You Can Do Something About Planned Parenthood

Every Life Matters

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I have read enough Facebook posts over the past several days complaining about the new videos of Planned Parenthood Executives explaining how they sell fetal tissue, otherwise the body parts of aborted babies. I am growing weary of Christians of who complain, lament, and otherwise post ignorant ravings on social media.

It is time to do something. If you need help to know what I am talking about ask someone, they can explain it – Put your money where your mouth is.

It won’t be easy, it won’t be fun, but it is the right thing to do. For the fifty-five million who never saw the light of day and for the three thousand, six hundred and fifty-two who saw the face of Jesus today,  Planned Parenthood must be defeated. I have to make changes with who I do business with and let them know why. It won’t be easy, but it is the right thing to do.

UPDATED

Here are the 41 38 companies that have directly funded Planned Parenthood.

Adobe
American Cancer Society
American Express
AT&T
Avon
Bank of America
Bath & Body Works
Ben & Jerry’s
Clorox
Coca-Cola
Converse
Deutsche Bank
Dockers
Energizer
Expedia
ExxonMobil
Fannie Mae
Ford
Groupon
Intuit
Johnson & Johnson
La Senza
Levi Strauss
Liberty Mutual
Macy’s
March of Dimes
Microsoft
Morgan Stanley
Nike
Oracle
PepsiCo
Pfizer
Progressive
Starbucks
Susan G. Komen
Tostitos
Unilever
United Way
Verizon
Wells Fargo
Xerox

Did Robin Williams Lose Hope?

When a personal tragedy strikes such as what happened this past week with the death of Robin Williams, it seemingly affects the entire nation. While we can never know what happens biologically in a person’s mind or spiritually in his soul to cause them to act in the way Robin did, I am convinced that part of the reason is that they have lost hope. For families who have not experienced the death of a loved one through suicide, this might seem to simplistic of an explanation. I want to remind the reader I write from the worldview lens of a follower of Jesus. I have to admit I’m a little disappointed with the word “hope.” Not hope itself but with the word. The way we use it today has nothing to do with the way the Bible uses the word. When we use the word today, it’s sort of wimpy. We use the word today to mean, “I wish.” We go to the movie – “I hope this is going to be a good movie.” We go through a drive through – “I hope I get what I ordered!” I wish… I hope so…

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Will Christians Ever Be Happy With The Government?

I want to start off by saying that I have been attending church nine months before I born, if you know what I mean. Personally I made the commitment to follow Jesus and be known as a Christian some forty-three years ago when I was a boy of nine. To be honest, I had no idea what that meant and in my teenage years drifted into things I should not have which meant I drifted from Christianity. It wasn’t until several years later after I married my wife, that we both made comprehensible decisions to follow Jesus and dedicate our lives to serving and loving him.

I am about to hit a raw nerved with both my liberal leaning and my conservative leaning friends when it comes to our government and the decisions that are made in the Executive, Judicial, and the Legislative branches of our government. I believe that Christians will never be happy with the government and we should stop trying to pin our country’s hope on politicians.

Here’s why:

If you are wanting the government to be filled with Christians who believe the way you do, and pass laws that dictate Christian values, you are putting your hope in the wrong place. We cannot and should not legislate personal morality. What happened with the SCOTUS in Hobby Lobby case this week is definitely a win for religious freedom, but don’t we as Americans have that anyway?

We want the government to do what Jesus left the church to do – change the world with the gospel of Jesus. It almost makes me nauseous to think that Christians today are in many ways similar to the Jewish zealots of Jesus day. They wanted rulers in high places to overthrow those who would lead the charge to cleanse their country of those wicked godless Romans.  We think God in government is going to solve our problems? Dear friend, that will only happen, when the King of Kings sits on His throne. Remember the words of Jesus, “If the world hates me, it will hate you also.” I have news for you, if you are a bleeding heart liberal or a die hard conservative, the government is not your Savior.

If the Christians I know on Facebook would spend as much time sharing Jesus with those who do not know him instead of knocking the Democrat or Republican parties, then we would fulfill the Great Commission. Jesus didn’t say that he left the organization of government to change the world, he left his church – “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Sometimes I think there are knuckle head Christians who don’t read and understand the Bible.  If you are like most evangelical Christians I know, you believe Jesus will return very soon. If that’s how you believe, guess what? Then you believe it is going to get worse before Jesus comes back. Look around!

Yes, I get mad at the way the spineless politicians run our country. It makes me angry that men and women have died for four hundred years to protect this country and we have wimps in state capitals and in Washington DC called politicians who are more interested in their net worth than the worth of the people of the United States.

But, I am called to show grace and mercy. To focus on what really matters. To spread the good news of Jesus and his forgiveness to everyone who will listen and pray they turn to him and turn away from their sinful life.

Moral Cowards

Have you ever heard any of these statements?: “Religion is for weak people” or “God is a crutch for spineless wimps” or “Christianity is for cowards.”Whenever I hear that I laugh. The absurdity of that statement. It is ludicrous. It is a statement of ignorance. The fact is it takes enormous courage to just become a Christian.

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Core Competencies Of Leadership

I write about leadership quite often here on my blog, only because I believe there is a large, gaping hole in leadership in churches, non-profits, government, and corporations. If only we would have men and women step up and be leaders, things would be quite different in all the domains I listed above. Below I list some core competencies of leadership that you might not have thought of.

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Email: Blessing or Curse?

Many of you remember the days back in late 80’s when a familiar voice would ring out, “You’ve Got Mail!” How exciting it was then to receive an electronic piece of mail from a friend or family member and even at times the occasional spam before we knew what spam was. The number of emails you received then wasn’t overwhelming as the number of people online was much smaller than now. Fast forward twenty years to 2009, the age of electronic communications where email, texting, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and dozens of other apps and tools are available for communication. Long gone are the days of “You’ve Got Mail,” to the days of hundreds of electronic messages each day. What use to be a thrill has at times taken on the mask of evil. Trying to answer every email, respond to every request on  Facebook and not to mention, keep your Twitter followers abreast of what you are doing or thinking.

I want to focus on email for a moment.  Long before email became the giant gorilla that it is today, internal email communication existed in large corporations. I specifically remember this feature on DEC VAX and PDP systems as you could send internal email to other users on the system. I thought that was a pretty cool feature in 1982! Of course, this type of electronic communication was primitive compared to what we use today. Email today has become a primary source of communications  for individuals, corporations, non-profits, churches and any organization. Email is being sent and received from remote jungle locations to the most modern cosmopolitan centers. It is estimated that 250 billion emails are sent each day.

Email is a blessing in that we are able to communicate instantly with anyone around the world who has a computer and an email account. We are able to conduct business much faster, order products from our home and have them delivered the next day, communicate with relatives and friends about our latest happenings. As  follower of Jesus, I am able to share my faith with more people than I would have ever imagined. As a Dad, I can talk to my oldest daughter who is four hours away at college. I can send and receive photos and videos in my emails instantly that would have taken days to get to the recipient via the US Postal Service.  I can send a manuscript to a publisher for consideration or for editing and save money on postage. Email is great! I love it and use it extensively every day like all of you reading this post. I would be not be as productive and would not be in touch with the world like I am if it weren’t for email.

But, email has it’s dark side that we rarely want to address or think about. It is so dark that many of us don’t see it or won’t admit that it exists. In days past when we wanted to communicate with someone, it could be done one of a few and limited ways: face to face, telephone, or writing a letter.  The preferable and ethical way of communication in those days was face to face. Email has lessened the art of verbally communicating with one another, although it could be said that the proliferation of the cell phone has opened up verbal communication more extensively. My point is, what used to be done in a more personal way is now being done via email which I will argue vehemently, is impersonal. Email can, and I emphatically state, can be a shield that people hide behind to keep from talking to someone face to face. I understand the reasoning, it is very simple – they don’t want to have to engage the person with a discussion that could be difficult or be in a conversation where they could be challenged. We can make an email sound wonderful and joyful when in reality the situation stinks and is hard. Our emails can come across as mean and hateful, when they were meant to be honest and loving. The words that we insert into emails are on the screen forever engraved in the pixels on the monitor (as long as we don’t delete the email) and they can be transferred to paper never to be erased. What was meant to be construed as constructive and positive, can be taken as hurtful and negative.

I am considering exterminating my Facebook and Twitter accounts and to use email on a much more limited basis than what I do. Again, it is a consideration that I am thinking about.  Being a public figure, Facebook and Twitter keeps me in touch with people instantly that I know around the country and the world and I am able to make quick announcements that way. I am definitely going to explore how I can cut down on email and I would challenge you to start re-thinking your modes of communication, specifically electronic communication.  Researchers and pollers tell us that there are generations of younger people who are socially inept in situations that involve person to person contact, but yet they desire personal relationships. That can never be truly realized in cyberspace. Cut back on your e-correspondence and start talking to people face to face or at least through voice communication.

Looking forward to your comments.

Stimulus For Americans


This has been a topic that I have not written about as I get hot under the collar just thinking about the financial situation our government and citizens here in America are experiencing. Our government is bailing out the very segments of business that have for the most part been instrumental in the financial mess that has gripped our country. Banks that backed mortgages for consumers who had no business buying the homes they did are getting bailed out. Maybe you have driven around neighborhoods where very large and very nice homes are and wondered, “how can people afford a house like that?” Well, now we know, many of them couldn’t really afford a home like that and when they couldn’t pay the mortgage, it hit the fan, literally.

Then you have people like Bernie Madoff who made off with other people’s money in a ponzi scheme. You can’t help but wonder who was watching the hen house to keep the weasels from raiding it. Let’s admit the truth, we are a nation of greed and we are concerned about getting rich. I am afraid that we are no longer a nation of Americans who have integrity and character, that went out the window sometime in the past and I am not sure of the exact timing. People will screw you over to make a buck and not think twice about doing it. Before I continue, I can’t leave out the 165 million  that AIG paid in bonuses with stimulus money this week and now are asking for them back from the recipients of those bonuses.  Man, we live in a messed up country.

I am all for giving each American household that can prove citizenship via birth or legal immigration a $50,000 stimulus payment. According the US Census in 2000 there are 105,480,101 households in America. Giving each one of these households the 50k would equate to 5.2 trillion dollars.  That is a lot of money, but I guarantee you WalMart, Remington, Smith&Wesson, Ford, GM, Chrysler and whole bunch of American companies would have their best year ever! Could you imagine the number of new cars, gas grills, and home improvements being done?  Yes, it would piss off banks as people wouldn’t be borrowing more money to go further in debt, but would be paying cash.  Of course, this is a pie in the sky idea and these are the ramblings of someone who would use his 50k to pay down the mortgage and perhaps build a deck on my house. Talk about stimulus, send me my check!

Pastor Killed While Preaching

You have probably already read at the most of the news sites or feeds that Pastor Fred Winters of First Baptist Church in Maryville, IL. was shot and killed as he preached Sunday morning. As a pastor it worries me more and more that something like that could happen in our area and in our church. The thing that worries me most is not that I would be the target, but that other innocent people, perhaps children would be targeted as well. I do believe that it is time that churches put together a plan to have armed security guards available during their services.

I grew up in Knoxville, TN and would have never thought that a pastor would be killed in his pulpit in that city, but it did just last year. You may think it will never happen where you are wither, but reality says we need to be prepared.

Please pray for Pastor Fred Winters family and the church he pastored.

Hank Patricy – Update

Hello everyone! The past several days have been tough for us personally, for Bridge Church and for the Perry community. At Hank’s viewing the funeral home estimated between 800-1,000 people were there to pay to pay their respects to a man that touched each of their lives. Hank’s funeral was a time of celebration with the Worship Band from Bridge doing a couple of Hank’s favorites. The video we showed at the funeral of hank can be seen here –
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj4URmJTZ6s

The out pouring for the family from the community has been overwhelming to say the least. Support has come in from northeast Ohio and from places such as New Jersey, Indiana, Tennessee, and Florida. There is a benefit concert Saturday, December 15th at the Goodwin Theater in Perry High School. The event will feature the Bridge Church Worship Band and there will be door prizes given away.

Keep Ginnyne and the children in prayer as they begin to adjust their lives in many ways. Thanks from their pastor for loving this family and keeping them in your prayers.

Henry (Hank) Patricy

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On November 16, 2006 I had lunch with Hank at Steak and Shake to share with him about a new church that five families were starting in Perry. Hank and his wife had been searching for a church to attend that would meet the needs of their family. I met Hank, Ginnyne and their kids previously at a dinner at Lake Ridge Church, where I use to pastor. We were introduced to each other by Randy Whitely who had know Hank since they were kids. Hank attended our first preview service on November 19th with thirty other people. Not long after Ginnyne and the children joined him and they began to attend faithfully. Soon Hank joined our worship band playing bass guitar and loved help being part of the team that leads worship at Bridge Church. He and Ginnyne were also involved in one of our BridgeGroups and opened their home to our student ministry meetings. Recently Hank and his son Henry participated in an outreach event handing out nine volt batteries to residents for replacement in their smoke detectors.

Hank was a man whose life was focused on God and his family. If you spent anytime with Hank you came to realize quickly that he loved the Lord and his family very, very much. Hank also coach baseball and had the opportunity to coach many young men in the game of life. His zeal for life was contagious and people loved to be around him. I have to be honest, Hank was not perfect and he would tell you that he wasn’t. He will be sorely missed in the months and years to come.

Hank and I hit it off immediately as we both are sports nuts. He loved the Buckeyes, the Browns and the Indians. This past year when OSU was playing Florida for the national championship, we were at Tom Lang’s house with several other guys. When Ted Ginn Jr. ran back the opening kickoff for a touchdown, I thought Hank would have a heart attack. He was so pumped up giving high fives to everybody. Last week on his way to Florida, he called me about 10:00 pm and left a message on my phone. When I retrieved the message it was Hank singing “Rocky Top”, Tennessee’s fight song – he had just rolled into Tennessee and thought to call me. I called him back immediately and asked him what that was about and he shared that he crossed the state line into the promised land and wanted to rub it in.

This loss has hit our church and the community very hard. The Patricy family was one of the few families that began attending our preview services in the fall of 2006. As a testimony of his influence, there were many people who knew Hank that attended our service yesterday morning, including many young men who Hank had coached. We moved our service to the gymnasium of the school we meet in as 232 people showed up for that service. At center court was Hank’s bass guitar, a reminder to all present that Hank will be missed, but never forgotten. To listen to this service go to www.thebridge4u.net and click the logo on the right hand side of the screen to listen to sermons.

Bridge Church has established a fund that will be administered by his wife Ginnyne to help pay funeral expenses and some temporary living expenses for the family. If you would like to donate, please make checks payable to The Hank Patricy Family Memorial Fund. If you are local in the Cleveland area, you may take your donation to any CHASE bank branch. Otherwise, mail to The Hank Patricy Fund, c/o Bridge Church, P.O. Box 527, Perry, OH 44081. Remember, it is very important that you make your check out to the fund or it will be returned.

I know that I will see my friend in heaven someday. I have this hope because Hank had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and so do I. In order to get to heaven, you need to stop trying to be God and turn your life over to Jesus and ask Him to forgive you of your sins. You see, being good will not get you to heaven. It will make you a person who does good things. According to God’s Son, Jesus, the only way to get to heaven is through faith in Him. Our good works will never be enough. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9, God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.