You give and take away

This morning we have learned that our friend Derek Loux has passed from this life to a better one. His life has not ended, it is lived now in the presence of God who is Eternal Love.  Death has carried him to the One he longed for. He sees reality as it is. He dwells in the presence of our life giving  Creator, The Greatest Intercessor – Incarnate Word, and in the shadow of the Comforter. He was ready, we must wait.

About two years ago, during one of the worship briefings Derek was sharing with us that he really does not want to be remembered as a “worship leader”, but as a father to the orphans. During these last two years especially he put all of his love, time, energy and care to fulfill this primary calling in his life.

We are left with a huge gap, unanswered questions, shattered expectations. His passion and love speeded up the fulfillment of his destiny. The Almighty has decided, it is time. From a human perspective, it looks like he has just started…and he has not finished….and we want to scream out loud: What was the point?

From the heavenly perspective, he was done here. Trusting this is hard.  And there are no words to express the anguish. This is earth, not heaven. We will suffer, we will die, we will live again.

For the next decades we will remember him. His awesome wife Renee and their ten kids (eight of them adopted) will have many Christmases and Easters without their daddy. And as he talked about widows and orphans, he changed his life so many times in order to help them…now we have  a chance to practice how we listened to him reading and singing and crying over Isaiah 58.

Father, You give and You take away, blessed be Your name.

He has the best worship team now and the greatest multitudes of those who loved to the end. What do you see, Derek?

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3 families living true religion

External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world. James 1:27 (Amplified Bible)

Tracie and John Loux

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This is Tracie and John Loux with their kids. John is…something else… besides that he is a great musician and worship leader, Tracy keeps it all together… she is also an artist, a mom and a friend. Two years ago they’ve adopted Elia. As of today, they are in Kiev, Ukraine, adopting a boy, Aiden and a girl from Ukraine. Here is Aiden (special need child) and their little girl, waiting for mommy and daddy:

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Read their story on their blog From the Heart (anyone wanting to follow their adoption journey can email Tracie at tracieloux@gmail.com for permission to read their blog), pray for them and give abundantly .

Donations for Tracie and John Loux here

Derek and Renee Loux

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This is Derek and Renee Loux, pioneering an Orphan Justice Center here at IHOP-KC. They have 2 biological and 7 adopted children, 4 of them adopted very recently, 3 of the recently adopted boys from Ukraine are special needs kids and need immediate medical attention

The Loux Family is their blog and this is where their recent adoption story is covered.

Donations for the Loux Family Adoption Fund here.

Chuck and Jane Koth

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This is Chuck and Jane Koth family with their 3 biological and 10 adopted children. Few months ago they adopted 3 girls from Ethiopia.  They started The Children’s Legacy organization.

Donations for the Children’s Legacy here.

I am asking you to consider supporting these families in any possible way you can. This is true religion.

pro-life Bush killing people in Iraq

Does it matter to the pro-life cause whether a President is pro-life or not? Does it matter how many pro-life people are elected to Congress?

PRO-LIFE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

1) Appointed Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. The appointments resulted in the upholding of the federal partial-birth abortion ban by a 5-4 decision.

2) Reinstituted the Mexico City Policy, begun by the Reagan Administration and reversed by the Clinton Administration (when Congress tried to reinstitute the policy, Clinton vetoed the bill), that bars foreign aid funding to groups that perform or advocate for abortions. In 2003, the Bush Administration expanded the Mexico City Policy to include not just funds dispensed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), but also the State Department.

3) Discouraged advancement of pro-abortion legislation by announcing early in his administration that he would veto legislation that threatened pro-life policy.

4) Signed the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which made it a federal crime not to treat babies who survive abortion.

5) Signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban of 2003.

6) Signed Unborn Victims of Violence Act, recognizing the unborn child as a separate crime victim if injured or killed during an assault.

7) Cut off all federal funds to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for its involvement in China’s one-child policy which includes forced abortion and sterilization. President Bush sent a fact-finding mission to China which found that the nation’s one-child policy was indeed coercive in nature and that the UNFPA was an integral part of implementing that policy, placing the UNFPA in clear violation of the Kemp-Kasten Amendment that prohibits any aid to any program that involves forced abortion or forced sterilization. Tens of millions of dollars that otherwise would have gone to the UNFPA were redirected to maternal and child health programs.

8 ) Thwarted efforts at the United Nations to promote abortion by instructing U.S. delegates to state at every appropriate opportunity that America does not regard anything in any document before the U.N. to establish any international right to abortion.

9) Issued Executive Order banning the use of new lines of embryonic stem cells in federally funded experiments. Later vetoed legislation passed by Congress to permit federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

10) Signed the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005, which will fund research using umbilical cord and adult stem cells. The measure provides funding to increase the inventory of cord blood units available to match and treat patients and to link cord blood banks so that doctors have a single source to search for cord blood and bone marrow matches. It also reauthorizes the National Bone Marrow Registry.

11) Launched public awareness of adoption campaign, working with the National Council for Adoption and pregnancy help centers across the country. The campaign sponsored conferences encouraging faith based communities to promote adoption and produced public service announcements featuring the First Lady urging the adoption of foster children.

12) Established the first federal government and national website listing and showing children available for adoption across the country (www.AdoptUSKids.org).

13) Increased the tax credit for adoption related expenses from $5,000 to $10,000; for special needs children, the credit was raised from $5,000 for qualified adoption related expenses to $10,000 for any adoption related expenses. This was done as part of the President’s tax relief bill.

14) Annually declared Sanctity of Human Life Day.

15) Issued a federal regulation allowing states to include unborn children in the federal/state S-CHIP program, which provides health insurance for children in poor families. This allowed states to include pre-natal care in the health insurance they offer to poor children under the program.

16) The Bush Administration did what it could to stop assisted suicide from taking further hold in Oregon. The state of Oregon passed an assisted suicide law that allows doctors to prescribe federally controlled drugs in lethal amounts to certain of their patients who say they want to die. Federal law holds that federally controlled drugs may only be prescribed for legitimate medical purposes. During the Clinton Administration, Attorney General Janet Reno decreed that assisted suicide was a legitimate medical purpose in those states that permit it.

During the Bush Administration, Attorney General John Ashcroft changed that ruling, saying that assisted suicide was not a legitimate medical purpose, thereby barring doctors from prescribing lethal drugs. A lawsuit was filed and ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing the drugs to be used for assisted suicide.

17) Signed legislation making it possible for a federal court to hear whether Terri Schiavo’s constitutional rights had been violated by being denied hydration and nutrition.

18) Dramatically increased funding for abstinence education through the Department of Health and Human Services, although Congress did not approve the full amount the Bush Administration requested.

All of the above is taken from Political Responsibility Center page.

My insignificant thoughts on the argument that Bush is pro-life, but kills people in Iraq:

I lived in the Middle East when 9/11 happened. No one protested when Bush has taken the troops to Afganistan. Until that moment, not many knew, what was really happening in this remote country, and that the Taliban’s regime was prospering there. So the whole world (well, the Western world) took a sight of relief when the Allied troops were freeing Afgan citizens after years of opression.

Iraq had a similar story in the beginning. I mean, in the western media.

We flew over to USA from Qatar, departing one minute before the attacks on Baghdad. The plain had to take different route than usually, and we just hoped that the missiles will not aim at our plain by a mistake, as they did before (like in Pakistan, instead of Afghanistan).

I couldn’t believe the propaganda in the US TV against Iraq, with all of the stories about weapons of mass destruction. For me, after living for few years in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the reason was obvious: oil (read: money – think about US connections with Saudi house etc., plenty of sources to learn now from on the subject). So simple. Anyway.

So, what we had in USA, was a story about a society terrorized by a tyran (true), and the argument about chemical weapons, which worked. Now, Bush believed his CIA agents, and I am not sure, if his primary motive to invade Iraq, was to free and help people of Iraq and rescue the world from chemical attacks OR if he saw that window of opportunity to secure the oil market for the future (because what’s gonna happen after the Saudi king dies, or if Islam revolution tales place in that country). I think it was much more complicated than that, but for my little brain, everything in politics (unfortunetly) is about power or/and money.

US invaded, Iraqi’s looked happy on the footage shown to the world. Then the ancient conflicts, which were present before, but dormant for a while, exploded. And now the world is wondering, was it worthed to open this Pandora box? Were we better with Hussain, or are we better now with never ending stories of terrorism.

But the answer is, that the answer does not lie in the political decisions, but in people’s hearts. And I know how it sounds…

Anyway, this is what I think that I think. So, the argument, that president’s pro-life stand is just a political stand, because he does the opposite in Iraq, is not a good one. The situation in Iraq would look the same, or worse, if Iraqis would kill Saddam themselves or if, let’s say, other Muslim’s would assassinate him.

Shame on American political advisers, who thought, that the religious-political situation in Iraq could be stabilized in few months or so, and were shortsided on the issue of Sunni-Shi’a realtions (let’s not forget Kurds). Shame on them thinking that the western secular democracy can substitute Saddam’s ideas.

So (if ot is not clear yet), I think that the argument for pro-life Bush killing people in Iraq is a weak one, because he did what he did, knowing what he knew; only he knows the motivation for that decision (let’s not forget Congress, media world and “the people of USA”, who backed him on that one). He just don’t know what to do with the mess, but he wants to get out of there, I am sure.

The proof for his stand on pro-life issues are above.

For thinking: Media controls the world. Who controls media?

As for Iraqi Pandora box, hope is still there.

Pray for wisdom. Seek God. Serve the people.

Good night.

Adoption not abortion

I watched “Lake of Fire” last night. Over 150 minutes of controversial, extreme, disturbing, intense, unsettling, provocative and revealing opinions, pictures, scenes from life, dialogues, criticism, discussions, demonstrations, concerts. Both “sides”, pro-life and pro-choice are pictured, although from a narrow (in my humble opinion), “media -minded, picked to provoke” perspective. It does not depict “pro-life” movement justly, concentrating mostly on one organization. The power of black and white images depicts the reality in a sobering way.

In this documentary you will find a lot of “talking heads”. Somewhere there you will hear moving testimony of Norma McCorvey (legendary Jane Roe from Roe vs. Wade ). You can read about her story on CNN here. There is one very bizzare scene from a concert of some wanna-be-music-band, where one of the women is singing basically naked (at about 1h 20min into the movie, for about 4 minutes if you want to skip this part). After somewhat strange appearance, one of the band members shares:

“How many babies are there now who are not loved, who are not taken care of…and we do have abortion… and we still have them… all these people who are against abortion, if they want to take all those babies, bring them up and love them… that would be wonderful… in the perfect world that would be the most beautiful thing, but… as it is, it’s not gonna happen…these fundamentalists are the same people who a lot of times are bigots, they would never have a black child in their home…why are they not adopting all the kids out of the orphanages… I see homeless pregnant women on the streets… go and pick one up… take her home, take care of her.”

Later on, another woman continues in a similar way:

“If they would care, they would do something different. They would be by the doors of the orphanages, and they would go in there and literally take every child in there home with them. If they really and truthfully care, instead of standing outside the abortion clinics, intimidating women, they would take these women in their arms and say: come home with me, let me give you shelter and time to think.”

This raises a very serious question, which must be addressed. At IHOP-KC we have a few families who are literally doing just that: adopting babies, which were ones considered to be aborted, but had found families ready to take them in, or adopting children who are already placed in the orphanages. I am full of reverence toward those who have been given grace to serve in this capacity. They are the ones who are becoming the voice of the church, according to James1:27 (NIV), accepting the responsibility of an “adoptive family” to those who otherwise would be neglected or killed :

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

The very end of this documentary is worth sitting through the whole 2.5 hours. You have to see this to the last minute. It will change you.

Caution: vivid graphics, scenes with nudity. Absolutely only for adult audiences.

If you are Netflix subscriber, it is available at “Instant watch” tag.

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