Worship fully. Spend less.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)

It is Christmas season. While we may lament the encroachment of a hectic, rushed season that seems to come earlier and earlier, let us not forget that it is a time to be joyous for what those who believe. If we have been made a new creation through Jesus Christ, then we are to actively seek good for those around us, for His sake. I’ve just become aware of Advent Conspiracy, which is a way of putting Ephesians 2:10 into practice during this wonderful time of year.

If we really believe that we are not to be conformed to the image of this world, then we need to rethink how we celebrate Christmas. The idea that we spend less and worship fully is something we can all do well to put into practice.

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The daily earthquake of abortion is right in your back yard

On Jan. 12, 2010, a deadly earthquake hit Haiti. It has been estimated that anywhere from 150,000 to maybe up to 500,000 people lost their lives in this tragedy. There is still much suffering as many who have survived have been left homeless. There are many ways you can help beyond being there physically. Among many choices you can consider I would offer Compassion International, which works with children and their families, and Food for the Hungry. I cannot strongly enough urge you to help in whatever way you can.

Since that day when the major quake hit Haiti, there has been an equally devastating human tragedy that has hit among the most defenseless people in our society. I am talking about abortion. There are some estimates that 3,000 babies in the United States and 130,000 babies worldwide are killed by abortion. John Piper puts it in perspective in his sermon on his observance of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday yesterday at Bethlehem Baptist Church.

There are about 3,000 abortions a day in the United States and about 130,000 a day worldwide. Which means that the horrific, gut-wrenching reality of Haiti’s earthquake on January 12 happens everyday in the abortion clinics of the world. And it is likely that if the dismemberment and bloodshed and helplessness of 130,000 dead babies a day received as much media coverage as the earthquake victims have—rightly have!—there would be the same outcry and outpouring of effort to end the slaughter and relieve the suffering.

Americans have been giving 1.6 million dollars an hour for Haiti Relief for the last ten days—a beautiful thing. I hope you are part of it. It is so unbelievably easy to give with phones and computers. But the funding and resistance to the suffering of the silent, hidden destruction of the unborn is not so easy. So the 3,000 babies who are crushed to death every day in America by the earthquake of abortion go largely unnoticed.

If you have been compelled to perhaps adopt a Haitian child because they have been left orphaned, how much more so should you consider adopting a child that may be aborted. Is there really any difference? The point is not that we should do less for situations like the one in Haiti, but rather that we should not ignore a far greater tragedy in our society. As I sat in my own church on Sunday I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that nothing was mentioned about this tragedy. It is much safer to be concerned about Haiti. I hope we can muster our courage to change that.

Mardy Gilyard: More to the story

One of our favorite football players is Mardy Gilyard because not only does he excel at what he does — catching passes for the University of Cincinnati — he also takes time out to console small children. But now we find that he has a great work ethic to go along with his big heart. So, for the time being, kids: Don’t be the next Tiger Woods, instead be another Mardy Gilyard.

Tragedy in Myanmar. Mass starvation caused by a plague of rats.

Just yesterday, the World Health Organization announced that the swine flu outbreak was now a pandemic. While we now much about the danger this outbreak poses, there are deadly threats that have, so far, gone under the radar. From Food for the Hungry comes this report about the Chin people in Myanmar:

About 200 villages in the Chin State in Western Myanmar are suffering from extreme food shortages due to a rat infestation. The phenomenon known as “maudam” occurs about once every 50 years when flowering bamboo trees produce a fruit that nourishes the rat population. The last time it struck was in 1958, preceded by incidents in 1911 and 1862. Rats feed on the fruit, multiplying by the millions until the fruit supply disappears after which the rodents ravage local rice and corn crops.

Eyewitnesses report barren fields and empty seed bins. In addition, as many as 100 children and elderly have already died from malnutrition and of the 100,000 Chin people who remain, many are weak, thin and sick. Without intervention, the situation will only worsen.

Nova has produced a documentary for PBS that is good in getting an education on how the disaster has spread. Because this is happening in a nation most people can’t find on a map and isn’t worldwide, it may be hard to be moved. Yet, there is a need and an opportunity to put your faith into practice. Go here to help.

HT: Desiring God blog