Sunday, March 25, 2018

March 25: One Day of Life

Since antiquity, Christians have observed a trinity of occasions on March 25:
    the Creation of Adam, the Annunciation, and the Crucifixion.

    1) Adam was formed from the dust to be the crown of all creation (Genesis 1:26).
    2) the Son of God was planted in the womb of the Virgin to assume the dust that formed Adam.
    3) Jesus was planted in the earth itself to restore the entire creation. (Romans 8:22).

All of this is God's answer to Ash Wednesday's solemn reminder: "Remember, O man, that Thou art dust." God made this dust His very own in order to redeem it from the curse of Abel's blood.

All this stands in stark contrast to the neo-paganism of our day.
  • It preaches that man is the scourge of the earth, not the crown that makes it "very good."
  • It seeks to hinder and destroy any further instances of conception and motherhood.
  • Its program of salvation is to minimize man's footprint on the planet.

Make no mistake. Today's clash between good and evil, is about the True Lord, and Giver of Life.
  • We honor human life,
  • Thank God for the Virgin Mother,
  • And proclaim the One who willingly gives Himself for the salvation of the planet.

Day 40: The Children Sang - Palm Sunday

All glory, laud and honor
to you, redeemer King
to whom the lips of children
with sweet hosannas ring.
(Lutheran Service Book, 442)

The glory and peace sung by the angels on Christmas
    is echoed by the multitudes on Palm Sunday.

Moreover, just as the children were slaughtered at His coming to Bethlehem (Mt. 2),
    so it is precisely the children who sing "save us, now" at His coming to Jerusalem (Mt. 21).

On further reflection, danger to mother and child regularly attend the delivering acts of God.
In Exodus, the slaughter of the Hebrew children preceded the coming of their deliverer.

In Matthew, the slaughter of Bethlehem's children announced the coming of Jesus.
        On Olivet, Jesus cries:
        "Alas for women who are pregnant and for those nursing infants in those days."

Today, we see a slaughter of innocents greater than the world has ever seen.

Although, the day or the hour remain hidden, this much is certain:
    It is high time to "look up and lift up your heads, for your salvation is drawing near."

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Day 39: Fetal Cell Lines

"This is My body which is given for you." (Luke 22:19)

In May of 2012, when South Korean customs agents found 17,500 capsules of ground fetuses, America recoiled in disgust.

Western pharmaceuticals make medicines of aborted babies in a more refined way. Since the early 1960s numerous fetal cells lines have been cultivated. Two cell lines stand out. MRC-5 was developed in 1966 from the lung of an aborted boy at 14 weeks gestation; WI-38, in 1962 from the lung of an aborted girl. (read more)

Currently, six vaccinations are made of these aborted children: Polio, M-M-R, Chickenpox, Hepatitis-A, Rabies and Shingles.

Surreal as it is, this information is available to the public, but it is buried in the fine print that comes in the packaging. Ask your physician for it and it will resemble this M-M-R insert from MERCK: “…and (3) MERUVAX*II (Rubella Virus Vaccine Live), the Wistar RA 27/3 strain of live attenuated rubella virus propagated in WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts… (10).”

What to do?
  • Awareness is step one.
  • Looking for alternatives is step two.
  • Public pressure on the companies has proven effective.
Further thought and deeper reflection is a must. An example of which is found here.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Day 38: Stature and Sacrifice

"Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared;
we know that when he appears we shall be like Him." (1 John 3:2)

No matter how grown up you may think yourself to be, you do not even remotely resemble how you will appear in the resurrection. Therefore, it should be no surprise that embryonic human beings look radically different than adults.

But these appearances are indifferent to Jesus, He knows that your identity does not come from your stature, but from your begetting. "That which is begotten of the flesh is flesh, that which is begotten of the Spirit is Spirit" (John 3:6). One day, you will "mature to manhood...the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13). But already now, you are who you will be eternally.

On Good Friday, our Elder Brother showed us this full stature: The most mature willingly die for the least.

The kingdom of Satan is otherwise. There, the least are unwillingly sacrificed for the greater. This is the world of fetal tissue harvesting and fetal stem cell research. These businesses are not the same thing. Fetal organs are harvested in abortion clinics from children aged 10 to 39 weeks. Fetal stem cells are harvested at fertility clinics from 1 week old children, begotten in vitro. In both cases, the young are sacrificed to rejuvinate the old.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Day 37: Emergency Contraception

"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers,
for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."
(Hebrews 13:2)

To call Ella (Ulipristal) "contraception" is deliberately misleading. "Contra-implantation" would be more accurate. Life is already conceived. A unique and distinct human being is already present. But he is still journeying to the womb.

Like, RU-486, this treatment is designed to render the womb inhospitable. When the child arrives, seeking a home, there is no place for him "in the inn" (cf. Luke 2:7). RU-486 evicts an implanted child from the womb. Ella refuses him entry.

For this reason the LCMS has taken a public stand against the HHS which mandates providing these drugs.

Don't be fooled by the claim that they "cannot terminate an established pregnancy." This only means that the pregnancy is not yet implanted.

Through the challenge of "emergency contraception," we have learned to navigate complicated and convoluted ethical matters with childlike faith in Jesus' simple words: "I was a stranger and you welcomed me." (Matthew 25:35)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Day 36: Medicinal Abortions

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, (Matthew 25:35)

The promise of a panacea to simply make a person unpregnant has long been an elusive dream. So, in 1982, when Roussel-Uclaf pharmaceuticals synthesized their 38,486th compound many thought the dream had been realized. It was dubbed RU-486 and approved by the F.D.A. in September, 2000.

When given to a pregnant woman, it stops the natural pregnancy hormone, progesterone, from working to make the womb hospitable for the implanted embryo. Thus, the growing child stops receiving the nutrients required for life and growth.

Effectively starved to death, the child is then expelled by the administration of a second hormone to induce contractions. (World Magazine: Death By Webcam, Daniel James Devine)

This is not a pill to make one unpregnant, but a pill to induce a miscarriage.

Consider the trauma of being forced, over the course of a week or more, to experience severe physical symptoms and to see the passing of the child deliberately miscarried.

The actual realities of RU-486 are not so much a fulfilled dream as they are a living nightmare. But this will never be read in the promotional press releases. It will only be experienced by one isolated and solitary woman at a time.

Abortion Pill Reversal:
Drs. George Delgado and Matthew Harrison have since discovered a protocol to treat women who have changed their mind after taking RU-486. Abortion Pill Reversal has documented success rates of more than 60% with no birth defects up to 72 hours after taking the pill.

Work with your local hospital or crisis pregnancy center to bring this new hope to your area.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Day 35: In Vitro Fertilization

"Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; Break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!" (Galatians 4:27)

Human fertility is a great blessing and a deep mystery that is an icon of a higher reality: God’s conceiving a new family by Holy Baptism. Without an understanding of this joyful reality, the barren are left without hope.

Just as hopelessness can override motherly instincts, leading to abortion, so also the hopelessness of the barren can lead to desperate measures.

The technology of in vitro fertilization and/or surrogacy may seem an enticing remedy. But conception outside of the womb and marriage bed separates what God has joined together, resulting in a host of ethical problems. (See: In Vitro Fertilization: Moral or Immoral? at LCMS’s Life Library.)

Still, the pain of barrenness is deep and real. Can we say anything more than no? Does God speak a yes to these grieving people?

Yes. God remembers the barren in such a way that holds marriage, life and family in sanctity. Katie Schuermann, a Lutheran pastor's wife, has converted her own sorrow into the joy of helping others. She has created a website called: He Remembers the Barren; and has authored a book by the same name.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Day 34: The Giver

In a dystopian world driven by fear, technology has been developed to keep everybody happy and conflict free. The hidden costs, slowly revealed by the "Giver," are that emotions have been chemically vitiated, love is impossible, and murder has been renamed: "release to elsewhere," and is administered by kindly nurses.

It culminates in a final poignant scene that weighs the horrors of human weakness and sin against the glories of God-given life and love.
"If you could only see the possibility of love! With love comes faith, comes hope... We've lost, the pain, music, joy, the raw, the impossible, beautiful feeling of love. You are living a life of shadows, of echoes, of faint distant whispers of what once made us real."

Never denying the dark reality of human depravity, the Giver points us to a world of faith and hope and love which is beyond all imagining, and available even now through participation in God's life of love.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Day 33: Hold in Sanctity - Judica

Dear Christians never cease to pray
For faith and love these latter days,
For marriage, life, and family,
That all be held in sanctity.
In these latter days, the steely tools of science and social engineering
        invade and tamper with everything
        -- all in the promise of improving and extending life.

- The most sacred spaces, the womb and the egg, are invaded.
- The most holy institution of marriage is denigrated, redefined.

We are simply awash in a sea of materialism
        where nothing is sacred, nothing holy.

But this tampering does not enhance life, as the serpent promised;
        it only brings death.

This week we explore a few of the monstrous ethical issues which arise when marriage, life and family are not held in sanctity. Though overpowered and surrounded, we do not lose hope.
Rather, we begin with ceaseless prayer and confidently expect our Savior’s coming.

We beseech Thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon Thy people: that by Thy great goodness; they may be governed and preserved evermore both in body and soul, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (Judica).

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Day 32: Post-Abortive Fathers

There are as many men who have experienced abortion as women.
This fact is as obvious as it is overlooked.

As you are looking for people in need of healing, do not overlook the fathers. Since abortion laws strip fathers of parental rights, they experience abortion in a wide range of scenarios, from active encouragement and manipulation of the mother to procure one, all the way through total helplessness to prevent the mother from doing so.

Each scenario damages the spirit in a profound, yet unique, way. Such men can benefit greatly from a seelsorger who can listen with understanding. Here are some resources to help.

Website: Reclaiming Fatherhood: A Multifaceted Examination of Men Dealing with Abortion
Books: Fatherhood Aborted: The Profound Effects of Abortion on Men, Guy Condon and David Hazard
            Men and Abortion: A Path to Healing, C. T. Coyle

Friday, March 16, 2018

Day 31: Post-Abortive Mothers

"Only the mother can nurture her unborn child.
All that the rest of us can do is to nurture and protect the mother."

"Saving the unborn is a natural byproduct of helping women.
Conversely, we can never hope to succeed in our efforts to protect the unborn
without first and foremost protecting women."

Over 70% of women undergoing abortion already believe it is morally wrong. You may serve such a woman. Do you know how to help her?

She is already convicted. She needs to be free to confess her guilt and hear the absolution. This means an atmosphere of love, respect, and understanding. Understand the oppressive despair that overwhelmed her own conscience. Respect her enough not to dismiss her guilt. Love the one who is too ashamed to face herself.

"While it takes the blood of Jesus to deliver us from guilt,
it takes the acceptance of others to deliver us from shame."
If you have had an abortion and need to talk to a compassionate and experienced counselor, please call Word of Hope Hotline at 888-217-8679.

Pastors will benefit by reading chapter one of The Jericho Plan, by Dr. David Reardon.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Day 30: Abby Johnson

"Every time you're out there, in front of the clinic,
it is stirring up the conscience of the the men and women going in
and it's stirring up the conscience of the clinic workers who are there."

It has been said that the opposite sides of the fence on abortion don't talk to each other, they yell at each other. This makes it nearly impossible to see the bridge of compassion between the two camps. Abby Johnson's story helps to bridge that gap. She speaks honestly of the compassion that drew her to volunteer for Planned Parenthood. She speaks directly about the hostility of a few protesters that hardened her resolve to protect vulnerable women from them.

She also speaks remorsefully of the secrets and self-delusions that allowed her to misplace her compassion for so long. And she credits the efforts of the Coalition for Life that worked to change the atmosphere outside her Planned Parenthood clinic from hostility and accusation to love and prayer. This culminated in her conversion during the Forty Days for Life event in the fall of 2009.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Day 29: Bernard Nathanson

"It was only then that I apprehended the exaltation,
the pure love on the faces of that shivering mass of people,
surrounded as they were by hundreds of New York policemen...
It was, I suppose, the sheer intensity of the love and prayer that astonished me."
 The Hand of God, Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson was a pioneer in abortion rights and, in 1968, he co-founder of NARAL. He headed the largest abortion clinic in the nation and counts himself personally responsible for 75,000 abortions, including two of his own children, one by his own hand.

The new technology of ultrasound opened his eyes to the realities of human development. For purely scientific reasons, Nathanson reversed his stance on abortion. This conversion inspired him to produce Silent Scream, the first documentary of an abortion procedure. He became a featured speaker on the pro-life circuit.

But God was not finished yet. While scientific advances and clear-headed logic could cause a change in heart on abortion. it took the prayers and the love of the pro-life community to change his heart toward God. For years he remained stone-faced and unmoved in the face of their prayers and sermons. But on a cold day outside of a New York abortion clinic, his heart began to melt in the face of the pure love and joy exuded by a peaceful crowd of praying protesters.

"And for the first time in my entire adult life, I began to seriously entertain the notion of God.
- a god who had problematically led me through the circles of hell,
only to show me the way to redemption and mercy through His grace."

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Day 28: Mary Doe

" name, life, and identity have been stolen and put on this case without my knowledge and against my wishes... One of the Justices of the Supreme Court said during oral argument in my case 'What does it matter if she is real or not.' Well I am real and it does matter."
Sandra Cano, Testimony, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, June 23, 2005

 Sandra Cano is the "Mary Doe" of the 1973 Supreme Court case Doe v. Bolton--the companion case to Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. What is not well-known is that Sandra never had, wanted or believed in abortion.  -- The Sandra Cano Story

This pregnant mother of three sought help from Atlanta Legal Aid to divorce her unfaithful husband and regain custody of her children. But her A.C.L.U. attorney had a different agenda. Margie Hames filed an affidavit claiming that Sandra had applied for an abortion on March 25, 1970 and been denied. Thereupon the courts assigned her the name "Mary Doe" to protect her privacy.

Thus the courts perversely made her the name-sake of the Virgin Mother after erroneously believing that she asked for an abortion on the very Feast of the Annunciation.

Bewildered and uneducated, Sandra appeared at her initial hearing and never stood before the court again. Nevertheless, in her absence and against her expressed wishes, Margie Hames pressed the case all the way to the Supreme Court. It was not until 1988 that Sandra won the right to unseal her court records and discovered that she had been the center of the fraud of Doe v. Bolton. Ever since, she has been working to overturn the ruling and clear her name.

Book: Supreme Deception: How an Activist Attorney Manipulated the U.S. Supreme Court and Gave Birth to Partial Birth Abortions

On September 30, 2014 Sandra fell asleep in Jesus. The Supreme Court decision in her name which places America's abortion laws among the most barbaric in the world, still stands.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Day 27: Jane Roe

"As the plaintiff in the infamous Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, my life was inextricably tied up with abortion. Though I had never had one, abortion was the sun around which my life orbited. I once told a reporter, 'This issue is the only thing I live for. I live, eat, breathe, think everything about abortion.'"
Roe v. McCorvey, by Norma McCorvey and Gary Thomas
How can your heart not break for someone who can only define her life by death? Abandoned by her own parents and then by her husband, young Norma McCorvey was alienated and alone. Pregnant with her third child, she became a willing accomplice to unleash the holocaust of Roe v. Wade. Decades of defending the right to abortion and counseling others to do what she never did, led her into a legendary hardness.

This was not softened by harsh rhetoric and gruesome pictures, but through the overwhelming and incessant love of a little girl. Through Emily, God brought her to say over and over, "I just want to undo all the evil I've done in this world. I'm so sorry, God. I'm so, so sorry. As far as abortion is concerned, I just want to undo it. I want it all to just go away."

Norma and Emily

At that point, Norma remembers, "Finally, I stopped crying and broke into the biggest smile of my life. I no longer felt the pressure of my sin pushing down on my shoulders. The release was so quick that I felt like I could almost float outside."

Book: Won by Love, Norma McCorvey
Article: Examining the Passing of an Icon

Reversing Roe: The Norma McCorvey Story

On February 18, 2017 Norma fell asleep in Jesus.
The Supreme Court decision in her name still stands.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Day 26: Repentance and Healing - Laetare

Your infant son or daughter bring
To be reborn through baptizing.
There I, the Lord, will take and bless
And robe each one in righteousness.

Each and every one of us starts out wrong.
        Only when the Lord takes and blesses us
                are we changed from despisers into lovers of Life.

Those not yet blessed with this repentance are not enemies.
        They are fellow sinners for whom Christ died
                and for whom you are invited to pray.

This week, we rejoice with the Father at the glorious conversions He has worked in former giants of the abortion movement. And we pray that, seeing the greatness of our own sins, we would love Life with equal passion as they.

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God: that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished; by the comfort of Thy grace may mercifully be relieved, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (Laetare)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Day 25: Bella

Winner at the Toronto Film Festival and a host of others, this film has the highest artistic quality of this week's offerings. Heartwarming, uplifting, thoughtful. It explores love in the context of family, ambition, abortion and responsibility.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Day 24: The Hand

Photo by Michael Clancy

The sheer power of this photograph overwhelms every argument against the humanity of the unborn. The back story is as heart-warming as its aftermath was controversial. In the end, the most important part of the story is that Samuel Armus was born healthy after having surgery for spina bifida at the age of 21 weeks gestation.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Day 23: This Time

"Former “Kansas” Lead Singer and Grammy-winning Artist John Elefante has partnered with Online for Life to launch the music video for "This Time" – a powerful song that tells the story of John’s adopted daughter’s birth mother choosing life 20 years ago for Sami. The song’s lyrics are based on the true story of Sami’s 13-year old birth mother's experience as she battled thoughts of abortion."

The forces of shame and sexual sin, irresponsibility of fathers, false medical authority, and isolation from parents all powerfully conspire against human life.

But Christ overcomes the forces of Satan. At the center of the video notice the girl, safe in the arms of a cross, made of candles and clocks.

"His is time and eternity. His are the glory and dominion, now and forever." (Easter Vigil)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Day 22: October Baby


Beautifully done, well acted story of a young woman coming to terms with her origins. It weaves together story lines of purity, family, respect, adoption, abortion, and forgiveness. Suitable for all age groups. This is a terrific choice for a congregational movie night.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Day 21: The Power of Pictures

An eloquent apology for the persuasive power of pictures.

The full 1987 movie, Eclipse of Reason (27:04) was made for television.
Few unwilling to view it, will bat an eye at a typical episode of C.S.I.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Day 20: Precious Feet

Photo by Dr. Russel Sacco, 1970
"It all started back in 1970 in pathologist Dr. Russell Sacco’s lab.  As a photographer and father of four, he envisioned just how powerful the story a picture of the tiny feet of unborn babies would tell for the pro-life movement.  On January 22, 1974, in San Diego, California, preparing for the March for Life on the first anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, a full page ad was placed in the San Diego Union featuring his picture of the tiny feet of a ten week old unborn baby.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.
Jeremiah 1:15

"Virginia Evers, a pro-life activist participated in the first annual March for Life in San Diego, CA.  Seeing the picture the tiny feet of a ten week old unborn baby in the San Diego Union overwhelmed her and forever changed her life.  By 1978 the impression of the tiny feet of the ten-week-old unborn baby germinated into a pro-life symbol.  Virginia designed a lapel pin the exact size and shape of an unborn baby’s feet at ten weeks after conception.  In 1979 the Precious Feet were designated as the "International Pro-Life Symbol" at a world-wide symposium in Dublin, Ireland.  Over 12 million Precious Feet have been distributed in thirty countries and six continents."

By Pat Krukenkamp-Maskell, October 27. 2009
Consider keeping a supply of these lapel pins in your church. These powerfully understated pins can be worn and given out by Christians in a silent, yet clear, stand for life.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Day 19: Living Icons - Oculi

"In pain," You said, "you will give birth;"
The woman feels the sin-brought curse.
By labor's end, the lesson learned:
"Your sorrow into joy will turn."

Through the icon of human birth,
          Christ reveals the mysteries of the godly life.

Pictures are worth a thousand words.
          They have a direct impact on the heart.

This week presents images,
          some beautiful, some horrible, all revelatory.

We beseech Thee, Almighty God, look upon the hearty desires of Thy humble servants and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to be our defense against all our enemies; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (Oculi)

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Day 18: Intended to Die

"My enemies say of me in malice, 'When will he die, and his name perish?'” (Psalm 41:5)

Who is at risk? The real question is: Who is not?
    The intention to destroy a life, once unleashed, knows no bounds.

When R.N. Jill Stanek, testified to the grisly practice of L & D abortions she exposed an ethic of intent: for a child intended to die before birth, birth itself provides no safety. Accidental live births were simply left to die.

Congress outlawed the withholding of care with the Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002. But this law is not consistently enforced. The film "22 Weeks" tells of the horrific real-life consequences of enforcing a mother's intent to abort against her later intent to nurture the child who was born.

In 1993 Peter Singer extended this "intent ethic" even longer -- up to 30 days post partum. Last year, the Journal of Medical Ethics argued that parental intent to destroy the imperfect be honored even months and years after birth. With ethics like these, will anybody, at any time, be free from the risk of being killed by those with power to define perfection?

Uncounted thousands have been left to die after birth because someone intended to kill them before birth. But some have lived to tell their stories. Through miraculous people like Melissa Ohden and Gianna Jessen, God has given voice to those who were intended to die.
Book: You Carried Me, by Melissa Ohden

O God, who seest that of ourselves we have no strength: keep us both outwardly and inwardly; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (Reminiscere)

Friday, March 2, 2018

Day 17: Gender Selection

"The serpent said to the woman, 'you will not surely die.'" (Genesis 3:4)

Sex-select abortions and infanticides have become a global epidemic, especially in countries like China and India. What is more,
immigrants from such countries continue to abort females even in America.

However, unlike China and India, the U.S.A. has no laws prohibiting this practice. Legislation proposed in May, 2012 was killed by Democrats in the House.
Undercover videos taken at Planned Parenthood clinics demonstrate their willingness to facilitate abortions purely for the reason of gender-selectivity. 

Every bit as troubling is the openness with which
in vitro fertilization clinics advertise their acumen in sex-selectivity. What they do not advertise is the plight of the unwanted girls who are not implanted in the mother.
"Yet, she shall be saved through childbearing." (1 Timothy 2:15)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Day 16: Children of Rape and Incest

Imagine the impact on your self perception should pro-life politicians sacrifice your protection on the altar of political expediency. What crime merits federal legislation to subsidize your termination? This is exactly the plight of people conceived in rape and incest.

Penalties for the perpetrators include jail time but not the death penalty. But, in totally irrational and thoughtless fashion, the death penalty is urged upon the innocent co-victims of rape.
Rebecca Kiessling survived her conception by rape only because of the principled and merciful legislators of Michigan who made it illegal to abort even in the case of rape.

Today she is a lawyer and an
articulate speaker for others like herself -- "the one percent" who no longer enjoy the same protection. Her passion can help to break through the rhetoric and allow people to regain rationality and thought.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Day 15: Victims of Incest

Incest is an especially heinous form of sexual assault in which the perpetrators are the very people put there by the Father to protect the child. It is an abuse of authority shielded by a cloak of secrecy.
Pregnancy threatens to reveal the secret and change the power dynamic. It is not the victim (often too young to know she is pregnant) who seeks abortion, but the perpetrators. Abortion providers, Planned Parenthood, and disfunctional parents often conspire to veil the truth of incest and to return the power to the perpetrator.
While the courts should be a sanctuary for victims trapped in this web, Judicial Bypass laws tie the hands of judges, prevent the young women from having their own advocates, and return the power back to the perpetrators and their enablers.
To help these women and the children conceived, we can work to change the laws on Judicial Bypass and expose the myth that abortions in cases of incest help anyone other than the perpetrators.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Day 14: Rape Exceptions

"In both Britain and the United States, the legalization of abortion on demand followed public acceptance of abortion as a justifiable "treatment" for rape and incest pregnancies. Once this exception was allowed, there was no rational basis for banning abortions in other cases..."  - Victims and Victors, Reardon, Makimaa & Sobie

Proponents of abortion
  • assume that abortion is beneficial for victims of sexual assault.
  • They also assume that such women desire the opportunity to abort their children.
Both assumptions lack clinical, medical, psychological or experiential support.
  • No woman who has carried her baby to term either regrets it or reports negative effects.
  • While, most women who have aborted report that their abortion caused more long-term damage than the assault; and relate how they were pressured to have abortions by ignorant counselors, family, and society in general.
Book: Victims and Victors, is a must-read resource to get the facts. It is the only actual study of the issue in which 192 women and 55 of their children tell their stories.

We beseech Thee, O Lord: pour Thy grace into our hearts; that, as we have known the incarnation of Thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of the angel; so by His cross and Passion we may be brought unto the glory of His resurrection, through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. (Annunciation)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Day 13: Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome people have been the special target of eugenicists both before and since the Nazi T-4 program.

Modern America has not improved on this record, even if the results are better hidden.
Since in utero screenings were developed at the same time Roe v. Wade became the law of the land, 90% of all Down pregnancies end in abortion.
"Which is unfortunate, and not just for them." writes George Will. "Judging by Jon, the world would be improved by more people with Down syndrome, who are quite nice, as humans go. It is said we are all born brave, trusting and greedy, and remain greedy. People with Down syndrome must remain brave in order to navigate society’s complexities. They have no choice but to be trusting because, with limited understanding, and limited abilities to communicate misunderstanding, they, like Blanche DuBois in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” always depend on the kindness of strangers."  Jon Will's Gift, by George Will

This whole column from the Washington Post is worth the read, together with the accompanying slide show.

Further Reading: Eyes of Life - Sabrina and Brody's Story, Our Story

2018 Gerber Spokesbaby Lucas Warren (Photo: Warren family/Gerber)

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Day 12: At Risk - Reminiscere

The mother's womb is safe and warm,
The father's love will shield from harm
And You, O Lord, together knit
The human body intricate.


Of the various reasons that mothers abort their children,
                none stem from natural emotions.

Rather, hopelessness and fear override motherly instincts.

Often this hopelessness and fear
                is incited by the very ones who should be shielding her from them.

    The father,

friends and
medical professionals...

can either fuel their fear of the world;
or, in the fear of God, renew their hope.

This week, we look to address some of those fears that put children at risk.
Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the joy and care of children.  As we bring them up, give us calm strength and patient wisdom that we may teach them to love whatever is true and good, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ. (128).

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Day 11: Cooperatio in Externis

“It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more,
with knowledge and all discernment.”
(Philippians 1:9)

Faithful preachers carefully avoid unionism
        that the Truth not be compromised.
With equal zeal, they seek opportunities for cooperation
        that the Truth not be confined.

From establishing crisis pregnancy centers,
        to participation in the National March for Life,
                advocacy for the lives of others often requires us to work with those of other faiths.
Discerning faithful cooperation from unfaithful communion
        can mean the difference between helping a neighbor in need
                or denying help to the dying.
Thanks be to God that the Church has been blessed with a most clear and useful distinction. The distinction between communion in sacred things and cooperation in external things (Communio in sacris, cooperatio in externis) has been in the Church for many centuries and has guided Lutherans since the days of Martin Luther.

Let us diligently study this distinction and make proper use of it. Not only will it keep us both engaged in the world, and faithful to Christ, it will also enable us to teach the truth to many who join us in the advocacy for life.

O God, from whom all good things do come: grant to us, Thy humble servants; that by Thy holy inspiration we may think those things that be right and by Thy merciful guiding may perform the same, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Day 10: Perinatal Hospice - Friday

Question for Friday:
After Jesus was condemned to die, did His life become worth less?

Medicine's abilities to diagnose life-threatening birth defects
        vastly outstrips its competence to treat them.
Imagine the anguish of learning
        that the child you are carrying may well die within hours of birth.

Most parents are counseled to abort;
        and in one study, 87 of 112 such children were indeed aborted.

Jesus, who Created these children, has far better counsel;
        and you are privileged to speak it.

Choosing Thomas (about Trisomy 13) and
Jaxton's Story - A Trisomy 18 Battle
help us understand these challenges.

You can directly support such brave and blessed parents
        by organizing for Perinatal Hospice support in your own local hospital.

Almighty and everlasting God, you give and you take away according to your wisdom and grace.  We thank you for all the mercies granted to Your child, during his short life on earth and for taking him to yourself. According to your gracious will, comfort those who mourn with the assurance that through the power of Holy Baptism this beloved child was delivered from sin and has been received among the saints in glory. Keep all of us in your grace so that when our last hour comes we may depart in peace; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Day 9: Miscarriage

"For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb."
(Psalm 139:13)

"Out of sight, out of mind," numbs us to the gravity of abortion.
    Sadly, this same dynamic leaves many to bear the grief of miscarriage alone and in silence.

While the LSB Agenda provides a wealth of materials for miscarriage (pp. 132-139),
    they often go unused because grieving parents do not know to ask.

Christian burial is appropriate even for the smallest of Christ's redeemed.
Find ways to teach this to your whole congregation. It will help them in three ways:
    1) Couples already grieving in silence
         will be given opportunity to open up and address their grief.
    2) Ministry for future miscarriages
        will be more readily sought and received.
    3) God's people
        will become more mindful of His hidden workings from the moment of conception.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, Your Son bore all our grief and carried all our sorrows. Strengthen the faith of these grieving parents and all who bear this heavy burden. Help them to rely on Your boundless mercy and to trust that their little one, who has been gathered into Your loving arms, will rise on the Last Day; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord. (LSB 553)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Day 8: Adoption and Fostering

"You have received the Spirit of adoption as sons,
by Whom we cry, 'Abba, Father'..." (Romans 8:15)
As the joy and the cross of conception is experienced as a human work
        and yet, on a truer level is a divine gift.
Even more so is the joy and cross of adoption.

Parents who adopt must declare their intent
        repeatedly, deliberately and at great personal expense.

In this, they become icons of God the Father who has likewise adopted us. 
  • If you have ever considered adoption or fostering, blessed are you. Your sacrifices encourage all of us.
  • If you are not in a position to adopt, but wish to encourage those who are, consider financial support (adoptions are expensive) also encourage and pray for them in their holy calling.
Let Us Pray: Merciful Father, because of your great love revealed in Christ, you called us to the household of faith in your Son Jesus, our Savior, and chose us to be your own dear children. Grant your grace to all who have adopted children that, finding in them a special blessing, they may nurture them as your chosen ones; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Excellent Resource: Adopted for Life

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Day 7: Encouraging Motherhood

"In pain you shall bring forth children..." (Genesis 3:16)
"a sword will pierce through your own soul also..." (Luke 2:35)
Like all God-given vocations,
        childbearing comes attendant with the holy and salutary cross.

The world sneers, "We know what causes this," and counsels avoidance.
        In point of fact, we have no idea why some, and not others (cur alii, alii non?)

We only know the call of Christ.
        "Take up your cross and follow Me." (Matthew 16:24)

When you encourage parents in the challenges of childbearing,
        you speak for Christ against the world.

Given the attitude of the world,
        yours may be the only encouragement they hear. 
Implore the Father:
To grant all women with child, and all mothers with infant children,
        increasing happiness in their blessings;
To defend all orphans and widows and provide for them.
To strengthen and keep all sick persons and young children; to free those in bondage; and
To have mercy on us all:
             We implore You to hear us, Good Lord. (The Litany, LSB 289)


Monday, February 19, 2018

Day 6: Marriage, Life, and Family

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

Marriage, Life, and Family are a holy and inseparable trinity.
        To attack one is to attack all.

It is no coincidence that the legalization of abortion
        and the first no-fault divorce laws
                happened simultaneously.

Nor is it surprising that 7 of 8 abortions occur outside of marriage.
        The sanctity of human life is the sanctity of marriage.
                It is God's own holiness.

O God, who has created man and woman and has ordained them for the married estate, has blessed them also with fruits of the womb, and has typified therein the sacramental union of Your dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the church, His bride: We beseech Your unfathomable goodness and mercy that You would not permit this Your creation, ordinance, and blessing to be disturbed or destroyed, but graciously preserve the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Martin Luther)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Day 5: Gift Conceived - Invocavit

When man and wife in love conceive,
They have, O Lord, from You received
A holy gift beyond compare:
A child placed within their care.

To conceive is to receive.

What is received is a gift of God.

The gift is not an object. It is a calling.

To care for a child, is to participate in the life of God.

This week lists some concrete ways to support this holy calling.
Heavenly Father, you sent your own Son into this world as the child of Mary and Joseph. We thank you for the life of this child, entrusted to our care. Help us to remember that we are all your children and so love and nurture him/her that he/she may attain to that full stature intended for him/her in your eternal kingdom; for the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. (127)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Day 4: Who Broke the Baby?

“For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.” (Psalm 5:9)

Jean Staker Garton, an LCMS speaker and author, began speaking out for the unborn already several years before abortion was legalized. She is a co-founder and president of Lutherans for Life.

Her classic book, Who Broke the Baby? What the Abortion Slogans Really Mean, is still unmatched and remains a must-read resource after 39 years. In it she unmasks the assumptions and assertions behind the emotional rhetoric of the abortion movement. Slogan by slogan Mrs. Garton supplies ready answers to the empty words which are still at the heart of the abortion movement.

Mrs. Garton fell asleep in Jesus in just before Christmas in 2016. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (Revelation 14:13).
May God root out all heresy
And of false teachers rid us
Who proudly say: "Now, where is he
That shall our speech forbid us?
By right or might we shall prevail;
What we determine cannot fail;
We own no lord and master."

       (Martin Luther, TLH 260.3)


Friday, February 16, 2018

Day 3: Incomprehensible

“Evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me! O Lord, make haste to help me! " (Psalm 40:12-13)

How does one comprehend the loss of 60,000,000 Americans in 44 years?
After a certain point, a zero is just another zero.
But these people are not ciphers. They are not statistics.
They are people for whom Christ has died.
Nor are they the sins of others only.
There are innumerable sins of omission as well as commission. 

Here are a few attempts at gaining perspective...
  • Perhaps the highest casualty rate of World War II was on Tarawa. 79 Marines died each hour of the 76-hour battle. We have lost 159 Americans each hour - for the past 384,750 hours.
  • On September 11, 2001 2,996 people were killed in a single day of terrorism. Abortion kills 3,655 people every day - and has for the past 16,436 days.
  • In an average month 205,700 Americans die, each having celebrated an average of 78 birthdays. In that same month 100,284 Americans are killed - before their birthday ever comes.
  • World War II killed 156,314 American soldiers per year for almost three years. Abortion kills 1,335,310 per year (more than 8 times more) - nonstop for 45 years running.
  • The dropout rate for the class of 2013 was 7.4%. Meaning 296,000 kids were not given a diploma. In 1992, 1,359,145 abortions were reported. Meaning over 25% of the class of 2013 were not given their first breath.
O God, whose martyred innocents showed forth Thy praise not by speaking but by dying, mortify all vices within us that our lives may in deed confess Thy faith which our tongue uttereth; through Jesus Christ, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (Holy Innocents)

Here is a video from Oregon Right to Life that attempts to visualize what these years have done to America.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Day 2: First Things

"Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:" (Psalm 95:10)
The earliest non-canonical Christian document we have puts the issues of faith, chastity and the sanctity of human life at the very foundation of Christian teaching (The Didache)

• "There are two ways, one of life and one of death, and there is a great difference between the two ways. The way of life is this. First of all, thou shalt love the God that made thee...(1:1-3)
• "And this is the second commandment of the teaching. Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not corrupt boys, thou shalt not commit fornication, {thou shalt not steal,} thou shalt not deal in magic, thou shalt do no sorcery, thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born. (2:1-2)

O God, from whom all good things do come: grant to us, Thy humble servants; that by Thy holy inspiration we may think those things that be right and by Thy merciful guiding may perform the same, through Jesus Christ, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (Rogate)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Day 1: Consider the Poor

“Blessed is he who considers the poor…" (Psalm 41:1)

Love for those far off begins at home. Of this, Satan is keenly aware. His favorite tool for hindering our love for the unseen and unheard is to stir up strife among those who would speak in their defense.

To encourage one another, is not to criticize motives or methods. Vocation is a calling from God, not from man. We honor God by honoring the manifold ways that he may call us to serve in the vineyard.

There is only one calling that is universal, the call to consider the poor. All else flows from this. God calls His people to set their minds on particular people -- poor in the eyes of the world -- and to think about their plight in concrete, human terms.

When we thus consider the poor, God goes to work. He replaces the world’s confusion with clarity and truth. He cuts through inhuman abstractions with particular people. To concretely consider the poor is to benefit from these gifts, first of all.

But there is more, the more you consider the vast and various needs of your neighbor, the more you are turned to Christ Jesus as the only help in time of need. Your neighbor comes into focus, your prayers are sharpened, and your unique calling is clarified.

Then comes the most blessed gift of all. You see ever more clearly that Jesus is the Truly Blessed One, and you are truly the poorest. “Blessed it He who considers the poor,” means that Jesus considers you.