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JILL STANEK IS A 44 YEAR OLD NURSE WHO WORKED FOR SEVERAL YEARS AT THE CHRIST HOSPITAL & MEDICAL CENTER IN OAK LAWN, ILLINOIS, A CHICAGO SUBURB. SHE CHOSE THIS HOSPITAL BECAUSE OF ITS CHRISTIAN NAME, HOPING THAT SHE WOULDN’T HAVE TO FACE SOME OF THE ETHICAL DILEMMAS REGARDING ABORTION THAT SHE MIGHT HAVE TO FACE AT ANOTHER HOSPITAL. SHE SOON LEARNED THAT THE HOSPITAL, IN SPITE OF NOT HAVING A POLICY THAT REGULATED ABORTIONS, HAD BEEN DOING THEM SINCE 1978. JILL LEARNED THAT THE HOSPITAL FAVORED A NONSURGICAL METHOD OF ABORTION THAT USED A DRUG CALLED CYTOTEC TO INDUCE PREMATURE LABOR. THE BABIES DELIVERED ARE QUITE SMALL BUT FULLY FORMED. SOME OF THE BABIES, THOUGH PREMATURE AND SMALL, ARE BORN ALIVE. ONE BUSY NIGHT AT THE HOSPITAL JILL RAN INTO A NURSE WHO WAS ON HER WAY TO A SOILED UTILITY ROOM TO DROP OFF AN ABORTED-BUT-STILL-LIVING DOWN SYNDROME BABY. THE NURSE WAS TOO BUSY WITH OTHER PATIENTS TO HOLD THE BABY UNTIL IT DIED. JILL TOOK THE BABY AND HELD IT UNTIL IT DIED 45 MINUTES LATER. ANOTHER LIVING INFANT WAS FOUND LYING NAKED ON A SCALE UNTIL IT DIED. ANOTHER WAS FOUND LYING NAKED ON THE EDGE OF A SINK. JILL STANEK WAS PARTICULARLY STRUCK BY THE HOSPITAL’S INCONSISTENCY. THEIR MISSION STATEMENT WAS “THE MISSION OF ADVOCATE HEALTHCARE IS TO SERVE THE HEALTH NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, AND COMMUNITIES THROUGH WHOLISTIC PHILOSOPHY ROOTED IN OUR FUNDAMENTAL UNDERSTANDING OF HUMAN BEINGS AS CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD.” JILL STANEK, THROUGH VARIOUS AVENUES, BEGAN TO CONFRONT THE SITUATION AND WHILE THE HOSPITAL STILL DOES ABORTIONS, THE CASE HAS BEEN DEBATED IN THE U.S. SENATE. ALSO, REPRESENTATIVE CHARLES CANADY FROM FLORIDA SPONSORED HR 4292, “THE BORN ALIVE INFANT PROTECTION ACT OF 2000.” THE BILL PASSED 22-1 OUT OF SUBCOMMITTEE, BUT HAS NOT YET BECOME LAW.
In his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, John Maxwell tells the story of one of the most incredible restorations in American business history. It happened at the Chrysler Corporation in the early 1980’s. Chrysler was in a mess, despite a long history of success. At one point in Chrysler’s history they had captured an incredible 25% of the entire domestic automobile market. By the time the 1970’s rolled around, the Chrysler Corporation was in a steady decline. By 1978 they only had 11% of the market. Things looked bleak. The company was headed toward bankruptcy. In November 1978, Chrysler brought a new leader to take over the company. His name was Lee Iacocca. Iacocca had just left Ford in 1978 after serving as their president. When he left Ford, the company, under his leadership, was earning record profits of 1.8 billion in each of the last two years. The task of turning around Chrysler proved to be enormous. Iacocca described the company as having been run like a small grocery store, despite its size. There were no viable financial systems or controls in place, production and supply methods were a mess, products were built poorly, and nearly all of the divisions were run by turf-minded vice presidents who refused to work as a team. Morale was very low throughout the company, customer loyalty was low, and the company continued to lose money. Iacocca did everything he knew how to turn things around. He replaced 33 of the 35 vice presidents. He brought in the best leaders he could find. He reduced as many expensed as he could. He grudgingly and humbly went before Congress for loan guarantees so that Chrysler would not go bankrupt. Finally, he reduced his own salary to $1.00 a year. Iacocca brought about a total restoration to the Chrysler Corporation. By 1983, Chrysler was able to pay back its loans. Before he retired, Chrysler had gained 16% of the market, double what it was in the first years he took over. The company has fought its way back and been restored to a growing, profitable industry.
“An Ever-Rolling Stream!” Genesis 6: 1-3 Key verse(s): 3: “Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for hie is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.’”
“It can wait until tomorrow!” Despite that old adage, “Never put off to tomorrow the things that you can do today!” , the fact is that there are many if not most things when examined with the critical eye that could always wait for another day, another better time, another opportunity to offer completion or execute disposal. Take doing your taxes, for example. Many has been the time that I, prompted by a striving to be efficient and on top of my game, have tried to complete my taxes before the middle of January had arrived. And, how often have I found that, once completed early, I only had to go back and change something any way since W-2’s had not yet arrived or a certain interest statement had not yet arrived from the bank. Doing taxes in an efficient and timely manner usually requires waiting for just the right tomorrow and then setting out to get the work done then. If you think about it, there are probably a lot of things in this life like that. Jumping the gun and trying to complete projects and tasks before they are ready can cause a whole lot of trouble. In fact, trying to save time in this manner can often result in the opposite, losing the time you had striven to save. When you come right down to it, perhaps there is nothing wrong with procrastination as long as you end up “winning” at the end. I’ve often heard it put this way: “A successful procrastinator puts off his work so long that by the time it’s finished, there’s no time not to like what he had done.”
What about the old adage “Everything comes to him who waits?” Doesn’t that mean that the longer I wait to plan something, initiate something or complete something, the better the odds that the waiting will result in a better product, a higher achievement and a more rewarding outcome when I finally do decide to address the issues? It would, of course, be great if this were the way all things were accomplished in this life. In a way it would be like just sitting back and letting things sort themselves out and then getting down to business. In a perfect world things would probably work that way. I have often felt that this was the method for accomplishment that Adam and Eve must have used. Things just happened when they were supposed to happen. Time, in essence, had as little meaning for them as it does for God.
But, in this imperfect world we live in, it is highly more likely that the longer we wait to do things, the harder and more unpleasant they will seem to be to start. Perhaps it’s the way we look at time that causes all the problem. We divide things into yesterday, today and tomorrow. Since we live in today and want to enjoy the moment and yesterday is beyond our reach, poor tomorrow so often gets the nod for the “to-do’s” in our lives. Yet, when you think of it, tomorrow and today are so inextricably linked that waiting for tomorrow is like waiting for the next minute to pass on your watch. There is always another minute; there will always be another tomorrow. Clarence Macartney writes, “At the threshold of a new year, we stand today at one of those divisions of time which man has established for his own convenience. The division is altogether imaginary and arbitrary. This day is no more the beginning of a new year than yesterday or the day before.
LETTING GO OF SIN
Men who trap animals in Africa for zoos in America say that one of the hardest animals to catch is the ring-tailed monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it’s simple. They’ve been catching this agile little animal with ease for years. The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then start to withdraw it. This he cannot do. His fist is now larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can’t get free of th...
“I Love My Dentist?” Luke 1:26-37 Key verse(s): 31:“You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.”
I love my dentist? Do you love yours? Unfortunately dentists have really gotten a bad rap over time. Many see them as the evil pain-giver, the one who without a shrug or a wince are able to inflict pain in an almost methodically fashion. Myself, on the other hand, have always had a gentler, kinder opinion of my dentist. He is no less the pain-given since I have been through extraction to root canals with him. Methodical, there is nothing more demanding of method than dealing with a stubborn root that has grown in jagged fashion in the depths of my jaw. Stubbornly refusing to be moved or removed, it was all about method that saved the day.
I had come to my dentist in a panic over pain. My jaw hurt so bad I had not been able to eat properly for days. My cracked molar has slowly become a broken, jagged thing that defied tooth brushing as well. Anything that came in touch with it caused pain. It had finally gotten so bad that it was keeping me up at night as my tongue, in automatic fashion, continually searched for the fissure almost like a dog attracted to a rotting carcass. It simply had to push and shove it just to see what it would do. What it did was hurt.
Finally even my business and hectic schedule could not keep me from taken the time necessary to get this thing fixed. I called my dentist to make an emergency appointment. I was genuinely hoping that he would be able to remove the broken piece and cap the tooth and make it whole again. As I put down the receiver, appointment in place for the early afternoon, I could already imagine the luscious steak that I was going to dig into with my “new” refurbished tooth. Let me tell you, I was looking forward to that appointment. As I settled into the chair just hours later, bib in place and anticipating the stinging jab of that anesthetizing needle, I knew that relief was only a couple of hours away. I lived on that thought throughout the afternoon. First the needle needed to be applied not once but twice. Then a decision was made to do a root canal in preparation for the crown. After that, finding that the roots were in poor shape and that not enough of the base tooth was left to cap, the decision was made to pull the tooth altogether and work toward a bridge. The process did not take the hour or so I had anticipated. Rather, it took all afternoon. When it was over, the offending piece of enamel was eliminated. Although I could not eat on that side for days, there was no longer a flopping target of pain for my tongue to menace. The source of the pain had been eliminated; methodically, with strength and a whole lot of pain to get me there. As I look back at the experience I am grateful for the pain. For, without the intense temporary pain, the permanent relief would not have been possible. Even though he caused me great pain, I can only say of my dentist this: “I love you. Thanks for the pain. It was worth it.”
We often long dreamily for days without difficulty, but God knows better. The easier our life, the weaker our spiritual fiber, for strength of any kind grows only by exertion. (Craig Brian Larson)
God promised Mary that she would be “blessed among women.” Yet, in order to attain the blessing, she had to endure the pain of childbirth and the ultimate pain of watching her son die. Just the fact that God’s favor rests upon you does not insulate you from pain and suffering. These are inevitable. In fact, these are in fact the source of the blessings in your life. For, as God is about His work shaping, bending and molding you into shape, there may be much pain to endure. Submit to His workmanship as you would to the dentist. Do not despise his methodical, even painful movements in your life. Ultimately, when you measure this pain against all other gain you might have achieved in life, the comparison is quite weak. That which we receive in pain, is always better than the gain.
It is hard to believe now, but the potato was once a highly unpopular food. When first introduced into England by Sir Walter Raleigh, newspapers printed editorials against it, ministers preached sermons against it, and the general public wouldn’t touch it. It was supposed to sterilize the soil in which it had been planted and cause all manner of strange illnesses--even death.
There were, however, a few brave men who did not believe all the propaganda being shouted against it. It was seen as an answer to famine among the poorer classes and as a healthful and beneficial food. Still, these few noblemen in England could not persuade their tenants to cultivate the potato. It was years before all the adverse publicity was overcome and the potato became popular.
A Frenchman named Parmentier took a different tack. He had been a prisoner of war in England when he first heard of the new plant. His fellow prisoners protested the outrage of having to eat potatoes. Parmentier, instead, thoughtfully inquired about the methods of cultivating and cooking the new food. Upon his return to France, he procured an experimental farm from the Emperor, in which he planted potatoes. When it was time to dig them, at his own expense, he hired a few soldiers to patrol all sides of his famous potato patch during the daytime. Meanwhile he conducted distinguished guests through the fields, digging a few tubers here and there, which they devoured with evident relish. At night, he began to withdraw the guards. A few days later one of the guards hastened to Parmentier with the sad news that peasants had broken into the potato patch at night, and dug up most of the crop.
Parmentier was overjoyed, much to the surprise of his informant, and exclaimed, "When the people will steal in order to procure potatoes, their popularity is assured."
Bits & Pieces, January 9, 1992, pp. 13, 14, 15.
Near Cripple Creek, Colorado, gold and tellurium occur mixed as tellurite ore. The refining methods of the early mining camps could not separate the two elements, so the ore was thrown into a scrap heap.
One day a miner mistook a lump of ore for coal and tossed it into his stove. Later, while removing ashes from the stove, he found the bottom littered with beads of pure gold. The heat had burned away the tellurium, leaving the gold in a purified state.
The discarded ore was reworked and yielded a fortune.
God’s word is the Gold that we are mining. We are the tellurium. We and Gods Word together make the tellurite. The world is the fire and sadly to say sometimes the Church is the fire that separates the two. Gods Word is within us but we just can’t get a handle on it until we face the fires of living in what has become a very sinful world.
Once we go through the fire and get that pure Gold we can start to live and know the Creator and Righteous God. (Sower’s Seeds)
The Duke of Wellington, the British military leader who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, was not an easy man to serve under. He was brilliant, demanding, and not one to shower his subordinates with compliments. Yet even Wellington realized that his methods left something to be desired. In his old age a young lady asked him what, if anything, he would do differently if he had his life to live over again. W...
Gifts aren’t fair
To receive a gift, really and truly for free, is a rare thing in this world, and may even make the receiver uncomfortable. Even the lotteries and sweepstakes have to go to a great deal of trouble to prove to everybody that it is chance that picks the winner—that the winner is nobody’s favorite. To give prizes or gifts by any method except by random selection isn’t considered “fair.” And the ones who stand by and watch a gift bestowed upon another—as in, for example, an inheritance situation—are often upset at the unfairness of such an act.
When I was in the first grade, I was going to school in a small town up in the Carpathian mounains. All year we worked hard on progressive classwork. I was studying to be a pioneer – kind of Boy Scout program. I had worked hard and looked forward eagerly to the day of the investiture service. Pioneer! I mean only the A,s and B,s students…
When the principal arrived, he spread out on the table all of the scarves and pins for all of those who were being invested as pioneer. And after that he said that all of us, all the students will became pioneers because the communist party who ruled our country at that time, considered that all kids should be pioneers and participate in pioneers activities. Can you imagine? All the scholar year, from August to May next year the magnificent sevent second graders working hard for their A’s and B’s in order to be promoted pioneers. And now, everybody, including the bullies of our 31 student’s class, was promoted as pioneers…
It was so unjust, so unfair…The whole experience set my interest in class work and beeing good student back by about five years.
A young preacher began a ministry at a church that was rife with disunity, so he devised a simple method to eliminate the bickering. Whenever a member came to him to complain, he would take a spiral notebook out of his desk drawer. It was brand new-still had the Wal-Mart sticker on it. Across the cover of the notebook he had written in magic marker, "Complaints." Then he would say to the member, "I’m glad you’re here. Let’s go over your complaints against so-and-so one by one, and I’ll write them down, and you can sign the complaint. At the next church meeting we’ll bring it up, and you can present your case then." When the church member saw the open book, he or she would inevitably back down, saying, "Oh no! I couldn’t sign anything like that." During ten years of ministry the preacher opened that notebook dozens of times, but he never wrote anything in it.