Category Archives: Action Call

Second Chance Month ( helping those who have paid for their crimes ) 

( Below is the Breakpoint commentary for today. )

You’re listening to BreakPoint thanks to a few Christians who once gave an ex-prisoner a second chance.
Some 2.3 million Americans are behind bars. That’s more than any other nation in the world, in absolute terms and as a percentage of the population. The U.S., which has five percent of the world’s population, contains nearly 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. By some estimates, the number of Americans “under penal supervision . . . even rivals the number of Russians in the gulag under Stalin.”
What’s more, the explosion in prison populations continued even after crime rates took a nose-dive starting twenty years ago.
Making matters worse, the punishment doesn’t end when people leave prison. For many, their so-called “debt to society” can never be paid in full. By some estimates, there are 48,000 laws adversely affecting people with a criminal record. Many of them are applied automatically without consideration of “public safety, the seriousness of the offense, the time passed since the offense, or the individual’s efforts to make amends or earn back the public’s trust.”
This scarlet “O” for “offender” includes “an inability to regain voting rights, volunteer in the community, and secure housing, admission to institutions of higher education, and employment.”
That’s why Prison Fellowship and a coalition of more than 60 Christian and secular organizations have declared April 2017 to be “Second Chance Month.” The goal is “to remove unnecessary legal and societal barriers that prevent individuals with a criminal record from becoming productive members of society.”
Lawmakers are also taking up the cause. U.S. Senator Portman of Ohio has and co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle have introduced a resolution declaring April as Second Chance Month.
If there ever was an effort that deserved the support of Christians everywhere, it is “Second Chance Month.” If you’re hearing my voice, it’s because Christians, many of whom had been his political enemies, gave Chuck Colson a second chance. They believed in God’s power to transform the human heart. And that, for Christians, forgiveness and mercy are not optional.
Chuck, in turn, freely gave what he had freely been given. The most visible sign of this was, of course, Prison Fellowship. But he also devoted much of his life to trying to make life better for men and women once they got out of prison.
Chuck believed in the government’s God-ordained role of preserving order and promoting public safety. But he never confused that with the punitive impulse that has dominated our criminal justice system. He knew the difference between being tough on crime in a smart way and piling on excessive penalties to score political points. Better than anyone, Chuck knew the odds against prisoners once they were released. He knew that the key to beating the odds was the combination of spiritual transformation and a supportive community, including familial reconciliation.
He would have regarded the kind of measures that made it harder for people with criminal records to pursue higher education and find gainful employment, and negatively affected the well-being of their children and families,” as well, frankly, stupid.
While we’re already half-way through Second Chance Month, it’s never too late to educate yourself, your church, and friends on the obstacles former prisoners face when returning to society. Come to BreakPoint.org, and we’ll link you to resources to promote Second Chance Month, including a toolkit for churches interested in hosting a Second Chance Sunday and graphics and hashtags you can use on your own social media platforms. We will also have information on how your church can support successful re-entry, and of course, get involved in the amazing in-prison ministry of Prison Fellowship. Again, that’s at BreakPoint.org.

Your life is valued, no matter what you can, or can not do:

( Below is the Breakpoint radio commentary for today. )

What’s the most dangerous thing you can say to someone in our society? “You’re useless!”
Amy Julia Becker is a successful author and columnist. She also is the mom of a beautiful daughter, a fifth-grader who wears glasses, who loves reading and spelling, but who isn’t so sure about fractions and dogs. “She is responsible, smart, talented, and loving,” Amy wrote recently in Christianity Today. “She also has Down syndrome.”
When discussing her daughter or others with Down syndrome, Amy says she is tempted to list their accomplishments and abilities as a way to justify their existence. Not any more. “In so doing,” Amy admits, “I play into the idea that I, too, am only worthy of life because I contribute something productive in the world. I devalue myself and everyone else around me when I start to see human beings as products to be measured.”
As our friend Chuck Colson warned, measuring people by what they can do or contribute to society is dangerous. If someone can be called “useless,” such as a child with Down syndrome, what’s to keep “society” from deciding to eliminate anyone deemed not to have a life worth living? This isn’t alarmism, folks.
Amy says that the abortion rate in the United States for babies with Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, is about 50 percent and is likely to increase as prenatal testing becomes more available. As bad as that is, in Iceland, not one child with Down syndrome was born between 2008 and 2012. In Denmark, an estimated 98 percent of those diagnosed with Down syndrome are being aborted—deemed useless.
But as anyone who’s actually been around people with Down syndrome knows, they’re definitely not useless. They have individual personalities, likes and dislikes, and often possess a level of joie de vivre that puts the rest of us to shame. But that’s not the point! The point is this: Every human being is created in God’s image and is precious to Him! As Chuck said it so well, “Being created in the imago Dei endows every person with dignity—a dignity that is not derived from the majority’s opinion (or a government definition) about the quality of their life or their contribution to society.”
Amy Julia Becker notes that not everything worth keeping can be measured in utilitarian terms and pass a strict cost-benefit analysis. She quotes the Irish poet Michael Longley, who said on National Public Radio, “Poetry is useless,” before adding, “Poetry is without use, but it is valuable.” Imagine a world without poetry! Although maybe only one in a million poets can make a living from it, we’d all be immeasurably poorer without it. There’d be no Shakespeare, Milton, or the book of Psalms! You cannot put a utilitarian price tag on poetry—nor on people, whatever challenges they face.
However, when we value each person as made in the image of God and make room in our hearts for those with disabilities, we often experience a beautiful poetry unfolding in our own lives we never could have expected. Amy writes, “People with disabilities are indeed like the words of a poem. Although they might not provide or produce clothing or shelter or food, they nonetheless convey beauty and meaning, truth and transcendence. They teach us what it means to be human.”
And let’s face it—caring for those who need us is more than a nice thing for the Church to do. It’s a requirement. As our Lord Jesus said in Matthew 25, those who tend to the hungry, the naked, the stranger, the sick and imprisoned do it unto Him—in whose eyes and love no one, no one, is useless.
Now as you know, Easter is almost upon us. And to help you prepare, my colleagues at the Colson Center have created a beautiful, free downloadable booklet of meditations on the seven last sayings of Jesus from the cross. Please, come to BreakPoint.org and click on “Resources” to download your free copy.

Free Pastor Brunson, Now!

Please pray and speak out for Pastor Brunson. For the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.
“Please do not leave me in prison.” Those are the words of missionary Pastor Andrew Brunson to President Trump, as delivered to the U. S. Embassy in Turkey.
Shortly after the failed coup attempt in Turkey, Brunson was called in to for a “routine visa check.” But instead, he was arrested.
As Jordan Sekulow wrote at the website of the American Center for Law and Justice, “Pastor Andrew – a U.S. citizen – faces false charges in Turkey of ‘membership in an armed terrorist organization.’ After peacefully serving the people of Turkey for more than 23 years without any issues from the Turkish government, this U.S. citizen now languishes in prison.”
This, friends, is outrageous. Turkey is a member of NATO and a supposed ally.
You have one president. One congressman. Two senators. Please contact them. Tell them you expect them to work for the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson. You don’t know how to contact them? Come to BreakPoint.org, click on this Point commentary, and I’ll tell you how.

Get over it 

Read a posting from Facebook.

The gay lifestyle is risking

( Below is the Breakpoint radio commentary for today. ) 
consequences, and bad ideas have victims. False promises of love and personal fulfillment are no exception.
Over a year and-a-half after the Obergefell decision, the debate over gay “marriage” and homosexuality has largely fizzled out: partly because of the election, partly because the “T” in the LGBT acronym has been stealing all the headlines, and partly because Obergefell is now viewed by many as settled law. And that’s a shame, because so-called “progress” isn’t bringing about the rosy picture we were promised.
In what may be the most candid piece in Huffington Post history, Michael Hobbes, who identifies as gay, writes about what he calls an “epidemic of loneliness.”
“For years,” he begins, “I’ve noticed the divergence between my straight friends and my gay friends. While one half of my social circle has disappeared into relationships, kids and suburbs, the other has struggled through isolation and anxiety, hard drugs and risky (behavior).”
Through story after story and mountains of statistics, Hobbes then documents a consistent and chilling trend among those who share his lifestyle. “Gay men everywhere, at every age,” he writes, are two-to-ten-times more likely than heterosexual men to commit suicide.
And that’s just the beginning. Homosexual males also suffer from higher rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, allergies, asthma, and a whole host of behavior-related infections and dysfunctions. They’re twice as likely to experience major depressive episodes, report having fewer close friends, and abuse drugs at an alarming rate.
In fact, living in so-called “gay neighborhoods” is a predictor of more frequent, risky behaviors and methamphetamine use. And, Hobbes adds, the community itself is brutal and degrading to its members. Smart-phone hookup apps drive a culture of exploitation and casual encounters that one young man he interviewed said made him feel like “a piece of meat.”
We often hear these disastrous statistics and stories attributed to homophobia, bullying, and shame. Having been treated horribly since childhood, men like this author—the oft-repeated myth goes—are forced to live a lie. They’re depressed because they’ve been oppressed and repressed.
But here’s the problem with the bullying hypothesis. In countries like the Netherlands and Sweden where same-sex “marriage” has been the law of the land for years, gay men remain three times more susceptible to mood disorders and three- to ten-times more likely to engage in “suicidal self-harm.”
The situation is so bad that one respondent in a survey of HIV clinics told researchers, “It’s not a question of not knowing how to save their lives. It’s a question of them not knowing if their lives are worth saving.”
Incredibly, after this long and brutal and well-documented description of life in his community, Hobbes then concludes the cause as having minority status, which has taught them to live in fear. At no point does he consider the possibility that it’s the lifestyle itself that may be what’s destroying these men’s lives.
Still, one expert quoted in the piece hints that he knows what’s going on. Christopher Stults, a researcher at New York University, admits that for many people, the marriage decision was a letdown. “We have this legal status, and yet there’s still something unfulfilled.”
Could it be that this lifestyle cuts off this community from the natural family, from children, and—according to years of statistics—from monogamous partnerships? Could it be the disparity Hobbes sees between what he wants and what he got is a result of a broken lifestyle? Could it be that this behavior naturally isolates people? Could it be that God didn’t design His image-bearers to live like this, and when we do, it actually destroys us?
Unfortunately, those questions are no longer even considered by Hobbes or by social scientists. But we as a society, and especially the Church, must consider these questions. As long as there are real people trying to fill their hearts with lies, caring about them will mean having a more open mind than the Huffington Post.

Even a lady on the left believes that men don’t belong in restrooms created for women, and little girls….

Read, or listen to the commentary.

The American Health Care Act is backed by Right to Life 

Walt Disney would be turning over in his grave, if he could 

Most of the time feel boycotts should be the last thing people of faith, along with those who believe in traditional values should do. When you boycott your voice at the place you boycott is no longer heard.However in the case of Disney it just might be time for a boycott. 

  Gay days that they have at their these parks is sinful. It shows little kids things that at least some parents don’t want their kids exposed to. Disney keeps pushing the gay agenda. If they won’t listen to our voice, perhaps they will listen to our pocket books. Now Disney’s Live Action Beauty and the Beast Features “Gay Moment”. How sad. This is wrong. 

Message to Families from the late Vince Foster who worked for President Clinton until his death ( good message regardless what your politics is ) 

Listen to a commentary by Dr. James Dobson right here.

Remove the smartphone,regain the teenage child 

As regular readers of this column already know, I am completely, one hundred percent opposed to children, including teenagers still living at home, being in possession of smart phones. No parent has ever been able to give me a logical reason why a minor should enjoy such a privilege, if enjoy is even the proper word.
The most common rationale given is “I want my child to be able to get in touch with me and vice versa.” If that is your best defense, purchase a basic cell phone from a box store and give it to your child on selective occasions. I’m referring to the sort of cell phone you possessed, as an adult, ten years ago; to wit, one that will not connect to the Internet, does not have a built-in camera, and is not text-friendly.
The evidence is mounting that for whatever reasons most likely having to do with brain development during said years, smart phones are literally addictive to children and teenagers. Adults are able to keep their smart phones in their pockets unless some necessity arises. Human beings who are not yet adults seem unable, by and large, to do so. The exception to the child/teen whose attention is disproportionately captured by a smart phone’s screen is rare.

( Read the rest of this column by John Rosemond here.)