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Legacy Part 3

May 29th, 2009 Filed under Intentional Living Comments Off on Legacy Part 3

Today is Part 3 of the 4-part blog series about the legacy we are leaving for our children and grandchildren.  The question I posed in part 1 was “What impact does the single issue of abortion have on our nation?”  So far we have covered the war in Iraq and immigration and border control.  Today let’s look at social security and the economy. 

Bottom line – in coming years, there will be more people taking out of social security then paying in. Why? See abortion numbers and baby boomer retirements from Legacy Part 2. Using an extremely conservative number based on only 1 million abortions annually and an annual salary at poverty threshold, there would have been an additional $38 billion paid into Social Security Insurance (SSI) in 2008. Now this is only a down payment on what the shortfall will be but it is a beginning. The cumulative additional revenue since 1991, the year Americans aborted in 1973 would be 18, paid into to SSI would be $311 billion in 2008.

You may be saying, “I know, Becky, but what about the additional burden because these are ‘welfare babies’?” Over 85% of abortions are performed on women living above the poverty threshold and over 50% are at least three times over the poverty threshold. (1)  On the flip side of this, how many workers would need to be hired because of the need for millions of more diapers, baby food, formula, etc. that would need to be produced each year? How many teachers, nurses, bus drivers, pediatricians would have jobs today if a million more American babies were born each year? How much impact will there be on the economy as these workers spend money in other sectors of society? How would Detroit be doing today if a million more Americans turned sixteen each year? We will never know. Grandmother in Ohio – abortion affects you. Farmer in Iowa – abortion affects you. College student in California – abortion affects you. Steel worker in Pennsylvania – abortion affects you. Retiree in Florida – abortion affects you. Married or single; rich or poor; black or white; right wing or left wing – abortion affects you.

Join me next week as I wrap up my thoughts concerning abortion and the impact on our future generations.

(1) Jones, Rachel; Darroch, Jacqueline and Henshaw, Stanley.  “Patterns in the Socioeconomic Characteristics of Women Obtaining Abortions in 2000-2001.” Guttmacher. September/October 2002. Guttmacher Institute. 6 September 2008 http://tiny.cc/0jjE2.

Legacy Part 2

May 26th, 2009 Filed under Intentional Living Comments Off on Legacy Part 2

Today is Part 2 of the 4-part blog series about the legacy we are leaving for our children and grandchildren.  The question I posed in part 1 was “What impact does the single issue of abortion have on our nation?”  Part 1 discussed the war in Iraq.  This blog will talk about immigration and border control.

We have a labor shortage in America and it is only going to get worse as the estimated 77 million baby boomers retire. Ask any farmer who is trying to get his crops in. Ask any homebuilder who is trying to get his new home lots cleaned up. Ask any hospital administrator looking for health care workers.  In migrant workers alone the United States Department of Labor estimates that there are between 600,000 to 800,000 undocumented workers annually.(1)  “The Employment Policy Foundation (EPF) estimates the U.S. labor force will lack 35 million workers by 2030, with most of the shortage concentrated in highly-skilled jobs.”(2)  Finally, Japan, one of the first countries to legalize abortion in 1949, is also the first nation to register more annual deaths than births and according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, by 2030 the Japanese workforce will shrink 20 percent.(3)  

Because of the millions lost to abortion that will not replace retiring baby boomers, we are forced to supplement our American workforce with immigration. If we pulled up the proverbial drawbridge, according to former United States Commerce Secretary Carlos Guiterrez, we would not have enough foreign workers at “both the high-skilled technical jobs as well as low-skilled agricultural labor” to run our economy.(4) 
The greatest natural resource any nation has is its people. Sooner rather than later we must reverse the course and begin building up our work force for the next generation.

In part 3 on Thursday, I will share about social security and the economy.

(1) Weyrich, Paul. “The Farm Worker Shortage, Immigration and a Probable Solution.”  Town Hall. 13 February 2008. Town Hall. 6 September 2008 http://tiny.cc/hoFDy.

(2) Coombes, Andrea. “Coming up short: Worker shortage seen in decades ahead; degree debated.”  The Wall Street Journal. 15 August 2002. CBS Market Watch. 6 September 2008 http://tiny.cc/AIJXc.

(3) Fujioka, Toru.  “Japan’s Shrinking Workforce Spurs Shift to Full-Time Employees.” Bloomberg 26 August 2008. Bloomberg. 6 September 2008 http://tiny.cc/iLNlV.

(4) Mikkelsen, Randall.  “U.S. to erect more ‘virtual’ border fences.” Reuters 9 June 2008. Reuters. 6 September 2008 http://tiny.cc/AlqUJ.

 

Legacy Part 1

May 21st, 2009 Filed under Intentional Living 1 Comment

 

    

Africa 2001

Africa 2001

Romania 2003

Romania 2003

I have been blessed to travel the world – to live in Russia, to go to Africa three times, to visit Romania, Canada and El Salvador and live with the people. Our nation is not perfect but it is the greatest nation in the world today. Not everyone that I met desired to come to America – they loved their country as well – but they all acknowledged the influence that America carries and said they prayed for our country often. May the nation we leave for our children and grandchildren be one of greatness.

With that in mind, I want to share my thoughts over the next few blogs about the impact the issue of abortion has on our great nation.

War in Iraq: Some people that I talk with desire for the end of the war in Iraq – an immediate stoppage and an immediate pulling out. When asked, “Why?” most respond, “The deaths have to stop.” My response is yes – the deaths have to stop so let’s start in the area were the most deaths occur – abortion. In any given year since 1975, over 1 million abortions have been performed. (1)  The number of causalities of all of the American wars combined has been just over 1.3 million. (2) Please understand me – the over 4,000 deaths in the War in Iraq have been tragic but these are voluntary men and women who have made the heroic choice to serve their country and the countries of the world. The over 2,700 abortions that are performed daily in America are on defenseless

Russia in 1997

Russia in 1997

human beings (unique, one of a kind DNA has been created immediately upon conception.) The greatness of any nation is not on how the weak serve the strong but how the strong take care of the weak.

Next week, I will share my thoughts concerning abortion and its impact on immigration and border control.

 

(1) “Facts on Induced Abortion in America.” Guttmacher Institute. July 2008. Guttmacher Institute. 6 September 2008 http://tiny.cc/vfAxg.

(2) “American War Deaths Through History.” Military Factory. No Date. Military Factory. 6 September 2008 http://tiny.cc/OW6fG.

Adventures at LifeHouse

May 14th, 2009 Filed under Ministry 2 Comments

As the Executive Director of LifeHouse, I have an amazing job and have been blessed with a wonderful staff, supporting board and a fantastic group of givers – financially as well as with their time.  One of the coolest parts of my job is that I am involved in almost everything that goes on – some more directly than others.  This past month has been filled with some amazing adventures!

The first three adventures came about as a result of the April “showers” in Houston.  Our house mom left to go to the grocery store with a couple of residents one Saturday and the streets were dry.  While shopping (which takes a couple of hours as we use that time to teach the residents how to shop frugally) a good old fashion gully washer came up and the streets began to flood.  This is not the first time for sure and usually it never floods too bad directly in front of the homes…until that weekend.

Directly in Front of Driveways

Directly in Front of Driveways

As our house mom turned onto our street to go the last 100 yards, it looked like they were going to make it home safe and sound.  Well, the groceries and all the passengers arrived safe but the van was not quite as blessed!

van-in-flood

The wonderful thing is that we are being fully reimbursed for the van (it was totaled) and are actually receiving more for it than the ministry  originally  invested.  Only a God like ours could make that happen!

The next weekend brought more rain and an unwelcomed guest to the front door….

The "guest" crawling up the wall of the house.

The "guest" crawling up the wall of the house.

Here’s a picture of the snake that greeted Anthony, our house dad,  as he looked out the door after dinner one night. When he opened the door the snake was leaning up against it and almost came in the house! When, according to Anthony, he SCREAMED it slithered away and started climbing up the side of the house!!  The rising water had driven him up to our front porch.  

Lastly because of the heavy rains, we had a flood in our administrative offices.  Here I am pushing the cart of wet, moody ceiling tiles out the door.  

becky-ceiling-tile

Thankfully, all equipment (except our little refrigerator) was saved and the rugs will be back from the cleaners in a few weeks!

Between the snake and the flood in the office we did have GREAT weather for our 2nd Annual Golf Tournament.  Over 100 folks played, volunteered and supported the ministry of LifeHouse on April 21st.  It was a fantastic time!

Golfers lining up with their caddies for the shotgun start!

Golfers lining up with their caddies for the shotgun start!

Finally, just last Friday night I had an opportunity to speak t0 75 or so 6th – 8th graders about LifeHouse.  They were having a lock in and had collected canned food for our homes.  

lsa

I was a bit nervous walking into the gym at Lutheran South Academy!  What do I say to a group of 12-14 year olds about a home for pregnant teens? I don’t even want them to think about that kind of stuff but the reality is they are faced with it all the time.  It is just a part of our culture today.  

I had 5-7 minutes to speak and after giving just the basic facts of LifeHouse, I asked a donor’s daughter if she had any questions.  There was an awkward pause and then she asked her question.  Her courage to ask led others to start raising their hands to ask their own questions.  After 20+ minutes, the assistant principal had to stop me but there were still lots of hands in the air.  It was a magical time as the girls had the freedom to ask tough questions (i.e. has anyone ever left LH to go have an abortion?)  and I had the freedom to give them sometimes tough answers (i.e. yes – not a resident but an interviewee.)  

I have the greatest job in the world!  Challenging. Adventuresome.  Life-saving.  And life-changing for all (including me) involved!  What kind of job do you have?

National Day of Prayer

May 7th, 2009 Filed under Ministry 4 Comments

Since it is the National Day of Prayer, I have stopped to consider my own prayer life. Unfortunately, I find myself lacking in my intercessory prayer – for my family, my friends, my church and my nation. Two reasons I know that this happens in my life is because I am lazy and because of the sin of unbelief. I decided to check emails rather than pray. I watch another episode of CSI instead of bowing the knee for those I love. And because of unbelief I just won’t pray because in my heart of hearts I doubt if God can do anything about that situation.

Each year my pastor selects a devotional for our church to do as a body and this year he selected Walk with God by Chris Tiegreen (www.WalkThru.org). A recent devotion was wonderful and really spurs me on to both prayer and obedience. Below is an excerpt of that and I found the last part especially profound.

“Have you struggled with unanswered prayer? There are numerous possible reasons that God may withhold His answers, but consider this one: Have you submitted to His authority? It only makes sense that if we are going to appeal to His authority that we would be expected to live under it. When we rebel against His will and then ask Him to accomplish His will, we are contradicting ourselves. But when we submit to His will, we are lining ourselves up with the flowing current of creation. We are ready to experience the power of prayer.” [emphasis added]

Wow!  I want to be lined up with the flowing current of creation, how about you? May we experience the power of prayer not just on the 2nd Thursday in May but each day as we choose to obey and believe.