March 2009 Newsletter

Posted By on March 23, 2009

BEING A WATCHMAN…Ezekiel was called to be Israel’s Watchman (Ezekiel 33), warning them with God’s Law and comforting them with His Gospel.  As Christians who are concerned about the issues of life from abortion to embryonic stem cell research to assisted suicide, we too are called to be “Watchmen,” both warning and comforting the Church and our country based on God’s Word.  Many are justifiably concerned about how the issues close to our heart will fare in the next few years.  At the same time we are called to be faithful to God’s Word of Life.  As we move forward, Bible commentator Keith B. Kuschel, offers encouragement and direction:  “Most of us at some point in our lives have wondered with Ezekiel, ‘Lord, what am I supposed to do now?’  The reason we ask this question may be that some circumstances in our lives have changed.  We think changed circumstances mean changes in our orders from the Lord.  We hear him tell us in His Word: ‘Continue to witness to me by talking to Jesus the Savior.  Continue to witness to me by living your life in a God-pleasing manner.  Continue to apply the message of my law when it’s needed to point out our sin.  And continue to apply the message of my love when it’s needed to comfort the sinner.’  And we reply, ‘But we tried that already.’  Then the Lord comes to us, as he did to Ezekiel, and says, ‘You are still watchmen.  Circumstances don’t change my message nor do they change your use of it.’  Some things change, others never do.”  From The People’s Bible Series, Ezekiel, 1986 Northwestern Publishing House, and Reprinted with permission.

ASSISTED SUICIDE…Washington State assisted suicide will quickly become routine.  Any abuses or problems that come to light in Washington, will, as in Oregon, be ignored by state authorities and go mostly unreported by the media.  The Montana Supreme Court will create a constitutional right to assisted suicide.  At least one state legislature will vote to legalize assisted suicide:  look for Hawaii, California, and/or Vermont to legalize assisted suicide through the legislative process.

MONTANA BECOMES THIRD STATE TO ALLOW ASSISTED SUICIDE…A Montana judge ruled December 5th that state residents have a constitutional right to physician assisted suicide.  The decision makes Montana the third state in which physician assisted suicide is legal – or at least until the state judge’s opinion is appealed.  The State Attorney General plans to appeal the case to a higher court.  Source: 12/08/08 – CLR Alert – WEBSITE RESOURCE: (shortcut #7845

BRITISH TV AIRING OF MAN’S ASSISTED SUICIDE SPARKS UPROAR…A British man’s death by assisted suicide at a Zurich Clinic aired on British television December 10th.  The documentary, entitled Right to Die – The Suicide Tourist, drew controversy as it was the first time an assisted suicide was shown on British TV.  The decision to broadcast the documentary was immediately criticized by television watchdogs.  Source: 12/17/08 – – WEBSITE RESOURCE: (shortcut #7868)

THE FEAR OF AGINGFINDING HOPE IN ISAIAHby Pastor Mark Jeske…So tell me – what are we afraid of?  I’ve occasionally heard people say, “I don’t need money, fancy vacations, fame, or a huge home, as long as I have my health.”  Well, what if you don’t have your health anymore?  All baby boomers will recognize “The Who’s” Pete Townsend’s famous line from his song My Generation, “Hope I die before I get old.”  Are you afraid of the aging process?  If you’re a believer in Christ, you can enjoy the wisdom and serenity that comes with age, knowing that shaky hands and bad knees are only temporary.  Soon we will all enjoy glorified bodies.  Isaiah says in chapter 35 [paraphrased], “Strengthen the feeble hands; steady the knees that give way.  Say to those with fearful hearts, Your God will come to save you!”  From Grace Moments, 12/18/08, Used by permission.

ETHICAL STEM CELL BREAKTHROUGH REPORTED IN STUDY OF NEURON DISEASE…University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers report that reprogrammed skin cells can be used to study the characteristics of currently incurable human disease.  The research allows the team to watch how the disease develops and discover a way to treat it.  The UW scientists used the technique by sending the skin cells of a boy afflicted with spinal muscular atrophy back to the embryonic state, then growing the reprogrammed cells into the type of nerve cells that became damaged by the disease.  Source: 12/22/08 – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – WEBSITE RESOURCE: (shortcut #7869)

INDIANA GRAND JURY LAUNCHES PLANNED PARENTHOOD INVESTIGATION…An Indiana grand jury plans to investigate whether an undercover video shot at an Indianapolis Planned Parenthood clinic shows criminal activity.  Prosecutors intend to subpoena the unedited video showing a woman who posed as a 13-year-old pregnant minor.  The Planned Parenthood counselor resigned after the video was released which showed the woman ignoring Indiana law to report sexual abuse of minors.  Source: 12/28/08 –  – WEBSITE RESOURCE: (shortcut #7871)

CHINA INCREASES FINANCIAL STIPEND FOR ONE-CHILD FAMILIES…The Chinese government plans to increase the annual payment for couples who abide by the country’s once-child population control policy.  The policy also has been suggested as a possible cause behind China’s significant gender imbalance.  Source: 12/15/08 – – WEBSITE RESOURCE: (shortcut #7858)

NEW STUDY LINKS ABORTION WITH INCREASED MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS…Women who have an abortion face a 30 percent increased risk of developing common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, according to a New Zealand study.  According to the findings, the most common conditions associated with abortion included anxiety disorders and substance use.  Abortions increased the risk of severe depression and anxiety by one-third.  Source: 12/1/08 –  – WEBSITE RESOURCE: (shortcut #7830)

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