Gianna Jessen - Abortion Survivor in Australia

>> Monday, September 27, 2010

Greetings all!

A friend shared the following video[s] with me on Facebook and they blessed and challenged me so much that I had to post them here.

They really need no introduction. Jessen speaks with such power and conviction seasoned liberally with the grace of the Gospel, God has truly given her and ministry and blessed her with the tools to faithfully minister it.

Part 1

Part 2

I especially appreciate her "challenge" to the men. The abortion debate has become so twisted over time that we have largely forgetten the role of men in the matter, and bringing the focus back to it's proper place on the men is, I believe, a crucial element in winning the abortion war. If men would be men and support their ladies imagine how many young, precious lives could be saved!

God bless and veritas supra omnis!


Psalm 148

>> Friday, September 17, 2010

Hello all,

I spent the greater part of yesterday hiking in the Redwood Canyon section of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. The whole park is positively stunning and throughout the hike several scriptures kept coming to mind, one of which was Psalm 148. While I don't have anything profound to add to the Psalm in the way of commentary, I would like to post it here (along with a few of the many pictures I took while hiking) in the hopes that it will be a blessing to some of you.

 1 Praise the LORD!
         Praise the LORD from the heavens;
         Praise Him in the heights!
 2 Praise Him, all His angels;
         Praise Him, all His hosts!
 3 Praise Him, sun and moon;
         Praise Him, all you stars of light!
 4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
         And you waters above the heavens!
          (Psalm 148:1-4, New King James Version)

 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
         For He commanded and they were created.
 6 He also established them forever and ever;
         He made a decree which shall not pass away.
          (Psalm 148:5-6, New King James Version)

 7 Praise the LORD from the earth,
         You great sea creatures and all the depths;
 8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
         Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
 9 Mountains and all hills;
         Fruitful trees and all cedars;
 10 Beasts and all cattle;
         Creeping things and flying fowl; (Psalm 148:7-10, New King James Version)

 11 Kings of the earth and all peoples;
         Princes and all judges of the earth;
 12 Both young men and maidens;
         Old men and children.
          (Psalm 148:11-12, New King James Version)

 13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
         For His name alone is exalted;
         His glory is above the earth and heaven.
 14 And He has exalted the horn of His people,
         The praise of all His saints—
         Of the children of Israel,
         A people near to Him.
         Praise the LORD! (Psalm 148:13-14, New King James Version)

Amen! May we never cease to marvel at the totality of His creation!

God bless and veritas supra omnis!


Tony Reinke - On Burning Religious Books

>> Wednesday, September 8, 2010

After my last post I continued to think about and to keep an eye out for Gospel oriented views on the well publicized Quran burning scheduled for this September 11th by Pastor Terry Jones and the 50 member strong Dove World Outreach Center. But since I was distracted by crazy events this evening and being unsatisfied with my own reasons and articulation for why this Quran burning is not God honoring, I was fortunate to come across this post by Tony Reinke thanks to Justin Taylor.

Mr. Reinke makes 6 basic points that I will share here with his most relevant comments (to the 6 points). If you would like to read his post in its entirety, which I would encourage you to do, please follow this link.

The Bible, as far as I can tell, mentions one account where religious texts are thrown to the flames (Acts 19:11-20). On the heels of the great work of God in Ephesus, the people had come to fear God and to trust in the Savior. As a result, “a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver” (v. 19). In modern terms they ignited a bonfire using very expensive magic books.

What were these books? According to Eckhard Schnabel, they were occultist documents that described how to make amulets to protect against demons and how to make love charms (Early Christian Mission, 1221). The books gave directions for casting spells on others, either for good or ill, and they would have been quite expensive, which highlights the effect of the gospel upon the wealthy inhabitants of Ephesus. That Paul went toe-to-toe with the owners of documents, which later led to a book burning, tells me they qualify as religious texts, and probubly comprised the pop religion of the day.

From this account here are six points to ponder:

1. The Ephesian people burned their own books. These new believers renounced their past. This was not an act of Christians barging into homes to ransack libraries for kindling, or weeding out the public library, or buying up all available copies from the local bookshop. They gathered the valuable books from their own houses.

2. No Christian leader encouraged the book burning. At least the text doesn’t say it. Or would have been better for the books to be sold and the money given to the Apostolic ministry? Perish the thought. There there is no indication that Paul advised the people to burn (or sell) their occultist books.

3. The books posed no threat to the gospel. The gospel overcame the magic power of the books. The gospel is like a hurricane and nothing will stop its wind, certainly not a book of demonic spells.

4. God’s display of power convinced the people that their books were worthless. There was no need to address the value of the magic books directly. Once God’s power and his gospel were seen in the city, the matter was settled.

5. The book burning was a display of godly sorrow. The recently converted Christians wanted to confess their sin before “all.” The high value of the books (50,000 days wages worth!) made a strong statement. It was an act of personal sorrow for their own sin.

6. The burning illustrated the victory of the gospel. The magic books were burned because the gospel was spreading like wildfire: “So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily” (v. 20).

These six points should make us very hesitant about burning other people’s religious books.

I concur with Mr. Reinke's thoughts and believe Pastor Jones would do well to give them careful consideration as well. As Christians, we must always do our best to ensure that God is glorified by and through our actions. I have no reason to believe that Pastor Jones doesn't think what he is doing somehow honors God, but I believe he is very mistaken and would encourage him to reconsider his and his congregants scheduled burning.

God bless and veritas supra omnis!


Burn Couches, Not the Quran

Hello all,

I happened across this article by Andrew Lisi and wanted to pass it on to you because I believe he is thinking along the right lines. I believe the burning to be deeply misguided, but as Mr. Lisi points out, a Christian shouldn't respond in a purely reactionary manner. Rather, grace is needed all around for a positive and Christ like impact to be made.

Burn Couches, Not the Quran

God bless and veritas supra omnis!


A pro-life perspective on ELLA

>> Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hello friends, family, and random internet readers!

As promised in a previous post, I am back to post with some information and thoughts on the “ELLA” drug recently approved by the FDA. In my previous post I shared a video clip in which Randy Alcorn and Mark Driscoll discuss the dangers common contraceptives pose from a pro-life perspective, which I am sure includes the ELLA drug. I have similar concerns about ELLA.

So first, what is ELLA?

According to the Wall Street Journal, ELLA is “a new drug that is supposed to block pregnancy up to five days after sex, two days longer than the currently available emergency contraceptive Plan B.In the words of the FDA, “ella is a progesterone agonist/antagonist whose likely main effect is to inhibit or delay ovulation. Since May 2009, the prescription product has been available in Europe under the brand name ellaOne.” According to the pro-life organization Americans United for Life (AUL), “Ella is being marketed as an “emergency contraceptive,” but it is the “next generation” of the abortion drug, RU-486.”

The possible dangers and ethical questions raised by ELLA are not as clear as most people would prefer. Still, from a pro-life perspective, I believe a solid answer can be reached.

What are the dangers of ELLA?

First, does ELLA interfere with or kill a developing embryo? That depends on when you believe life to begin. Basically, forgoing the technical and scientific terms that I find it difficult to keep straight sometimes…ELLA’s primary function/purpose is to inhibit or interfere with ovulation. But, if it is unable to do that, its next function is to keep that fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. Turning again to AUL for input, “Ella, like RU-486, is a selective progesterone receptor modulator (SPRM). As a progesterone blocker, an SPRM works to interfere with the developing human embryo, causing it to die by either interfering with the uterine lining and preventing implantation, or by starving an implanted embryo.” AUL further states in a letter to Margaret Hamburg (Commissioner, US Food and Drug Administration) urging that ELLA not be approvedUlipristal Acetate and the abortion drug Mifepristone (RU-486) are both selective progesterone receptor modulators (SPRM). SPRMs block progesterone, which is necessary to maintain pregnancyithus starving an unborn baby of the nutrients it needs to continue life.

Given ella’s similar chemical makeup to RU-486, women deserve to see evidence demonstrating that ella will not destroy or harm an unborn child and that ella’s modes of action do not include abortion, especially in light of studies that show ella causes abortions in animal studies. FDA materials admit that data is “too limited to draw any definitive conclusions regarding the effect of ulipristal on an established pregnancy or fetal development.

So the answer to the question of whether ELLA interferes with or kills a life (and thus constitutes an abortion) depends on when you define life to begin and whether ELLA is successful in its primary function of preventing ovulation. If you believe life begins at the moment an egg is fertilized, then yes, ELLA absolutely interferes with and/or kills a human life when it fails in its primary purpose (which it must be assumed will happen with fair regularity due to lack of precision in administration). According to studies, only 2% of women taking ELLA up to 120 hours after intercourse become pregnant. 2% sounds small but when thousands upon thousands of women take ELLA 2% quickly becomes a large number. But, if you believe life begins at the moment of implantation or when the egg is attached to the uterus, then it is not clear to what extent ELLA interferes with the embryo. I say “not clear” deliberately because that leads to my next concern with ELLA.

Is ELLA safe and thoroughly studied enough?

As with virtually all prescription pills or drugs, there are possible side effects of ELLA. Not new news. But, there are concerns that ELLA has not been sufficiently studied to determine its effects on women and embryos it does not prevent from being fertilized and implanted. On this count, AUL has this to say: “While the FDA made specific assurances that Plan B would not affect an embryo after implantation, it contraindicates ella for “known or suspected” pregnancy. The FDA admits, “There are no adequate and well controlled studies in pregnant women.” It cites studies in animals with high rates of pregnancy loss, and it acknowledges that the effects on a fetus that survives ella are unknown.

Exactly what weight these concerns about safety hold, I just can’t say with authority, due to my lack of familiarity with the process of approving prescription pills. Neither a human life or the health of a mother are worth the chance of an insufficiently researched product; so I believe it behooves the FDA to further examine the affect ELLA would have both on the health of the mother and the child, in the event that ELLA does not keep an egg from implanting or is taken too late.

In summary: the bottom line from a consistently pro-life perspective is that ELLA is sure to interfere with and end many human lives in their earliest stage of life. For this reason alone I believe ELLA should not be used by pro-life individuals but the unanswered questions concerning the safety of ELLA are also a significant concern.

There is no good reason for not examining more thoroughly safety questions, especially when a fetus could be harmed for life. The FDA’s failure to do so raises questions about the impact of political and industrial involvement in the approval process. The answer to those questions is of secondary importance though as the FDA cannot make individuals use ELLA.

The choice is the individuals. How will they decide and what will the pro-life community do to stand up for the unborn and protect the sanctity of life?

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

Related Articles:

AUL's "Letter to the Commissioner"

"Is Ella Birth Control or Abortion?" on

WaPo "FDA approves ella as 5-day-after emergency contraceptive"


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