Thursday, March 31, 2005

Statement on Terri Schiavo by Dr. Dobson

In a Focus on the Family CitizenLink Special Report, Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, makes the following strong statement on the Terri Schiavo case: . . .

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schindlers, who have been made to watch their beloved daughter waste away for the last two weeks—under not only the approval of the courts, but under their direct order.

"Every Florida and federal judge who failed to act to spare this precious woman from the torment she was forced to endure is guilty not only of judicial malfeasance—but of the cold-blooded, cold-hearted extermination of an innocent human life. Terri Schiavo has been executed under the guise of law and 'mercy,' for being guilty of nothing more than the inability to speak for herself.

"I grieve for the Schindlers today, and I fear for the future of our nation."

Praise God for strong, outspoken leaders like Dr. Dobson.
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Terri Schiavo Dies

Fox News is reporting that Terri Schiavo died around 10 this morning, and that her parents and siblings were not permitted to be at her bedside during her final moments.

Please remember to continue to pray for her family and for her husband—especially for his heart. And please pray for our society and culture, that we will begin to place a greater value on God's precious gift to us: life.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Judge Birch Scolds President and Congress

In an article on the latest denial by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta concerning the Terri Schiavo case, the Associated Press reports:

[Judge Stanley F.] Birch [Jr.] went on to scold President Bush and Congress for their attempts to intervene in the judicial process, by saying: "In resolving the Schiavo controversy, it is my judgment that, despite sincere and altruistic motivation, the legislative and executive branches of our government have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers' blueprint for the governance of a free people - our Constitution."

Am I to assume that Judge Birch believes . . . that according to the Constitution, the other two duly elected branches of our federal government are not allowed to offer any checks or balances on the judiciary?
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Curious George Felos

In his online column today, Eric Pfeiffer of the National Review takes a look at what makes Michael Schiavo's attorney George Felos tick.

Pfeiffer writes:

His apparent lack of concern for Terri Schiavo's plight might be better understood in the context of his belief that "[i]n reality you have never been born and never can die."

Felos is one bizarre and delusional fellow.
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Monday, March 28, 2005

Jesus in 2005

In an article on the front page of yesterday's Easter edition of the Greensboro News & Record, Nancy H. McLaughlin, the paper's religion writer, asked local people of faith and theologians how they thought Jesus' earthly ministry might look in 2005 ("Picturing Jesus: Would you recognize him on the street? In the boardroom?).

I thought my friend and former Greensboro resident Alex McFarland of Focus on the Family summed it up best when he pointed out . . . that no matter whether we're talking about Jesus walking this earth 2,000 years ago or today, His message would remain the same:

"It is a mistake to assume that just because certain sins have been 'declassified' in our day, that Jesus would 'see things our way' and compromise the Scriptures to accommodate our current modes of behavior," he says. "The Bible isn't something that came about through man's opinions but through God's revelation."

I applaud the News & Record's efforts to actively cover Christianity in our community. So many other media outlets, out of fear of offending nonbelievers, would rather pretend Christians and Christianity do not exist.

However, I was disappointed that in this particular article one local pastor chose to use this forum to convey her own personal political beliefs. At least she stopped short of saying who she thought Jesus would've voted for last fall.
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Why Morphine for Terri?

Last night I heard on the news that the hospice facility where Terri Schiavo is being "cared for" has started her on a morphine drip.

From LifeNews.com:

Terri Schiavo was able to receive part of communion on Easter Sunday and hospice workers have provided Terri morphine to be able to ease the tremendous pain associated with the dehydration and starvation she's endured for 10 days.

Barbara Weller, an attorney for Terri's parents Bob and Mary Schindler, said hospice workers are giving Terri morphine to ease the pain brought on by failure of her internal organs.

I just heard Rush Limbaugh ask . . . the same question that's been going through my mind since last night: If Terri is dying such a peaceful and painless death by starvation and dehydration, why the need for the pain killer?

And did you hear these comments from George Felos on Saturday (Felos is Michael Schiavo's attorney):
"She is calm, she is peaceful, she is resting comfortably. Her lips are not chapped, they're not bleeding. Her skin's not peeling. Frankly when I saw her . . . she looked beautiful. In all the years I've seen Mrs. Schiavo, I've never seen such a look of peace and beauty upon her."

I don't know whether I've felt any sicker during this entire episode than I did when I heard those words leave his mouth. It was chilling.

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Sunday, March 27, 2005

HE IS RISEN!

HE IS RISEN INDEED!
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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Fellow Local Christian Blogger

In surfing around the Web this morning, I discovered that my church's former associate pastor, Joel Gillespie, who is now the pastor of Covenant Fellowship ARP Church here in Greensboro, has his own blog.

I encourage you to read his post from yesterday titled "Dark Friday."
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The "Old" Media and Television

I just caught up to Brent Bozell's column from earlier this week on the "old" media's treatment of religion and the religious, where he notes that "They have the arrogance to form God in their own image."

Bozell goes on to write: . . .

The Old Media should launch their own organized religion called the Secular Orthodox Church. Their reporting carries with it an arrogant insistence that all wisdom comes from saying that God has to be compartmentalized into Someone we only consult at meals or at bedtime – under our breath, of course, lest anyone be offended. The dogma of their orthodoxy insists God should not be allowed to have any influence in our legislatures, in our schools, in our music and movies, or in our voluntary associations like the Boy Scouts. We have a duty not only to separate church and state, but to separate church from education, church from entertainment, church from everything we share with each other in public.

Yesterday, Bozell's column analyzed polling data from Time magazine's current cover story titled "Has TV Gone Too Far?"

He writes, "So much for Hollywood’s cushiest defense: We only reflect society. Society is now responding, loudly and unambiguously: No, you’re dramatically out of touch."

Brent Bozell and the Media Research Center do an excellent job of holding the media and the entertainment industry accountable, but we must do our part as well. If you're offended by media bias or disgusted and appalled with programming you and your family are watching on television, let the appropriate parties know, "with gentleness and respect." On the other hand, if you find the news media being fair-handed and discover some family-friendly programming on television (miracles do happen), send encouraging words to these people as well.
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Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday

This week, we have all discussed life and death, including who should be "allowed" to live and who should not. And as Christians, I believe that for the first time in a great while, our views on sanctity of life issues have been finally heard by the masses. Those in our society who worship secularism—and secularism is indeed a "religion"—still do not agree with or necessarily tolerate our point of view, but at the very least they now have a . . . much clearer understanding as to where we stand. And I think as Christians we all now have a clearer understanding as to where we fall on this issue. I know I do.

Prior to this week I wasn't absolutely sure where to draw the line on ending someone's life in situations where "quality of life" comes into question. But the Terri Schiavo case coupled with an experience involving my wife's family has helped me to better discern where that line should fall.

My mother-in-law, who is in the latter stages of Alzheimer's disease and lives in a nursing home, cannot feed herself, walk or carry on normal conversation. However, she still exhibits emotions: She has laughed out loud at corny jokes made by her daughter and at the silliness of her young granddaughter's antics; she has sobbed uncontrollably along with her daughter as she laid near death in a hospital bed—this moment of sadness coming after my mother-in-law had overheard a doctor (who thought she wouldn't comprehend) speaking bluntly about her prognosis in her presence. Although this cruel disease has robbed her of so much, there is still a living, breathing person behind those eyes that lock into and look into mine every time I visit her.

Her recent stay in the hospital was the result of severe dehydration, brought on by an insufficient intake of fluids, possibly due to a fading swallow response. While in the hospital, the family was given two options: either connect her to a feeding tube or allow her possibly—if the swallow response was indeed gone—to die of dehydration, just like Terri Schiavo. But unlike Terri's situation, my father-in-law decided that his wife should continue to live. I wasn't so sure, but now I am.

Since being attached to the feeding tube, my mother-in-law has shown improvement. Just last week, two of her old high school pals showed up at the nursing home to visit her. When they walked into the room, she lit up, laughed along with them as they reminisced and seemed to really enjoy their company. No, she can't tell you who she thinks will win the NCAA Tournament; she can't get up, grab the newspaper and walk to the bathroom for a potty break; nor can she pick up a forkful of her sister's turnip greens, take a bite and complain that they're overcooked, but through the grace of God she is still alive. Her life is still precious.

On this day when we as Christians commemorate the death of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we are reminded of just how precious life is and how freely Christ gave His own life for us. As Jesus said to his disciples on the eve of his death, "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13). And as his "friends," we need to remind ourselves of His incredible sacrifice, today and every day. Last year, his suffering on the cross was brought vividly to our consciousness thanks to Mel Gibson and his movie The Passion of The Christ. Many Christians, myself included, were able to see Christ's sacrifice in a whole new light, and for the first time could begin to comprehend how much He suffered for all of us and how precious, as the children's song says, we are in His sight.

So now that the secular world has heard our point of view on the sanctity of life, we need to continue to remember the intensity of that sacrifice and the extent of that preciousness and—to paraphrase the words of the apostle Peter in 1 Peter 3:15—be prepared to give doubters the reason for the hope we have in Christ Jesus with gentleness and respect.

What is that reason? It is the resurrection of Jesus, which sets apart our faith from all others. If the story had ended on the cross, and Jesus had not risen from the tomb, we would indeed have a different view of our worth and of life. As Paul wrote in his first letter to the people of Corinth, "For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied." (1 Corinthians 15:16–19). But, as Christians, our lives here on earth, no matter how weak they might appear to be, are never in vain, for we live by the power of the risen Christ and the hope of life everlasting.


If you are a skeptic who has a hard time believing that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and was then resurrected from the dead, I invite you to read a very short 90-page book by Lee Strobel called The Case for Easter: A Journalist Investigates the Evidence for the Resurrection (Zondervan, $2.99). I think you will find the evidence he presents convincing and I hope convicting.

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

In Love With Death

Peggy Noonan's column this morning on The Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal site is a must-read. And as a parent of a child who has been keenly aware of what's been going on in the Terri Schiavo case, this paragraph really hit home: . . .

And those who are still learning--our children--oh, what terrible lessons they're learning. What terrible stories are shaping them. They're witnessing the Schiavo drama on television and hearing it on radio. They are seeing a society--their society, their people--on the verge of famously accepting, even embracing, the idea that a damaged life is a throwaway life.

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Facts, Myths and Christian Perspectives

Here's a link to a page on the Family Research Council Web site titled The Terri Schiavo Controversy—Facts, Myths and Christian Perspectives. You might find it useful when discussing this case with friends who have questions about Terri's condition and the Christian perspective on life and death issues. And there is a lot of confusion out there concerning these things. I heard a usually well-informed coworker yesterday say that she thought Terri was paralyzed and in a coma.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Our Culture of Death

Please read this post from David Limbaugh's blog from earlier this evening. It covers in detail many of the thoughts I've been having and discussing with my wife this week concerning our society's casual attitude toward death. In my opinion, David is the one of the best Christian sociopolitical thinkers of our day.
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Terri Schiavo's Former Nurse

I just watched "Hannity & Colmes" and their interview with Carla Sauer Iyer, a former nurse of Terri Schiavo's. She signed an affidavit in 2003 that stated that Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, would visit Terri and berate the staff, asking questions such as "When is that b*tch gonna to die?" Iyer also swore under oath that when Terri was under her care, she would respond to her and even say words like "help me," "mommy" and "pain."

For a more unvarnished look at this aspect of the case read . . . this article on a site called the EtherZone. I'll let it speak for itself. I can't vouch for its accuracy, but I promise you your mouth will drop open as you read it. Iyer's affidavit is also reproduced on this page.

These serious claims need to be investigated while Terri is still alive.

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Network News Slanted Against Terri Schiavo

The Media Research Center conducted a study of ABC, CBS and NBC's evening newscasts from last Thursday through yesterday, examining their coverage of the Terri Schiavo case. The study reports: . . .

Three-fifths (60%) of soundbites (including reporter comments) presented Michael Schiavo's case that Terry Schiavo should die, compared with just two-fifths offering the counter-arguments of her parents. Not a single story was devoted to a skeptical look at Schiavo and whether he was acting in his wife's best interests, but all three networks ran stories rejecting Mr. and Mrs. Schindler's view that their daughter could possibly be helped.

No wonder so many national polls show Americans siding with Michael Schiavo; these people are not getting both sides of the story.


****UPDATE****
Michelle Malkin does a good job in examining the media slant in her column today (March 23, 2005), particularly an ABC News poll and how it was conducted.
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Monday, March 21, 2005

Terri's Reponse

Thanks to David Limbaugh’s blog, I was able to read earlier today this incredible account from Barbara Weller, one of Terri Schiavo’s attorneys, who visited with Terri last Friday before and after the feeding tube was removed.

Here’s an excerpt: . . .

I stood up and [leaned] over Terri. I took her arms in both of my hands. I said to her, “Terri if you could only say ‘I want to live’ this whole thing could be over today.” I begged her to try very hard to say, “I want to live.” To my enormous shock and surprise, Terri’s eyes opened wide, she looked me square in the face, and with a look of great concentration, she said, “Ahhhhhhh.” Then, seeming to summon up all the strength she had, she virtually screamed, “Waaaaaaaa.” She yelled so loudly that Michael Vitadamo, Suzanne’s husband, and the female police officer who were then standing together outside Terri’s door, clearly heard her.

I can’t see how anyone can read this account and not feel differently about this case.

Speaking of those who feel differently about Terri’s plight, David Limbaugh in his latest column tries to get a handle on what’s motivating those who want Terri’s feeding tube removed. As David says, we must fight on and keep Terri and her family in our prayers.
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Two Books, Same Subject, Two Different Stories

Today’s CyberAlert from the Media Research Center reported on an article by Charles Lane in Sunday’s Washington Post comparing two new but distinctly different books on the Supreme Court.

Here’s the comparison: . . .

Conservative Mark R. Levin's Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America . . .
. . . was released on February 7.
. . . "is written in plain English and not for Harvard Yard," says Levin.
. . . has risen as high as No. 3 on The New York Times bestseller list.
. . . has NOT been reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, The Post and The New Republic.
. . . has NOT been promoted on National Public Radio but has been promoted on Conservative talk radio and "Conservative" television news shows (a.k.a. Fox News Channel).
. . . is currently ranked No. 17 in sales on Amazon.com.

Liberal Mark Tushnet's A Court Divided: The Rehnquist Court and the Future of Constitutional Law . . .
. . . was released on January 30.
. . . was aimed at "the educated general public," says Tushnet.
. . . has NOT made The New York Times bestseller list.
. . . has been favorably reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, The Post and The New Republic.
. . . has been promoted on National Public Radio and NOT on Conservative talk radio and "Conservative" television news shows (a.k.a. Fox News Channel).
. . . is currently ranked No. 6,256 in sales on Amazon.com.

I’m sure the mainstream media, as usual, is scratching their heads on this one. Will they EVER understand how most of America feels about matters such as judicial activists on the bench ignoring the law and the Constitution in favor of their own personal preferences? Probably not.

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OpinionJournal: The Case for Life

Today's Wall Street Journal OpinionJournal has a good editorial feature (free subscription required) on the Terri Schiavo case.

There's another good piece on the Journal Opinion page by John Q. Wilson titled "Killing Terri," which can only be found in today's print editions. Wilson points out that the difference between Terri's case and those of others who are on life support is . . . that whenever the feeding tube has been removed, Terri hasn't died right away like others normally do. Plus, in most other cases, the family agrees on the decision, and in Terri's case they do not.

Wilson, who knows from first-hand experience when he and his family decided to withdraw support for his cancer-stricken mother, writes, "These differences are of decisive importance. When death will occur soon and inevitably, the patient does not starve to death when life support ends. Since there was no chance of our mother living more than a few more days, what my sister and I did could not be called murder. When death will not occur soon, or perhaps for many years, and when there is a chance, even a very small one, that recovery is possible, people who authorize the withdrawal of life support are playing God."

One good thing that may come of all this, in addition to Terri's life being spared, is the possibility that sanctity of life issues will be fervently discussed and debated, and that those siding with life will be prominent in the debate and their views finally heard and appreciated.

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Sunday, March 20, 2005

House Dems Block Bill to Save Schiavo

Senate Passes Legislation on Schiavo Case
Mar 20, 9:55 PM (ET)
By JIM ABRAMS

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate passed a bill that could prolong Terri Schiavo's life while House Republicans, stalled by Democrats, scrambled to bring enough lawmakers back to the Capitol for an emergency vote early Monday. . . .

"Stalled by Democrats." Why am I not . . . surprised?

Note: Matt Drudge was to air audio on his radio show tonight of Terri Schiavo responding to her father on Friday, immediately following the removal of her feeding tube.

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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Err on the Side of Life

The most precious gift that God has given us is life. He gave you and me life. He has given Terri Schiavo life. And despite the opinion of a Florida judge and the wishes of Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, and his supporters, Terri is alive. This 41-year-old woman breathes on her own, all her organs are functioning. The only difference is she has limited brain functions and can't communicate or eat and drink like you and me. To stay alive she needs the help of a simple feeding tube.

I don't think there is anyone, on either side of this issue, who can honestly say . . . that the decision to keep Terri on a feeding tube or take her off is clear-cut. So why the rush to starve her to death? Why not take more time to make sure this is the right decision? When there's doubt why not err on the side of life? If you choose death, there's no turning back.

In cases such as this, where there is no living will, the decision of whether a person lives or dies falls on the shoulders of his or her spouse. And if I truly believed that Michael Schiavo was a loving and devoted husband who had nothing but the best interests of his wife in mind, I might feel differently about this case. However, there are really serious questions concerning what's motivating his desire for his wife to die and to die soon.

Michael Schiavo is an adulterer. He is still legally married to Terri but lives with another woman and has fathered two children with her. He won a $1 million malpractice lawsuit from doctors who were treating Terri back in 1990 when what was thought to be a chemical imbalance brought on by an eating disorder caused her to collaspe and her heart to stop beating for a few minutes, leading to brain damage. (There are still some unanswered questions surrounding what actually led to her collapse and eventual brain damage.) This money was supposed to be used for Terri's care but most of it has gone to Michael Schiavo's attorneys. But once Terri leaves this world, what's left will be all Michael Schiavo's.

And speaking of her care, Michael Schiavo has limited her care for most of the past 15 years, keeping her in a dark, non-stimulating environment, allowing little or no therapy that might help her improve. His in-laws, Bob and Mary Schindler, have made it very clear that they are more than willing to allow him to divorce their daughter, get on with his life and leave her care totally in their hands. So you tell me, what do you think his motivation is to hasten his wife's death?

Of course, Michael Schiavo is not claiming to have come to this momentous decision on his own. He says that Terri once told him, years ago, that she would prefer not to be kept alive in this fashion. There is no one else to corroborate his assertion. Not Terri's parents or siblings, nor any of her friends. Interestingly enough, an ex-girlfriend of Michael Schiavo's revealed in 2001 that he had lied about Terri's wish to die. However, less than a month later, this ex-girlfriend refused to testify against Michael Schiavo, reportedly out of fear.

Oh, and get this, Michael Schiavo chose not to reveal "his wife’s wishes" until after he won the malpractice case in 1992. Hmmm . . . I guess it could've just slipped his mind until the money was safely in the bank.

Fred Barnes posed the right question last night on the Fox News Channel's "Special Report With Brit Hume": "What is to be gained by killing her?" He repeated this question several times, but the other panelists did not have an answer for him. Do you?


For more information on Terri Schiavo and her fight to live, visit the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation Web site.

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Friday, March 18, 2005

Terri Schiavo Update

From Matt Drudge:

**Exclusive Fri Mar 18 2005 00:50:07 ET** The Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee, Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) has requested Terri Schiavo to testify before his congressional committee, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. In so doing it triggers legal or statutory protections for the witness, among those protections is that nothing can be done to cause harm or death to this individual.

Members of Congress went to the U.S. Attorney in DC to ask for a temporary restraining order to be issued by a judge, which protects Terri Schiavo from having her life support, including her feeding and hydration tubes, removed... Developing...

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

President's Statement on Terri Schiavo

Here's President Bush's official statement concerning the Terri Schiavo case: . . .

The White House
President George W. Bush

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 17, 2005

President's Statement on Terri Schiavo

The case of Terri Schiavo raises complex issues. Yet in instances like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life. Those who live at the mercy of others deserve our special care and concern. It should be our goal as a nation to build a culture of life, where all Americans are valued, welcomed, and protected - and that culture of life must extend to individuals with disabilities.

# # #

Remember to pray for Terri and her parents as tomorrow's 1 p.m. deadline nears.
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Curt Schilling

With all the controversy swirling around baseball and alleged steroid use, it is reassuring to this longtime baseball fan to know that there are still people in the game like Curt Schilling. The former Greensboro Hornet and current Boston Red Sox pitcher continues to set a fine Christian example both on and off the baseball diamond. And on this day, a day when . . . Schilling and others are testifying before Congress about steroid use in the major leagues (Curt's clean, by the way), columnist Marvin Olasky gives us an account of this man's Christian testimony (Curt Schilling, pitcher and Christian).

For even more insight into this man's walk, see Olasky's expanded feature on Schilling in this week's World magazine, a national news weekly that reports from a biblical perspective, and of which Olasky is the editor.

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Terri Schiavo News Coverage

From today’s USA Today:

Florida appeals court refuses to stop removal of tube
By Laura Parker, USA TODAY

A Florida appeals court rejected Wednesday an appeal to block the removal of a feeding tube from a severely brain-damaged woman in a bitter court battle over whether the woman should be allowed to die. . . .

Hmmm . . . interesting slant in that last line. To me, it’s a bitter court battle over whether she should be allowed to LIVE.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Easter Shoe Boxes for Tsunami Victims

As many of you are aware, Franklin Graham and his Samaritan's Purse organization, through an annual project called Operation Christmas Child, collect shoe boxes full of gifts to distribute to children in need around the world each Christmas. Because of the devastation of the tsunami in South Asia and the effect this disaster has had on the children of this region, Samaritan's Purse is sponsoring a Special Easter Shoe Box Collection for Tsunami Victims.

Samaritan's Purse is requesting that individuals send their boxes directly to . . . its headquarters in Boone, North Carolina. However, my church, Christ Community Church, and my daughter's school, Caldwell Academy, are collecting boxes that they will deliver to Boone. The deadline to get the boxes to Boone is April 4. For more information and to download a brochure with complete instructions, visit the Samaritan's Purse Web site.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Terri Schiavo's Death Sentence

Pending any further legal action, Terri Schiavo's feeding tube will be removed Friday, and she'll begin to die slowly of starvation. The rush to take this action without examining what all is truly at stake here is very disturbing to me. To get a clearer picture of the basic facts in this case, I invite you to read David Limbaugh's column from today: Prayers for Terri.

And as David points out, we definitely need to be in prayer over this.

I'd also like to direct you to . . . David's blog post from this morning on the incredible story of recovered "vegetative state" patient Kate Adamson, who recently spoke at a rally for Terri Schiavo. I personally know of a woman from our church who, like Kate, was non-responsive but could hear and understand EVERYTHING that was said around her.
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Monday, March 14, 2005

Ashley Smith's Christian Witness

By now I'm sure you've heard about Ashley Smith, who was taken hostage by quadruple murder suspect Brian Nichols over the weekend in Atlanta. Not only does she credit God for seeing her through this ordeal, she lived out her faith by witnessing to this cold-blooded killer, showing him what the love of Christ is all about. I think we can all learn from her example.

From CBS News:

"You're here in my apartment for some reason," she told him, saying he might be destined to be caught and to spread the word of God to fellow prisoners. She also read the bible to Nichols. . . .

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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Oprah Winfrey

My wife and daughter and I were having dinner tonight with some good friends of ours, and the topic of Oprah Winfrey came up. We discussed the fact that Oprah really seems to have good intentions in what she does, but at the same time she's treading on some dangerous ground, especially in areas of New Age philosophies. One of the better commentaries I have read on this comes from . . . the Christian Research Institute (Oprah Winfrey and Her Self-Help Saviors: Making the New Age Normal). So if you're an Oprah watcher or know someone who is, I recommend that you give this a read. I strongly believe that as Christians we should really become more discerning in what we watch and how we watch it.
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Saturday, March 12, 2005

The REAL Million Dollar Baby

In his Breakpoint Commentary from the other day, Chuck Colson helps reveal the true story behind the character in the movie Million Dollar Baby. If you have any questions at all about this sanctity-of-life issue, I strongly encourage you to read some of the books written by quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada.
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Heels Lose

After consecutive come-from-behind wins over Dook and Clemson, Carolina just didn't have another comeback left in them today against Georgia Tech. However, I do think they'll still be a factor in the NCAA Tournament, and will probably still be a No. 1 seed. Maybe a day off tomorrow will do them good. These days, I think it can benefit a team that's already assured an NCAA bid to lose early in its conference tournament. However, I miss the days when . . . the ACC Tournament really meant something and only the winner moved on to the Big Dance. I still remember as an 11-year-old crying myself to sleep when the Heels lost to South Carolina in the 1971 ACC Championship game on a jump ball between Lee Dedmon and Kevin Joyce. Carolina went on to win the NIT that year, which back then was a decent tournament filled with a slew of good teams who just barely missed out on the NCAAs.
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Christ Community Church—25 Years

Tomorrow, my church, Christ Community Church, an Associate Reformed Presbyterian congregation in Greensboro, North Carolina, will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a program on the church grounds from 4 to 6 p.m.

In early 1980, John and Carol Kimmons began inviting people to join them for worship in their living room. And many through the years have since come to know Christ through John's ministry. Today, the church has . . . grown to 1,200 members and continues to attract new converts and believers.

In 1989, my girlfriend, who a few years later became my wife, invited me to attend services at Christ Community. At the time, I was a Christian who believed that I didn't need a church. After I heard John preach from the pulpit, I experienced something I had never experienced in a church before—I felt like I belonged. And when they opened up the floor for sharing from the congregation, I felt that the Lord was alive and well in this church and doing incredible things in these people's lives.

John has recently stepped down as Christ Community's senior pastor and is talking on a new role at the church doing what he does best: winning people over for the Lord.

I ask you to keep our church in your prayers as we seek out a new leader and as John moves into evangelism full time as our pastor emeritus.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Rather: "Courage"

Since I had long sworn off the Rather-biased "CBS Evening News," I had not planned to watch his farewell tonight. However, when I arrived at my Bible Study this evening at 6:55 p.m., my hosts were tuned in, so I had no choice.

For a second there, as I was listening to his closing speech (for some reason I had a hard time looking at his face on the screen), I really thought he was headed in an . . . interesting, albeit honest, direction. When Rather said,"Not long after I first came to the anchor chair, I briefly signed off using the word 'courage.' I want to return to it now, in a different way, to a nation still nursing a broken heart for what happened here in ..." I really thought he was going to say something like "... what happened here in 2004 when we lost the election and put that privileged flyboy Bush back into the White House ..."? Was it just me, or did the same thing occur to you?

For those who missed it, what he actually said was "... what happened here in 2001, and especially to those who found themselves closest to the events of September 11th."

(The transcript of Rather's remarks come from the wonderful people at the Media Research Center.)

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Ravi Zacharias' Commentary on Our Culture

Here's an excellent and insightful commentary on the state of our culture by noted Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias.

He points out that those who are trying to silence Christianity in our culture transfer their hatred for Christians by . . . labeling them "-phobes" of all sorts. However, he adds, they never consider themselves "Christophobes"—a term originally coined by David Limbaugh in his book Persecution. Maybe it's time we started calling the Ted Turners, Bill Mahers and other anti-Christians of this world Christophobes.

I was directed to this essay through David Limbaugh's outstanding blog.

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Monday, March 07, 2005

Heels Win

Great victory for the Heels yesterday over Dook. It took a lot of heart and determination to come back after being down nine points with only three minutes to go. The UNC seniors have certainly come a long way from that 8-20 season. And McCants cheering on his teammates while wearing a tie and no shades was a nice change from last Thursday (now let's loose those earrings).
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Saturday, March 05, 2005

"Joe Cool" McCants

It looks like Rashad McCants will miss his fourth game in a row tomorrow against Dook. (McCants likely out for Duke) I know this is the Roy era and Dean is no longer around, but I can't imagine Dean EVER allowing a player to sit on the bench in street clothes, wearing gaudy gold earrings and mirror shades like "Joe Cool" McCants did Thursday night during the FSU game. Hmmm . . . it will be interesting to see what he wears tomorrow; maybe a hat with a neon light that screams "Look at me!" The guy loves attention, doesn't he? By the way, don't injured players in street clothes usually . . . sit at the end of the bench, down by the managers? Thursday night, McCants parked himself right up there next to the coaches. Maybe he thought Roy and the guys needed some of his insight, or maybe Roy wanted to keep his eye on him.

For an excellent take on the Rashad Factor, check out my buddy BobLee Swagger's "A Place In The Rafters??", which he wrote just after the last Dook game.

Here's hoping Roy and the boys, with or without McCants, get revenge for the loss at Cameron.

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At the Movies

In this week following the Academy Awards, I wanted to share with you a couple of articles on the state of Hollywood today.

First is a commentary by Chuck Colson, who I think sums up very well as to what Hollywood's worldview is. And I agree with him that as Christian filmgoers (and/or the parents of young filmgoers) we need to recognize the worldview and philosophies that filmmakers are trying to project on us and be more discerning in our viewing habits. Here's a link to his commentary titled And the Winner Is: Death, Depravity, and Dullness.

On a related note, I am very encouraged about a company called Walden Media, the people behind the new film . . . Because of Winn-Dixie and the upcoming epic The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, which is part of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. These people are hitting upon a formula that proves that you CAN produce movies that are family-friendly, offer a Christian worldview and be successful. I hope you will be on the lookout and support the movies produced by them.

To read more, here's a link to a column by Brent Bozell titled Wonderful 'Winn-Dixie', which talks about Walden's success.

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