VIDEO Judge bars pro-life journalist from releasing additional evidence of abortion provider’s fetal trafficking

By Samantha Kamman, The Western Journal April 14, 2021

A recent ruling from a United States district court judge has blocked the release of additional undercover videos recorded by pro-life journalist David Daleiden from the public eye.

In 2015, Daleiden and his team at the Center for Medical Progress released footage of high-ranking Planned Parenthood officials negotiating the sale of aborted body parts at National Abortion Federation conferences and trade shows.

The guerilla journalist’s team described NAF as a “criminal organization that has spent years conspiring with Planned Parenthood on how to violate federal laws on partial-birth abortion and fetal tissue sales.”

But now, it appears audiences will be prevented from viewing the “hundreds of hours of footage” exposing the abortion industry’s illegal trafficking scheme.

According to court documents filed on April 7, Judge William H. Orrick III awarded a permanent injunction to NAF, ordering that the undercover videos recorded by Daleiden are to remain sealed.

NAF had previously been granted a temporary injunction on Daleiden’s footage in 2015, but Orrick’s recent decision barred the release of additional footage indefinitely.

The Thomas More Society, a nonprofit law firm representing Daleiden, shared on its website plans to appeal Orrick’s latest decision — which the firm claims “strikes at the heart of the First Amendment.”

“If these videos involved any issue other than abortion, you would have seen them by now,” TMS vice president and senior counsel Peter Breen told The Western Journal.

“And really, the abortion industry has been successful in eroding the First Amendment rights of undercover journalists and the American people for years, and we, the people, have to push back hard on that.”

This is not the first time that Orrick has ruled against Daleiden and the organization he founded. Even though Planned Parenthood admitted under oath to the accuracy of CMP’s videos, Orrick sided with the abortion vendor in 2019, when he levied a $16 million judgment against Daleiden.

According to Breen, the First Amendment concerns questions posed by the case that could impact more than just the pro-life community.

Indeed, animal rights organizations reflected these same concerns in a friend-of-the-court submission filed last month. Activist groups ranging from Animal Outlook to PETA argued that lower court decisions against CMP could set a standard where investigative subjects can sue undercover journalists.

The First Amendment’s free speech protections, the attorney went on to say, are not limited to the “person speaking.” The amendment is also intended to protect the right of the people to receive information from the speaker.

If NAF did not want its trade show recorded, Breen said they should have taken steps to “secure it.”

Considering that NAF failed to screen Daleiden and his fake fetal procurement company properly — even going so far as to invite the pro-life journalist to several conferences — Breen questioned how the videos could be “permanently concealed consistent with the First Amendment.”

The injunction prevented him from disclosing the videos’ full content, but Breen did say they contain material that would leave many people “shocked” if they saw them.

“And certainly, there’s a lot of material in there that the people of this country deserve to see,” the attorney said.

“Not just on the issue of fetal tissue trafficking, but on other abortion-related issues and issues about how — video that will — that would impact the way we govern ourselves, the way we decide to regulate abortion and the harvesting of the body parts of aborted children.”

Still, Orrick claimed in his recent ruling that he had reviewed the videos and determined they “disclosed no criminal activity.” But the judicial decision disregards an expert report from abortionist Forrest Smith, one of the country’s longest practicing abortion providers.

Contrary to Orrick’s findings, the abortionist wrote that the footage shows Planned Parenthood staff members violating the “medical standard of care.” But Orrick chose to ignore Smith’s expertise and rely on his personal assessment of the videos instead.

“And so when you have a federal judge sitting by himself and opposing medical experts, prosecutors, other legal experts — that puts that federal judge in the position of a censure over information that the American people need to see,” Breen said.

“David Daleiden and his group are, you know, they’re not — he’s not rich people. They’re just regular folks who decided to take on a great mission, and they need the protection of the courts.”

The Thomas More Society plans to take Daleiden’s case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and even the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.

“And we’re fighting very hard, against both the state courts in California and the federal courts, to vindicate the work that David did so that — the people of the country who have seen David’s videos know that Planned Parenthood did some things that were heinously wrong.”

Planned Parenthood Medical Director: “Dismemberment” Abortion “Checkbox” Skirts Federal Partial-Birth Law

The remaining available undercover videos can be found at the link below

What to do when you are accused falsely?

December 11, 2019 Nehemiah Zion

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” Matthew‬ ‭5:11‬ ‭

Being reviled, persecuted and spoken evil of falsely is normal for all believers. One would imagine why? Speaking the truth in love is like using a two-edged sword, it cuts finely to heal, few desire to be healed. It exposes our thoughts and intents of the heart.

Religious folks are the worst kind. Who are religious people really? Those who are hung up on themselves. They love their outward disciplined lifestyle. Inside, they are full of un-forgiveness, bitterness, greed and pride. They live unhappily, and won’t let others live happily. They exercise what’s in their hearts through their words and actions. They worship at their altar of Self, and have their own standards of what is good and bad.

A friend at work went through a lot of harassment only because he kept his Bible open in his cubicle desk. Couple of these guys, pushed him towards a wall, threatening him. He was eventually falsely accused for things he never did. He was warned by HR, even though he had done no wrong. He stayed silent all through, waiting on God to work for him. A year later, he was shifted to another city closer to his mom, under a different boss, in the same company. He never loved his job better!

Joseph was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife. He went to jail for it. He did not allow the false accusation against him steal his peace. Why did a loving God allow this? He had bigger plans. Really big plans! God raised up Joseph to be the most powerful man in Egypt (next to the Pharaoh).

“Then Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On (Heliopolis in Egypt), as his wife. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt [to inspect and govern it].” Genesis‬ ‭41:45‬ ‭

How we fight for justice! How we demand, ask for our rights, make claims! If you don’t know the Righteous Judge you will seek out your own justice. A stranger cannot make claims or have rights or demand anything. The believer knows his citizenship is in Heaven.

God always has our back. Don’t be troubled by the problem before you. Our problems are nothing before the great God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, an unchanging God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth!

When you are hated, reviled, abused, or persecuted, lean on His arms. When we are poor in spirit, He will keep us. He will see us through this life, an eternity of His glorious presence awaits us. It’s not possible without Jesus. Follow Jesus.


Original here

What is a REAL Friend?

Coach Muller  November 28, 2019


A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest.

A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself.


A simple friend has never seen you cry.

A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.


A simple friend doesn’t know your parents’ first names.

A real friend has their phone numbers in his address book.


A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party.

A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.


A simple friend hates it when you call after he has gone to bed.

A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.


A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems.

A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.


A simple friend wonders about your romantic history.

A real friend could blackmail you with it.


A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument.

A real friend calls you after you had a fight.


A simple friend expects you to always be there for them.

A real friend expects to always be there for you!

What is a REAL Friend?

Knowing God’s Love is Impossible

At least for us. But for God, nothing is impossible.


Knowing God is maybe the most central thing in the Christian life. Also, possibly the hardest.

The other day I was talking to a student, relatively new to a life of discipleship, who confided just how frustrating it is that he’s taking so much time to grow. He lamented how much he struggles to trust God when others seem to do so with ease.

As I struggled to think of how to encourage him, I remembered one of the most curious prayer requests in all of Scripture, found in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, which I had just been working through.

Towards the end of chapter three, Paul asks “out of his glorious riches may [God] strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all God’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:16-19).

We’re tempted to glance over this and think, “Okay, great, Paul prays that they understand God’s love. Typical Paul prayer. What’s the big deal?”

I was stopped short, though, when I realized Paul is asking that they be strengthened, that they have “power” to be able to know this love that surpasses all knowledge.

Now perhaps it’s because I’m a grad student who happens to study the doctrine of God, but if I were writing Ephesians, I might have rendered the relationship differently. I might have said that coming to know God takes weakness (and not just because you spend all your time in the library and not the gym). It requires a humility, a pliability, a weakening of our arrogance to sit before Scripture and come to know the infinite God as he has revealed himself. At that point, though, the answer becomes, “Try harder. Humble yourself!”

But that’s not the route Paul takes. Paul’s paradoxically encouraging assumption is that we are simply too feeble to be able to grab hold of the love of God. We don’t need to be weakened—because from the start we don’t have the “spiritual grip strength” to grasp God’s love.

Paul is asking that they be strengthened, that they have “power” to be able to know this love that surpasses all knowledge.

To steal an image from Plato, it’s as if we’ve dwelt in a cave of sin and our spiritual eyes are too weak to withstand the brilliant light of God’s glorious love. Our own hearts are too frail with sin and selfishness to grasp the shape of it, our muscles too cramped and atrophied from curving in on ourselves to imagine the gracious extension of God’s love, which surpasses the boundaries of the cosmos.

I hoped my student would find encouragement in this prayer for at least three reasons.

First, it clarifies that, inevitably, strengthening takes time. Being “rooted and established in love” requires time spent experiencing the love of Christ when you are your most unlovable. It requires time seeing the love of Christ extend towards those it would never occur to you to love. Indeed, we will need an eternity to begin to plumb the fathomless love of God.

Further, coming to know God’s love is not something we’re meant to do alone. Paul teaches us that we come to know God “together with all of God’s holy people.” Coming to know the immeasurable love of God is a group project in the church, not a competition we engage in all by our lonesome.

Finally, that this is a prayer to God is the big tip-off: Paul is asking for something that ultimately only God can bestow by his grace, as a gift. He doesn’t preach a gospel of salvation by grace only to slip back into making knowing God a matter of intelligence, native smarts, efforts, or achieved goodness.

No, it is only by God’s gracious condescension into human history as the Son of God Incarnate, and by his atoning self-offering on our behalf, that God demonstrates the depths of his love beyond all doubt (Rom. 5:8). And for that reason, we can all take heart. A God whose love is strong enough to overcome sin, death, and the devil will surely answer any prayer to enlighten the eyes of our hearts, by his indwelling Spirit, to know that love (Eph. 1:17-18).

Derek Rishmawy is the Reformed University Fellowship campus minister at UC-Irvine and a doctoral candidate at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.


Spike in violence, profanity on TV shows rated OK for kids: PTC warns

By Samuel Smith, CP Reporter

A lengthy new report from the nation’s leading nonpartisan family television watchdog group indicates a large increase over the last decade in the amount of violence and profanity in television shows rated as appropriate for children.

The Parents Television Council on Tuesday released its 10th report on the television content rating system in the United States, something that the PTC has for years called for reform of on grounds that the system is deceiving parents on what content is suitable for children.

The report is over a decade in the making. PTC entertainment analysts recorded and documented every instance of violence, sexual dialogue, sexual actions and foul language on prime-time broadcast network television during the “sweeps” months of November, February, and May in 2007 and 2008.

PTC analysts did the same thing a decade later in the sweeps months of 2017 and 2018.

PTC’s research found a 28-percent increase in violence displayed in television content rated TV-PG in 2017 to 2018 compared to PG-rated programs analyzed during the years 2007 and 2008. During that same timespan, research shows a 43.5-percent increase in profanity on PG-rated shows.

Although TV-PG stands for “parental guidance recommended,” that is the same rating given to many classic Disney movies adored by children worldwide.

Programs rated as TV-14 contained on average 84 percent more violence per episode in 2017 to 2018 than they did in 2007 to 2008, according to the report. In total, the research suggests there was a 150-percent increase in violence and a 62-percent increase in profanity found in TV-14 rated programming over the last 10 years.

“In 2007-2008, there were more programs rated TV-PG [346] than programs rated TV-14 [273]. In 2017-2018, the opposite was true [224 PG vs. 383 TV-14],” the report reads. “In February 2008, programs rated TV-PG outnumbered those rated TV-14 by more than 2-to-1; in February 2018, TV-14 content outnumbered PG content in almost the same ratio.”

Additionally, the report states that there were no G-rated shows — shows rated as “suitable for all ages” — on Fox, CW or ABC in any of the “sweeps” periods between 2007 to 2008 or 2017 to 2018.

“In its recent report to Congress on the accuracy of the TV ratings and effectiveness of oversight, the Federal Communications Commission noted that the system has not changed in over 20 years,” the PTC report adds. “Indeed, it has not but content has and the TV ratings fail to reflect ‘content creep.’”

PTC defines content creep as the “offensive content in programs with a given rating as compared to similarly-rated programs a decade or more ago.”

The organization said the networks have continued to test the limits on what kind of content is appropriate for children to be able to watch.

PTC believes the content rating system needs to be reformed and has criticized the fact that the networks themselves have much influence over the oversight board.

“Earlier this year, [FCC] was instructed by Congress to report on the accuracy of the TV ratings and the effectiveness of the oversight provided by TV Parental Guidelines Oversight Monitoring Board,” PTC President Tim Winter told reporters on a press call. “FCC’s report — produced after a public comment period — affirmed the numerous intrinsic failings of the content rating system that we have been sounding the alarm about for years.”

“The FCC’s report rightly notes that the vast majority of public comments it’s received came from individual consumers. It rightly notes that all of the commentators voiced concerns or dissatisfaction,” he added. “It rightly notes that the record suggests that a better job could be done. It rightly notes that concerns have been expressed about the system’s accuracy and merit additional action.”

PTC stresses, however, that no additional action has been taken even though it’s been five months since the FCC submitted its report to Congress.

Although many have called for reform of the rating system, PTC says the entertainment industry has “consistently defied public calls for reform.”

“Since that time, the industry has done absolutely nothing,” Winter said. “If left to the industry’s own devices, nothing will be done.”

PTC stresses that the current system is outdated because it came “half a generation before Google, Netflix, or the iPhone.”

“It has undergone no changes whatsoever … and the entertainment industry maintains that no changes or updates are necessary,” the report reads.

“Indeed, in meetings with the FCC’s Media Bureau and in public comments posted on the FCC’s website, Hollywood lobbyists argued against making the [monitoring board] more accessible and transparent to the public, and against making any improvements whatsoever to the current TV rating system.”

Nell Minow, the founder of, agreed.

“The issue here is not censorship,” she said. “We are not telling anybody what is a good show or what is a bad show. What we are trying to avoid is bad surprises. What we don’t want is for parents to turn on the television thinking that what is coming into their home … is what they would want to invite into their home and then finding out it is something else instead.”

Penny Nance, president of the conservative advocacy group Concerned Women for America, also called for a reform of the rating system.

“All we need to do is ask anyone — including the TV executives who produce the content — ‘Do you want your children watching this?’” Nance said on the press call. “We all agree there should be a rating system. Does anybody think that this works effectively? Does anybody think that anybody is overseeing it, to update it as needed? No one thinks that.”

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith

Klopfer’s ‘Garage of Horrors’: What abortion looks like

By John Stonestreet and G. Shane Morris, Op-Ed Contributors

Last month more than 50 detectives entered the Illinois home of recently deceased abortion doctor Ulrich Klopfer. What they found was sickening: the medically-preserved remains of some 2,246 babies in boxes stored in his garage. And then just last week, the remains of another 50 babies were found in the trunk of his Mercedes Benz.

The attorney general of Indiana has launched an investigation, announcing that the babies’ remains have been returned to Indiana, where Klopfer had performed the abortions.

Unsurprisingly, the story prompted immediate comparisons with doctor Kermit Gosnell’s “house of horrors.” Back in 2013, Gosnell was convicted of murder and sentenced to three consecutive life terms when investigators discovered the remains of hundreds of dismembered babies in his squalid Philadelphia abortion clinic and his personal residence, and learned that he had performed illegal late-term abortions, as well as something called “snipping” that I won’t describe here.

While pro-lifers say Klopfer and Gosnell offer glimpses into the violent reality of abortion, defenders of so-called “reproductive rights” want to distinguish these houses-and-garages-of-horror from the practice itself.

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, the current mayor of South Bend, Indiana, where Klopfer’s clinic was located, called the discovery “extremely disturbing,” but then said he didn’t want the investigation to get “caught up in politics” because “women need access to health care.”

Many, like Buttigieg, want to treat abortion doctors like Klopfer and Gosnell as bad apples spoiling the reputation of an otherwise noble profession. They might even call it “nut-picking” when pro-lifers point to these extra-disturbing cases, a term to describe using an extreme and crazy minority to unfairly tar the majority. Imagine all Christians being linked to Westboro Baptist, for instance.

But there are at least three reasons why pro-lifers have every right to hold up these sick and gruesome body-collectors as representatives of the pro-abortion movement.

First, the same people who call these stories “extremely disturbing” want even less oversight over the abortion industry. Kermit Gosnell was able to continue killing because pro-abortion officials turned a blind eye to him for three decades.

Klopfer was only shut down in 2016 after failing to notify police of a case of statutory rape, but when Indiana enacted a law requiring abortion clinics to properly dispose of fetal remains—exactly what Klopfer wasn’t doing—abortion defenders there fought it all the way to the Supreme Court. Thankfully, they lost.

Second, there’s evidence that mainstream abortion providers are just as willing to break the law as these so-called “bad apples.”

Remember those undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress—the ones showing top Planned Parenthood “suits” negotiating the price of baby body parts? David Daleiden, the guy behind those videos, is still defending himself in court, despite the fact that he caught Planned Parenthood admitting to illegal practices like modifying abortion procedures to get better organs.

And finally, it’s fair to link abortion giants with disturbed fetal body collectors because what happens in their sterile, well-lit, well-funded clinics is fundamentally no different from what happened in Klopfer’s and Gosnell’s clinics. Both places produce many, many tiny corpses.

A garage full of preserved bodies may be shocking, but is a clinic “biological waste storage facility” any less shocking? Isn’t the fully legal procedure that put those bodies there the thing that should really disturb us, keep us talking about it, and spur us to change our laws?

We need to be really clear about this. Mr. Mayor Pete, this is what that kind of “healthcare” looks like.

Don’t let anyone tell you Klopfer and Gosnell are just bad apples. What happens in every abortion clinic each day should horrify us every bit as much as what happens in these houses of horror.

Download MP3 Audio Here


Aborted fetuses found in Will County garage have been taken to Indiana, Stefano Esposito, Chicago Sun Times, October 3, 2019

The Remains of an Abortionist’s Day, Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, September 23, 2019

Originally posted at BreakPoint.

From BreakPoint. Reprinted with the permission of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. “BreakPoint®” and “The Colson Center for Christian Worldview®” are registered trademarks of The Colson Center for Christian Worldview.

Why Do People Keep Pastors at Arm’s Length?

Ordination can be isolating, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Why Do People Keep Pastors at Arm’s Length?


I’m an Anglican priest. I wear black every day, I wear a collar, and I work in a parish. While many pastors from evangelical traditions opt out of the collar and thereby can get around “incognito,” those of us who wear clerical garb have a constant visual reminder of who we are. This is can be deeply isolating.

While I was preparing for ordination, one of my mentors warned me, “When you start wearing a collar, whether you like it or not, you will be a character in other people’s thoughts and dreams.” The truth of these words didn’t really hit me until I was on my first hospital round after being ordained. Many people stopped me to say, “Hello, Father,” or “Good morning, Father.” They didn’t know a thing about me, but by virtue of my vocation, I became a cartoonish aggregate of all their images of what a priest should be. I played a role in their thoughts, though they didn’t know my name.

I thought to myself, I’m not just Cole anymore; I am always going to be assessed based on whether or not I fit a stereotype of a pastor.

In most people’s eyes, my vocation comes before my person. Even though my clerical garb reveals this in unique ways, it’s true for most people in professional ministry, with or without a collar. Pastoral ministry is a great calling—one I am glad to answer—but it can also leave me feeling cut off from others.

Set Apart

I imagine most of my parishioners would find it odd to learn that pastoral ministry can feel so lonely. While pastors spend their fair share of time alone writing and planning, much of the time we are surrounded by people—not by nameless crowds, but by people we know well. Yet we often feel alone.

To be a pastor is to be set apart, holy, “other”—or so it seems. Whether or not this is in fact the case, it is how we are popularly perceived, and it shapes the way we are treated.

Pastors share a certain affinity with the Levitical priesthood. While the people of God as a whole are called to be “a chosen people, a royal priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:9), some of us are ordained to a ministry of Word and sacrament, trusting that those to whom we minister “will share in all good things with their teacher[s]” (Gal. 6:6).

Without diminishing the differences between the polity of our churches, the scriptural injunctions for leaders in the church are demanding, calling bishops or overseers to be “above reproach” and deacons to “prove themselves blameless” (1 Tim. 3). For all leaders, God’s call demands a high standard of faithfulness because we are in some sense—for good or ill—models to the faithful, knowing that “we who teach will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1). This is a serious vocation.

And that is to say nothing about the expectations others have of pastors. Many folks think we are either ultra-spiritual gurus or shysters peddling spiritual wares. Until we break down these initial stereotypes, people will engage with us in a superficial or skeptical manner. I notice people’s stares when I’m out walking with my family after work and haven’t had time to change my clothes. They must find it odd to see a priest walking around with two sons and a pregnant wife, and I can’t help but wonder if they think I am up to something scandalous.

Recently, we went to the grocery store as a family right after leaving church. My oldest son announced that he needed to pee, so I took him to the bathroom. I felt compelled to explain to everyone that I was his father, that there was nothing salacious going on. I could only guess what people were thinking in that situation, if anything at all. I left feeling anxious, exposed, and profoundly isolated.

Complicated Friendships and One-Way Relationships

This feeling of loneliness doesn’t only occur in public settings with strangers. Friendships are also complicated. Some of my best friends, especially those I knew before I entered the ministry, still look at me primarily as a friend. But for many others, the boundary between friend and pastor can be quite fuzzy.

In one of our previous churches, my wife and I started to get close to a couple. We had lots in common, and our kids were about the same age. Yet when deep marital issues between them started to surface, the couple asked me to do some marital counseling, which I did happily. But as they aired their dirty laundry in my office, I realized the kind of friendship my wife and I had hoped for wasn’t going to work out. My role had changed from friend to priest.

In situations like that, I often find myself wondering, Are you interested in being my friend or are you interested in what I can do for you as a pastor? I can be happy with either answer, but I want to be clear about what I’m getting into.

Recently a family we know from outside of our congregation moved closer to us and started looking for a church. I recommended they come visit our church for a Sunday. After we talked, I started regretting that suggestion. If they do start coming to our church, our straightforward friendship will grow complicated when I become their pastor.

Craig Barnes notes, “Ordination costs pastors, and one of the greatest costs is maintaining the lonely status of being surrounded by everyone in the church while always being the odd person in the room.” Our vocation separates us from our parishioners while thrusting us right into their midst.

The empathy required of pastors can take an emotional toll, further exacerbating a sense of loneliness. People are often driven to meet with a pastor because of some kind of trouble. It may be news of a spreading illness or issues cropping up at home, but seldom does someone ask to meet with me to share how well their life is going and how much they have grown in the faith. When I see a message waiting for me from a parishioner I tense up because there’s a good chance something has gone wrong.

The pastoral office does, of course, offer moments of joy as well: baptisms, confirmations, and wedding celebrations. But in my experience, people most often reach out to the pastor out of their wounded-ness. As theologian Stanley Hauerwas writes,

There is no question that those set aside to preside at the Eucharist have a particular responsibility for the wounded. We worship a wounded saviour. We follow as a people also wounded. Such a people cannot help but care for one another in a manner that imitates God’s care for our wounds. They must, therefore, be persons who have learned to be in the presence of suffering without resorting to simplistic explanations. When all is said and done, pastoral care requires those who are to be agents of care to be people of deep humanity.

In most intimate friendships, sharing pain and loss is a two-way street: We are there for our friends in their need, and they are there for us. As pastors, we can’t risk the same vulnerability with most in our parish, and the sheer volume of need can be overwhelming. To know the burdens of a congregation, to know their suffering and loss, to know their struggles can leave me feeling cut off from them.

5 Ways to Push Back Against Ministry Loneliness

For those in ministry, loneliness comes with the territory. Though we may not be able to get rid of it entirely, here are five strategies that have proven helpful as I’ve combatted my own feelings of isolation.

1. I Turn off My Phone

Or I at least put it in another room. While smartphone addiction has been linked to loneliness generally, I have found being too connected exacerbates ministry isolation in two specific ways. First, keeping my phone on at all times can steal the intimacy from the few deep relationships I have. I relish the meaningful connections I have with my wife and kids. If I keep my phone turned on by my side whenever I’m with them, I constantly fight the temptation to check my email and dilute those precious hours of deep, in-person relationship.

Second, staying too connected on my phone cultivates shallow relationships over social media. These connections give the illusion of meaningful friendships, but I find them to be more draining than life giving.

2. I Go on Silent Retreats

This may come as a surprise, but silent retreats have been especially helpful for combatting my pastoral loneliness. Unlike leadership conferences or working retreats, silent retreats free me, without excuse, to be present before God. It isn’t natural or easy. At first the silence is uncomfortable, and I find myself constantly tempted to reach for my phone. However, after I’ve had some time to disconnect and sit quietly, my feelings of isolation dissipate, and I find myself attuned to the restorative presence of God.

When I return to my family and ministry life after a few days away for silence and prayer, it’s like someone hit reset on my mind and heart. I am able to engage with others again from a place of strength and rest.

3. I Talk to a Spiritual Director

Whether this person is officially certified or not, I find this sort of relationship essential because a spiritual director is out of the loop of my ministry and church life. Pastors can have a difficult time connecting with their peers for a few reasons. Social events connected with the church can feel like more work, and even though we know it’s unhealthy, feelings of competition often cloud attempts to connect with other local pastors. Talking with someone who is relatively removed from the challenges of everyday ministry has been liberating. I don’t have to worry about what he thinks of me or whether the things I share will change a working relationship.

4. I Make Time for Old Friends

I’m always surprised how effortless it is for me to catch up with old friends. People who have known me since college and earlier have no expectations about how I will live as a priest because our relationship started before I discovered my vocation. My oldest friends know me from when I was an awkward, pimply teenager, and that removes much of the pressure compared to relationship where I’m seen as a pastor or priest first. A shared history can be the catalyst for great conversation, especially as ministry and family life push to the side time for making new friends. Take the advice of Henry David Thoreau: “Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Turn the old; return to them.”

5. I Go for a Run

Long-distance running has also been helpful for me to combat loneliness. When I run I’m not thinking about how to be a pastor or how to relate to people. I don’t stand out because of my collar; I look like any other half-in-shape person wearing exercise gear. The mental and emotional benefits of running have been explored at length, and like silent retreats, running refreshes me so I can engage in relationships more meaningfully afterward.

Loneliness and isolation, like most of our problems, feel most overwhelming when they haven’t been properly acknowledged. They loom like a phantom, hovering in the back of our mind. Only by staring loneliness in the face was I able to start combatting it. Honesty with myself, my wife, and God has been a step toward greater wholeness. There is an element of “otherness” to the pastoral vocation that may always keep barriers between us and the people we serve, but just because something is normal doesn’t mean it’s always healthy.

I’ve found it vital to take brief, intentional steps away from places where “pastor” is my defining characteristic. By learning to be comfortable alone before God, without distraction, and cultivating the few deep relationships in my life that have stood the test of time, I am finding a healthier approach to this unique challenge of ministry.

Cole Hartin is the assistant curate at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The 3rd Watch!

Oct 17, 2019


In all four Gospels in the Bible, we can find mentioned the different “watches/hour” and its various significances; that is, what happened during each watch/hour has been recorded for our learning📝

FYI – The Jewish Daytime hours began with dawn and ended with sundown which began the next day. The hours are seasonal so the length of the daylight hours varied with the season of the year. The Romans began their day at midnight and counted 12 hours to high, 12 noon, and then 12 more hours from noon to the next midnight. We keep the Roman time.

Well, sometime back I had written a post on The 4th Watch and things that happened with Christ and His disciples. This post is about the 3rd Watch and its significance. Let’s see what happened during this Watch.

The Third Watch refers to the time when the cock crows, roughly around midnight to 3am. During this time, Jesus along with three other disciples were in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying. He was praying and knew His time had come to fulfil the perfect will of the Father, to be crucified.

1. While Jesus was praying and preparing Himself, a group of soldiers came to arrest Him, being led by Judas Iscariot. He betrayed Him with a kiss. Seeing this, instead of being with their Master, all of the disciples forsook Jesus and ran away for their lives. Mathew 26:56.

2. Peter who had once said that he was ready to go with Jesus even to prison; ran away as well. He followed Jesus afar off and finally sat among the people gathered there. He sat among people who mocked and scorned others. Ephesians 5:4. Amongst them 2 people recognised Peter at having seen him with Jesus, to which he blatantly denied. He lived a lie – a hypocritical life.

Jesus had already told Peter that before the cock crow, he would deny Him thrice. This happened exactly with Peter; and according to Bible Scholars, everytime the cock crew, Peter used to weep bitterly — thinking about how he betrayed the One who chose him ☹️

Peter and the disciples ran away leaving Jesus all alone because they didn’t have a mind to suffer with the Master. And yet the same Peter, after being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, exhorts the believers to arm themselves with a mind of suffering. 1 Peter 4:1. The one who ran away from Jesus eventually died as a martyr, upside down.

Therefore, as followers of Christ let’s also arm ourselves with a mind to suffer and be faithful to our Master till the end. Let not the mistakes of the disciples come in our lives. May God help us.

Be blessed

Original here

Why Do Pro-Life Leaders Demand Sanitizing Instead Of Ending Mass Murder?

When pro-life leaders get more upset over an abortionist keeping corpses in his home than they do over the murder of innocent babies, they legitimize abortion — and show themselves to be cowards.

Why Do Pro-Life Leaders Demand Sanitizing Instead Of Ending Mass Murder?

Oct 17, 2019

Imagine a world where bold men and women react to former abortionist Ulrich Klopfer keeping thousands of corpses in his house by bringing that horror to bear on the Indiana legislature and the Supreme Court for sanctioning the murders.

These men and women demand the establishment of equal justice and protection for all. They speak prophetically to a wicked and perverse generation that legalizes and regulates the exploits of serial killers. They call for the total and immediate abolition of prenatal murder.

But alas, the world in which we live bears no semblance. We live in a world where pro-life politicians and lobbyists express outrage at a serial killer for his regulatory violations.

Pro-Life Leaders’ Message Was Embarrassing

For instance, Americans United for Life Chief Legal Officer Steven Aden said, “Klopfer’s actions undoubtedly violated Indiana medical waste laws, but he didn’t care. Nor did he care that thousands of his patients did not give consent to allowing him to take the bodies of their deceased infants across state lines for an unknown reason. Was it for the purpose of personal, bizarre experimentation? Something else? He was effectively running an unlicensed cemetery.”

Or note the concerns of pro-life Indiana State Rep. Ron Bacon, who said, “We would like for an investigation done with the three counties involved to ensure that no fetal remains are being stored there and if Indiana fetal remains were illegally transported across state lines.”

Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter echoed the same, saying, “These sickening reports underscore why the abortion industry must be held to the highest scrutiny. We are calling on Indiana authorities to join in the investigation to determine if these fetal remains have any connection to abortion operations, or personnel, in Indiana.”

“This tragic case shows why abortion providers must be held to strict guidelines and face rigorous oversight,” said pro-life Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind. “I will be looking into federal legislation to ensure the remains of aborted babies are always treated with dignity, including the remains of chemical abortions.”

White House spokesman Judd Deere’s comments were chilling: “Murdering thousands of innocent babies is one thing, but preserving and hoarding their bodies like trophies is a new level of sickness. … A full investigation is needed to determine whether crimes were committed and if anyone else was involved.”

“Murdering thousands of innocent babies is one thing,” says the pro-life leader. I will not forget that line as long as I live.

Hygienic Disposal of Mass Murder Victims, Please

“Strict guidelines,” “rigorous oversight,” and “high scrutiny” for the Ulrich Klopfers of the world that they might dispose of their murder victims more hygienically and without crossing state lines is the pathetic cry of these pro-life leaders.

If they accomplish their objectives, these lobbyists and politicians will have accomplished nothing but sanitize and further legitimize abortion. Pro-choicers know this. It’s why rabidly pro-abortion Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is also investigating. He knows that pursuing this investigation and demonizing the deceased Klopfer distances the abortion industry from an enormous public relations liability.

Rather than sanitizing abortion, we must put it on trial before the public, engendering abhorrence for abortion itself, not for regulatory violations. The regulatory regime that is the pro-life legal strategy does not enable the movement to bring about the abolition of abortion. Regulating rather than abolishing abortion is the doom of the United States’ nearly 1 million annual abortion victims.

Many pro-life politicians and lobbyists have played directly into the abortion lobby’s hands. By regulating rather than abolishing, they’ve conceded that Roe v. Wade is a legitimate court opinion and, worse, that abortion is health care. If something is mass murder, you abolish it, and you don’t concern yourself with any opinions that you should allow it. But if it’s health care, regulate away.

The pro-life lobbyist and politician will respond by holding up a piece of paper showing a slight decline in abortion rates, to which abolitionists (those who demand the total and immediate abolition of the evil of the age) will respond, “Praise God for every life saved because of a regulatory sanitation of murder. But you see those 900,000 there who were murdered? They could’ve been saved if the multimillion-dollar pro-life industry would’ve stood against the Supreme Court rather than obsequiously obeying their every opinion that child sacrifice should be legal.”

Too Many Pro-Lifers Worship the Supreme Court as a God

The pro-life politician or lobbyist will object to the labeling of their bills as the regulatory sanitation of murder, but that’s what they are. C.R. Cali’s recently published book, “The Doctrine of Balaam,” explained it well:

Regulating abortions gives more than tacit permission; it definitionally governs, directs, and controls the killing of preborn children through rule and law. Rather than engendering an attitude of abhorrence for this slaughter, regulations legitimize the practice by dictating where, when, and how it is acceptable.

The pro-life-pro-choice paradigm does nothing but cement legal abortion’s status as health care and the Supreme Court’s status as our functional god. Too harsh, you say? “We could no sooner ignore SCOTUS than the force of gravity,” Texas Alliance for Life President Joe Pojman said in April to the Houston Chronicle, explaining his pro-life organization’s opposition to the Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act.

Unconditional submission to a legal-political institution akin to our acquiescence to a law of nature is nothing short of idolatry. Never mind that this submission entails obeying an order to allow serial killers to operate with impunity so long as they and those bringing their victims jump through a few pro-life hoops, and never mind that just about every state is disregarding a federal law, regulation, or court opinion on one or more other issues.

Among pro-life leaders, Pojman is the rule, not the exception. Bills to immediately abolish abortion and disregard Roe as the evil, unconstitutional, nonbinding opinion that it is have been introduced in six states. The primary opposition in four of those states (OklahomaTexasIndiana, and Idaho) has been pro-life Republicans, National Right to Life lobbyists, and Southern Baptist-affiliated conventions.

Why does the pro-life establishment get away with treating abortion like health care and the Supreme Court like a god? Because they’ve handed the reins of the movement to worldly pragmatists. The biblical term for such individuals is “fools.” Professing themselves to be wise, they regulate murder and oppose its abolition, telling their donors and supporters regulation is the best they can do and that the Supreme Court is due unconditional submission up to and including obedience to their orders to allow mass murder.

“This is the best way to fight abortion,” they say. “We have to be as wise as serpents.” As if Matthew 10:16 is commanding Supreme Court idolatry and the sanitation of murder.

Stop Playing Regulatory Games

Consider the statement of Abolish Abortion Indiana President Derin Stidd contrasted with the pro-life leaders at this article’s outset.

These people make their living by murdering babies by the thousands. They see the arms and the legs that they are ripping off of these little children every single day. They see the little faces staring up at them from the heads that they just tore off of the bodies of little innocent babies every single day. So, it’s hard for me to imagine how we could possibly be surprised when we hear of the other sort of evil things they are doing.

This man murdered thousands of little babies, and hardly anyone cares, but he takes their remains home, and now all of a sudden it’s a big deal. Why? Of course, the fact that he had the remains of over 2,000 dead babies in his home is disturbing, but it’s disturbing because he’s the one that killed those babies, to begin with. What’s even more disturbing than that is that virtually no one is disturbed that Klopfer killed the babies, only that he took their remains home. I find that to be disturbing.

Canadian activist Laura Klassen reacted along the same lines: “All this outrage over babies in jars … is amazing to me. We shouldn’t find it shocking that an abortionist kept over 2K dead babies as souvenirs. … [I]t should shock that this guy killed over 2K babies. Legally.”

This is the appropriate reaction to the remains of Klopfer’s thousands of victims. Not a call for stricter enforcement of laws against taking corpses across state lines. Nothing coming from a foundation of compromise and defeatism. No call for regulation that could’ve come from an abortion supporter as easily as from a pro-lifer. Just a simple expression of abhorrence for abortion and a demand for its abolition.

Stop playing regulatory games. And that is what’s going on. It’s a game. Pro-life lobbyists and politicians benefit immensely from regulating abortion and pretending it’s all they can do. Cease to be a part of it and demand abortion’s total and immediate abolition and Roe’s nullification. When more people demand abolition than the number of people who demand murder be more heavily regulated, abortion will be abolished — and not before.

Praise God, that day is coming near.

James Silberman is a writer bringing attention to the state-level efforts around the country to reject Roe and abolish abortion. Read the latest on these bills at James’s author page at The Resurgent and follow James on Twitter.
Photo Elvert Barnes/Wikimedia Commons

Judge torpedoes ban on counseling against same-sex feelings

City tried to dictate speech of licensed therapists

A federal judge has torpedoed the city of Tampa’s attempt to block licensed counselors from helping patients overcome unwanted same-sex attractions.

Similar laws have been defeated in other jurisdictions.

In Tampa, U.S. District Judge William Jung granted summary judgment to Liberty Counsel in its lawsuit against Tampa’s ordinance prohibiting “licensed counselors from providing voluntary talk therapy to minors seeking help to reduce or eliminate their unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or identity.”

The ruling, which permanently strikes the ordinance, was based on the fact that cities don’t have the authority to regulate health care.

“According to the city, the ordinance regulates medical professionals and ‘part of the practice of medicine’ within the city limits,” the judge said. “The city is unaware of any child every receiving proscribed SOCE [sexual orientation change effort] in the city. The city has never before substantively regulated and disciplined the practice of medicine, psychotherapy, or mental health treatment with city limits. Nor does the city possess charter or home rule authority to do so.”

The ordinance, the judge said, “is preempted by the comprehensive Florida regulatory scheme for healthcare regulation and discipline.”

Liberty Counsel defended marriage and family therapist Robert Vazzo and his minor clients, as well as New Hearts Outreach Tampa Bay.

The judge also noted: “Nothing is more intimate, more private, and more sensitive, than a growing young man or woman talking to a mental health therapist about sex, gender, preferences, and conflicting feelings. The ordinance inserts the city’s code enforcers into the middle of this sensitive, intense and private moment. But this moment is already governed by Florida’s very broad rights of privacy, something the ordinance ignores. … The Florida Constitution’s privacy amendment suggests that government should stay out of the therapy room. The Tampa Ordinance does not address this constitutional issue, and in doing so the city attempts to occupy a very private space, contrary to a strong statewide policy.”

The judge also pointed out the city’s move “eliminates” a “longstanding parental right without discussion or exception.”

Liberty Counsel chief Mat Staver called it a great victory for counselors and clients.

“The city of Tampa has no authority to prohibit counselors from helping their clients achieve their goals,” he said. “Regulating healthcare is above the pay grade of local municipalities. While striking down the ordinance, the court shredded the arguments used to justify these unconstitutional counseling bans. This ruling dooms every municipality in Florida and is the beginning of the end of more than 50 similar local laws around the country. This ruling also shows clearly why the other statewide laws will meet the same fate as Tampa. The First Amendment will wipe away every one of these speech-restrictive laws.”

A magistrate judge, ruling the city’s ban likely violated the First Amendment, recommended to the district court that the ordinance be killed.

Original here