Just Nod

The Holy Spirit gave me this word
I am sure it came from God
Never write when you can speak
Never speak when you can nod

If you must put pen to paper
Once the ink has left its stain
Consider the heart of who is reading
It is hard to erase the pain

If you must speak do so softly
Draws attention to each word
Makes everyone listen very closely
They are clear about what they heard

Be aware that your opinions
Don’t have the gravity of God
Hold your tongue put the pen down
Never speak when you can nod

More for Me: Settling for Selfish

I wish I had kept more for me. I wish I had spent more on pleasure and less on people who lacked basic needs of food, safe housing and healthcare. I regret giving so much to people who were undeserving and undesirable. I regret wasting my time and money on unrepentant and unworthy. I should have spent more on me. I wasted my money on helping the underserved.

These are words I am sure I will never speak. In fact it is quite the opposite.

David Platt writes “We are settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is about abandoning ourselves.”

How did my personal pleasure become the focus of my faith?
Jesus loves me
This I know.
See my bank account
It will show

We wear the cross of Christ as jewelry. It is an ornament of fashion, not evidence of faith.

We settle for fashion, rather than submit to faith. Settling for selfishness and wanting more for me is my objective. That is modern day Christianity.

“If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.
Matthew 10:38‭-‬39 MSG

HOLY AND PURE

There is one thing
Of which I am certain
There is one thing
Of which I am sure
I know I am called
To be holy
I know I am called
To be pure

Yes politeness and courtesy
Not withstanding
Good manners do
Have an allure
But God demands
I be holy
My God demands
I be pure

The world would
Have me believe
That there is no
Sin, so no need for cure
Please and thank you
Have a nice day
Social graces
God demands I am pure

Being nice does
Have it’s merits
Giving offerings
To help the
Infirmed and the poor
But God is not looking
For good people
He demands I am holy and pure

“Make yourselves holy for I am holy. Be holy because I am holy.
Leviticus 11:44‭-‬45 MSG

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Hebrews 12:14 KJV

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Matthew 5:8 KJV

Dying on Schedule or Living With Hope

CS is 35 years old. She is on her second round of anti-depressants and it is not helping. She is caring for an autistic 4-year-old and a confused asthmatic teenage girl. She works two-part time jobs with a take home pay of just under $500 per week. This is just enough to pay her rent, utilities and food, and pay the interest on her student loans. She could not afford to buy a winter coat and has no new clothes for her growing children. CS has no dental care and depends solely on the state for medical care. Last year when she fell sick with pneumonia, she missed work and lost money from the week of not working. A winter coat would have helped.

She is not considering euthanasia, helping someone die on schedule, abortion or transgender surgery as issues that are within her scope. She needs help. She needs to know that she is not judged by the income level which defines her as a class, or subtype of citizen. CS needs health care professionals to address the issues which matter to her. Adequate food and clothing, safe housing, emotional and spiritual support are issues we must advocate for the people we are called to serve.

According to the state’s website, almost 10% of Delaware citizens do not have medical insurance. This number does not reflect the other parameters which affect their health such as those faced by CS or her family and friends. CS lives in a community that is unsafe because of the behavior and choices of her neighbors. We can advocate against helping people die on schedule, define positions on abortion and transgender, but none of it matters if we don’t help people live with hope.

Next Shiny Thing

I want to confess You are Lord
I want to confess you as King
But just when I am ready to speak
I discuss the next shiny thing

You are worthy of all honor and glory
More worthy than any gift I can bring
Your majesty and splendor obscured
As I admire the next shiny thing

I want to adore You and worship
With words that I speak and I sing
But just as I open my mouth
I speak only of the next shiny thing

Creator God, Sweet Savior, Sustainer
Holy Ghost sending angels on wing
Please protect me from even myself
So I don’t chase the next shiny thing

1 Corinthians 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

1 Timothy 6:18 “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;”

Proverbs 23:4
Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.

Matthew 13:22

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Next Shiny Thing

I want to confess You are Lord
I want to confess you as King
But just when I am ready to speak
I discuss the next shiny thing

You are worthy of all honor and glory
More worthy than any gift I can bring
Your majesty and splendor obscured
As I admire the next shiny thing

I want to adore You and worship
With words that I speak and I sing
But just as I open my mouth
I speak only of the next shiny thing

Creator God, Sweet Savior, Sustainer
Holy Ghost sending angels on wing
Please protect me from even myself
So I don’t chase the next shiny thing

1 Corinthians 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

1 Timothy 6:18 “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;”

Proverbs 23:4
Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.

Matthew 13:22

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

He Listens

When everyone else has answers
When everyone else has positions
When everyone else has conclusions
My Savior holds me and He listens

When everyone else has no doubts
When everyone else has decisions
When everyone else has their minds closed
My Savior hugs me and He listens

When everyone else still remembers
When they conclude my guilt without condition
When everyone else walks away
My Savior stands with me and He listens

He doesn’t care if I am right or am wrong
He doesn’t care if I’ve made pure contrition
What matters to Him is my salvation, so
My Savior comforts, and He listens

If you are struggling with the pain of opinions
If others hold you in contempt and derision
If you are filled with self-doubt and regret
Come to the Christ Jesus and He will just listen

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
KJV Psalm 4:6…8

Compassion not Coercion

He was completely vulnerable, paralyzed from the waist down and exposed. I had done this to him. These were circumstances beyond his control. He needed the surgery performed and the only way to do this was to get him in this weakened and defenseless state. I placed the spinal anesthesia, prepped and draped his abdomen and prepared to convince, coerce and convert while he all he really wanted was to be healed.

I took advantage of this situation. Opportunities like this only presented 5-6 times daily. People who need my help and are willing to do whatever it takes for me to render them the service required. I start with questions like this: “Do you know where you will spend eternity when you die?”

Why should I be subtle? He is already frightened about the surgery, I am wearing a mask and holding a knife in my hand. Subtlety is unnecessary luxury to a surgeon, I ask again: “Are you prepared to meet Jesus if you die right now?” In this state of helplessness, he is very likely to give me whatever answer will steady my hand, help the procedure to go well and speed his recovery.

I was encouraged to do this approach by the fact that numbers seem to matter to us in ministry. ‘How many converts have you made Dr. Johnson?’ This question means; how many people have I won to Christ? How many people have I been able to make a public statement of profession in Christ. After all we know numbers are important to God. He wants us to have bigger numbers than those other religions.

Of course, I am being facetious, and I hope you have picked up on this by now. The real take on this as that we are so focused on coercion that we lose compassion in the process. Christ never told us to convert people to the faith. He did command us to love and make disciples. We have become legalists in our profession as Christian healers. We expect the law to do what only grace can do. Only grace manifest through our compassion can win people to Christ. Otherwise we are coercing people at their most vulnerable state. Single mothers, the substance and sexual addicts and those who for whatever reason remain confused are paralyzed and vulnerable to the continuing onslaught of moral suasion of the world.

The evidence that God loves them will come through compassion, not by political, social or moral coercion They are paralyzed by their life choices, chances and circumstances. They need compassionate healing of their wounds. Let’s practice our profession with compassion.

Matthew 11:4-5 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

Too Dumb Too Poor To Breed

Dear Dumb, Poor Woman;

As a trained, compassionate, capable and caring healthcare professional, it is my carefully considered opinion that you are too dumb and too poor to breed. You neither have the social bearing, economic potential nor the intellectual wherewithal to continue to carry the life that is growing in your womb. Based upon the data collected from communities like yours from around the nation, and the globe, I would advise you not have a baby. Instead you should terminate it within the timeframe allowed by the laws of the land. By delaying this termination; technically known as abortion, you may find yourself contributing to the moral decay of our society by bearing another person who behaves just like you. This is especially important if the life in your womb has a defect! Think of how awful it would be to actually have your child born handicapped and have to live like the other handicapped people in the world. Think of what people would say if your child had birth defects and after all, who wants to spend the time and money to care for such kind of ‘people’?

There are several options I present to you. Let me explain it in terms that someone like you can easily understand. First, you could choose to have the baby forcefully pushed from your body by using some very strong hormones. This is cheaper, but it must be done early on before you can actually feel the baby growing inside of you. The baby can hardly be seen at all at that time so no one really knows what is happening, unless they test your urine or do an ultrasound of your uterus. If you catch it even earlier, like just after you have had sexual intercourse, no one has to know at all.

So it is for your own good that I strongly advise you to avoid any delay late into your pregnancy, so that we don’t have to resort to the following procedures.

“D&E” (dilation and evacuation). The physician inserts a long toothed clamp through the woman’s vagina into the uterus. She/he grabs body parts of the fetus at random, breaks them from the body and pulls them out. Finally, the head is crushed and extracted. Finally, the placenta and any remaining parts of the fetus are suctioned from the uterus.1

“D&X” (dilation and extraction) The woman’s cervix is dilated. If necessary, the fetus is rotated until it is facing feet downwards. The surgeon reaches into the uterus and pulls the fetus’ body, with the exception of its head, out of the woman’s body. Surgical scissors are inserted into the base of the fetal skull, and withdrawn. A suction tube is inserted and the fetus’ brains are removed through aspiration. This partially collapses the fetal skull. The fetus is then fully removed from the woman’s body.2

I hope I have convinced you of the importance of making the right decision both for you and society as a whole. Please don’t listen to anyone who says they are helping you to make decisions that favor you keeping your baby. They would have you believe that the life growing in you is special. That would mean you are special too. Who would dare believe such a thing? As I said we don’t need a world full of dumb, poor and handicapped people. One of them might grow up to be a world leader. Who would want that?

Sincerely yours with great care,

On behalf of; Rich and Powerful Professionals, Politicians, Lobbyists and Other Nice People

Pro-Choice Politics in the Back Alleys of Africa

by Michael Johnson, MD

He forcefully took the woman by her arm. She resisted. He persisted.Her 5-foot, 90-pound frame was no match for his 7-foot, 240 pounds. At 80 plus years she refused to allow this 30-year-old man to have his way with her. However, both of them knew she would tire first. She did. He finally got her to agree to allow him to help her across the street. She neither smiled, nor said thank you. Why should she? She had just been dragged to this side by another “do-gooder” and would now miss her bus a second time. This is not the street she wanted to cross.

“If they don’t legalize abortions, women will seek them out in the back alleys and die from the complications.” So goes the old mantra that seeks to justify the push for “abortion rights” for poor women in the developing world. As well-meaning, nice people fight for the reproductive health rights of poor women, do they ever ask, “Is that the street they want to cross?” The simple fact is that most maternity facilities in most of these countries are not much better than “back-alley” birthing centers.

Why is it that the politically rich and powerful, yet resource-poor nations want to “help” the women of the resource-rich, yet politically poor nations abort their babies? Is it the interest of poor women’s health? Is this a human, women, or civil rights issue? Is it in the interest of the socioeconomic development of the recipient nations? Or is this to satisfy and supplement the living standards of the rich? After all, there are limited resources on the planet.

Rich donors want to convince poor mothers that it is normal to suck, scrape, and forcibly remove their unborn babies in bloody bits and pieces. Those who could afford the high-end clinics would get anesthesia. The 80 percent plus majority, however, would just have to sweat it out, just as they do when giving birth. Alternatively they could use the intentional ingestion, injection, or insertion of poisons, hormones, or other agents to cause the warm safe uterus to prematurely expel the individual being created inside of their bodies. The “fearfully and wonderfully made” is terminated and disposed of like a piece of rotten meat (Psalm 139:14). These women won’t listen. They want a safe baby, not a dead one.

Alternatively, donors could help provide sanitized or even clean environments for childbirth. They could replace the usual birth places of mud huts surrounded by garbage and raw sewage of the city slums, or dusty rural villages. A 20 percent death rate by age 3 could be markedly reduced by such simple measures. African mothers would welcome that help.

Abortion on demand (our demand) sends the poor mothers a message. It tells them it is best to abort, because statistically, they die in childbirth at a rate 300 times that of a mother in America or Europe. They will most likely deliver a premature, underweight, infected baby with a 100-200 times the chance of dying compared to those born in those developed nations (maternal death rates are as high as 1 in 15 in Africa versus 1 in 3,750 in America). Should she cross that street?

To say it simply, there is a contrast. For African mothers, having children defines them. For American mothers, having children confines them.

Mothers in America can legally “plan” their families by eliminating the nuisance of delivering a child. A child may be an inconvenient drain on their personal resources of time and money. They have the luxury of waiting for the convenience of marriage, sperm banks, hormone manipulations and injections, embryonic implants, and even surrogate mothers. Abortion is legal, and as medically safe as normal delivery. Hence a woman can “plan” which child to keep and which to throw away, as easily as updating her wardrobe. These mothers value their independence and personal freedom. Having children confines them.

In the developing world, the continuing saga of wars, civil strife, famine, plague, and the almost complete absence of ante-natal care rob mothers of the luxury of planning their families. They have seen and borne enough death. Telling them how to kill their unborn is not the street they want to cross. Their wardrobe is limited by what they have on their backs. Women in these cultures value their interdependence and personal responsibility to family and community. Having children defines them.

Children in America are part of a culture of “throw-away” non-recyclables. Whatever is inconvenient or too costly to store somewhere, like in a womb for instance, we throw away. African women don’t have that convenience. African children add value to a mother. A woman is beautiful, mature, rich, and useful if she bears children. In America, a woman is defined as mature, rich, and useful by how much money she brings home or how “beautiful” she is physically. The sooner she regains her B.C. (before childbearing) hourglass figure back, the sooner she regains her personal value.

In Africa, beauty is a woman who bears children. To be childless can mean a woman is useless and even cursed. Being “full figured” is a sign of beauty. Abortion is counter-culture. This is crossing the wrong street.

Children are insurance for the mother’s welfare in Africa. They enhance her value as a woman of substance. They don’t have the privilege of insurance, social security, pension plans, unemployment compensation, or medical insurance to assure they will be taken care of in later years. Children are part of continuing the prosperity of the family and community.

So as the west prides itself on helping poor mothers obtain their “god-given” rights to abort a child, mothers in the developing world want the right to life for their unborn. We are either naïve or casual and callus in ignoring their pleas. We are imposing our will on their bodies. It is our freedom of choice for their bodies. It is the wrong street. We should not expect a thank you or smile for service rendered.

Michael Johnson, MD, and his wife, Kay, have been involved with overseas missionary work since 1984. Their work has included a brief trip to Zaire (Congo), where they worked in Tandala Hospital for a period of seven weeks and again to Kenya in 1987 for a period of seven weeks. They began full-time work overseas in 1989 when they were accepted with World Gospel Mission of Marion, Indiana, to work at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya, East Africa. The Johnsons now make their home in Kenya to help provide healthcare to the over 30,000 street children of Nairobi and to help in the training of Kenyan physicians. They are also involved with several development projects, providing schools, water sources, farming, and medical assistance to underdeveloped communities. Through these ministries, many orphaned children are now being placed in Christian families by adoption and foster care. The Johnsons have four adult children: Elijah, Christina, Emmanuel, and Keturah, and two grandchildren. Their home church is Tasker Street Missionary Baptist Church in South Philadelphia.