Jan 20, 2013

Choose Life

(published: Cordele Dispatch - 1/20/13)

Most anniversaries, such as birthdays and weddings, are occasions to celebrate.  There are other occasions, however, that are not to be celebrated but to remember a day of sadness and grief.  Today is such a time for Christians and pro-life supporters as we remember a day that would forever change the course of history in the United States, the decision of Roe v. Wade.
This Tuesday is the 40th anniversary of the 1973 landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court to legalize abortion.  In this decision, the court ruled that unborn children are not persons protected by the right to life set forth in the Constitution but that under the constitution, a woman has the fundamental right to choose to abort the unborn child up until the time of viability.  Since then, abortions are even offered for those past the first trimester.
As a woman, I myself want the freedom to make my own decisions concerning my body and my overall health.  However, as a Christian, it is my belief that none of us have the right to decide to take the life of an unborn child, regardless of the circumstances.  As with any sin, there will be consequences to pay, but I believe the consequences for willingly destroying an innocent life can have devastating effects on the human soul. 
Since abortion was legalized, not only have there been heartbreaking consequences in many of the lives of those directly affected by abortion, but our country as a whole has been affected. 
In its 2011-2012 annual report, Planned Parenthood revealed that it had performed 333,964 abortion procedures.  The reality of that is that 333,964 babies died at their hands. 
The Bible makes it clear that all life is created by God, regardless of the circumstances.  Psalm 139:13-16 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.   My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”. 
I believe America is being judged by God for our sins as a nation, and the legalization of abortion has led the way.  Our nation as a whole has not repented and called on His name to heal our land.  Yes, there are thousands of Christians that have prayed and worked hard to get this message across, but our voices have been overshadowed by those opposing biblical values.  Our nation as a whole has become so selfish and greedy that we only seek to satisfy our own selfish desires.  We want instant gratification and refuse to wait on the Lord’s instruction or to follow the principles laid out for us in God’s Word.
So where do we go from here?  Will it only get worse?  Will America eventually self-destruct as a result of our sinful living and completely turn its back on God? 
As the body of Christ, we must fight to keep this from happening.  We must not give up.  We cannot give in to the demands of those who oppose our way of life.  We must continue to make a stand and fight one battle at a time, for we know victory will ultimately belong to the Lord.
What can you do to help?  First, pray and ask God what He would have you do.  Prayer itself is the most powerful weapon we have to fight the forces of spiritual darkness that threaten to overtake this world.  But prayer alone is not enough.  We must put “feet to our prayers”.  We have to be engaged and learn to speak out for Biblical values in all areas of life – even in the political arena.  Though we may get weary at times and feel like we’re fighting a losing battle, we must not give in.
You can also support your local pregnancy care center, both financially and through service.  If you do not have a center in your own town, find the one closest to you and see what their needs are.  They can all use volunteers on a daily basis to help answer phones, communicate with donors, or even to clean and organize office supplies. 
Finally, offer your support to a young girl or lady who is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.  Don’t judge her for her circumstances.  She may not even know Christ and the fact that there can be a completely different life for her, a life found in the living Christ who loves us, forgives us, and wants to bless us.  Encourage her to choose life for her unborn baby if she is still undecided and make sure she has a support system in place to help her care for her child. 
Even if we never see the decision to legalize abortion overturned, we must not lose hope.  We must choose to be the voice of the unborn.  We must choose to fight for life each day. 
Hebrews 10:38 (KJV): “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him”.

Lynn Langford

Jan 17, 2013

Whom Shall I Fear?

(published in Cordele Dispatch 1/17/13)

Whom shall I fear?
As a child, it seemed to me that the people mentioned in the Bible were just characters in a book.  I believed that God’s Word was true, but it wasn’t until I grew in maturity and in my faith that these characters really came to life for me. 
We can learn so much today about the world we live in simply by studying the lives of those in the Bible and by referencing its past historical events.  The Bible is full of stories about those who chose to follow Christ, but we also read about the schemes of the wicked and Satan’s attempts to prevent prophecy from being fulfilled. 
In reality, nothing has changed much in today’s world – sometimes I think conditions are worse.  Since Satan and his angels were thrown out of heaven, they have continued to roam the earth, seeking to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).  Just as Satan and his demons tried to prevent Jesus from fulfilling scripture, they are also busy today wreaking havoc in the lives of the just and the unjust.  Satan knows he is running out of time.  To prevent more people from coming to Christ through salvation, he makes it a priority to lay traps and snares for believers.  He knows if we fall for his schemes, we will not have an effective witness for Christ. 
Believed to have been written by Paul, the book of Ephesians offers us encouragement and advice for these troubling times.  Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) warns: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places”.   Although we cannot see it with earthly eyes, there is spiritual warfare going on around us all the time. The book of Ephesians gives us the instruction we need to combat the evil we encounter in our daily lives.  We are to put on the “whole armor of God” and draw our strength from Him. 
At times we may feel that we’re fighting a losing fight, but it is then that we need to remember that the battle has already been won.  After dying a cruel death on the cross, Jesus Christ rose on the third day and defeated death.  In that moment, He made a way for you and for me.  Nothing formed against us can stand against His strength.
So if you’re feeling discouraged today in light of some circumstance that is beyond your control, take heart my friends!  With God on our side, who should we fear? 
In the words of Chris Tomlin: “I know Who goes before me, I know Who stands behind, the God of angel armies is always by my side.  The One who reigns forever, He is a Friend of mine, the God of angel armies is always by my side”.

Jan 16, 2013

every penny counts

Baby Bottle Boomerang

The Hazel Chapman WMU group at FBC Rochelle will once again be sponsoring a “Baby Bottle Boomerang” fundraiser to benefit the Pregnancy Care Center of Tifton, Ga.  Bottles will be available on Sunday, January 20th after church.  Every family is encouraged to take a baby bottle and fill it with loose change, bills, or checks and return it to the church by Sunday, February 17th.  All donations are greatly appreciated as they will help the center provide the much needed resources and services to women in the surrounding communities.  May God bless you for giving to such a worthy cause.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” Jeremiah 1:5

Jan 3, 2013

The High Calling

I ran across a site this morning that I wanted to share with you.  The High Calling is an online magazine and community that was founded on the belief that God cares about our daily work.  I dont' know about you, but so many times I find myself feeling that I'm not really doing "ministry" in my 9-5 (actually, 7:45-4:15..lol!) secular job.  But that couldn't be further from the truth! 

We are all missionaries no matter where we are.....at work and at play.  We each have a different calling and a different sphere of influence in the world for Christ.  We just need to embrace it and make the most of every opportunity we have to share the Good News.

I'm new to the site, but I can't wait to really dive into it and explore everything they have to offer.  I need all the encouragement I can find in my daily life! 

So go on over and check it out for yourself.  You don't blog?  No worries!  You can even receive automatic emails on a daily or weekly basis to keep you informed. 

Well, let me go for now.  I'm about to add their button to the sidebar of my blog for easy access.  They're also on Facebook, so see.....there's no excuse for you not to find them ;)

Have a great day!