Ok, So I am taking a break from finishing my book in order to relax a little bit and catch you guys up on some goings on around here 😀 Today’s post will share a little bit about my first time canning apple pie filling!!! Let me just say that we (the girls and I) had a blast, and I am soooo glad they were here to help me. I was a little overwhelmed, but after completing this, we looked back and realized how simple it really was!! So, I hope you enjoy this look at the lighter side of things, and if you EVER wanted to do things like this, DO NOT WAIT!!! Tomorrow is NOT promised!!
We had quite a few apples that were getting pretty ripe in our refrigerator, so I said, “Why not?” I very rarely totally plan ahead…meaning I may have a thought that I want to do something on a certain day, but it’s not until that day comes that I decide whether or not I will…and sometimes that depends on if I even remember that I wanted to do it!!! Why did I share that? To give you hope!!!! I have wanted to can things for YEARS, but was always soooooo overwhelmed and felt like I had to be this EXTREMELY organized person to do it!!! I have realized that I don’t necessarily have to be organized, but I do have to have the basic tools on hand in case the urge hits me 😀 Anyway….here’s the Apple Pie Filling Recipe & Instructions for canning!
GATHER YOUR CANNING SUPPLIES
Water bath canner (or LARGE stock pot with lid)
Canning seals and rings (lids)
(ALL OF THE ABOVE WERE PURCHASED AT WALMART FOR VERY REASONABLE PRICES)
Large pot or blancher
Towels and dishcloths (it gets messy/to dry jars)
Apples (enough for 6-8 quarts)
1C Thickener (cornstarch, flour or clear gel)
3T lemon juice
THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO MAKE WILL BE FOUND IN THE CAPTION FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHS 😀
AT THIS POINT LET ME POINT OUT THAT I HAVE JARS THAT ARE FILLED WITH BOILED WATER WAITING, AS WELL AS A BOWL OF BOILED WATER WITH THE SEALS AND RINGS SITTING IN THEM WAITING. EACH JAR WILL BE EMPTIED OF THE WATER INDIVIDUALLY AND PROMPTLY FILLED WITH APPLES AS THEY ARE READY.
THE RIMS OF EACH JAR ARE WIPED CLEAN BEFORE THE LIDS ARE REMOVED FROM THE HOT WATER, DRIED AND PUT IN PLACE 😀
STORE IN A COOL PLACE! USE WHEN YOU WISH AS YOU WISH!! ENJOY 😀
A I delve deeper and deeper into the joys of serving at home, I continue to discover more and more things that “I have always wanted to do,” but just didn’t know it!!!! One of those things just happened to be making butter!!! Can you believe it??? As I prepare to turn 40 exactly one month from today, I am simply amazed at the transformation of heart The Lord has done in me, and for some reason, making butter for the first time today, as simple as it was, brought a few tears to my eyes…and a sense of satisfaction and contentment to my heart.
The first time that I can recall having a thought or a desire to make butter was 2 years ago when my youngest daughter was reading Little House on The Prairie. When she got to the end of the book, she discovered a recipe for homemade butter and in her excitement, she ran and shared it with me. And the desire was born! But like so many other things that “I have always wanted to do,” I never made the time to do it! Until now, that is. Today was the day! And I have to say, it was worth the wait!
The simple recipe that I actually followed:
1 pint of heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
Blend in food processor for 10 minutes or until butter separates from liquid
Spoon into dish or bowl with slotted spoon and refrigerate
The recipe below is the recipe that my daughter Leah found in her book. I wanted to share the exact one since she was soooo excited to share it with me and I was soooooo excited to make it!!! The pictures are from today and the simple recipe above, and I hope you enjoy them and decide to try this yourself, if you have not already!
The Little House on the Prairie Butter Recipe
You will need: 1 pint of heavy cream, slotted spoon, quart-size jar with tight lid, tea towel
1. Pour the cream into the jar. Screw on the lid.
2. Shake the jar until the cream thickens and starts to form a ball of butter. This may take a while, so keep shaking!
3. Scoop the butter out of the jar with the slotted spoon, and drain it on a tea towel.
4. Squeeze the butter inside the towel to get e remaining liquid out.
5. Form the butter ball into a pretty shape, put it on a plate, and chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready yo use it.
Believe it or not, many women who consider themselves ‘Christians’ also would describe themselves as fans of Beyoncé’. (I know because I have spoken to many) Hard to believe right? Well even more difficult to believe is the fact that many churches do not teach about the Holy Spirit or Spiritual Warfare. Why would I mention Beyoncé and Spiritual Warfare in the same comment?? Because the existence of the former continues to remind me of the NEED and existence of the latter. If you are listening to, watching, or are permitting your sons and daughters to listen to and watch this self-professed demon possessed woman, wake up and remove this and any other satanically influenced idols (as if there were any other kind of idol) from your homes and your circle of influence!!!!
What Has Happened to the Heart of a Mother?
What has taken place in the heart of a woman that we not only fail to protect our children in the womb, but we are failing or refusing to protect them after they are born??? Oh, we don’t want them to fall and scrape their knee, but a scraped knee very rarely if ever led a child into occultic activities or depression and suicide!! We no longer guard them from the music. We no longer guard them from the images or from the language. Witches and sorcery have become harmless entertainment!!! Our babies are murdered by us daily to the tune of over 3,000 every day!! What has happened in our hearts that we no longer fight for our children lives…for their souls?? What has happened that we no longer fight for our own!!!!!! How has it become the norm for a mother or a father to watch their children become statistics…empty vessels sitting in pews (or chairs) while chasing the idols of this world in their hearts? We dress our daughters in the likeness of the immodest, ungodly women of the secular culture, and our sons don’t appear much better, following the example of those wearing sagging pants and sloppy shirts with tattoos and body piercings all over their bodies. We have become OK with coed church youth group swimming parties with our daughters in bikinis wrestling in water, and on land, with boys in underwear!!!!! We allow them to ‘lead their own lives’!! They have ipods full of ungodly music, and Facebook pages that we know nothing about the content of because we want them to know that we trust them!! ARE WE SERIOUS????? I trust my kids, but it is this EVIL, SATANICALLY INFLUENCED CULTURE THAT I DO NOT TRUST!!! And I am their MOTHER!!! And it is the responsibility of my husband and I to protect them, even if it’s against themselves.
My, How The Church Has Changed!
There was a time when the ‘town sinner’ would come to church and understand and demonstrate respect for the House of the Lord. If the men had a hat on, they took it off. If the skirts of the ladies were too short, they would feel shame, and the older women would gracefully put a hankee or a sheet over their laps. Any profane communication was on hold until they exited the doors. It was understood that God was gracious, merciful, jealous and just! But today, the level of disrespect displayed by those who wear the Lord’s name while in His House has caused those who would have once been convicted of sin, and repented with broken spirits, to now believe that they are ‘fine’ just the way they are. No change is needed. My miniskirt, low-cut blouse, tight leggings while leading praise and worship, marijuana smell, profane language, lustful thoughts and actions are all OK with God. My blatant disrespect of my husband and refusal to discipline (provide boundaries for) my children no longer disqualifies me from serving tirelessly in the church. The miniscule detail that I am on marriage number three no longer disqualifies me from the pulpit. After all, I liked it so I put a ring on that one…and that one…oh, and that one too! God accepts me just the way I am, and there is nothing I need to do or that I can do to earn salvation, and there is nothing I need to do or can do to keep it. Bottom line; Our faulty theology and misrepresentation of grace has bred a generation that occupies God’s house but does not know God at all…and that’s just the adults, while the children take notes…
And a great road will go through that once deserted land.
It will be named the Highway of Holiness.
Evil-minded people will never travel on it.
It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways;
fools will never walk there.
BUT WHAT DOES THIS ALL HAVE TO DO WITH BEYONCE????
Beyoncé and her large Christian fan base represents a trend in the modern church to be in the world and of it! This trend has amassed an egregiously ungodly influence not just in the world, BUT IN THE LIVES OF THOSE SITTING IN OUR CHURCHES AND SERVING IN OUR MINISTRIES…. As a wife, it grieves me mightily that so many husbands are engaged in lustful thinking whenever her name comes up, and the images of her videos or her Superbowl performance flash across their mind…but not just her. It grieves me that so many are engaged in lust AT ALL!!!
As a mother, one of my responsiblities is to protect my children from things that would turn their hearts from the Lord and from following his ways!! Beyoncé is not alone in this example of evil influence, but she is one of the most recognized and widely worshipped singers of today. And one of the most dangerous! You see, Beyonce goes to church on Sunday!!! The lie that she walks in fellowship with God is told by her actions, while the truth of her demonic possession is told from her own mouth. As such, she influences countless young girls that her lifestyle is acceptable to the Lord…and they will influence their daughters and granddaughters with this Beyoncé’ (pagan) worship.
And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said:
“I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father,and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:16-18
Our children need to understand that idolatry has consequences. But now that I say that I am remembering that it is not the kids alone who need to realize this fact! Its moms and dads too. I remember a few years ago when I was teaching a group of a few hundred girls monthly. The lessons were original ones that the Lord blessed me to write called “Purity Points’, and as you can guess by the title, the topic was PURITY…separation from the love of the world. The young girls would come back each month and tell me that they tried to implement the boundary setting exercises we talked about in the previous months lessons, only to have their mom tell them they didn’t need to follow that! These girls tried hard to honor the Lord in their daily living, but were discouraged from doing so, many of them, by their Christian parents. They were crushed at the advice of their mothers, and while many attempted to stay the course, most of them sadly did not! Did you notice that I said mothers, and not moms and dads? You see, most fathers want their daughters to remain pure and undefiled sexually. It’s usually the moms that don’t see a problem with a little ‘sex appeal’! It’s usually the moms that intervene when dad is concerned that daughters pants are too tight, or clothes are too revealing, and tells him that she’s young, and that there is nothing wrong with showing a little skin!!
WHAT. IS. WRONG. WITH. US????? IF. WE. DON’T. GET. IN. THIS. FIGHT. AND. IN. HIS. WORD. AND. ON. THE. FRONT. LINE. AND. ON. THE. RIGHT. SIDE. OF . THIS. BLOOD. RED. BATTLE. LINE. IN. THE. SAND. OUR. CHILDREN. WILL. DIE. IN . THIS. WILDERNESS.!!!!!! …………………………………………………. And it will be our fault….:-(
“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. John 15:18
A Hospital For Sinners
When the church became a ‘hospital for sinners’ it ceased to be a place of refuge, discipleship (meaning training in righteous living and in how to defend THE faith) and fellowship for the Saints. There was a time when sinners would not, could not sit in the church and be comfortable in their sin, but now we cater to the unrepentant sinner and provide false security in return for a prayer uttered from an unrepentant heart, while labeling those who genuinely love God, have repented (meaning TURNED FROM A LIFESTYLE OF SIN) and are pursuing righteous living with all of their heart, with the Holy Spirit empowering them, as legalists… But that is not what God’s Word says about us!!!
“How much more do I need to say? … They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.” Hebrews 11:32-40
But we don’t fight to hang on to this identity anymore!!! We quietly slip away into silence while the enemy rages against the Kingdom of the Living God!!! But we are more than this…and so are our children!! And if we do not fight for them who will!!!??? Ladies, we are at war, and the future of our children is what’s on the line. Will we fight for them? In prayer, will we fight? On our knees, will we fight? With tears streaming down our faces, will we withstand the pull to give in and let them be in the world and of the world. How much do they really mean to us? Are we willing to suffer through their anger and sullen faces if need be? ARE WE WILLING TO FIGHT FOR THE SOULS OF OUR CHILDREN???? Or does the spirit of Beyoncé win?
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
Not only is Beyoncé evil, but all sin is evil. She is a representation of the sin that Christ came and died to free us from. If we love Him, and we love our children, we need to guard them from the influence of this woman and any other influence that denies the light of Christ!
1 Peter 5:8 issues this very appropriate warning; “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.
He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
On Tuesday, January 23rd, many in our nation celebrated the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, that legalized abortion. While the celebrations were ensuing, there were many who grieved. As my family continues to research the true history of Planned Parenthood, and the 40 year impact of a decision that told a nation that a life deemed unfit or unwanted was no longer a life, my heart breaks even more. As we learn of the companies that use fetal tissue (the tissue of aborted babies that are overwhelmingly African Amarican) my grief turns to anguish. Boundaries have long been crossed on this issue, and lines drawn in the sand long erased. The following artcle was shared by Vision Forum Ministries and is being re-shared here in the hopes that its plea will be heard loud and clear…It is not too late to repent…
Past Failures and Future Resolves
in the Battle for Human Life
By Wesley Strackbein
America’s holocaust continues.
Today more than 3,000 children will be murdered in the womb through surgical abortion. These dead children will be heaped on the more than 54 million others who have preceded them since the darkest day in American legal history which occurred when the Roe v. Wade decision was rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court. Forty years ago today, our nation’s highest court legally sanctioned the killing of the unborn.
As we consider this bloody slaughter, it behooves us to ask three key questions: How did Roe v. Wade come about? What has been the Church’s response over the last forty years? And, where do we go from here?
The Legal Backdrop for Roe:
The Abandonment of Original Intent
In examining America’s legal history, it is clear that Roe v. Wade did not arise out of a vacuum. The decision flowed from a legal trend that had been in motion for more a hundred years in which the meaning of the U.S. Constitution was being increasingly redefined based on the view that it was an “evolving document.” Rather than defending its original intent as envisioned by the drafters of the Constitution, the black robed judges who presided over our nation’s courts were interpreting it to suit their own personal notions of what they deemed best for society.
This trend is pointedly illustrated in a seminal case that the Supreme Court handed down in 1965, eight years before Roe was decided — Griswold v. Connecticut.
Doug Phillips, a constitutional attorney and the founder of Vision Forum Ministries, notes the significance of this earlier landmark decision: “You cannot understand Roe unless you understand Griswold, and you cannot understand Griswold unless you understand the changing nature of judicial interpretation.”
In Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court struck down a law which forbade contraception use on the basis of “the right to privacy,” a doctrine found nowhere in the Constitution, yet one the justices derived from the “penumbras” and “emanations” of the document.
Phillips explains the Court’s strategy in invoking these terms in Griswold:
[The court] is speaking of little glowing halos around the broad-sweeping principles that are somehow emitted from the Constitution. In point of fact, they are telling us there is nothing in the Constitution that grants ‘the right to privacy,’ but it sure seems like it should be there. . . . What happened in Griswold laid the groundwork for Roe and the murder of unborn children.
The Hammer Falls:
“Unborn Children are Not Persons”
The case of Roe v. Wade involved a suit made on behalf of Norma McCorvey (under the alias of “Jane Roe ”) who was unable to secure an abortion in Texas based on the state’s law at the time. While she had already given birth to her child by the time the case was heard, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of McCorvey on appeal in a 7-2 decision, invoking the “right of privacy” rationale that had been invented in Griswold.
While the Court was less than confident in defending the “right of privacy” doctrine from the Constitution itself, it nonetheless expanded it to include the right of a mother to murder her unborn child. In writing the majority opinion for the court, Justice Harry Blackmun stated:
[The] right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or . . . in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.
Even as the justices in the majority invoked the Fourteenth Amendment as a purported “source” for the so-called “right to privacy,” the Supreme Court did an in-run around the Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause — which stipulates that “no state shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” — by denying the personhood of children in the womb.
Blackmun wrote: “the word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn.”
Justice Byron White and William Rehnquist — the two judges who opposed the decision — took the majority’s reasoning to task in their dissent:
I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant women and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes.
The Cultural Landscape:
A Weak and Abdicated Church
Though the legal trends that lead to Roe v. Wade are important to examine, even more important is where the Church was during this time.
Dan Becker, President of Georgia Right to Life and Field Director of Personhood USA, puts the matter bluntly: “How did [Roe] come about? It came about because of the absence of the Church.”
Doug Phillips agrees:
The Church completely abdicated from speaking to the legal, ethical, and biblical principles that apply to culture and to law. When Roe was ultimately declared by the Court, many Evangelical Christians had nothing to say to it, because they didn’t have a biblical worldview. For more than a century, the Church had increasingly resorted to a form of religious pietism which had no practical application to life and important cultural issues. The result was lamentable — the withdraw of the Church from every area of society meant the demise of our culture and our law system.
Dr. George Grant, a pro-life advocate who has written prolifically in defense of the unborn, offers a similar view.
As the Church, Grant states, “we were not preaching the Word of God, we were not training and equipping disciples, we were not reinforcing and strengthening the family and the other spheres.”
This led, argues Grant, to “a Church that had so marginalized itself intellectually and culturally that it was constitutionally incapable of speaking to the problems [of the day] articulately. That set up Roe v. Wade.”
Delving deeper, Phillips points to the blights of social Darwinism, utilitarianism, and radical feminism as key cultural forces that paved the way for Roe.
While the Church, for example, has historically embraced the sanctity of life from conception to death and welcomed children as a blessing, American Evangelicals in the twentieth century forsook these roots for a selfish course rooted in humanistic, evolutionary theory. Phillips observes:
The Church embraced the basic tenets of Margaret Sanger’s vision for the eugenic age which said that some people life is not worth living; that men can lawfully manipulate their reproduction; and that some babies shouldn’t be brought into this world.
One result attending this shift was that, by the middle decades of the twentieth century, mainline evangelical churches had embraced contraceptive use as a legitimate practice. In 1960, the Church accepted use of the Pill, which is known to act as an abortifacient. This occurred despite the fact that, prior to the last century, the orthodox Church has universally condemned contraceptive use as a selfish perversion of God’s design for human intimacy between husband and wife.
To paraphrase Hosea’s indictment: We sowed the wind — and when Roe was handed down on January 22, 1973 — we reaped the worldwind.
The Church Awakes:
Whatever Happened to the Human Race?
Though the pall of death loomed over America’s unborn with the Roedecision, the Evangelical Church was not quick to wake from its slumber. While Roman Catholics were faster on point in the battle over the sanctity of human life, Protestants throughout the ’70s largely stayed on the sidelines.
Many longstanding leaders in the pro-life movement who are still active today credit Francis Schaeffer as a key prod who prompted Protestants to enter the fight. Dr. George Grant notes the significance of Schaeffer’s 1979 book and accompanying video, Whatever Happened to the Human Race?, which confronted the issues of abortion, euthanasia, and infanticide; as well as Schaeffer’s best-selling book, A Christian Manifesto, released in 1981, as works that spurred many Evangelicals to engage the arena in defense of life.
Dan Becker of Georgia Right to Life offers these comments:
“Francis Schaeffer was the one who brought most of the evangelical church to the pro-life movement itself back in the early ’80s. It was totally absent from the culture completely, prior to anything having to do with the sanctity of life. It wasn’t on the radar of [most] churches” until Schaeffer brought it to their attention.
Jim Zes, a Reformed Baptist who has been fighting for the sanctity of life for many years in the St. Louis area, remembers a billboard Schaeffer took out in a major Florida city that said, in essence, “Abortions clinics are open with permission by the Church of Jesus Christ.”
Schaeffer’s salvo on the Church’s lethargy is a theme that has motivated Zes to remain engaged in this battle for the long haul.
The Roaring ’80s:
Progress and Compromise
As the ’80s progressed, pro-life Evangelicals gained more traction, notoriety, and influence. 1988 was a particularly noteworthy year for the movement on several fronts. On the fifteenth anniversary of Roe, Dr. George Grant published Grand Illusions, an earth-shattering expose of the legacy of Planned Parenthood that became a best-seller which has since been reissued in numerous languages and editions.
Also that year, Operation Rescue, under Randall Terry’s leadership, staged a series of controversial abortion clinic blockades in Atlanta, Georgia, surrounding the Democratic National Convention which resulting in more than 1,200 arrests.
Yet while the pro-life movement gained remarkable ascendancy and public awareness at this time, it was during this same general period that the movement on the whole took a turn for the worse, in terms of its core commitments.
The derailment occurred in conjunction with proposed changes to the Hyde Amendment, which since 1976 had banned federal Medicaid funding for abortion. In 1981, pro-lifers strenuously fought for rape, incest, and health of the mother exceptions of the mother to be dropped from the Hyde Amendment and won. Throughout the ’80s, the advocacy of such exceptions was deemed unacceptable by the major pro-life organizations, both Catholic and Protestant.
However, as the ’80s were coming to a close, the debate over the Hyde Amendment was reopened on Capitol Hill, and the exceptions of rape and incest came to the fore of the discussion.
“This led to a debate within the [pro-life] movement about whether or not it would damage the underlying presupposition that all life is sacred and should be protected as an inalienable right,” notes Dan Becker.
In a radical departure, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Right to Life Committee, and other leading pro-life organizations signed off on the changes and created a “new normal” of what it means to be pro-life — that a politician or other operative in the political arena can support the murder of one category of children and still be deemed “pro-life.”
Looking back on this titanic sea-change, Becker notes the fall-out that resulted: “By abandoning the basic Christian premise of imago Dei, we invited a pragmatism based on natural law. We compromised and capitulated to the point in the pro-life movement where it became ineffectual—both politically and as a preservative agent as salt.”
Becker explains the folly of the rape and incest exception according to God’s law, a principle long recognized in English common law:
Deuteronomy 24:16 says that a child shall not be put to death for the crimes of its father. That means that if a rapist commits an act of violence against a woman, and she conceives, we [must] protect that child, and we [must] advocate that that child should not pay the penalty for its father’s sin.
In assenting to the Hyde Amendment exceptions, a Pandora’s box of compromise was opened. From it came a broader unbiblical strategy that included support of parental notification laws, 24-hour waiting periods, and various other legislation that conceded the premise of the debate.
Pro-lifers were now supporting bills which said in so many words, “You can kill your child, so long as your parents approve; you can kill your child, so long as you wait 24 hours before the knife falls.”
Incrementalism: The Good and the Bad
Many critical of such compromises don’t suggest that incrementalism in the fight for of life is wrong in all cases, but that incrementalism should only be pursued when the core principles of the sanctity of all human life are maintained, not undermined.
Doug Phillips remarks: “If we can pass pro-life laws that don’t ratify the foundation of abortion’s ‘lawfulness,’ or reinforce the wickedness of abortion as a practice, this is something worth pursuing.”
Dan Becker notes that creating tension over competing legal precedents has warrant when done on the right terms: “You can identify a class of human life that you can protect, as long as you don’t name a physical class that you won’t protect, and therefore become complicit.”
In considering positive examples of incrementalism, Dr. Grant commends William Wilberforce for consideration: “When you look at the incrementalism strategies of someone like a Wilberforce . . . the incrementalism reforms were never couched in such a way as to concede the original premise.”
Grant also highlights the wrong approach to incrementalism that officials in Amsterdam took in response to prostitution, “They said we are not going to be able to ban prostitution, so we’ll isolate it and stigmatize it. So what happens then is that it becomes a tourist attraction. You can’t concede the premise of an opponent’s argument.”
Phillips warns of the danger of so-called “victories” that concede the foundation:
The idea that we are accomplishing a victory by ratifying the execution of children on the condition that the mother or father of the baby have sort of warning of the emotional or psychological effect that may occur if they murder their child, or that a cancerous effect may result — that it’s okay to kill as long as we “notify” — is simply horrific. It’s an ethical nightmare which reinforces the very thing we are fighting against.
Pro-Death is the New Pro-Life
A prominent feature of the compromised political strategy employed by Evangelical pro-life groups is how they have score-carded candidates on the issues.
The National Right to Life Committee has been particularly notorious in this regard. The NRLC, for example, endorsed Republican presidential candidates Sen. John McCain and Gov. Mitt Romney as “pro-life” when their past track records as well as contemporary statements provided no defensible basis for such recognition. Both McCain and Romney have consistently supported the murder of children conceived by rape and incest, and have vocally advocated weakening the Republican Party Platform on abortion, among other troubling actions on their part that have threatened the sanctity of life.
But it’s not just presidential races where National Right to Life has gone askew. Last year, the NRLC got well-deserved blowback from the Boston Globe when they spent $45,000 sending out mailers in support of Sen. Scott Brown, who openly supports legalized abortion.
Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham leveled the boom on NRLC: “Even though Brown has been loudly proclaiming that he favors abortion rights, the antiabortion group gave him a 100 percent rating in his first year as a senator, and an 80 percent rating in his second. And it continues to shower him with paper roses.”
The flier that the NRLC mailed in support of Sen. Brown showed a picture of a fetus, a little baby, and an older woman. The flier’s headline was hardly subtle: “It’s time to take America back. . . for LIFE!”
When confronted on this hypocrisy, David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life, admitted that the NRLC sometime supports candidates who favor legalized abortion.
“He is pro-choice,” O’Steen stated. But “if you look at the two candidates, Elizabeth Warren’s position is very extreme. She can only be characterized as pro-abortion.”
Dr. George Grant comments on this trend which he has observed for more than two decades.
The reality is that Al Gore was never pro-life. When he was a [U.S.] rep and then a Senator [from Tennessee], he was never the pro-life, southern Conservative he was made out to be,” who then “converted” to become pro-choice when he was tagged to run as Bill Clinton’s running mate in 1992.
“It was the silly scorecards that took such a shallow representations of [Gore’s] voting record and declared him to be pro-life,” remarks Grant. “But he was always . . . rooted in Bismarkian, Nietzschean, real politick.”
The way a policy group scores candidates reveals their priorities, Grant maintains.
“Most scorecards emerge from institutions that have agendas, and the scorecards usually say more about the agenda of the organization than the candidates themselves,” he notes. “The onus is on pastors to inform their congregations that this is the case.”
This said, Grant does see some value in scorecards, but encourages them to be used only as a first to step getting an education about a particular candidate or candidates, as they have inherent limitations.“There are always hazards to any kind of shorthand, any kind of abbreviated declaration.”
Doug Phillips argues that policy groups should stop misleading others about candidates’ positions when life is at stake and simply tell the truth. “What we need to be saying is not, ‘This candidate is pro-life with exceptions; but this candidate is pro-death with exceptions. This person believes that it’s okay to kill some babies, but not all of them.’”
Appealing to the fundamentals, Phillips offers this as the benchmark in endorsing candidates for public office:
We should never support a candidate who supports the murder of any children through abortion. And until our candidates know that, they are going to keep saying and doing only as much as they have to in order to appease us.
Back on Track:
Saving the 100, Not Just the 99
Despite negative trends among various leading pro-life groups, the leadership of a number of state organizations has openly repented of past compromise and purposed to return to biblical foundations and definitions in the battle for human life.
Among them is Georgia Right to Life who, in the year 2000, jettisoned the “rape and incest exception” as an acceptable “pro-life” position and has self-consciously sought to return the national debate back to the foundational argument of “personhood” that was a main focus of the pro-life movement prior to the Hyde Amendment compromise.
Tennessee and Alabama’s pro-life groups have followed suit in rejecting “rape and incest exception” in their candidate endorsement policy.
Dan Becker, who is the current president of Georgia Right to Life, notes the blessing that has occurred since GRL made this change twelve years ago.
“Georgia is the only state in the nation where all nine statewide offices that are elected by the voters statewide are pro-life without exception,” he observes. “We have gone from the 50th most protected state in the nation to the 9th.”
Becker adds this salvo: “No longer do we say, ‘We’re going to save the 99 and pray for the 1.’ We’re going to save all 100.”
While GRL’s position is not without major detractors in the movement, Becker is positive about the opportunities that their stand for principle has opened up for them.
“We are impacting the movement in ways that are exciting, new, and effective,” he remarks. “I’ve [now] been tasked to implement the Georgia model in other states. The [fight for personhood] is the new paradigm of pro-life activity for the 21st Century.”
Personhood Is the Battle:
The Challenges that Lie Ahead
Becker’s insistence that “personhood” return to the center of the debate is based squarely on principle — yet it also anticipates the future horrors on the horizon that will come if this standard is not thoroughly defended and upheld. And the battleground, Becker maintains, is far broader than simply abortion.
“Because we’ve only been anti-abortion — instead of thoroughly defending the doctrine of imago Dei [in all that it entails] — we are only operating on one cylinder, while the culture is running on twelve cylinders,” Becker notes.
He then explains the implications:
We have ceded a lot of battleground in the emerging technologies and on the issue of personhood for the elderly. Because of the burgeoning [aging Baby Boomers], we will see the fight for personhood become increasing important for the elderly, as their personhood is denied through rationed healthcare decisions that define who is protected under the law and who is not.
Great challenges already exist in the field of genetics, as arguments for trans-humanism are being advanced by medical practitioners and ethicists who deny that man is created in God’s image with certain inherent limitations that he, as a creature, is not free to manipulate.
“’When are we human?’ is being debated — what is a human being? — the definition is up for grabs right now,” remarks Becker. “What if we’re okay with trans-genic animal/human hybrids, and we start tinkering with that in our law to allow for it?”
He also comments on the popularity of Spiderman, the Hulk, Ironman, etc. and states that the genetic-manipulation and “enhancements” of these Comic Book icons so popular on the big screen reflect part of a real, raging debate in academia that is hardly fiction.
As complicated and thorny as all of this is, Becker argues that the answer at its core is really quite simple.
“It’s the doctrine of imago Dei,” he says. “As a culture and as a political system . . . [we must call on all] to recognize what God has already granted — an inalienable right to life based on the doctrinal teaching we have understood that has shaped Western history two or three times over the last two thousand years.”
A Blueprint for Victory:
Humble Repentance for Our Sins
The last forty years have been one of horror and bloodshed for the unborn.
The question now is: Where do we go from here?
Dr. George Grant asserts that the Evangelical Church must begin by getting its priorities straight.
Commenting on the recent Newtown massacre, he laments, “More Christians are concerned that their Second Amendment gun rights are being taken away than seeing the inconsistencies in this rhetoric, given the murder today of 3,300 children, and tomorrow of 3,300 children, and the next day of 3,300 children.”
Jim Zes emphasizes the need for the Church to not only focus on missions of mercy, such as crisis pregnancies centers and adoption — both of which play an important role in Christian outreach — but for the Church to reclaim its prophetic voice and, once again, call good, “good” and evil “evil” and to confront the culture courageously.
Zes says we must affirm God’s law as the standard as part of a clear Gospel message of repentance and hope.
Dr. Grant agrees with this assessment, but says our voice of confrontation to the culture should only sound once we as the Church confess our own sins and repent. “The need in our day is to not so much practice Jeremiads, but Nehemiads.”
He then explains the quandary. “There’s much to lament; there’s much to critique in our culture,” he confesses. “[Y]et the Church is in no position to give our culture Jeremiads because we are so compromised. We can’t give Jeremiads of substance because we are guilty of virtually anything we might lament.”
Our first step, Grant asserts, is for Christians “to come to the ruin and cry out to Almighty God in all humility, as Nehemiah does in Nehemiah 1, and get busy with the hard work of cleaning up the rubble.”
Grant’s main point is this: We can’t take our axe to the culture’s idols until we’ve cleaned up our own house.
Doug Phillips offers these sobering words in closing the discussion: “How can we possibly expect to win the battle for life when we are killing our own children in the womb through abortifacient contraception-when we’re refusing to take an uncompromising stand for all of life?”
Hosea’s pointed words are timely for today’s wayward Church:
Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. . . . Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” (Hosea 6:1-3)
As we battle for the sanctity of all human life, we as the Church must forsake our wickedness, fall on our face in humility, and repent.
Only then should we expect God’s favor on our land.
 Yvonne Abraham, “Senator Brown trying to have it both ways,” Boston Globe, October 28, 2012.
 Noah Bierman, “Antiabortion group sends out mailers for Scott Brown, who favors legalized abortion,” Boston Globe, October 25, 2012.
I am a wife
I am married to an amazing man
Who loves me
Selflessly, unconditionally, undeniably
I am blessed among women
To have been created for, and chosen by him
I am a mother
There are many who call me Mom
Some, born of my body
Some, eternally grafted to my heart
I am blessed among women to have been trusted by God
To leave His fingerprint branded in the threads of their lives
I am my father’s daughter
I witnessed the strength of God in his commitment
To provide for and protect our family
He did his best, he stayed…breaking generational cycles
14 years after he passed on
It remains a blessing to have loved and been loved by him
I am my mother’s child
I see more and more of her in the mirror every day
No matter what I do I seem to hear and see
More of her in me as time goes by
Her smile, her laugh, her facial expressions…
Her dreams, her grief all passed on to me
The older I get, the more I appreciate an value this woman.
The more things I understand
I am a woman who loves the Lord
The greatest joys in my life are wrapped in my obedience to Him
In my relationship to Him, in my response to his grace towards me
Adopted by him, but his before time began
His will is what my heart cries out for
It is his presence that my very soul adores
It is only Him the I live and breath for
I am a wife, I am a mother
I am a daughter
I am a woman who loves the Lord
What more do I need to become, prove, or do
It’s over! I’m free! I will never sacrifice any one of these
Just to win the approval of you?
Is a woman who hyphenates her last name (keeping both her maiden and married name) not submitting fully to her husband?
This is a question I saw recently on Facebook, as well as the comment I posted in response. I wanted to share this with all of you in hopes of getting your feedback.The question itself was genuine, and not meant in a negative way. A new bride was sincerely asking for the opinions of those she knows. The slew of comments that followed were, in some cases, heartbreaking. They lead me to do a little research into the ‘new’ movement where husbands are taking on the last names of their wives as opposed to the wives taking on the last name of her husband. Read both the question and the comment I posted in response… Out of the 26 responses to this question, mine was completely ignored by all except the writer of the original question… So, what are your thoughts, and what Bible verses/principles/cultural depictions of the people of God do you use to support your view?
“I have not read the other comments…so no offense intended if there is any…when we choose to BECOME ONE with a man, we are doing just that…becoming ONE…in order for that to work we both must die to our own selfish ambition and become a different person…a blending of the two…part of that for Eve is the taking on of her husband’s name and what that represents (wo+man=woman)… what it communicates to the world around us. It communicates that we are women who are under authority and consider it a blessing to be covered in life by first, the Lord, then by our earthly fathers whose name we bear until our marriage, and again that covering and protection and provision is passed to our husbands, and is signified by the taking of their name. (1Peter 3, Ephesians 5) It is a sign of honor and respect as well as encouragement and edification to our husbands. It demonstrates love and trust. That said, it is anti-feminist and is another aspect of marriage where we (Christian women) tend to take on the mindset of the world and follow their cultural trends rather than the culture designed by the Word. But it’s minor..no big deal…just a hyphen…but the – communicates the opposite of what our marriages as believers are supposed to communicate to the world we live in. It doesn’t communicate unity or oneness or sacrifice, it communicates division, and a reluctance to really take on our husbands name and hang on to our own is communicating that Eve is still alive and well. We (women) are the greatest influencers in the lives of our husbands and our children, and everything we do will either communicate our obedience and submission to God, or our rebellion and disobedience to Him. So does God’s word explicitly tell us not o use a – in our names when married? No, but it does tell us to submit to our husbands as unto the Lord. Have we taken on Christ’s name? Do we hyphenate it so that we can maintain our independence/identity with our old sinful nature and our new nature? Do we even think about these ‘minor’ issues in light of our marriage relationships mirroring our relationship with Christ? And if we still can’t come to an understanding, it’s always a great ides to ask our husbands how it would make them feel, really, and what it communicates about our hearts for them. Some women hold on to their last name because they have children prior to marriage or from a previous marriage and don’t want their kids to not have the shared identity of their last name…. I understand these cases as well, but we have to understand that the relationship between a man and his wife is the ONLY relationship on earth that is called to represent the relationship that Christ has with his bride…it is to supercede all others…
This is the post. What feedback do you have? Agree. Disagree. I would really like to know 😀 And what about men taking on the last name of their wives???? Have you even heard of that? I truly look forward to hearing from you!