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January 1998 Issue

After waiting four hours, Marisa (not her real name) nervously followed the assistant into the doctor's office. There, she would keep her Thursday appointment to abort the life of the baby growing inside her womb. Marisa, a twenty-eight-year-old divorced mother of three, had firmed her resolve. Her pregnancy was the result of being raped. In her mind, her situation fit one of the "unless" clauses in her pro-life beliefs. Haggard and distraught, she merely wanted to terminate the pregnancy and move past the trauma.

Marisa was told she would be given a standard sonogram before the doctor's exam. The sonar images would reveal not only how long Marisa had been pregnant, but also which procedure the doctor would use as well as how much to charge.

The assistant offered a concerned look whe...

Teenage pregnancy is an issue that must be confronted within the homes of Christian families as well as with Christian churches. Just as churches must be educated to minister to the pregnant, so must parents who hear the tough news — either that their daughter is pregnant or their son has impregnated his girlfriend.

Paula Odom, director of the Crisis Pregnancy Center ministry of First Baptist Church, Euless, Texas, said that parents need to remember, even in the tough times, that they are called to reflect Christ to their children.

"Be consistent with them, but be careful what you say. Don't ever tell them, 'Don't you dare come home pregnant!' That message is devastatingly frightening to them. Watch who your children run with, too. Always communicate with your children," she said.

Odom added, "Love your children unconditionally. Don't abandon them just because they have made this mistake. Tell them that you forgive them becau...

A crisis pregnancy is an emotionally charged event that radically changes a person's status in life. Some argue a woman has the right to choose, but according to Sylvia Boothe, alternatives to abortion ministry specialist for the North American Mission Board (NAMB), "a woman has the right to be educated and counseled on the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of all her choices."

As staff and volunteers in alternatives to abortion ministries, "we have the joy" of walking with a woman through the crisis of an untimely pregnancy and helping her discover how God can work redemptively in her situation, said Boothe.

The objective of the alternatives to abortion ministries is to assist churches, associations, and state conventions in ministering to women who are fa...

They call it "new baby ministry."

Members of Springhill Baptist Church, Springfield, Mo., have found a way to give more than lip service to the pro-life cause: They have opened their hearts and homes to babies awaiting adoption.

"I flap my mouth against abortion, and even though this is a drop in the bucket, it's something small we can do as a church to stand against abortion and stand for adoption," said Springhill pastor Kenny Qualls.

Qualls is talking about the church's cooperation with Family Therapy of the Ozarks, an organization which began actively processing adoptions around the first of the year. Since the first informational meeting last fall, three Springhill couples have become licensed foster parents through the Division of Family Services, and three bab...

What can Christian leaders do to save young mothers and their children from abortion, when government, culture, and the media push it so relentlessly in our troubled times?

It is indeed a burning question as we mark the twenty-fifth anniversary this month of the Roe v. Wade decision that has given license to some thirty-five million abortions.

We have lost nearly a third of all children conceived in the United States since 1972. Approximately two thirds of the 35 million abortions were performed on white, middle class women. African Americans rank second among those receiving abortions, with a variety of other minorities constituting the remaining four percent. More than 40 percent of all abortions are performed on patients for the second time around.

Perhaps the most sobering statistic for pas...

As Miss America, Kate Shindle will be visiting a different city every other day, logging 20,000 miles a month, advocating AIDS prevention, the "platform" she adopted in entering the Miss America pageant.

That platform, however, began raising concerns in the Christian community the day after the twenty-year-old college senior from Illinois won her crown and its $40,000 scholarship Sept. 13.

The Associated Press reported Shindle favors giving out condoms in high schools as part of AIDS prevention.

And while saying abstinence is the only foolproof method for preventing the transmission of sexual disease, Shindle noted in a news conference it may not be realistic to think that teens will refrain from premarital sexual relations.

"We need to recognize that, and not try to convince ourselves that we can talk kids out of having sex," Shindle was quoted as saying, "but rather ... talk to them about the best ways they can make their b...

It was a historic day for Southern Baptists Nov. 5 when Bob Reccord was inaugurated as the first president of the North American Mission Board. More than 700 people and a number of guest speakers joined together at Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta to commend and encourage Reccord as he leads Southern Baptists' coordinated efforts at reaching their own continent with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Reccord admits it is a God-sized task, making him dependent on our Lord and the prayers of all Southern Baptists. "Please pray for me," he told the crowd. "I am the most inadequate of anyone to be in the role and only God can help us do what needs to be done."

He also asked for "the grace to fail. Some decisions I make will be wrong, but if we are going to make a difference in North America for Jesus Christ, we must find out what doesn't work in order to implement what does work."

The North American Mission Board was formed la...

Parents who want to keep their children from becoming immune to violence must take an active role in monitoring their television viewing habits, according to a leader in children's television.

Hedda Sharapan, associate producer of the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood television program on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), was a featured speaker at the National Children/ Preschool Seminar in October, sponsored by the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board.

Sharapan quoted recent studies which found only 15 percent of parents guide their three- to eight-year-olds in watching television, and children are watching from three to five hours a day. One California study, she said, found that 43 percent of kindergartners through twelve-year-olds have TVs in their bedrooms.

"This is not a window to the world; it is a story-telling machine," Sharapan said. "And it happens to be telling the same story over and over. And it is no surprise to me tha...

Satan's plan is to alienate you from your kids, your mate, and your ministry," Fred Lowery told students at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Fred Lowery, pastor of the 6,500-member First Baptist Church, Bossier City, La., and his wife, Leigh, shared experiences that have helped them develop and grow marital and family bonds, essential elements for a fulfilling life and ministry.

"If you don't have a ministry at home, eventually you will not have a ministry at all," Lowery said, citing statistics that show 6,000 pastors left the ministry last year, an estimated 125 are fired each month, and suicides among ministers are increasing.

"Your family is your ministry," he said.

Citing Ephesians 4:32 and 5:18 as theological blocks on which to build a family, Lowery discussed myths and assumptions about marriage which lead to disillusionment and marital failure, and gave suggestions for building and maintaining a healthy ...

The twelve-year-old boy steps to the plate in the bottom of the last inning, his team down two runs.

His first-base coach calls time and motions the batter aside.

"This is the kind of game your mother would have liked," he tells the boy. The coach, Stan Allcorn, should know. He is also the little leaguer's pastor, and he buried his mother months earlier when she lost a long battle with cancer.

Not missing the import of the minute, the boy responds, Don't you think she's watching?"

The man and boy, Brian Smith, slap hands and the player stands a little straighter as he walks back to the plate. He swings hard at the first pitch and then the second. Nothing but air.

The team from DeRidder, La., holds its collective breath. A teammate stands on base hoping the next pitch does not signal the end of their mid-summer dream.

The batter steps back from the plate, and looks down the first-base line. His pastor/coach shouts an e...

A converted saloon now serves as a house of worship in Hungry Horse, Mont.

Bibles line the mirrored showcase where amber-colored liquor bottles once stood. A secret gambling room, visible from a steel-shuttered peep hole in the door, accommodates the pastor's office. A horse trough serves as a makeshift baptismal pool.

At least 60 percent of the members of Hungry Horse Baptist Church have been won to the Lord since the congregation began meeting in the renovated bar located on the town's main street.

The congregation previously had met in an inadequate rented facility at the back edge of town. No one seemed to notice it was there and no one seemed to care.

In November 1996, attendance had dwindled to three: Pastor Andrew Goodwin, his wife, and an elderly woman. Then several people to whom the pastor had ministered made professions of faith. The nucleus began to grow.

Five months later, the local bank, which for two years had been hold...

Christian music artists Angie and Debbie Winans released their album Bold earlier this month, and the contents of one song has angered gay-rights activists.

According to a report in the Religion News Service, the sisters have received death threats and successive telephone calls from gay and lesbian groups in response to Not Natural, a song that addresses violence, promiscuity, and homosexuality.

Debbie and Angie Winans, the younger sisters of renowned contemporary Christian artists BeBe and CeCe Winans, wrote Not Natural after they saw the lead character of ABC-TV's sitcom Ellen, played by lesbian actress Ellen DeGeneres, announce her homosexuality.

To Angie and Debbie, according to the report, homosexuality is not God's intent for human sexual relationships. "It's the truth," Debbie Winans said. "I guess people are upset about the truth."

"It's just the word of God," she...

There is sound, geological evidence that suggests the earth is no older than 10,000 years, according to a feature article in the June 16 issue of U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT.

John Baumgardner, acclaimed by the magazine as "... the world's pre-eminent expert in the design of computer models for geophysical convection," has designed a computer program named Terra that demonstrates the processes by which the Earth creates volcanoes, earthquakes, and the movement of the continental plates.

However, Baumgardner, described in the magazine as a "... fundamentalist Christian who believes, in accordance with the Bible, that the earth was created by God less than 10,000 years ago," designed Terra expressly to prove that the story of Noah and the flood actually happened as the Bible described it. Now, a tool that is used by geophysicists around the world tangibly demonstrates the geological validity of a global flood.


Internet Access

Kids ages 2-17 who use the Internet reported gaining access from the following sources:

• School only — 1%
• Mostly school, sometimes home — 1%
• Mostly home, sometimes school — 12%
• Home only — 85%

Do you know where your child goes on the Internet?


Safe Sex Lies

Proponents of the safe sex myth continue to lead children into a deadly trap of deception. According to recent reports, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration forced a condom manufacturer, Ansell Personal Products, to recall up to fifty-seven million condoms because of widespread reports of breakage. Safe sex advocates encourage condom usage, school nurses distribute condoms freely, young people use condoms with a false sense of s...