Can you name the most prolific serial killer in US history?

Kermit GosnellDo you recognize this man?  He is the most prolific serial killer in the history of the United States.  Put all the murders of all the serial killers in the United States combined and it won’t come even close to the number this man slaughtered over thirty years.

In January of 1973 this country turned its face away from the creator.  It opened the door to this monster Kermit Gosnell.  After years of ignoring the known facts this man finally came to justice and is now in prison for life.  But he murdered thousands before he was put away.  Here is a quote from the grand jury report that led to his conviction:

The neonatologist testified… If a baby moves, it is alive. Equally troubling, it feels a “tremendous amount of pain” when its spinal cord is severed. So, the fact that Baby Boy A. continued to move after his spinal cord was cut with scissors means that he did not die instantly. Maybe the cord was not completely severed. In any case, his few moments of life were spent in excruciating pain.   (Report of the Grand Jury) 

The Grand Jury report is beyond horrific.  Several jurors changed their worldview of Pro Choice following the report.  I graduated high school in 1973 and have watched and become active in the Pro Life cause over the years.  Millions of children later and a monster like Gosnell sickens me to the soul and renews a desire to fight for the defenseless. 

I encourage you to go to and consider contributing to a project that will expose to the world who Kermit Gosnell is and the failure on the part of this country and its media to shed any light at all on Kermit Gosnell.  Two generations have now grown since 1973.   There is a lot of blood on our hands if we refuse to do what we can to fight back.


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Bill Gothard = AWARENESS…Awareness = HEALING

Child Abuse 4A March 1, 2014 conference, “Sanctuary for the Sexually Abused: An Introduction to Pastoral Care, at the Duke Divinity School provided current and future pastors and other spiritual care providers with an introduction to the pastoral care of survivors of sexual abuse.

Organized by student Adam Baker, M.Div. ’14, a former child and adolescent therapist the conference addressed the prevalence of sexual abuse, its effect on the mind and body, it’s  impact on one’s relationship with God and others, and how to care and advocate for survivors of sexual assault.

“For current and future pastoral care providers, it’s not a question of if one will encounter a survivor of sexual abuse; rather, it’s a question of when,” said Baker.  “This conference was intended to begin a conversation about the necessity of knowing how to support, walk with, and advocate for survivors of sexual abuse.   Survivors are likely a part of every congregation, and frequently, they are also preaching in the pulpit.   The church doesn’t talk about sex well, and we certainly don’t speak well concerning matters of sexual trauma.  That needs to change.  Thu church needs to be a safe place for survivors.”(1)

AWARENESS of the prevalence of sexual abuse is gaining momentum.  The news media is drawing attention to the issue with more frequency and the Duke Conference highlights the alarm that is growing in the faith communities.  Just last week, the well-known Christian leader Bill Gothard resigned his position after over 35 years at the helm.  While it is a crushing blow for the Christian community time may well demonstrate that this needed to be addressed many years ago and the shame surrounding this intimate issue perpetuates the silence.  I am encouraged that AWARENESS is growing and gaining legitimate attention.

With AWARENESS comes the next important step in addressing sexual abuse, HEALING.  Jillian and I have learned that the HEALING portion demands time and patience.  The damage from sexual abuse goes to the very core of who we are as image bearers of God.  Our sexuality is God’s greatest gift and the silence enveloping this must cease.  The HEALING process is long, arduous, and painful.  There are no models out there that adequately address the intervention it requires.  One on one survivors and advocates will travel the course mourning the losses, changing the thinking, and acknowledging the pain.  It is wonderful to experience the movement of AWARENESS…it is frustrating to know that prepared advocates will be woefully inadequate to intervene for the wave that is coming.

Child Abuse 9Keep spreading the word.  It is now acceptable to admit there is an issue.  Encourage your community to address this in their churches, Sunday schools, and youth groups.  Holding onto Hope is determined to keep sounding the alarm, and we are committed to continuing to develop a HEALING model.  Walk with us.


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Jillian and I traveled to Iowa last week.  The word that kept coming to my mind during and after the trip was, LEGACY.  Legacy; something passed on to those that follow.  We were invited to Iowa to share with three communities about the Prevalence of Sexual Abuse.  Through some amazing circumstances and direction of the Holy Spirit and  wonderful friends Jeff and Becky Neu, Holding onto Hope Ministries has a whole host of new friends.

IMG_0832At Des Moines Christian School we observed the legacy of over 30 years of faithful commitment to the development of Christian Education.  Dr. Bob Stouffer leads a community that is flourishing and unafraid to address the difficult issues of the day.

Thank you Mrs. Augustine and the Amazing Choir

Steve and Karine Miller introduced Jillian and I to “Main Stream Living.”  Their daughter Sinee is part of an incredible care facility for adults with disabilities like our daughter Joree.  The Baker House is building a legacy of compassion and care for the broken among us.

photo (1)We also shared at Valley Church in Urbandale with men willing to address the difficult issues of our time with compassion and an earnest desire to see change and growth.

I had the great joy to visit with a friend I began my teaching career with nearly 40 years ago.  Bill Bird is a director and mentor photo(3)for new music teachers in the West Des Moines school district.  Bill and I were energetic rookies back in 1978 in Rockford, Illinois eager to teach children the truth.  What a joy to spend a little time with Bill and reminisce.

photo (3)

Finally, Jillian and I spent two days with lifelong friends Earl and DeDe Taylor the directors of Hidden Acres Camp in Ogden, Iowa.  DeDe and Earl have spent nearly thirty years laying the foundation for the best family youth camp in this country.

It is our duty as followers of the King to be establishing a legacy for those that will come behind.  Jillian and I continue to speak out about the legacy of abuse that must be broken.  While in Iowa, we learned that a well-known leader in the Christian community resigned after years of alleged sexual misconduct and abuse.  The silence surrounding this issue must not be the legacy for the years ahead.  Speak out with us and help begin the healing that is emerging as awareness grows.

THANK YOU Des Moines Christian, Valley Church, Mainstream Living, and Hidden Acres for the Legacies you are building.  Thank you for sharing some time with Holding onto Hope Ministries.  Keep up the fight.

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Things are heating up…

     Venezuela           And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that
           Syria                    you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that
               Afghanistan          is not yet the end.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom
                     Thailand                against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
                          Iraq                         All these things are merely, the beginning of birth pangs…And because lawlessness
                             Libya                          is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.  But the one who endures to the end
                                 Somalia                      he shall be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole
                                      Egypt                            world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come. “
                                               Djibouti                                                    “This is nothing compared to what’s coming…”
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Tickling Teachers


For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.  As for you, always be sober minded, endure suffering, dot the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.  2 Timothy 4:3John Dewey

Funny how things predicted long ago come true. We are far beyond accumulating teachers.  We live in a world that doesn’t need the teachers anymore.  It is every man and woman for themselves.  My truth is THE truth.  My opinion is truth for me.  You can have yours but if it is different than mine I don’t care and it doesn’t matter.  Don’t ever try to impose your truth on my truth…you don’t have that right.  My truth is my truth and yours is yours. And the teachers sent everyone out to live.

That’s where it gets interesting.  Don’t you dare say anything critical about the first gay football player.   That’s his truth and it is his right to live it out whether you like it or not. Get comfortable with it, because it is not going away.  You adjust to his truth.

Killing innocent unborn children is the right of the woman with that child.  How could anyone question her right to do with her body what she believes is her truth?  Get it together.

The teachers taught that after thousands and thousands of years everyone else had it wrong.  Men should marry other men and women other women.  It is acceptable for men to have many wives and children and flaunt it to the whole world.  It’s their truth.

The teachers said that intimacy is whatever you decide it to be for yourself.  Indulge in any behavior, any feeling you have to truly fulfill the inner you.  Enjoy sexuality with anyone anytime because it is about feelings.  It’s for pleasure and recreation. All these years the thinking has been wrong.  Living with just one person is too limiting, too confining, too boring.  Go out and enjoy.  It’s okay to observe billions of images of others pretending to be intimate because it’s their right and freedom to practice whatever they believe.  The teachers have now acquiesced to technology, now billions of searches each year for other people having sex are done anonymously, who needs the teachers anymore.  It is so liberating.

Goodness man, haven’t you heard.  The teachers we assembled taught us that the ends justify the means.  Lying to the entire country is not wrong.  In order to gain a position of status and power it is perfectly right for someone to lie to gain control.  It’s his truth.

All these years the teachers have been scratching the ears of generations and now the students have left the teachers for the world.  The students were listening intently.  The myths sounded so promising, so enlightening, so liberating.  The results of the myths are being lived out now everyday right in front of our eyes.

As for you, always be sober minded, enduring suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.  Hold onto the only truth.

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Happy Birthday Joree

Joree Joree Sleepingturns 23 today.  I’m not sure she has any idea that it is her birthday, nor is she too concerned with her age.  Joree lives a day at a time without any cares or concerns.  She has been smiling and joyful since the day we brought her home.  Don’t we all wish it could be that easy.  Joree embraces dependence.

Joree 2-01It is hard to imagine that she has been with us for all but six months of her life.  I remember clearly the day Jillian brought her home.  It was an instant love affair.  She captured our hearts and there was never a doubt about her becoming a part of the family.

I have countless memories.  My favorite was when Joree had just come back to  her room after her back surgery.  She was incredibly uncomfortable and hooked to a dozen machines providing her some relief.  The doctor said she had to be up in her chair for an hour to help with the healing.  I couldn’t believe it.  I had to help the nurses put her in her wheel chair for an hour.  Like the champion she is she took it without a whimper, until she just couldn’t take it anymore.  I pleaded with the nurse to let her return to her bed.  She agreed and we gently placed her back.  With eye’s red and swollen she looked up at me, and said, “Thank You.”  It was the first time I ever heard her say that. Joree-Dad

photo(1)Jillian and I can tell you without any hesitation that Joree has done more for us and our understanding of life than we could have ever done for her.  Celebrate with her today.  If you think of her she would want you to smile…so smile and be grateful you have the gift to be dependent on the King of the Universe. photo(1)-01

Happy Birthday Joree!!


The Curse of Independence

Being a grandfathphotoer is a blast.  I have six grandchildren.  Each one has their own unique design so different from each other, and yet so similar.  But, that’s the human creation isn’t it?  No individual has ever been identical to another and yet we are so much the same.

Take Noah, for instance, my youngest grandson.  Like all the other grandchildren, he demonstrates incredible intelligence and a winsome delightful personality. He is almost two. I have been observing him recently and he is becoming aware that he can do things for himself, and he likes it.  In fact, he likes it so much he wants to do everything by himself, when he wants to do it.  Noah is about to embark on what is popularly and correctly coined, “The Terrible Twos.”  But wait a minute.  Is there a switch in his little brain that alerts him to this developmental phase?  Is it something he now is eating that triggers outbursts of defiant attention getting behaviors?

The “Terrible Twos” is the awakening.  Noah has discovered, Independence.  Isn’t that a good thing?  He can feed himself, this year he will grasp toilet training, and language will take a greater leap than any other time in his life.  He will improve his skills on an I-pad, take a spin on a tricycle and in Arizona, learn to swim.  That’s all good, so why do we call it the “Terrible Twos”? Independence is a blessing and a curse and it is the original curse on us all and it is forever nipping at our heels.

C’mon Eve, God didn’t say you would really die if you ate that fruit.  He just knew that if you did, your eyes would be opened and you’d just like Him.  In that precarious moment, Eve chose Independence and poor Noah and all the rest of are stuck with the consequences. Noah is cursed to believe in his heart that he can do everything for himself, by himself and he doesn’t need your help.  His language is limited right now, but his determination to communicate to you that he’s in charge is growing quickly.  I pray for my children every day.  They are charged with modeling for their children how we just can’t live in this world by ourselves.

You see how we are all the same.  Independence is the curse. We travel along believing that we can manage, direct, manipulate, and coerce our will in our favor.  If we fail, we just need to try harder.  And so we bang the table and yell, “No, I won’t eat the broccoli and you can’t make me.”  Noah will learn through the loving hearts of his parents, that no, he can’t do everything by himself.  There will be scrapes and bruises, there will be tears.  In time, he will come Noah and Bearsto know that like all of us, we are dependent.  Always have been, always will be until we meet the one with the wounded hands.  Then, we will never desire Independence again.  In the meantime, go easy on those two year olds a little.

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