Saturday, January 11, 2020

10 Ways to Recognize and Celebrate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday takes place this year on January 19, 2020.  This is a day set aside to celebrate the value of human life.  Traditionally, people focus on the value of the life of the unborn child but we must also remember our elderly and our special needs children and adults.  This is a day to hone in on the meaning of Psalm 139:13-14.


 Ways to Recognize and Celebrate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well. - Psalm 139:13-14
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made:  This item is available here.
Think about that for a minute.  God formed our inward parts.  We were woven in our mothers' wombs.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made by the One who works wonders and miracles.  Isn't that awesome?  

Years ago, when we first began to celebrate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, many Christians and others who believe in life at conception would gather on the side of sidewalks and hold signs silently.  The signs would usually say something like "Abortion Kills Children" or "Abortion is Murder."  Some of the signs would simply display the Bible verse above.  Regardless of what was printed or written on the sign, there was to be no loud protesting or unruly behavior.  People just stood silently holding signs.  I participated a time or two.  This type of celebration or silent protest is well taken in my generally conservative community.  

Last year, I noticed that there are still people who recognize Sanctity of Human Life Sunday by holding signs on sidewalks and that is fine because we do need to boldly defend the lives of unborn children but there are several other ways to recognize and celebrate this important day as well.  Here are several ways you can recognize the value of human life while taking action that benefits your community.

1.  Volunteer at your local pregnancy care center.  

Several months ago, I began volunteering at my local pregnancy care center.  If you feel comfortable doing so, you can volunteer to speak with patients.  Not everyone who comes to our center is a female seeking abortion.  We also see women and men who come in for STD testing.  Of course, we help pregnant women understand the value of the life they carry.  For those who come in for STD testing, we talk to them about their sexual behavior and God's design for intimacy, abstinence, and marriage.  Most pregnancy care centers require training for patient advocates.
If you want to volunteer at your local pregnancy care center but you are not comfortable speaking with patients, you can volunteer for other needs.  If your center offers support for women and children, perhaps you can help organize baby clothing, diapers, bottles, and the many other things babies need.  If your center offers educational materials, perhaps you can organize the training materials and keep folders stocked with appropriate materials so they are ready when the women come in.

2.  Host a baby shower for your pregnancy care center.  

My Bible Fellowship Class recently hosted a baby shower for the center where I volunteer.  Class members brought in both new and gently used baby clothes, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, strollers, portable cribs, bottles, pacifiers, crib sheets, burp cloths, a few toys - anything you would take to a baby shower for a friend would be a great contribution.
Noah's Ark Baby Gift Set:  This item is available here.
3.  Host a fund raiser for your pregnancy care center.  

Pregnancy care centers provide so much support for patients that there are always needs.  Hosting a fundraiser will give the center the funds they need to supply any need.  Sometimes they need a new printer or other clerical supplies for the center's office.  Perhaps the nurses need to replace medical supplies.  General funds will give the center the opportunity to purchase needs the the general public might not know about.

4.  Support a young mother who has opted to keep her baby or complete her pregnancy.  

If you know a woman who has chosen to not have an abortion, offer her support.  Pay for her doctor appointments.  Provide here with transportation.  Take her nutritious grocery items to help keep her and her baby healthy.  Pay her utility bills.  Provide her with gas cards and other gift cards so that she can purchase needed items.  Offer to babysit after the baby is born.
If the mother has chosen adoption, offer to provide any needs she might have during her pregnancy and the adoption process.

5.  Hose a showing of the movie, Unplanned.  

Show the movie at your church or in your home.  Invite everyone you know to come see the movie with you.  I have personally seen this movie.  In my opinion, every person on the planet should see it.  It is eye opening in so many ways and on so many levels.  I really don't have the words to describe how important it is for you and everyone you know to see this movie.  Just get it and show it.

 
Unplanned Movie:  This item is available here.


6.  Host a viewing of Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.

Answers in Genesis has recently updated a DVD by Dr. David Menton.  It is called Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.  I have not personally seen this movie but according to Answers in Genesis, viewers get a peek into the stages of human development, particularly the very early stages.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made:  This item is available here.

7.  Plan a trip to the Creation Museum.  

My family has visited the Creation Museum twice and it is a site to see.  Everyone should go at least once, but multiple trips are recommended because they are always updating and adding features and exhibits.  This summer, they will open up their new exhibit called the Sanctity of Life Exhibit.  

8.  Help with the elderly.

Remember that all life is precious in the site of God.  Volunteer at a nursing home or rehabilitation center in your area.  Many elderly men and women can no longer drive.  Offer to take an elderly person to the grocery store, to a doctor's appointment, or to church.  Take an elderly neighbor a meal.  If you know an elderly person who is lonely, set aside a regular time to sit with him or her.  Sometimes, just sitting with someone and talking with him or her for a little while can greatly improve his or her quality of life.

9.  Start a respite program or something similar in your church.

Some churches have a respite program.  The one we have at our church meets once per month.  A respite program provides a safe place for families to leave their special needs children in well trained hands while they run errands or take care of other family needs.  Sometimes Mom and Dad need a few hours to take a break or go on a date.  This service has been helpful to families in my church for many years.  If you have a special needs loved one, then you already know how important this time is for families.  If you have never been exposed to special needs families, then trust me.  This is huge.  Contact your church administration to see if your church offers respite care for special needs families.  If not, then maybe you can start one.  If your church already has one, then go hang out with them for a while and offer to help.  Depending on the needs of the families taking advantage of this time, you might need additional training, but there are always things you can do without the need for training.

10.  Keep helping all year long.

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is recognized annually, but all the needs listed above are year long needs.  The things I've listed here are only of few of the things I know about.  I'm sure there are mountains of things we can do all year long to minister to parents of unborn children, young families, adoptive families, special needs children, special needs adults, and the elderly members of our communities.  Get plugged in somewhere whether it be your church, a pregnancy center, a community center, a nursing home, a rehab center, or any other place where volunteers are needed to serve your community.  

Of course, pray.  Pray for the people God places in your path.  Many of them do not have a relationship with Jesus and you are someone who can present the gospel to them.
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Friday, January 10, 2020

Usborne Cloth Books for Your Youngest Little Readers

It is never too early to begin teaching your child to love books.  If your child loves books, he or she will love reading.  If your child loves reading, he or she will build a foundation on which he or she will enjoy a lifetime of learning.  Usborne cloth books are perfect for the youngest of little learners.



Your baby or young toddler will enjoy the tactile touches and sounds of crinkly soft books.  Usborne Cloth books are great for tummy time.  They make great travel companions too!  Some of these books have snap carry handles attached.  Your baby will enjoy the rattle handles and teether attachments.  Explore oceans and leaves with the Little Friends books and play with the rattle handles of the Hello Baby books.

Puppet loves will love the poppet books!

Usborne Cloth Books


Meet Cat, Tortoise, Dog, and Goldfish, then flip to the other side to see them all together at home. 

Age0 years and up
Size4 3/4 x 4 3/4
Pages8pp
SeriesCrinkle Animals
AuthorTeresa Bellón


Meet Parrot, Lion, Elephant, and Crocodile on one side, and find them all in the jungle scene on the other side. 

Age0 years and up
Size4 3/4 x 4 3/4
Pages8pp
SeriesCrinkle Animals
AuthorTeresa Bellón


Say hello to Little Fox, playing and hiding among the woodland trees.

Age0-2 years
Size4 3/4 x 4 3/4
Pages6
SeriesHello, Little Ones!
AuthorSusie Brooks, Ill. by Christine Gore


Say hello to Little Lion, leaping and playing in the jungle.  

Age0-2 years
Size4 3/4 x 4 3/4
Pages6
SeriesHello, Little Ones!
AuthorSusie Brooks, Ill. by Christine Gore



Dive in to meet ocean friends as they splish-splash and swish-swish. A snap carry handle makes it easy to take this book along with you!  

Age1-3 years
Size7 x 6 1/2
Pages10pp
SeriesLittle Friends
AuthorSusie Brooks, Ill. by Wendy Kendall


Meet animal friends as they flitter-flutter and munch, crunch. A snap carry handle makes it easy to take this book along with you! 

Age1-3 years
Size7 x 6 1/2
Pages10pp
SeriesLittle Friends
AuthorSusie Brooks, Ill. by Wendy Kendall


Filled with colorful characters and paired with rattle handles, these cuddly cloth concept books for the very young are perfect for travel time, tummy time, or any time!

Who is red and who is green? Find out with the cozy friends.
Age0-2 years
Size8 1/2 x 5 1/4
Pages6
SeriesHello, Baby!


Who is spotted? Who is striped? Find out with these cozy animal friends.

Age0-2
Size5 1/2 x 5 1/2
Pages6
SeriesHello, Baby!
AuthorLie Kobayashi



Say good morning and good night to all the cozy friends.

Age0-2 years
Size8 1/2 x 5 1/4
Pages6
SeriesHello, Baby!


Hello, Baby! Buzz, Buzz is a cloth concept book for the very young that is perfect to “chew” on.

Age0-2
Size5 1/2 x 5 1/2
Pages6
SeriesHello, Baby!
AuthorLie Kobayashi


Follow the prompts in the story and make the puppy chase, bark, yawn, and settle down to sleep.

Series: Poppets
These clever boxes house an adorable hand puppet, story book and cuddly toy – all in one! Make the puppy and kitten come alive as you follow the prompts in the story to purr, yap… and sleep.
Age0-3
SizeBook: 4 1/2 x 5 1/2; Package: 7 3/4 x 8
Pages6
SeriesPoppets
AuthorSally Garland

Kitty loves to dance and drink and snuggle. Follow the prompts in the story to make her come alive!
Age0-3
SizeBook: 4 1/2 x 5 1/2; Package: 7 3/4 x 8
Pages6
SeriesPoppets
AuthorSally Garland


This charming two-sided cloth book combines a variety of touch-and-feel fabrics with a gentle, rhyming text, making it the perfect book for night and day, sleep and play.

Series: Hush-a-Bye
These charming two-sided cloth books combine a variety of touch-and-feel fabrics with gentle, rhyming text.

Age0-3
Size5 1/2 x 5 1/2
Pages6
SeriesHush-a-Bye


First cloth books for baby – cuddle, read, share and learn. The ribbon loop makes it easy to link to carseat.

This charming two-sided cloth book combines a variety of touch-and-feel fabrics with a gentle, rhyming text, making it the perfect book for night and day, sleep and play.

Age0-3
Size5 1/2 x 5 1/2
Pages6
SeriesHush-a-Bye


This adorable two-sided bunny cloth book combines a variety of touch-and-feel textures with a sweet, rhyme for the perfect “I love you.”
Age0-3
Size5 1/2 x 5 1/2
Pages6
SeriesHush-a-bye
AuthorSusie Brooks; Illustrated by Aless Baylis

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Jabez (Ordinary Heroes of the Bible Series)


Jabez is the last Bible character we are covering in our Ordinary Heroes of the Bible series at my church.  This series is intended to show us that we don't have to be famous, rich, or powerful for God to use us.  Throughout the Bible, God used ordinary people to accomplish His purposes.  Billy Graham was admired by thousands as is his son, Franklin.  There are many well grounded pastors and teachers who have done a lot of wonderful things.  God has used and will continue to use them, but He has a purpose for you and me too.  He wants to use you and me, ordinary people, to bring others to Him.

The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon on Jabez.  You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.


Our Scripture text for today is 1 Chronicles 4:9-10.
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested. - 1 Chronicles 4:9-10

Those verses are famously known as "The Prayer of Jabez."
  

God doesn't answer prayers that we don't pray.  God wants us to ask for our heart's desires.

Jabez means "pain."  Even so, Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.  He was a man of bold faith.  He lived about the time of the Exodus.

What can we learn from Jabez?


1.  Are you allowing your pain to define you or refine you? 

We all experience pain.  Jesus experienced pain.  Sometimes, life is painful.  Do we let it define us?  It's how we respond that is important.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. - James 1:2-4

Pain is part of our human existence.  Allow your pain to shape you into the person God wants you to be.  Allow your pain to act as a warning signal calling you to prayer.  Don't define yourself as a victim.  Don't blame others.  Own your situation.

2.  Are you asking for man's blessing or God's blessing?
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. - 1 John 2:15

Jabez asked for God's blessing.

Jabez asked for more responsibility.  

As humans, we tend to want more blessings but not more responsibility.  Often the two are synonymous.  Jabez asked for more of God and less of himself.

3.  If you could pray for your future reality, what would you pray for?

Would you pray for more responsibility?  Would you pray for more of God and less of yourself?  A bigger home?  Nicer car?  Healthy children?  More money?  More opportunities to spread the gospel to others?
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith. - Philippians 3:7-9

Jesus is the one who gives us hope.  He is the only one who can fill the void in your life.  

Do you need a relationship with Jesus?  

 
Find all posts in the Ordinary Heroes of the Bible Series here.

Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway