray for Yousef Nadarkhani; his wife and children. Take a few moments, as well, to spread the word. He deserves to have his story heard by as many as possible. There are links to more detailed articles below.

Related Articles:
Iranian Pastor Sentenced to Death
Iranian Pastor Sentenced to Death - Update
Remember My Chains
Shahbaz Bhatti - Christian Martyr
"Truth" - by Ravi Zacharias

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Are You a People Person?

Relationships are difficult.
This probably didn't need to be said, but I'll say it anyway. Each of us could, no doubt, share horror stories of relationships gone wrong. If we could somehow see the emotional scars of the people just in this room we would be shocked. I did a google search on the subject of “relationship horror stories” and found, believe it or not, 23,400,000 responses. Wow! That’s a big number. It’s no wonder that a lot of people have just sworn off relationships all together – but that’s not realistic either, is it?

We’re not meant to be alone. Whether it’s family or friends we need community to help us to reach our potential. So why are relationships so hard? Relationships are hard partly because we’re all people, and, as I've heard my mother-in-law say many times: "people are crazier than anybody."
Rick Warren came up with a list of different types of difficult people. See if you are related to any of these:

THE SHERMAN TANK - will run over you if you let him.
THE MEGAPHONE - will talk your ear off.
THE BUBBLE BUSTER - deflates everyone's enthusiasm.
THE VOLCANO - has a temper like Mt. St. Helens.
THE CRY BABY - is a chronic complainer.
THE NITPICKER - is the unpleasable perfectionist.
THE SPACE CADET - is on a completely different wavelength.

Each of us has our own story, and each of them is fascinating in their own right. The joys and sorrows, good
experiences and bad, disasters and highlights, lessons learned and mistakes repeated all go together to make
us what we are. Remember that each of us is deeply flawed, yet loved by God. So, we’re all in the same
boat. Everywhere we look there are imperfect people doing imperfect things –except us of course. What
does Jesus say “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up
the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12

What does this look like? Let’s look at 5 ways that you want others to treat you.
  • You want others to encourage you.
Everyone likes to be encouraged. Life can be difficult; it's a lot easier when you have someone in your corner. I haven't met anyone yet who doesn't want to be encouraged. Here are a few of the many "one anothers" of the New Testament. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

"See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called 'Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” – Hebrews 3:12-13

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day
approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-25
  • You want others to appreciate you.
Over and over again in the New Testament were faced with the command to love one another. This goes along with appreciation. Each of us brings something to the table. We’re all different for a reason. I actually think that some people are different partly to help the rest of us mature. : )

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10

G.B. Stern said that “Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.” Who is there in your life that you appreciate who may not know it or who may need to hear it? There's no point in waiting until they die. They won't be able to hear what you have to say then, so say it now.
  • You want others to forgive you.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32

There is a power that is released when we forgive. It is a power that enables us to grow, but also frees up the recipient to move on. Offenses chain us to an event that occurred at a specific place in time, but forgiveness enables us to move confidently into the future. In church, forgiveness is at the core of any progress we make, because we are a family of the forgiven – all of us sinners saved by grace. So Jesus taught us to pray “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Forgiveness opens the prison door and we are surprised to find that the prisoner we've freed is ourself.
  • You want others to listen to you.
Everyone wants to be heard, because everyone has something to say. The Bible tells us clearly that each and every one of us is valuable. This is a part of loving each other – learning how to listen.

You can’t love deeply from a distance. It's important to have a circle of friends on whom we can depend. We need others in our lives who know and understand our story. We need people who we can turn to, and who we can help, when life gets difficult. This is part of the purpose of church. We can bear one another’s burdens. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”Galatians 6:2

One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that everyone has a story, and if we listen, we can learn from it.
  • You want others to understand you.
One of the keys of communication that is taught in pre-marriage counselling is to seek first to understand; then to be understood. You see, we tend so often to judge people by their behaviours but we judge ourselves by our intentions. Why do people do what they do? Why are people so insecure? What are the events in the past that have led them to this place in their lives?

When I can begin to understand those things I gain a perspective on people that helps me to be more compassionate and caring. It’s not that they are excuses, but rather they are reasons that help me to understand.

We’re talking about community here. We’re talking about building healthy relationships. Those don’t just happen. In fact, in today’s world I would say that they are exceedingly rare. We live in a world of dysfunction, the age of “I” and “me.” But here’s what I know about people:

Everybody wants to be somebody.
Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
Everybody needs somebody.
Everybody’s afraid of being hurt.
People aren’t the enemy.

The bottom line is that we need to take great care when we’re dealing with people – they’re complicated beings. Here are some deep thoughts to end on by C.S. Lewis' book The Weight of Glory:
"It is a serious thing, to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours..."

Go be nice to someone.

Related Articles:
"Take Out the Trash" - The Principle of Transformation
The Power of the Mind
Developing Great Habits
I'm offended!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Here he goes again. Last week I wrote about Jeremy Lin, who is taking the NBA and the entire sports world by storm. At the time he had already accomplished what few others had at the beginning of their careers. He had led his team to four straight wins as the point guard of the New York Knicks, averaging over 27 points a game and dishing at least 7 assists per game.

I was actually hearing jaded sports announcers talking about "divine intervention" as the only thing they could think to account for his rise from oblivion to stardom in a week. Incredibly, the legend continues to grow. Since those four wins in a row, Jeremy has led his team to two more wins on the road, extending the Knick's unbeaten string to 6, and averaging 24 points and 9 assists. Last night's game was a little painful for me, as it came against the Raptors. I just keep reminding myself, "lottery pick, lottery pick..."

Watch this video of his clutch performance at the end of the game against Toronto, after Jose Calderon had dominated him earlier.

So, what is Jeremy's response to his stunning rise to fame? "I'm thinking about how I can trust God more," the 23-year-old New York Knicks guard told San Jose Mercury News. "How can I surrender more? How can I bring Him more glory?" It's not the typical bravado coming from an NBA star in the making. His quote on his twitter profile is simply "to know him is to want to know him more," speaking of his relationship with Jesus Christ.

Not so long ago Jeremy was discarded on the waiver wire and wondering what his future held for him. Rather than despair and self-destruct as so many have, Jeremy turned to God, drawing strength from prayer and his devotional life. "I've surrendered that to God. I'm not in a battle with what everybody else thinks anymore," Jeremy said recently.

This is one of the key areas where Tim Tebow (one of Lin's heroes), and Jeremy are alike. They are able to do their best and leave the rest to God. Win or lose, it seems, their most important priority, on and off the court, is to bring honour to God. They are both fiery competitors who want to win, but they want to do it while maintaining their integrity and without compromising their faith.

It's a refreshing change. One way or the other, Jeremy Lin is in the spotlight now. I pray that he handles it well, win or lose.

Related Articles:
Is Jeremy Lin the next Tim Tebow?
Tim Tebow and John 3:16 - What's Up With That?
Tim Tebow Mania
Just Do The Right Thing!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Here is Love

As we celebrate this most romantic of holidays I think it's appropriate to take a good look at what love is and is not. I know that we've all grown enamored with the Hollywood version of love - that there's this one "perfect" person out there for all of us, and if we could just find them our life would work out great, and we would live "happily ever after."

The problem with that is that if we look for, and hold out for, that perfect person, they will never be found. No-one is perfect - and we certainly aren't. Each of us are flawed in our own way, but that is part of the charm and the challenge of love. Let's look at what love is, really, anyway.

The Biblical word for "love" as used in the marriage context is from the Greek "agapao" and speaks of, not merely affection or lustful attraction, but self-sacrifice. In the time when the New Testament was written, women in most cultures were viewed as property, and faithfulness was not a quality that was valued. So, when the Apostle Paul came out with the statement in Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..." it was a radical challenge.  

It was a commitment to remain faithful to God's standard of marriage - one man, one woman for one lifetime. God tells us, through Paul, to love our wives as Christ loved the church - and willingly laid down His life for her. This pattern stands in stark contrast to the one we see around us, where love is often seen as conditional as long as our list of expectations is met. No, here we see that love is a choice and an action word. I might not feel like it every day, but I am called - every day - to love my wife, the one I covenanted with for life.

This does not rely on feelings, feelings pass. This actually is beyond my ability, something I freely admit. It is for this reason that the Bible doesn't teach that the marriage relationship is to be first in our lives. When Jesus was asked about priorities in Matthew's Gospel, He said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” 

So, God is to be first. None of us are whole without having the relationship with our Creator restored. It provides the basis for success in all of our other relationships - including marriage. That was the purpose of Jesus'ministry, life, death and resurrection - it was all about restoration. In His famous Parable of the Prodigal Son we see God portrayed as the loving father waiting to welcome His child home. That's a picture of God's love for each of us. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8). 

It is the security of this relationship we can have with our Creator that provides the foundation for us to love our wives unconditionally. It's not about some abstract philosophical truth, but a genuine relationship that we can have with God. We can bring to Him our questions, our burdens, failures and our concerns and find the strength, peace, grace and endurance to continue. So, I gladly say that my wife is Number 2 in my life! And I am her Number 2. Neither of us would have it any other way. Happy Valentine's Day!     

Related Articles:
What Love Language Do You Speak?
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Why I Believe In Marriage
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The Power of Words

"I have a dream..." Martin Luther King, Jr. uttered those famous words in 1963. (Watch full speech here). I was one year old, and am now 49. Yet they resonate, and will continue to do so, because of the powerful thoughts that they represent. Words are powerful things, and they have the potential to turn men's hearts and to alter the course of nations. With this kind of power we ought to be careful how we use them.

Words aren't always used for good, sometimes they are used for manipulation. Witness the powerful imagery that Hitler conjured with his speeches about a "thousand year reich." The world shook for years as the nation of Germany united around a madman who was good with words.

As leaders, then, this is a subject that must be thoughtfully considered. The more influential the leader, and the more challenging the times, the greater import of the choice of words. Look again to World War II as an example. Most of mainland Europe lay completely under the boot of Hitler's Nazis, and he turned his murderous attention on England. The island nation was facing the full might of the powerful German airforce - the Luftwaffe. On numerous occasions over the next few years, Winston Churchill's voice and words rose to inspire a nation.

On June 4, 1940 he declared:
"We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France,
we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air,
we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender..."
(Read the whole speech here.)

On October 29, 1941 he famously uttered these words:
"Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." (See more here.)

It is the power of words that can turn leaders into legends. Witness John F. Kennedy's stirring call to Americans at the time of his inauguration: "...ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."

As a leader, I've witnessed that the power of words is critical, not just for the world-shaking occasions described above, but for the challenges that face your organization and mine. When difficult times come, what you choose to say (or not say) can result in a renewed vision and determination or a continued loss of momentum. How do you know what to say? Here are some keys that I think need to be remembered:

Have a sense of the times.
Those who follow you need to know that you have a sense of perspective. You don't have to mouth platitudes that "everything is going to be all right," but you do need to explain the situation. The last thing that people want is their leader "fudging figures" or trying to tiptoe around reality. People already have a sense when things aren't going well. The best way to deal with that is to acknowledge that and set a course of action to change it.

Be a "dealer in hope."
Napoleon famously stated that “A leader is a dealer in hope.” This is a true statement, even if we can question Napoleon's motives. The truth is that people need to be inspired, and without hope, people will quickly abandon the fight or the cause. They need to know why they ought to continue to pay the price, and it's a question which deserves an answer.  

Believe it before you say it.
No-one wants to follow a hypocrite, and nothing serves to destroy the heart of an organization more quickly than to find out that their commitment was being taken advantage of. If you do not believe in what you are doing  - get off the bus, call u-haul and leave town. Let another leader emerge who has the courage of their convictions. Sharp people are very quick to sniff out a fraud or a coward. On the other hand, people long to follow a leader who they can believe in. Witness my favorite scene from Braveheart:

Think before you speak.
This speaks of preparation and intentionality. When you understand that what you say could turn the fortunes of your organization or the future of your people you'd best take your time. Focus your mind on the key thought that you want to convey. Remarkably, Martin Luther King, Jr. rarely used a manuscript, but preached from an outline, having the key thoughts committed to memory. Listening to him you have a sense that he had spent a great deal of time pondering how to express the burden that was in his heart. This, I believe is a  real hallmark of great leaders: they embody their cause.

I sincerely believe that people are looking and longing for a cause that is bigger than themselves; something that is worth living for. They are looking for leaders that are able to articulate the vision in a way that they can understand. They want to know why they ought to sacrifice; why they ought to commit wholeheartedly to a cause. It is a large part of a leader's role to cast that vision with clarity - so choose your words wisely.

Related Articles:
Tim Tebow and John 3:16 - What's Up With That?
I'm offended!
"I Have A Dream"
Book Review: "What Good Is God?"

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Is Jeremy Lin the next Tim Tebow?

It hasn't been long since Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos took the sports world by storm, becoming the most popular athlete in the world with a series of clutch performances and his public expressions of faith. Now, on the hardwood, we have Jeremy Lin, newly of the New York Knicks, rocking the NBA. 

Jeremy is a second year player out of Harvard University. He wasn't considered good enough to get a scholarship, but still became the first player in Ivy League history to record 1,450 points, 450 rebounds, 400 assists and 200 steals. He went undrafted but stunned scouts with his play in the summer league after being invited to play with the Dallas Mavericks summer squad. Lin was signed to a two-year contract with the Golden State Warriors before the 2010-11 season, but played sparingly, being sent to the development league three times. The day after the lockout ended he was waived by Golden State and available to everyone in the league.

Houston picked him up off waivers on Dec. 12 and then waived him on Dec. 24 to clear cap space for Samuel Dalembert. This led to him finally being picked up by the New York Knicks on December 27. He was sent down to the D-league in January, recalled after posting a triple double (double figures in points, assists and rebounds). He was recalled three days later. I don't think he'll be leaving anytime soon. Here's what he's done since getting regular minutes.
  • February 4th vs. New Jersey: 35 Minutes - 7 Assists - 25 Points
  • February 6th vs. Utah: 45 Minutes - 8 Assists - 28 Points
  • February 8th vs. Washington: 35 Minutes - 10 Assists - 23 Points
  • February 10th vs. Los Angeles Lakers: 38 Minutes - 7 Assists - 38 Points
One of's announcers stated that "This is not just the story of the year, this is one of the greatest stories of the last ten years!" So what's the big deal?

Lin is playing at the most challenging position on the court - point guard. He is a rookie, having played only a handful of minutes over the past couple of years. He's also stepped into a Knick's lineup that is without stars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudamire and has led them to four straight wins, putting them back into playoff contention when it looked as though the season was lost. His points totals in four straight games have rarely been done in the history of the NBA, remarkable particularly for  a player with his lack of experience.

With all of that being said, perhaps the most interesting story line is the faith of Jeremy Lin. He has stated that Tim Tebow is an inspiration for him. His candid statements are refreshing. He said about Tebow, “I actually want to be able to do some of the things that he does in terms of the amount of charity work and the non-profit work, and the way he impacts people off the field. I think that is what is most inspiring to me about him.”

He's been receiving media attention on a smaller scale for a while because of his heritage. His parents emigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan. Here's what he said about those earlier challenges. “When the media attention was starting to grow around me, I felt as though I had to play well just to please everyone else. It was a great burden, and it took the joy out of the game for me. See, the truth is that I can’t even play for myself. The right way to play is not for others and not for myself, but for God.”

“I still don't fully understand what that means; I struggle with these things every game, every day. I'm still learning to be selfless and submit myself to God and give the game up to Him. It's a challenge, but thankfully I'm learning more and more.”
His attitude is very similar to Tebow, which is a very refreshing change from the ego-centric prima donnas of the NBA. It will be intersting to see how he continues to handle the media circus now swirling like a tornado around him. Can he hold to his values? “Society focuses so much on individual stats and wins and losses. To a certain extent, you can control those things. But to play for God means to leave the records and the statistics up to Him and give your best effort and allow God to figure out whether you win or lose, whether you play or shoot the ball well that game. So I just try to make sure that I work hard and in a godly way. I prepare myself as well as I can, and at every point during the game I try to submit myself to God and let Him use me, and if we really understand the gospel, we will be humble. We should be humble, and understand that everything that is good comes from God.”
I, for one, am cheering for this kid (he's 23). It would be great to have a role model on the basketball court as good as Tebow has become on the football field. Here's a question: what does it say about what the public wants that the two most popular athletes in the world today are both devout Christians? Perhaps the world is looking (hoping) for good role models too.
Here are some of his highlights from the Feb. 10th Laker game.
Related Articles:
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"Truth" - by Ravi Zacharias

What Love Language Do You Speak?

We've all heard about the book "Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus." We're very different, and that's a good thing. However, the differences aren't simply male and female. Our personalities are also different, and the way that we "receive" love is different. Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book a number of years ago called "The Five Love Languages" to explain this very reality. Understanding the differences between ourselves and others has saved many a home and helped many a family. It's a great book to have in your library.

So, what are the Five Love Languages? Here is the quick list.
  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch
Here's a quick synopsis of each. I've included, at the end of this article, a link to a free on-line assessment where you can figure out your love language. This would be a great exercise and discussion starter for you and your husband or wife on Valentine's Day.

Words of Affirmation. The person who has this as their primary love language has the need to hear their loved one say "I love you," "I'm proud of you," and other encouraging words, without being asked. They also are devastated by hurtful words.

Quality Time. This type of person needs the undivided attention of their loved one. Tardiness, forgetfulness or distraction will make this person feel that they are unloved.

Receiving Gifts. This person is not so much into materialism as they are into thoughtfulness. They love the feeling that the person they cared about took the time and the energy to think of them, even if it was a small gift. Not remembering big occasions for this person can result in big relationship challenges.

Acts of Service. For this person, small things like helping with the dishes or cleaning up make a big difference. They value the idea that the other person cares enough to help in tangible ways. Laziness and not following through will lead to problems.

Physical Touch. This person needs physical contact, lots of hugs, touches and holding of hands. Neglecting this need results in pain and isolation.

The point of this lesson is this, we need to understand the love language of those we love in order to more effectively communicate to them. We can be speaking our love language and thinking that all is well, while our partner is wondering why we don't care. It happens all the time. Relationships are complicated. Understanding the five love languages will give you another tool in your relationship toolbox.

Since publishing the first book, Chapman has also written "The Five Love Languages of Children," and "The Five Love Languages of Teenagers" among others. All are helpful in understanding the ones you love. 

Please check out the free on-line assessment and ask your loved ones to do the same.

Related Articles:
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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Susan G. Komen vs. Planned Parenthood - Not a Fair Fight

If you follow the American political scene at all you will have become very familiar with a charity called Komen over the past few weeks. Komen first announced they were declaring Planned Parenthood ineligible for future grants. After coming under blistering attacks from Planned Parenthood and the popular press they reversed their decision and apologized. Since then, their Vice President Karen Handel, an evangelical Christian,  has resigned, declining a separation package in order to maintain her ability to speak publicly.

Susan G. Komen passed away in 1980 from breast cancer. While she was fighting the disease, she was also looking for ways to improve the lives of others who were in the same battle. After she passed away, her sister, Nancy G. Brinker founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure to advance the work of finding a cure for breast cancer. Since its inception in 1982, the charity has raised over $1.9 billion and distributed this to non-profit groups working to find a cure for breast cancer. This is a truly remarkable organization. They certainly don't deserve what has happened over the past couple of weeks.

They have recently been thrust into the spotlight through their association with Planned Parenthood (PPFA). The PPFA is currently under investigation by a House Committee for allegations including:
  • Financial irregularities
  • Non-Compliance with federal regulations on taxpayer funding
  • Concerns that it is covering up cases of sex trafficking
Komen has been providing funding to the PPFA in the hundreds of thousands of dollars specifically for funding for education or screening for breast cancer. This funding amounted to a drop in the bucket for the giant PPFA, which has a yearly budget of more than $1 billion yearly. All of the above has been widely reported by mainstream media. What follows has not been so widely known. Here are the pertinent and revealing facts.

The Board of Komen decided months ago that they would be de-funding PPFA due to the ongoing investigation as a matter of policy. They informed Planned Parenthhod of their decision in December, letting them know that there would be a public announcement to that affect at a later date. Karen Handel charges that Planned Parenthood used that time to prepare for an all-out attack against Komen once the story became public. As she told Fox News, “What was unleashed over this past week was a vicious attack against a great organization and…individual attacks against [Komen founder] Nancy Brinker, an individual whom I admire greatly – and I would think all of us should be saddened that an outside org should put this kind of pressure on another organization.”

The overwhelming media response to these events has been to paint Planned Parenthood as a victim of some kind of Pro-life hack job by Karen Handel. Planned Parenthood has instead been handed a fund-raising windfall as moneys have been pouring in from an aggravated pro-choice base. So let's review:
  • Planned Parenthood is being investigated for financial irregularities involving multiple millions of U.S. Federal Funds.
  • Komen decides as an organization, by unanimous vote of its Board, to not give funds to Planned Parenthood while they are under investigation. (Remember, Komen is a non-profit charity, free to fund any group they wish that falls within the umbrella of breast cancer research). 
  • Upon hearing the announcement, pro-abortion organizations began to deluge Komen with complaints, demanding that V.P. Karen Handel be fired, blaming her for the decision.
  • Funds role in for Planned Parenthood,  in 3 days they raised $3 million. That was almost five times what Komen was giving them over a year. 
  • Komen reverses their decision, agreeing to consider PPFA for grant moneys in the future.
  • Komen's reputation has been dragged through the mud, finally resulting in the resignation of V.P. Handel.
What does this reveal about these organizations? Firstly, it demonstrates that Planned Parenthood is a political behemoth and a bully. As Handel stated: “The last time I checked, private non-profit organizations have a right and a responsibility to be able to set the highest standards and criteria on their own without interference, let alone the level of vicious attacks and coercion that has occurred by Planned Parenthood. It’s simply outrageous." 

Secondly, it demonstrates the extreme bias of the mainstream media as it seemed everyone was "piling on," with righteous indignation that Komen would do such a thing. I find it bizarre that a decision to de-fund an organization that is itself the source of such controversy should be met with such hostility. I found the first interview with Handel interesting. 

At the end of the day, my hope is that Komen can recover from the brutality of this past couple of weeks. I'm no fan of Planned Parenthood, being the largest abortion provider in the world. This sorry ordeal has merely confirmed my opinion of them.

Related Articles:
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Why the abortion issue won't go away
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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Why the abortion issue won't go away

I just finished reading an article by R. Albert Mohler Jr. on CNN's Belief Blog called "My Take: Why the abortion issue won’t go away." This was a uniquely American perspective but, as in many other issues, there is a great deal of crossover. I wanted to look at the same issue from a Canadian perspective.

If you're a regular reader of this blog you'll note that I write on the topic of abortion fairly often. I do that for the same reason that many other Canadians bring up the subject. I believe that abortion is the moral issue of our time. Other generations have had to deal with slavery, suffrage and civil rights, among other issues. In my view there is no moral issue that takes precedence over the right to life.

Since abortion was first de-criminalized in Canada in 1969, there have been over 3,000,000 abortions in Canada. Once all restrictions to abortion were removed in 1988, abortion jumped 29%. Just to clarify, in Canada there is currently no protection for a child in the womb, regardless of length of term. This was confirmed in 1991 by the Supreme Court of Canada when a full-term child whose head was outside of the birth canal was ruled not a "person" by law. Most Canadians I speak with are unaware of this reality.

Let's examine some of the reasons why this won't go away in Canada. Some of these reasons mirror the American situation, some differ.

It won't go away because the legal position in Canada is so extreme. As stated above, there is virtually no protection for a child in the womb. For those who value life this is simply untenable. More than thirty years of surveys have demonstrated that the majority of Canadians want some limit to abortion. Yet, there is no political will to address the issue. In fact, it is widely believed that to bring up the "A" word in terms of a pro-life position would be the death knell for a candidate. So the subject continues to be the subject of debate by pro-lifers while pro-choicers do their best to stifle those voices.

It won't go away because there are people on either side who are firmly entrenched in their position. As Winston Churchill said, "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Feminist organizations have viewed the issue of abortion rights as fundamental to the rights of women, and therefore it is a non-negotiable. They will therefore fight any effort to limit abortion whatsoever, not wanting to allow a foot in the door. Women's Studies programs in Canadian Universities are notorious for their pro-abortion slant.

On the other hand, the Catholic Church and Canadian Evangelicals, among others, are equally determined to see Canada come to the defense of the unborn. Because their stance is rooted in their firm belief that the fetus is a human being and that life begins at conception, expecting them to change their mind is naive in the extreme.

It won't go away because the Canadian media, by and large, refuses to allow the issue to be brought to the forefront. This has resulted in a great deal of frustration, particularly among pro-lifers who feel as though their views are virtually ignored if not mis-represented. Every election we are reminded by some columnist or news anchor that the abortion issue is a closed debate and that the Canadian public doesn't want it re-opened. This only serves to wave a red flag in the faces of pro-lifers. What has resulted is an entrenchment whereby pro-lifers have created their own newspapers, on-line news sources, and women's organizations in order to allow their views to be heard. The growth in social media has also allowed for a more direct approach in getting the word out.

It won't go away because advancements in science and technology have radically changed what we know about life in the womb. Destroyed is the myth that an unborn baby is simply a blob of cells. Just before writing this article I saw a friend's Facebook post of a 3D image of their child "in utero." They have already named their baby and are commenting on how much he looks like his father. Yet we are still aborting babies of the same gestation in Canada.

Beyond that, now that we have the technology to determine sex earlier in the pregnancy, we see that women are aborting babies based solely on sex. The issues become more and more complicated as feminists now must either defend "gendercide" or come out against some abortions. But if abortion is wrong because it's a girl, how can it be okay if it's a boy? A baby is a baby is a baby.

It won't go away because pro-lifers recognize, as feared, that abortion was only the thin edge of the wedge. In other words, once we have succeeded in de-humanizing unborn babies, a lack of respect for life in general follows. Debates regarding euthanasia and what to do with babies who survive abortion create the belief that social engineers will continue to push an even more extreme agenda.

This is an uncomfortable issue to be sure. It's not comfortable table talk. It's not even a popular subject on this blog. But I will continue to write about it because it's an issue which deserves serious consideration. I truly long for intelligent debate on this issue. I have not heard, recently, a well thought out pro-choice position, but rather the shrill cry to "shut up!" Well, that won't happen. The issue will not be going away any time soon.

Related Articles:
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