For at least a year, we’ve had our thoughts on the coronavirus, or COVID-19. The disease has captured news reports, papers and magazines. It has gotten the attention of governmental leaders of all levels. And each day on the news we see the number of new cases and additional deaths.
The emphasis that COVID is getting is appropriate; but there is a disease more deadly, one that killed twice as many as COVID last year; one that in 47 years has killed more than 63 million people in America.
This “pandemic” began on Jan. 22, 1973, and can be traced to seven men in Washington D.C. And while we hope COVID is going to decrease rapidly and end soon, thanks to immunizations and personal precautions, this other deadly disease could have been almost eliminated years ago. But too many of our leaders turn a blind eye to this disease!
Of course, you know that the disease I’m talking about is abortion, something I personally consider the most heinous and horrific problem in what many would think is a “civilized” nation. But when seven or nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff in what is knows as Roe v Wade, the onslaught began. (Thank you Justice White and Justice Rehnquist for opposing this travesty!)
Yes, there were abortions before Roe v Wade, and if that dreadful decision were to be overturned, there would be abortions, illegal abortions, even so. But the numbers would decrease dramatically!
Thankfully, we are seeing a slight decrease in the number of abortions in America. This is due, to a degree, to the increase of pro-life education seeming to influence our “younger generation”. It also is due, somewhat, to the availability of birth control (we even have a number of billboards in our area advertising free and easily obtained birth control). But as birth control itself isn’t “foolproof”, the only birth control that will eliminate unwanted pregnancies is self-control (because babies don’t just happen; the stork doesn’t bring them and we don’t get them in the cabbage patch; babies are “caused” by the conscious action of one or two people).
We all know that some pregnancies occur because of rape or incest. And while those are few in number, they are tragic. But killing the baby doesn’t change the tragedy; it simply exacerbates it. In every abortion there are a number of victims. The baby is killed; the parent(s) and the practitioner(s) are damaged (whether they realize it or not).
Every great nation in world history has risen and then has fallen. Sometimes the fall comes at the hands of outside forces attacking when the internal foundations of the nation have been weakened. Often the fall comes from within, from foundations weakened by the decrease of morality, spirituality, love, and the devaluation of human life.
I believe that every nation that has fallen has fallen because of a great national sin; and I have no question in my mind that America’s great sin is the disrespect we have for human life: all human life.
Every life is precious from conception to natural death.
Over time, our selfishness and the sad decay of society have changed that. But we can turn back.
When the people of America get back to God and back to His Word, when we begin to respect ourselves and respect all others, when we value life and not “things”, when we put others first instead of ourselves, then America can change. Who knows, we might even become “one nation under God” again and a nation that God can truly bless. This Friday marks the 48th anniversary of the worst Supreme Court decision of all time. Let all of us who love the Lord spend more time in prayer and more time working to end abortion in our generation. And let’s support those who are working with us: Grand Strand Citizens for Life, National Right to Life, Coastline Women’s Center and many more!
“When Jesus walked upon the earth on the shores of Galilee, He’d say to His disciples, ‘Let the little children come to Me.’ I wonder if up in heaven, do you suppose we’ll see little children ask Him, ‘What was I supposed to be?’
“’Was I to be a prophet used in the ministry? A doctor who would find the cure for some terrible disease? Even if I’d been born imperfect why couldn’t my parents see that I’d have been made perfect when you came back for me?’
“Oh Jesus, what was I supposed to be? What were my eyes supposed to see? And why did I taste of death before I even drew a breath or laid my head on my mother’s breast to sleep; oh, Jesus, what was I supposed to be?’” (written by Ray Boltz)
Position of Strength: On Our Knees!
The Bible encourages God’s people to “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17), “pray always with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:17), and the exhortation from Paul to Timothy (I Timothy 2:8) that “men (and women and children too) pray everywhere.”
I’m sure your church, like mine, has a long prayer list and I’m sure you have your own personal prayer list, too. Here are some things that we, as God’s church, can and should be praying about daily:
■ Pray for our leaders, at all levels and right now, our elected incumbents and newly-elected leaders, that they will lead wisely and seek God’s wisdom and will in their new positions of authority
■ Pray for the church in America and the church around the world (especially the persecuted church). In the increasing darkness of sin, the church is the light and if we’re willing to be the light, then darkness cannot extinguish God’s truth!
■ Pray for our nation that we will return to a time of mutual respect for each other, of love, real toleration, and as the Bible tells us “accepting and bearing with” one another. Pray that the hate, the violence, the malice will end.
■ Pray that we’ll all respect life as a gift from God who alone has the right and power to begin and end it. Pray that we’ll realize that all life matters from conception until natural death.
■ Pray for our homes and families that love between parents and parents and children will be the “rule of the day” and that families will follow God’s pattern to be the solid basic building block of society.
■ Pray for our schools (all levels), students, teachers, administrators and service personnel. These are incredibly difficult days in education.
■ Pray for the sick, the infirm, the elderly, the needy and be willing to be God’s hands and feet to meet needs as you can.
■ Pray for each other. Each week as I share prayer requests at church, I ask our folks to look around and tell them everyone they see needs prayer. But we have a great God who can hear every prayer.
Your Help is Making a Difference!
The ongoing COVID-19 “pandemic”. The upcoming “flu season”. Financial upheaval caused by the current situation. Storm devastation. Wildfire destruction. The list of difficulties and problems seems never-ending.
It seems that each day we add to this list! What can we do? Inventory what you have. Do you have more than enough? (Be honest, God has given to most of us abundantly!) If you do, someone has said that God gives that so you can share with others.
Share your resources (food, clothing), your time, your monetary resources with others. And you don’t have to look far to find the needy or good faithful organizations that are ministering to them. Open your hands and your heart to others! You’ll be blessed as you bless. Mother Teresa said, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.”
What’s Happening in Your House of Worship?
2020 was difficult for churches with many closures, reopenings, virtual services, canceled “special events” and so on. As this year of 2021 unfolds, we pray for more normalcy and plan for whatever comes our way.
You can let your congregation and the community know all the good things going on in your house of worship. Send you announcements, as early as possible, to Church Talk and we’ll get the word out for you. Email announcements to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NMBCS Golf Tournament
North Myrtle Beach Christian School will hold its Fifth Annual Golf Tournament March 13 at the Valley at Eastport Golf Club. Check-in and breakfast start at 8 a.m. with the tournament Shotgun start at 9 a.m.
There is a four-person Captain’s Choice Scramble and all skill levels are welcome. Entry fee is $75 per person, $300 per team and includes green and cart fees a raffle drawing and door prizes. Breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks are also included. (Pastors, ministers, clergy will have their fee waived when on a team with three paying golfers!) Hole and corporate sponsorships are also available.
All proceeds from the tournament will benefit North Myrtle Beach Christian School. Phone the school office at (843) 399-7181. You may email the school at email@example.com. Your support is appreciated and your prayers for the event are also appreciated!
Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry
■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will distribute food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.
■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church, and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.
■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”
Please help as you are able. Call (843) 347-5168 or go online to www.stjamesconway.org.
Myrtle Beach/The Coast
■ Long Bay Symphony will live-stream the first performance of 2021 from First Presbyterian Church, Myrtle Beach. The virtual concert “Strings: Romantic and Modern” will occur on Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. Phone (843) 448-8379 or go to www.longbaysymphony.com.
■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea; 406 65th Ave. North: Services (Virtual and Temple) Friday 6 p.m., Shabbat 10 a.m.
Education classes on Wednesdays. Contact the temple at (843) 449-5552, or through its website www.mbsynagogue.org.
■ The next New Beginnings drive-thru food distribution will be held on Feb. 20 from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 16 Bypass in Surfside Beach. Cars can begin lining up at 7 a.m. Phone (843) 215-4500.
■ Together in Christ has a Wednesday ZOOM Prayer Meeting from noon-12:30 p.m. each week. Prayer changes everything and you are invited to pray with the mid-week group. Email hgprayer @sccoast.net.
■ St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 542 Cypress Ave. in Murrells Inlet, has a Life Chain every first Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on U.S. 17 Business, near the church driveway. You are invited to participate in this event. (Bring a chair if not able to stand for the hour.) Contact Joanne Bennett at (614) 313-8425 or email Joanne.bennett55@ gmail.com.
■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and, in so doing, you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.
■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.