Monday, January 02, 2012

The 3 - January 2, 2012

This New Year's edition of "The 3", my week-in-review feature, includes an announcement by a major Christian leader that he will soon undergo cancer treatment, new pro-life legislation signed into law by the Governor of Virginia, and a new year bringing new opportunities for Christians to participate in regular Bible study and prayer.

3 - Calvary Chapel founder announces he has lung cancer

Chuck Smith, the Founder of the ministry of Calvary Chapel, based in Costa Mesa, California, announced to his congregation in worship services on January 1st that he had lung cancer and that a plan of treatment will be determined this week.

Here is the story from The Christian Post.

Smith founded the church in 1965, and it now places in the top 100 of churches in terms of weekly worship attendance. The church has been well-known for its contribution to the Jesus movement throughout the late 60's and 70's, giving rise to the genre now know as contemporary Christian music.

After the announcement, Smith's son-in-law and leaders of the congregation gathered to anoint the 84-year-old pastor with oil and pray for his healing.

2 - New VA regulations regulating abortion clinics go into effect

Word out of the state of Virginia is that Governor Bob McDonnell has approved regulations passed by the state Legislature that would place new restrictions on abortions in the state. Here is the story from

Despite the vocal opposition of Planned Parenthood, the measures were approved by the state Board of Health in September, and feature common-sense regulations, such as:

- the treatment of abortion clinics as hospitals instead of physician’s offices,

- licensing of and unannounced inspections of abortion centers,

- requirements that doctors remain on the premises until a woman is actually ready to be discharged,

- improved sanitary conditions,

- emergency equipment for cardiac arrest, seizure, respiratory distress and other critical medical situations, and

- requiring centers to be built, or improved within two years, to standards similar to ambulatory surgical facilities.

The legislation gave the state’s Board of Health 280 days to write new rules for abortion businesses.

Other states have new abortion restrictions that went into effect January 1st. A new law in New Hampshire requires girls seeking abortions to inform their parents or a judge first. A similar law was passed some 8 years ago, but was never enforced due to lawsuits being filed. Regulations are now in effect in Arkansas, where facilities performing 10 or more nonsurgical abortions per month must be licensed by the state health department and be subject to inspections by the department.

1 - New Year's Day brings new church, Christian initiatives on prayer and Bible reading

Most churches held church services on New Year's Day, and individual Christians had numerous opportunities to engage in Bible reading and consistent prayer entering the new year. The phone app,, and the accompanying website, offers a number of Bible reading plan, including The One-Year Bible, as well as a variety of chronological Bible reading plans. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, announced a Bible reading plan called, 40 Days in the Word, intended to engage his congregation in greater Bible study.

The Southern Baptist Convention is encouraging churches and individuals to get involved in prayer for the new year through the SBC Call to Prayer. There are 5 suggested areas of emphasis:

- My Family and Friends. Select a friend or family member and pray that they would come to faith in Christ.

- My Church. Select a church staff member, volunteer or ministry, and pray for them in their efforts to penetrate lostness.

- My Nation. Select a Send North America city and pray for the church planting efforts in that area (

- My World. Select an unreached people group and pray that the Gospel would be advanced among these people (

- My Southern Baptist Convention. Selected a national, state or local leader and pray for guidance in leading the Southern Baptist Convention.

A variety of online resources are available, giving Christians practical guides for their daily Bible study and prayer as we seek to evaluate and to re-focus our time with Him, resulting in spiritual growth.

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