The High Cost of Cheap Sex by Karen Farris

While life isn’t easy, sometimes our choices make it a whole lot harder. As a pregnancy resource center volunteer I’d visit schools and talk to teens about their choices. I told them the choice to work hard in school would cost them some time now, but it’d pay off with better opportunities later. I also told them that their sexual choices would come with a cost too. A student I met many years ago recently sent me a long note. She gave me permission to share her thoughts:

My friends and I talked about you after you came to our class. It wasn’t as if you were telling us anything we didn’t already know about sex. The scary things about STDs didn’t really make a difference either. I’d been having sex since the year before and I didn’t really care about the future.

You made it seem like getting through school was easy compared to getting a job and living on our own. You said we should get married before we had sex because we’d be older and ready for it. No one I know is getting married and no one really cares who you’ve had sex with.

You talked about single moms and how hard it was. You made it seem so hopeless for a teen mom to make it and how hard it was on her kid. Well I made it. About two years after you came to my class I had a kid, and I graduated when I was 19. While my kid was in daycare, I got two jobs, lived on my own and paid my bills. Most of the guys I liked didn’t stay with me very long. Then I got pregnant again. It’s a lot harder now. I never have enough money and it feels like I work all the time. I see the life some of my friends have and I’m jealous. I love my kids but it’s not easy taking care of them.

I couldn’t afford my apartment so my kids and I moved into my friend’s basement. When I was packing I went through a box of old stuff and found that ‘wait for marriage’ bracelet you gave us. I threw it away along with the rest of my high school stuff. My life sucks and there’s not much I can do about it.

Letters like this depress me. Have we already lost the war, America? Statistics indicate her kids will continue this pitiful cycle of pain—and are high-risk for the kind of life no one wants. Single parenthood is now the norm, and marriage is seen as unnecessary. Who suffers for these choices? We all do. Our nation is crumbling.

Angry fingers can point and blame, but what we need are real families not throwaway relationships. There is a high cost for cheap sex. Now a whole new generation is paying the price. And for those wondering what can be done—reach out to a single mom and her kids. Be the family she needs.

http://blogs.christianpost.com/friday-tidings/the-high-cost-of-cheap-sex-14115/

White House Responds to Impeachment Petition That Got 49,000+ Signatures By Michael Gryboski , Christian Post Reporter

The White House recently posted a response to a petition  put on their “We the People” site calling for the impeachment of President Barack Obama.

The official White House response came for a petition that had garnered over  49,000 signatures since the month of November.

“Believe it are not, petitions like the one you signed are one of the reasons  we think We the People is such a valuable tool,” reads the White House response.  “There are few resources that do more to help us engage directly with people  about the issues that matter to them – especially people who disagree with  us.”

The impeachment petition was part of the “We the People: Your Voice in Our  Government” website, a site established by the Obama Administration for more  direct communication between Americans and the White House.

“The idea of petitioning the White House or the government isn’t new, but  this online platform is,” reads the “How & Why” section of the “We the  People” site.

The specific impeachment petition the White House responded to was posted in  the “Government Reform” category by a “Stephen M” on Veterans Day 2012.

Stephen M’s petition calls for Obama’s impeachment based upon the claims that  Obama declared war on Libya without congressional approval, forced “Obamacare”  on Americans, his alleged disrespect for the Constitution, and appointing  “agency ‘czars’ without Senate approval.”

The White House responded by noting that Obama did not officially declare war  in Libya, that the Affordable Care Act was declared constitutional by the United  States Supreme Court last year, and that the president does indeed respect the  Constitution. Regarding the “czars” claim, the White House responded that “many  of those who have been called ‘czars’ have in fact been confirmed by the U.S.  Senate as prescribed by federal law, and others hold policy jobs that have  existed in Administrations stretching back decades.”

“So the short answer is that we won’t be calling for the President’s  impeachment — and given the fact that you made your appeal to the White House  itself, we doubt you were holding your breath waiting for our support,” wrote  the White House.

“Here’s the important thing, though. Even though this request isn’t going to  happen, we want you to walk away from this process with knowledge that we’re  doing our best to listen — even to our harshest critics.”

Stephen M’s petition is not the only one calling for the impeachment of  federal level leaders. One petition, started by “Gina H” of Fresno, Calif., on  Dec. 26, calls for the impeachment of “the GOP Congress;” it has about 3,100  signees. Another, created by “Gary B” of Portland, Ore., calls for Senator Diane  Feinstein to be impeached; it has over 32,000 signees.

The most signed petition on the “We the People” site presently is a petition  to legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group. Though the  petition has over 318,000 signatures as of Monday, the White House has not given  it an official response.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/white-house-responds-to-impeachment-petition-that-got-49000-signatures-88228/#tpfqR3gZojI85VVZ.99

Delight in the Details

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” Psalm 139:14

The November 13, 2006, issue of Time magazine highlighted the “Best Inventions of 2006.” Topping the list was the online video-sharing service, YouTube. Other technological marvels included a 130 mph electric roadster, a mattress that uses magnets to levitate 16 inches above the floor, a battery-powered inflatable pool-lounger, and a wall-mounted “magic” mirror. When connected to the electronic gadgets in your home, an ethereal face appears in this mirror to announce that your hot tub is ready or that someone has pulled into your driveway. I am not personally interested in the newly bred hypo-allergenic cat, but a new vending machine that actually mixes, freezes, and dispenses fresh ice cream in 45 seconds definitely has my attention!

Bill Gates, whose Microsoft Corporation just unveiled their new “Vista” operating system, puts all of this engineering and innovation into perspective. In the book The Road Ahead, he stated: “Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.” Your DNA has been there since the moment you were conceived, stipulating your hair color, your height, and the shape of your nose. It uniquely marks you and provides a clearly traceable link back through your family heritage. God has endowed the very building blocks of our genetic material with a level of sophistication and complexity that is infinitely beyond the imaginations of science’s best and brightest minds. God’s attention to detail and intriguing creativity is so powerful that it can even silence the most skeptical heart.

Millennia before the discovery of DNA, the psalmist praised God for His detailed design in our lives. Numerous psalms sing the praises of God’s handiwork in creation—magnificent oceans, star-streaked heavens, and majestic mountains. But in Psalm 139:1-24 the writer exults in the intimate work of God in creating human life. His praise is personal: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” He is aware that God’s creation is not only grand and vast, it is infinitely, wonderfully specific.

That encourages me in so many ways. It reminds me that I am not a random, accidental meeting of genetic material. God knew me, orchestrated the details of my DNA, and is carrying out His plans for my life. You are not an accident either. Like the psalmist, you were “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Your life has the full attention of the Creator of the universe, and you are precious to Him.

I am also encouraged to realize that God has given this much attention to not only you and me, but, think about it, to every single one of the six billion people on this planet. He wrote everyone’s genetic code. He knows everyone’s parents’ names, their families, their hurts, their joys, and their needs. He has a specific love for each human who walks this planet and sent Jesus to die for his or her sins, just as Christ died for yours and mine. All of us are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

So even as we eagerly anticipate and enjoy the latest in technology, the real marvel and wonder in our lives should be reserved for the Master Creator and Designer and the One who knitted us together and gave us life. Quite honestly, no technological advance no matter how spectacular it may be can even come close to that. And even if it did, it wouldn’t care for you and love you. I’ll be forever grateful that God’s amazing design for us is not only high tech but high touch as well!

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • How does your awareness of the complexity of your DNA change your view of God’s intimate interest in your life?
  • What difference does it make in your perspective on yourself and God knowing that God’s creative power put together the very DNA that shapes who you are?
  • How is your perspective on the needs of the people of the world shaped by the knowledge that God intimately knows each one of them?
  • Read through Psalm 139:1-24. Pray back to God the prayer that David said to close the psalm.

http://getmorestrength.org/daily/delight-in-the-details/

Do You Walk In White?

We were buried with Him . . . that just as Christ was raised from the dead . . . even so we also should walk in newness of life —Romans 6:4

No one experiences complete sanctification without going through a “white funeral”-the burial of the old life. If there has never been this crucial moment of change through death, sanctification will never be more than an elusive dream. There must be a “white funeral,” a death with only one resurrection-a resurrection into the life of Jesus Christ. Nothing can defeat a life like this. It has oneness with God for only one purpose— to be a witness for Him.

Have you really come to your last days? You have often come to them in your mind, but have you really experienced them? You cannot die or go to your funeral in a mood of excitement. Death means you stop being. You must agree with God and stop being the intensely striving kind of Christian you have been. We avoid the cemetery and continually refuse our own death. It will not happen by striving, but by yielding to death. It is dying— being “baptized into His death” (Romans 6:3).

Have you had your “white funeral,” or are you piously deceiving your own soul? Has there been a point in your life which you now mark as your last day? Is there a place in your life to which you go back in memory with humility and overwhelming gratitude, so that you can honestly proclaim, “Yes, it was then, at my ’white funeral,’ that I made an agreement with God.”

“This is the will of God, your sanctification . . .” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Once you truly realize this is God’s will, you will enter into the process of sanctification as a natural response. Are you willing to experience that “white funeral” now? Will you agree with Him that this is your last day on earth? The moment of agreement depends on you.

http://utmost.org/do-you-walk-in-white/

The 3D scan of a disabled baby’s smile that convinced his mother not to abort him By Larisa Brown

The 3D scan of a disabled baby’s smile that convinced his mother not to abort him – and why she is grateful she was able to cuddle him with joy for a few precious hours

A mother was unable to abort her severely disabled son despite doctors’ warnings after seeing her baby’s smile in a 3D scan picture.

Katyia Rowe was told her baby’s brain had not formed properly and that he would never walk or talk and would need 24-hour care.

But after seeing real-time moving scans of him smiling, blowing bubbles, kicking and waving his arms she made the heartbreaking decision to go through with the birth.

Tragically Lucian, as she named him, died nine hours after he was born.

Mother Katyia Rowe gave birth to her severely disabled son Lucian, despite doctors advising her to have an abortion, after seeing a 3D scan of him smiling, picturedMother Katyia Rowe gave birth to her severely disabled son Lucian, despite doctors advising her to have an abortion, after seeing a 3D scan of him smiling, pictured

 Despite the ordeal, Ms Rowe said she had no regrets going through with the birth as she was able to cuddle her baby son.

Katyia, 26, a training administrator, said: ‘We were devastated to be told our son’s  brain abnormalities were so severe they were life limiting we should  consider a termination.

‘Further scans were arranged to asses  the extent of his disabilities but when I saw him smiling and playing  inside me I knew I couldn’t end his life.

 ‘If he could smile and play and feel  then despite his disabilities he deserved to enjoy whatever life he had  left, no matter how short. Just because his life would be shorter or  different, didn’t mean he didn’t deserve to experience it.

‘As long as he was pain free I vowed to let him enjoy his life both while inside me and outside, no matter how long that be.’

Miss Rowe, from Telford, Shropshire was thrilled to discover she was expecting a baby with partner of four years security officer Shane Johnson, 26, in March last year.

She added: ‘It was a shock but we were thrilled. Shane and I were so excited and looking forward to the birth. We had so many plans for the future and could not wait to meet our baby.

Katyia Rowe and her partner Shane decided to have the baby despite the complications, saying the child deserved to liveKatyia Rowe and her partner Shane decided to have the baby despite the complications, saying the child deserved to live

‘Our first scan at three months was wonderful. When we saw our baby on screen for the first time we fell in love straight away. As far as we were concerned everything was perfect.’

The couple decided to wed when their son was old enough to walk down the aisle with them.

Only the 20-week scan highlighted complications.

Following further tests, doctors told Miss Rowe and her partner of four years that their baby’s brain had no  formed properly and he would be severely disabled.

They were then told the tragic news by experts at Birmingham Children’s Hospital that their child would never walk or talk and would need 24-hour care.

The couple were offered the chance to terminate the baby at 24-weeks.

But despite his poor prognosis, being able to watch her son in real time 3D scans during the screening tests, Miss Rowe said she was astonished to see him smiling, blowing bubbles, kicking and waving his arms.

She said: ‘Despite all the awful things I was being told, while he was inside me his quality of life looked to be wonderful and no different to any other baby’s, he was a joy to watch.

‘I was told he would never walk or talk yet the scans showed him constantly wriggling and moving.

‘As I watched I knew that while I was carrying him he still had a quality of life and it was my duty as a mother to protect that no matter how long he had left, he deserved to live.’

The couple pictured together in the room that was decorated for their baby boy Lucian. Tragically he died nine hours after his birthThe couple pictured together in the room that was decorated for their baby boy Lucian. Tragically he died nine hours after his birth

Katyia was told if her son survived  birth he would require 24 -hour care for the duration of his life  expected to be anything up to five years.

She added: ‘It didn’t phase me at  all. It was ironic because I had never considered myself particularly  maternal but now I wanted nothing more than to care for my son and give  him the best quality of life possible. I was more than happy to dedicate my life fully to his care.

Katyia Rowe who went through the birth of her baby, pictured in a frame, and said she didn't regret her decisionKatyia Rowe who went through the birth of her baby, pictured in a frame, and said she didn’t regret her decision

‘I researched all his disabilities to prepare myself fully for his needs. I never had a moment of doubt. I  only had to look at the scan pictures of him enjoying life in the womb  to know I was doing the right thing by giving him a chance.

‘Not knowing how long he would live  meant we were determined to enjoy him for as long as we could. We  learned he loved the shower and would kick when I sprayed the water on  my tummy.

‘As he grew bigger I could see his  little feet and hands prodding through my bump when he wriggled. He may  not have been born but he was already our son and I took each movement  as a sign we had done the right thing.

‘I would talk to him and play him music because I wanted him to experience as much as possible.’

Because of her son’s disabilities he  couldn’t swallow the amniotic fluid surrounding him meaning Kaytia had  to undergo painful draining procedures for the last nine weeks of her  pregnancy.

She said: ‘It was agony and I knew  some people questioned if it was worth putting myself through all this  for a severely disabled baby that may not live for long.

‘But I never ever thought like that.  As a mother you will do anything for your child and for me I became a  mother as soon as I fell pregnant, that job had started already.’

And for Katyia the rewards for her  pregnancy were she says the most joyful and fulfilling nine hours of her life – the time she spent with her son.

‘It was without doubt the happiest  moment of my life. Lucian could have died at anytime in my womb but he  held on long enough for us to meet properly.’

– Mother Katyia Rowe

He was delivered after being induced  when her waters went on October 23rd last year at the Royal Shrewsbury  hospital and as expected was rushed straight to special baby care for  his condition to be assessed.

She says: ‘I was prepared not to be  taking our baby straight home like all the other new parents, but beyond that I didn’t know what the future held.’

But shortly after the birth midwives burst into the delivery suite and warned Katyia her son had just minutes to live.

She says: ‘I was shocked but we had  already decided that after his birth we would let Lucian lead the way. I didn’t want him given any unnecessary treatment if ultimately it  wouldn’t help him.

‘He had already given me the greatest honour of being his mummy for the last nine months. It was up to him  now if he was ready to go.’

Katyia rushed to his side and finally the son she had nurtured for nine months was placed in her arms.

She said: ‘It was without doubt the happiest  moment of my life. Lucian could have died at anytime in my womb but he  held on long enough for us to meet properly.

‘My son looked utterly perfect.

‘The love and joy I felt the moment they put Lucian in my arms told me it had all been worth it.’

She added: ‘I thought I didn’t want  to be a mother but Lucian taught me it is the most wonderful job in the  world and I will always be grateful for that.’

Before his death he was held in his mother’s arms and he even met his grandparents.

To donate to charity Sands in Lucian’s memory visit here.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2262242/Mother-took-heartbreaking-decision-severely-disabled-baby-aborted-seeing-smile-3D-scan-picture.html?printingPage=true

Connecting the Dots

Pharaoh’s officials said to him, ‘How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the LORD their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?’”—Exodus 10:7

This Torah portion for this week, Bo, is from Exodus 10:1–13:16 and Jeremiah 46:13–28.

What was Pharaoh thinking? After yet another plague hit the land of Egypt every time he refused to let the Israelites leave, you would think that Pharaoh would catch on. But each time he promised to let them go and the plague passed, Pharaoh went right back to his original stance.

This time, however, before plague number eight was scheduled to arrive, his advisers had enough! They understood what was happening, and even they couldn’t believe that Pharaoh was being so stubborn. They pleaded with him, “Let the people go . . . Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?”

How could Pharaoh not realize that Egypt was being ruined? How could he not realize that he was up against a power far greater than himself and that he wasn’t going to win this battle? How could Pharaoh be so blind?

Have you ever seen a painting by the French painter Georges Seurat? Seurat devised a technique of painting known as pointillism. In this technique, the artist creates a masterpiece comprised of tiny dots of paint. If you stand close to the painting, all you will see is dots and more dots. But you can’t connect them and see what picture they are forming. Only when you step back from the painting and take in the whole canvass does the entire picture become clear.

This is a great analogy for understanding how Pharaoh could be so blind when the picture was so clear. Simply put, he was too close to the situation. This was his country at stake. It was also his honor, his ego, and his entire sense of self. Pharaoh was too emotionally invested in the conflict to be able to see it objectively. His advisers, on the other hand, were more removed. They could see the whole picture and understand its meaning. Pharaoh could not connect the dots.

Like Pharaoh, sometimes even the smartest of us aren’t able to think clearly. Maybe you’ve known a friend who was so obviously in a hurtful relationship, but he or she refused to get out of it. Your friend couldn’t see the repeating pattern of hurt and destruction. He or she was too close to the situation. Or maybe you have experienced being unable to make an important decision because you lost your perspective on the situation. Sometimes, when we are so close to a situation, we have difficulty seeing it clearly and we don’t know what to do.

In those kinds of situations, we have to be wise enough to do what Pharaoh didn’t: Listen to the advice of others! Who are your trusted advisers? Keep them close and turn to them in times of need. And don’t forget to ask for guidance from the most trusted adviser of all – God Almighty! He will help you connect the dots.

http://www.holylandmoments.org/devotionals/connecting-the-dots