Tag Archives: Organizations

The Wintery Knight link of the week

For those of you who aren’t already regular readers of the Wintery Knight, don’t miss Should Christian doctors be forced to act like atheists at work?

He starts by addressing a chilling account of how religious freedoms (mainly those of Christians) continue to get suppressed.  It isn’t just about keeping people from imposing their views on others, it is about silencing religious speech completely.  A patient complained that his doctor offered to pray for him. Eek!  Apparently that made him feel bad because the doctor thought his religious views were superior.  Free advice: If you have such a shallow faith that the mere hint that someone else thinks their views are right makes you squirm, then you should examine your views more carefully.

Then he points out how flawed the foundation of Liberalism is, both morally and economically.  You’ll want to read it all, but here’s a sample.

The General Medical Council is asking medics if it should “regulate doctors’ lives outside medicine” in a review of its guidelines on ethics.

Currently it would only be a disciplinary matter if behaviour after hours affected a doctor’s work or brought the profession into disrepute, or if they imposed their views on others.

. . .

It comes as the watchdog prepares to investigate the case of a GP in Margate, Dr Richard Scott, who is accused of upsetting a patient by offering to pray for them.

The GP says their conversation turned to religion after they had finished discussing medical options, and that he asked permission to raise his Christian beliefs with the patient, who is of another faith.

But the GMC sent him a warning letter, claiming his comments had “distressed” the patient and “did not meet with the standards required of a doctor”.

. . .

“It is further alleged that Dr Scott subsequently confirmed, via national media, that he had sought to suggest his own faith had more to offer than that of the patient.

And this gets extended to cases where pro-life medical doctors and nurses are forced to before abortions against their conscience. It’s not just evangelism that is threatened, it’s the freedom to not murder at the state’s bidding. This pressure to comply with the state doesn’t come out of nowhere – it occurs when the state is in control of an industry and there is nowhere else for Christians to go to find work. And it is stronger for those who work in government monopolies.

If you are a doctor in a government-run single payer health care system, then you have a choice of one employer – the government. In the West, that government will likely be secular, and the main job of that government will be to get themselves re-elected. Conservative political parties will be able to get re-elected by delivering national security and economic growth. Even moderate conservatives like George W. Bush can deliver unemployment rates of 4.4% and 160 billion dollar deficits – so the voters re-elect conservatives because they have jobs and because they are safe. But liberal parties can’t produce jobs or balance a budget – like with Obama’s 9.5% unemployment rate and his 1.7 trillion dollar deficits. Liberals screw up the economy, and then they have to resort to bribing the electorate with government spending in order to be re-elected.

So what goodies do the liberal parties provide? Well, take health care. There is a block of voters who want to be able to engage in risky activities that make them feel good, and then get out of them by having the government take their neighbors’ money to pay for their medical bills. (Or, their neighbor’s children’s money, to be more precise, since it is much more politically acceptable to run up 1.7 trillion dollar debts than to embrace pro-growth economic policies that would lower the unemployment rate, as with Bush’s tax cuts). For example, may liberal voters want the government to provide things like taxpayer-funded abortions, so that they can engage in reckless premarital sex without being burdened by the consequences of their own choices. And the liberal party buys their votes by transferring wealth from other taxpayers to pay for these abortions.

Now, when these liberal parties go before the voters, they don’t talk about wanting to provide taxpayer-funded abortions to liberal voters. They tell sob stories about people who need medical treatment but who can’t afford it, or about hungry children who have less to eat than other children. Boo, hoo, hoo, they explain. They play on people’s fears and emotions, and, for some ignorant voters, that works. Even many Christians who decide who to vote for based on their emotions and peer pressure will fall for this – they are too busy watching “Dancing With the Stars” to read about reducing health care costs through consumer-driven health care or improving educational outcomes through school choice.

. . .

Helping people isn’t the government’s job, it’s your job. Stop trying to resolve your fears and uncertainties about life by making the government into God. Government shouldn’t have that power. It’s not their job to help others – it’s your job. It’s not their job to provide you with happiness in this life by taking your neighbor’s money, either.

Pro-lifers should be thrilled that Bachmann is running for President

In theory, real feminists should be thrilled that Michele Bachmann is running for President.   She has been successful in business and in politics and by all accounts is a terrific mother and extremely generous person. But the pro-choicers and the faux-lifers will hate her for this.  How dare she mention the Declaration of Independence?!   How dare she mention negative rights (i.e., the right to be protected from being destroyed just because you are unwanted)?!

Via Pro-Life Rep. Michele Bachmann Joins GOP Presidential Field | LifeNews.com:

During the debate, Bachmann defended her pro-life views and talked about the foster children she’s adopted.

“I am 100 percent pro-life. I’ve given birth to five babies, and I’ve taken 23 foster children into my home. I believe in the dignity of life from conception until natural death. I believe in the sanctity of human life,” Bachmann said.

“And I think the most eloquent words ever written were those in our Declaration of Independence that said it’s a creator who endowed us with inalienable rights given to us from God, not from government. And the beauty of that is that government cannot take those rights away. Only God can give, and only God can take,” she continued. “And the first of those rights is life. And I stand for that right. I stand for the right to life. The very few cases that deal with those exceptions are the very tiniest of fraction of cases, and yet they get all the attention. Where all of the firepower is and where the real battle is, is on the general — genuine issue of taking an innocent human life. I stand for life from conception until natural death.”

I love it when candidates speak clearly, especially on such an important topic.  She didn’t try to water things down.

And while the “pro-lifers don’t care about kids after they are born” canard is easy to refute, her track record of caring for so many foster children serves as a “prebuttal” to the pro-legalized abortionists.

I’m glad she is running, and I would love to see her win or at least get the VP nod.

Hat tip: Jill Stanek

“I’m from Australia and I’d really like some insight into why there is this visceral hatred of Palin from left liberals – it’s complete bizarre”

The title of this post was a comment left on someone else’s Facebook post on Sarah Palin.  Here’s one response I liked:

As one female caller to a talk radio show said the other day, “She is smart, she is athletic, she loves the outdoors, she hunts, she fishes, she raises kids, she is on TV, she has been a governor of a state, she writes books, she blogs, AND she is pretty. What’s not to hate?”

Here was my answer:
‎90% of people abort Down Syndrome children, but she gave birth to hers. Her pro-life position makes Liberals absolutely hate her. You could agree with radical feminists on literally every issue possible except unrestricted abortion and they will hate you with a passion. Seriously.
On a different Palin post on my FB page, someone noted this:
 SP [Sarah Palin] is a stupid moron.
How eloquent, and how right off the the mainstream media script.
Update: Turns out she writes like most CEOS, and better than the expert who was hoping she’d come off as illiterate.

Which is more racist?

A. Aborting blacks at a rate three times that of whites

B. Pointing out that the abortion rate for blacks is three times that of whites

See Mom sues pro-life group for using daughter’s photo in “racist, defamatory” NYC billboard – Jill Stanek

A pro-life group that erected a billboard to spotlight the documented genocide being committed against preborn black children is being sued as “racist.”

I’d say “A.” The racism lies with those Margaret Sanger-inspired Planned Parenthood types who target black communities.

Good checklist to see if your minister is a counterfeit

See Are You a Counterfeit Minister? « Touch ya Neighbor Ministries.  This is dedicated to the false teaching ministers / laypeople that love my blogs so much!

A sample:

12. If you think that the bible has many errors because it was written by men you are a counterfeit minister.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
13. If you refuse to refute and expose false teachers and prophets you are guilty of not following the word of God and you are a counterfeit minister.
“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.” Romans 16:17
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” Acts 20:28-30

Real social justice

False teachers (1) and other Liberals try to monopolize the term “social justice,” but given that they support taxpayer-funded abortions (not to mention any abortions), that is a sickening perversion of the term.  What is more foundational to justice than the right not to be crushed and dismembered just because you are unwanted?

See Rescuing women trapped into abortion is ‘real social justice’ say pro-life youth leaders | LifeSiteNews.com for some people who are trying to reclaim the term.

(1) False teachers include people like Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis and race-baiting Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie

Roe v Wade Roundup

“Ask Them What They Mean By ‘Choice’” Blog Day

The idea is simple. Any time any of us reads pro-aborts spouting their obscure “choice” rhetoric on a blog, website, Facebook, or Twitter, we call them out on it. We ask them to explain what the “choice” is.

Is it to eat carrots rather than broccoli? To wear red instead of blue? No, of course “choice” is code for killing babies. What’s their problem with the A-word?

Yes, this is a shameless scheme to suck oxygen out of the pro-aborts’ social media universe, to deny them any time whatsoever to support abortion without defending it.

Pro-lifers don’t help people after birth? Nonsense. As I’ve noted many times, pro-lifers do way more for the women before and after birth (and even post-abortion) than pro-legalized abortionists do.  They do it with their own time and money.

But note that they aren’t obliged to do so.  When the pro-aborts reflexively spout the “pro-lifers don’t help” canard, ask if they could speak out against infanticide even if they weren’t willing to adopt the children.

Also, if they are truly pro-choice and not pro-abortion, they would have the same obligation to help after birth.

Read the first chapter of Unplanned for free

Unplanned is a heart-stopping personal drama of life-and-death encounters, a courtroom battle, and spiritual transformation that speaks hope and compassion into the political controversy that surrounds this complex issue. Telling Abby’s story from both sides of the abortion clinic property line, this book is a must-read…

Regulators Ignored Killer Abortion Doc: Grand Jury – the pro-legalized abortionists hope this story goes away soon.  They try to feign outrage but they bitterly fight for the right to destroy the children just before birth.  How can they be so shocked that someone will finish the job when the abortion fails to deliver a dead baby?

What should be highlighted, but isn’t, is the faux outrage from the pro-choicers about this “doctor.”  Of course we know what he did was beyond reprehensible.  But their view is that his real crime was not doing the abortions right the first time.  Had he killed the babies literally minutes earlier everything would have been fine with them.

It is just another name for infanticide:

When Ruth Bader Ginsburg writes that partial-birth abortion (performed by delivering the baby in the breech position, stabbing it in the head with scissors with the neck lodged in the cervix, suctioning its brains out, and then delivering the corpse that had been alive moments earlier) is a constitutional right, she sanctions the murder of babies who have already been born – because those babies are no more human, no more special, than the ones who are fair targets.  As Abby Johnson wrote in her new book, “Unplanned”, while assisting in an abortion,

“But this time, the image was complete  I could see the entire, perfect profile of a baby. It looks just like Grace at 12 weeks, I thought, surprised, remembering my very first peek at my daughter, three years before, snuggled securely inside my womb.  The image before me now looked the same, only clearer, sharper.”

Respecting human life is not an optional part of a civilised society, which is why the “pro-choice” language is so fallacious.

Ironic title of the year from the Huffington Post (yeah, it is early in the year, but this one may still be tops come 12/31): Remember Roe v. Wade — and Stop the Violence (it was a pro-abortion piece, of course).  Uh, yes . . . the violence . . .

The comments there were a litany of bad pro-abortion bumper sticker reasoning.

These are simple, essential ways to protect women’s health. Thank you! It’s baffling to me that a simple medical procedure produces so much violence and controvers­­y.

This procedure kills an innocent human being. That is a scientific fact.

It’s hard to believe that we still have to fight for our right to reproducti­­ve freedom.

That is an argument against someone saying you shouldn’t have the right to use birth control. In the case of abortion, one has already reproduced a human being. So this has nothing to do with reproducti­ve freedom.

Link arms shout out loud, stay away from my medical decisions! This is mine, my family and my doctors business.

As with nearly all pro-abortion arguments, this ignores the unborn human being who gets destroyed.

Amanda Marcotte: Hey, let’s blame another mass murder on conservatives – You have to be super-duper-pro-abortion to try and pin the Philly doctor murders on pro-lifers.

How much evidence do we need to know that a “No strings attached” sex culture will lead to pain, misery and death?

Pro-life responses: Easier than you think.

This pro-abortion site reflexively
used three transparently false arguments. You’ll hear them
from many pro-choicers, even those who (sadly) claim the name of
Christ. Either they know they are false and use them anyway, or
they have used them without thinking critically. Here are
some simple but accurate responses to use when you hear them. 1.
“Pro-lifers oppose the bodily autonomy of women” –
That ignores the bodily autonomy of the human being that is going
to be crushed and dismembered.
The argument plays on
the emotional “conservatives want to control women!” theme.
It would only work if it wasn’t a scientific
fact
that the unborn are human beings from conception.
The “personhood” argument used to
de-humanize the unborn is a heaping does of philosophical FAIL, but
even if it wasn’t it commits another fallacy by equivocating
between body and personhood. 2. “Pro-lifers oppose
reproductive rights” — Uh, but abortions occur when they have
already reproduced a human
being
(there’s that pesky scientific fact
again). We don’t oppose women exercising their right to
reproduce. We oppose the destruction of the human beings they
have already reproduced. 3. “Pro-lifers have a fetus
fetish,” which is a variant of the
pro-lifers don’t care about kids
after they are
born

fallacy.
Simply ask the person making that claim,
“Do you have to be willing to take complete responsibility for
human beings you are trying to protect? Can you protest the
abuse of the homeless, spouses, children or pets without having to
provide unlimited care for them all?” As noted in the link,
pro-lifers do a great deal with their own time and money to help
women and families in need. Also, unless the pro-choicers
are advocating forced abortions, the same burden to care for the
babies allowed to live falls on them. But the pro-choice
argument fails even if we didn’t help out.

Kairos prison ministry weekend reflections

kairosjesusbehindbars.jpg

The Kairos prison ministry weekend went really well.  As always, it was exhausting and amazing.  This is probably my favorite ministry.  I’ve never seen anything that has such broad and dramatic impacts on so many lives.  I’ll share a little background, then a few observations.  If you want more background on the ministry there is additional information at the bottom.

Overview of the ministry: It is an opportunity to share the Gospel with those who aren’t believers (No one is pressured, though).  Many of the participants are already Christians, so it is a great opportunity to fellowship with and encourage them.  And it is just an all-around way to share God’s love with people who are often depressed and forgotten.  It is educational in laying out Christian principles for living and creating a Christian community wherever they are.  It helps teach them how to love and forgive others (and themselves). It has a dramatic impact on recidivism, which means less victims and lower costs for society.

Kairos doesn’t advocate for either the prisoners or for the criminal justice system. A transaction took place between the state and the prisoner. The prisoners did the crime and are now doing the time, so we don’t get in the middle of that. We just reach out with Christian love to all and with Christian fellowship to believers.  We try to show that they aren’t forgotten.

There is also a Kairos Outside program for the moms / wives / daughters of the prisoners.  It is completely free, including transportation to the event and childcare if necessary.

Observations from the weekend (other volunteers are welcome to leave their own in the comments section)

  • The speaker at the closing ceremony was a former Kairos participant who was paroled against great odds.  He noted how he continually and aggressively resisted the Gospel for decades.  Bibles brought in by new cell mates were thrown out of the cell or ripped to shreds and then thrown out of the cell.  But eventually he converted.  One lesson: Keep sowing seeds in people’s lives, but don’t cast pearls before swine.  Leave the results and timing to God.
  • I loved a quote passed along by one of the guys at my table (he was quoting Oswald Chambers, but I can’t find the original).  It was something like, “If you aren’t about your Father’s business where you are, what makes you think you’ll be about it where you will be?”  In other words, don’t tell yourself that when such-and-such happens you’ll be more generous, helpful, etc. if you aren’t doing those things now.  That fit in well with the talk I gave and with the general theme of the weekend to point them to have their own Christian community right where they are.
  • A prisoner at the closing ceremony told everyone to go home and tell and show your kids that you love them.  A few of the inmates came from solid homes, but most did not.
  • Another interesting moment at the closing ceremony: One guy asked how many people were raised going to church.  Lots of hands went up.  Then he asked how many were taught the Bible at home.  Most hands went down.  See Ephesians 6:4, Christians!  We need to teach this to our kids ourselves.  What they learn at church is just a bonus.
  • One guy noted how he thought love was just something in books and movies, and that he never experienced it until this weekend.
  • The birthday cakes and cards brought a lot of tears, especially by some who never had them growing up.
  • Our leader, Mark, did a great job of keeping us focused.  He noted that if all the offenders left the weekend just thinking about how nice we were to come then we would have failed.  The purpose is to get them plugged into their own Christian community and accountability relationships.
  • We took in literally thousands of cookies and other good food, which they really enjoy, but surprisingly they talked the most about the pleasures of having fresh fruit.
  • The forgiveness exercises were powerful, as usual.  There were many public apologies for wrongs done.  One offender noted how harboring unforgiveness makes it hard to pray.
  • There were lots of opportunities to coach and encourage them on what to do when they get out: Finding a good church, ensuring they have people to hold them accountable, etc.
  • Several ex-offenders were on the volunteer team as well.  It was great to have them and a tremendous example to those on the inside that success is possible.
  • I eat more cookies on one of these weekends than I do the rest of the year.  Seriously.
  • I never get tired of seeing lives transformed by the Holy Spirit.

I saw this song on my younger daughter’s Facebook page one day and thought it fit in well with the ministry theme of Kairos: Listen-listen-love-love.  Love people for who they are, not for what they have done or what they’ll become.

Here’s a previous post with more background information

Matthew 25:36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

This is a follow up to the Off to prison (ministry) post.  The Kairos prison ministry weekend went really well as did the follow up session the next Saturday.  We were at the Carol Vance unit in Sugarland, Texas, a medium security unit (though it seemed more like medium-light to me).

I am looking forward to the monthly follow-ups.  We’ll go see the prisoners for a couple hours one Saturday morning per month.  If we just met them once on the Kairos weekend that would have been good, but it is more meaningful if we can visit them repeatedly.  I’ll probably do one of the weekend events each year from now on.

There are so many things to like about this ministry. It is an opportunity to share the Gospel with those who aren’t believers (No one is pressured, though.  One guy at my table was a Muslim but he really soaked it all in and was very appreciative).  [2009 update: The Muslim gentleman ended up converting to Christianity!] Many of the participants are already Christians, so it is a great opportunity to fellowship with and encourage them.  And it is just an all-around way to share God’s love with people who are often depressed and forgotten.  It is educational in laying out Christian principles for living.  It helps teach them how to love and forgive others (and themselves).

But even without all that, the proven reduction in recidivism would make the preparation, the weekend and the follow up worthwhile.  Based on statistics from larger sample sizes, 33 of the 42 participants would have returned to jail within 5 years if they hadn’t gone through this program.  Going through the weekend program cuts that down to 15, and it goes down to 5 if they all participate in the follow up program.

So roughly speaking, that will be 18-28 less people returning to prison once they are released.  That’s a tremendous cost savings, but more importantly it means a lot less victims and a lot less pain and heartache for the prisoners and their loved ones.

Kairos doesn’t advocate for either the prisoners or for the criminal justice system. A transaction took place between the state and the prisoner. The prisoners did the crime and are now doing the time, so we don’t get in the middle of that. We just reach out with Christian love to all and with Christian fellowship to believers.  We try to show that they aren’t forgotten.

There is also a Kairos Outside program for the moms / wives / girlfriends of the prisoners.  It is completely free, including transportation to the event and childcare if necessary.

Random highlights and observations

I never get tired of watching lives transformed by Christ.

All of the presenters prayed with an inmate who had already gone through the Kairos program.  Before my talk I got to pray with a man who was 14 yrs. into a 17 yr. sentence.  We had lots of talks at the tables, but I appreciated the one-on-one discussions the most.

Lots of time was spent educating them on how to conduct their own “Prayer and Share” accountability groups.  These are vital to keep them supporting one another and growing in their faith.

Several of the outside volunteers were was inmates themselves.  Their presence and message lets the inmates know that change is possible.

Watching otherwise reticent prisoners really light up during the songs.  I was playing guitar so I got to see their reactions.

You could really see the pain and regret in eyes of many of them.  They are haunted by not being there for their families.

There are a lot of good programs available for them to improve their chances of success when released – mentoring, Bible studies, Toastmasters, and more.

We make it a point not to ask why they are there or how long until they will get out (if ever), but they sometimes offer it up during discussions.  Most of the infractions were from violence and/or drugs.

Each prisoner got a bag of hand-written letters from everyone on the team plus others.  Some prisoners got more mail in one sitting than they had received their whole lives. We left the room when they got the letters. The leader said the reactions were strong – ranging from stunned to weeping to being like kids at Christmas. It made writing the 42 personalized letters worthwhile.  One older gentleman was still talking about the letters the next Saturday.  He was going to keep them forever and re-read them.

There was a rather large former gang member who, in his words, laid down his flag and accepted Christ over the weekend. He got choked up at the closing ceremony and was joined by one brother, then two, then three, then about fifteen surrounding him and supporting him. Then he came over to his ~80 yr. old table leader who was standing in front of me. The former gang member gave him a big hug and affectionately said, “Hey Old School.”

Some guys commented on how they not only felt the love but learned how to love and how to forgive. During testimonials and discussions we learned that many didn’t have dads or had dads who were unloving and lousy role models. The other prisoners were their family.

One of the key exercises involved “forgiveness cookies.”  Volunteers make many thousands of homemade cookies for the weekend.  There is a continuous pile at each table, and the prisoners get a bag every night to take back with them.  On Saturday night they are given an extra bag and told to give them to the person they need to forgive the most.  The next morning we heard many touching stories of what people did with the cookies.

Many participants were already Christians and knew the Bible better than we did.

Other than our presentations, we didn’t have to say much.  We mainly got them talking.  The theme for the team is listen-listen-love-love.

Most of the serving (food and otherwise) was done by prisoners who had already participated in a Kairos weekend.  I was impressed with their servants’ hearts and how much they cared for their fellow prisoners.

Most things in prisons are viewed from the perspective of “inside” or “outside” the prison walls. But as I pointed out to several prisoners, God looks at the world as those who are inside his kingdom vs. those who are outside.   From an eternal perspective there are just people with forgiveness of sins and eternal life and people without them.

Doing something new typically takes you outside your comfort zone. Being in the prison wasn’t that stressful for me, though. What was more challenging was just meeting and interacting with dozens of new people from morning until evening (I’m somewhat of an introvert, so I find that exhausting).

It was a joy to serve with friends from church and to make some new friends from other churches.  My good friend Steve did a fantastic job leading the weekend.  We were thoroughly prepared and everything went smoothly.

As Steve would say, “It’s official: I have now hugged more men in my life than women.”

Carol Vance Prison visitation tip: Don’t wear all white unless you want to stay permanently.

If you have any interest in this or other prison ministry programs, I encourage you to check them out.  They may not be for everyone, but you won’t know for sure until you try.  There are roles inside and outside the prison.  God is doing great things through this powerful ministry.

More links

Kairos of Texas

Prison Fellowship

To find ministries in your area, check out the links below (or just call your local prison – they may have other ministries going as well)

Kairos locations in Texas

Kairos national ministry map

Prison Fellowship Field Offices