Author archives: Patrina Mosley

USAID Tells UN That Abortion Is Not “Humanitarian Aid”

by Patrina Mosley

May 20, 2020

The United Nations (UN) has declared abortion as “essential healthcare” and intends to use humanitarian coronavirus funds to supplement abortions around the world.

John Barsa, Acting Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), recently sent a letter urging the UN to stay focused on saving lives rather than taking them. As we previously noted, it has been apparent that world abortion leaders, like the World Health Organization, have been using the current pandemic to push abortions now more than ever before as “essential.” Unfortunately, the United Nations is one of those leaders that is willing to use billions of U.S. dollars to deliver abortions as a part of coronavirus humanitarian aid.

USAID’s letter reminds UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that the U.S. is the “the largest donor of global health and humanitarian assistance” and emphatically states that the UN’s $6.71 billion Global Humanitarian Response Plan (Global HRP) “must remain focused on addressing the most urgent, concrete needs that are arising out of the pandemic.”

Barsa further noted that the U.S. alone contributed half of this amount—just in fiscal year 2019—at $3.5 billion. As President Trump stated in his address to the 74th UN General Assembly, the U.S. will “never tire of defending innocent life.” We have a vested stake in protecting our sovereignty as well as standing with those who wish to protect their sovereignty in accepting aid without strings attached. The letter reemphasized Trump’s statement that the UN simply has “no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life.”

The United Nations has acted as the global enforcer of liberalism, disregarding the national sovereignty of nations by withholding aid to nations that do not support their abortion agenda. For far too long, developing countries that desperately need basic necessities have had to choose between their national sovereignty in holding values like the sanctity of life or accepting UN food and water that come with contraceptives and abortions. So much for the UN being “humanitarian.” Now that we as a global community are confronting something we have rarely faced before with the current pandemic, it should not be controversial to collectively say: Abortion is not humanitarian aid.

The USAID letter is unprecedented in that it brings attention to the UN’s twisted supposition that abortions are on the same critical level as “food-insecurity, essential health care, malnutrition, shelter, and sanitation.” It is a rebuke to the UN not seen from a world leader like the United States in some time. 

The letter states that unity can be found if the controversial abortion funding is avoided, and the “sexual and reproductive health services” provisions as part of the COVID-19 response are removed.

Furthermore, the USAID letter calls attention to what is “most egregious”: the Global HRP call “for the widespread distribution of abortion-inducing drugs and abortion supplies, and for the promotion of abortion in local country settings.”

Abortion inducing drugs, like the abortion pill, are extremely dangerous, yet they are the go-to method universally for abortion advocates. As we pointed out here, the global abortion industry favors the abortion pill especially in areas they deem as “low-resource settings.” This means that the industry expects women to self-manage her own abortion by self-administering pills and expelling the child in her own home. The abortion pill regimen has been known to cause severe hemorrhaging that requires blood transfusions and incomplete abortions that can incur severe infections and the need for follow up surgery. Many women have died.

Sadly, just this month, a 32-year-old woman in India died at her home after suffering severe blood loss from taking abortion pills. During the police investigation, they seized a bloodstained bedsheet, abortion-inducing pills, and painkillers.

She is survived by her one-year-old daughter.

How this could ever be described as “humanitarian aid,” no one with a conscience will ever know. What we do know is that the U.S. is becoming more watchful and is giving teeth to the values we claim to have by being consistent with them around the world.

This is quite noteworthy and displays the seriousness of the Trump administration’s intention of being the leader in protecting the sanctity of life, at home and aboard. This follows the Trump administration’s success in restoring integrity back to the domestic Title X family planning funds where abortion will no longer be considered a method of family planning, expanding the Mexico City policy in what is now known as the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy (where U.S. funds will be restricted from supplementing oversees abortions), and defunding the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which actively contributes to international abortions.

As an active partner of the UN and the leading contributor of humanitarian aid, we are confidently displaying continuity in our pro-life policies, thereby encouraging other sovereign nations to do the same.

Amid COVID-19, Keep Women Safe by Keeping Risk Mitigation for Abortion Pills

by Patrina Mosley

April 22, 2020

Pro-life groups, including FRC, recently sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar urging him to reject the abortion industry’s request to lift restrictions off the abortion pill.

It is no secret that the industry has long been calling for the elimination of restrictions that keep the abortion pill from being an over-the-counter drug. They are now exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to continue to pressure HHS and FDA to remove safety protocols so that women can obtain abortions at home.

The abortion pill regimen, distributed under the brand name Mifeprex, carries life-threatening and health-endangering risks such as hemorrhage, infection, incomplete pregnancy, retained fetal parts, the need for emergency surgery, and death. It is currently subject to the FDA’s drug safety program, known as the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS). The Mifeprex REMS provide a way to monitor and mitigate the risks of the Mifeprex regimen while also preventing the sale and provision of abortion pills outside a clinical setting. The REMs are the lone barrier between abortion pills being sold in pharmacies or legally purchased online and received by mail.

Eliminating the REMs would mean abortion pills would be right next to Tylenol in drugstores, which would further trivialize the taking of innocent life. Making the abortion pill an easily attainable prescription or an over-the-counter (OTC) drug removes a physician from the initial process of abortion, putting women at incredible health risk. Such reckless access would also enable sexual abusers and exacerbate domestic violence that is already heightened amid the coronavirus quarantine. Prior to the pandemic, there were multiple cases of partners slipping abortion pills to women unknowingly. In a time of quarantine, we should not make it easier for unwilling fathers to harm mothers and children.

The Mifeprex REMS mandates that the drug can only be dispensed in certain health care settings and under the supervision of a certified prescriber who has the ability to properly assess a woman’s eligibility for undergoing a chemical abortion by confirming accurate pregnancy gestation and diagnosing any ectopic pregnancies in order to avoid severe complications that could lead to death.

A chemical abortion carries nearly four times the rate of severe complications as compared to surgical abortions, with the two most prevalent adverse effects being hemorrhage and incomplete abortion.

Incomplete abortion occurs up to 10 percent of the time and occurs more frequently as gestational age increases. If an abortion is incomplete, a woman is prescribed multiple doses of misoprostol, and if that fails, a physician must perform a surgical abortion to remove the fetal remains. Even the Mifeprex medication guide admits that “2-7% of women will need a surgical procedure to end the pregnancy or stop heavy bleeding.”

Even while the REMS are in place, there have been over 4,000 adverse events related to chemical abortions that have been reported to the FDA, which include 24 maternal deaths, 97 undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies, over a thousand hospitalizations, and hundreds of blood transfusions and infections. It’s important to note that these are just the adverse events reported to the FDA, so we do not have a full picture of the data.

By eliminating the REMS, the abortion industry is eliminating any direct physical oversight by a medical doctor or health care provider of the chemical abortion process. Similarly, eliminating the REMS would eliminate the physician’s ability to evaluate whether the woman is under pressure or is being coerced to abort.

Recently, 38 Senators and 121 Representatives sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, M.D., calling for “robust enforcement” of the existing REMS.

Any attempt to remove the REMS, particularly at a time like this, would not be alleviating the pressures on our health care system that is combatting COVID-19, and it certainly carries the potential to make things worse for women.

But all of this does not matter to the abortion industry. They abide by the leftist ideology of “never let a crisis go to waste,” so they continue abortion politics even at the expense of women’s safety. They regard drug-based abortions as the best way to get around the increasing pro-life protections around the United States. Do-it-yourself chemical abortions are primarily about making sure that abortion can survive in any future pro-life legal and policy environment, and the abortion industry is willing to even take advantage of a crisis in order to preserve the future of their business.

The abortion industry is undoubtedly anticipating an inevitable baby boom after a time of quarantining. By calling for the removal of the Mifeprex REMS with all the drug regimen’s documented dangers, it is evident that this is about the abortion industry’s political, ideological, and financial goals—not care for women.

World Abortion Leaders Exploit Pandemic to Advance Self-Managed Abortions

by Patrina Mosley

April 20, 2020

As part of their COVID-19 response, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared abortion as an essential service. The U.K. has now issued temporary approval for chemical abortions to be completely done at home. The U.S. abortion lobby continues to call for the FDA to lift restrictions (REMs) off the abortion pill (U.S. brand “Mifeprex”), making way for complete “self-managed” abortions. Unfortunately, this is what the abortion industry all over the world has pursued even before the current pandemic—for abortions to be unrestricted, unregulated, and do-it-yourself.

The abortion pill is a two-drug regimen that is basically a do-it-yourself method anyways, but normally, the woman would have some type of interaction with a physician by taking the first pill (mifepristone) under their supervision at the clinic (although this is no longer a requirement in the U.S. since 2016) and then going home to take the second drug (misoprostol) 24-48 hours later.

Gone are the days of abortion activists calling for abortions to be “safe, legal, and rare” to protect against desperate women performing their own “back-alley” abortions. Now, abortion pills are the new back-alley method, credentialed by the world’s most prestigious medical institutions.

By placing the burden of inducing abortions completely on women—despite the fact that the health complications that often result from an induced chemical abortion are eerily similar to those of “back-alley” abortions—it is evident that the abortion industry has no regard for human dignity whatsoever—for the child or the mother.

The Future of Abortion

The abortion industry has favored dispensing abortion pills due to how easy they are to distribute and their ability to lower overhead costs of in-clinic surgical abortions. Chemical abortion is a way to shift costs and patient oversight from the surgical provider to the patient herself, particularly for use in “low-resource settings.” Thus, it is not surprising that world abortion leaders like International Planned Parenthood, Marie Stopes, and Doctors Without Borders have already made extensive use of  “medication” or “medical” abortion, a shift that has been supported by WHO.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion industry views the drug-based method as the future of abortion, so as they are expanding telemed activities they are actively experimenting on women in Burkina FasoColumbia, Mexico, and Vietnam to perform chemical abortions in the second trimester. Currently, this method has only been approved universally for first trimester pregnancies only.

The once abortion-neutral humanitarian aid group Doctors Without Borders (DWB) has now launched online instructional videos, credentialed by WHO, to train their “humanitarian” workers on how to use the abortion pill. Shockingly (or perhaps not), DWB acknowledges that they expect vulnerable women to use the site in order to learn how to induce their own abortion, with instructions for self-managing an abortion up to 22 weeks!  

The Unique Trauma of Chemical Abortion

A chemical abortion is a multi-day, traumatic process of cramping, contractions, and bleeding which culminates in the uterus expelling the embryo or fetus, and it comes with four times the risk of complications compared to surgical abortions. The risks of life-threatening and health-endangering complications only increase as the gestational age of the pregnancy progresses.

What makes chemical abortions uniquely traumatic is that a mother sees and must dispose of the remains of her aborted child. The psychological trauma of abortion on women cannot be underestimated, especially the trauma from of undergoing a chemical abortion. Mifeprex has been approved for inducing abortion on babies up to 10 weeks gestation, at which point the baby already has a head, hands, feet, fingers, and toes. For a woman to take in the visual devastation of a child that is half-way developed at 22 weeks is severely distressing, especially for women who thought they were getting care from “humanitarians.” Instead, they walk away with more trauma. In reality, they can’t walk away at all—they are left alone to “self-manage” the abortion.

For the WHO and DWB to endorse drug-induced abortions on women up to 22 weeks is bordering considerably on medical malpractice. The two most prevalent complications observed for chemical abortions comparatively, were hemorrhage and incomplete abortion. An incomplete abortion means there needed to be surgical intervention to extract any remaining parts of the unborn child from the woman’s uterus. Prolonged hemorrhage requiring blood transfusion can occur. It’s already been reported to the FDA that over 500 blood transfusions, over a thousand hospitalizations, and 24 deaths have taken place as a result of Mifeprex. And that is just what’s been reported.

In 2015, a peer-reviewed study to test the safety and feasibility of self-administered over-the-counter abortion pills found that when women take the pills past 63 days gestation, 62 percent of participants had incomplete abortions resulting in surgical intervention. Nearly 13 percent required surgical evacuation with blood transfusion. Yet in 2016 under the Obama administration, the FDA extended Mifeprex eligibility from 63 days to 70 days gestation and altered the drug dosage to make chemical abortions even more dangerous.

An “Essential” Medical Service?

Telemed abortion trials are currently taking place in 13 states to test the viability of women self-managing abortions through mail-order abortion pills. The FDA must be held accountable and not approve any drug trials and studies that intentionally destroy human embryos or fetuses.

Planned Parenthood has also announced plans to expand their telemed services to all 50 states, which would include pick-ups for contraceptives and abortion pills. This comes on the heels of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit decision in Planned Parenthood v. Abbott granting Planned Parenthood approval to proceed with chemical abortions even though abortion has been deemed non-essential in the state of Texas.

Even apart from the question of caring for the life of the unborn child, abortions require a high level of physical interaction between the mother and a physician who can examine, diagnosis, evaluate, and treat her.

Abortion activists routinely compare inducing a chemical abortion to taking Tylenol, but a chemical abortion involves heavy bleeding and cramping and carries life-threatening risks, so pretending for ideological reasons that chemical abortions can be done remotely (commonly using Skype) or even as a do-it-yourself, over-the-counter regimen is extremely dangerous and negligent. Furthermore, telemedicine is not suited to the provision of immediate emergency care.

We are now likely to see scenarios where women who have taken the abortion pill regimen will need blood transfusions, treatment for infections, and possible follow-up surgery to complete the abortion, which means they will need to go to the emergency room and wait for treatment next to possible victims of COVID-19. This does not conserve medical resources and puts the safety and health of women at risk. In addition, the woman, who may or may not have health insurance coverage, is expected to bear the additional cost of these complications of “self-managed” abortions.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and their allies put out a statement complaining that abortions are being left out of essential health care services that need to remain open at this time. Some more liberal-leaning states have deemed abortion as “essential,” but fortunately the U.S. currently has strong pro-life leadership from the top down, so at a national level it is unlikely that we will see abortion declared as an “essential service” at a time like this. But that will not stop the abortion industry from taking advantage of the pandemic to ramp up progression to their desired future of total “self-managed” abortions.

Encouraging women to self-manage an abortion and calling it a “paid” service is a dangerous practical joke the abortion industry is playing on women.

Thankfully, there are still some reputable medical leaders, such as the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), who refuse to put women in this type of danger by categorizing abortion as an “essential service.”

Though the abortion industry markets itself as a champion for women’s reproductive rights, there is no way that professional medical institutions should willingly put women in the “back-alley” of their own bathrooms to induce their own abortions with drugs at the risk of death and call it “health care.”

Population Control Is the True Objective of World Abortion Leaders

World abortion leaders are not concerned about women, they are concerned with population control. That concern is undoubtedly heightened amid a pandemic that could produce a baby boom. The legacy of abortion is rooted in eugenics, and when defending “abortion access,” proponents will consistently dog-whistle about how any pro-life protection or common-sense abortion restriction will hurt “low-income people,” “people of color,” and those in “rural” or “underserved” communities. It is not a coincidence that abortion is promoted in predominantly African-American and Hispanic communities and promoted and performed in undeveloped countries. Elites like Bill Gates who heavily finance Planned Parenthood and the Population Council support abortion as a mechanism of alleviating poverty by eliminating the children of those who are impoverished. Interestingly, the Population Council was the lead sponsor in getting the abortion pill (RU-486) approved in the United States.

As of late, President Trump has decided to halt funds to the World Health Organization as an investigation takes place to assess their mishandling of the coronavirus. However, further concern is warranted when it comes to U.S. tax dollars being entangled with WHO’s pro-abortion agenda amid the reinstatement of the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Act, formerly known as the Mexico City Policy, which bans taxpayer funds for promoting or performing overseas abortion. The United States is the largest contributor to the WHO’s budget, providing “between $400 million and $500 million per year to the WHO.”

Over two-thirds of Americans continue to oppose taxpayer-funded abortions, and Trump’s election was super-charged by pro-life voters who continue to be a base of support. Assessing whether U.S. dollars should go to conflicting interests should be heavily weighed moving forward.

As world abortion leaders aggressively pursue “abortion access” at any cost, the U.S. is currently in a strong position to ensure that it is not a part of the population control agenda and to continue putting women and human dignity first.

Ways to Read the Bible (Part 3): Inductive Bible Study

by Patrina Mosley

April 16, 2020

Read Part 1 and Part 2

Now, finally, we will take a brief look at how to study the Bible using the inductive method. Bible study, particularly with the inductive method we will be learning here, is where you are spending time looking into the Bible to see what it says about itself, God, and humanity. You are letting the word of God speak for itself. We accomplish this through tools and learning skills to help us “observe the text, dig out the meaning, and then apply it to our lives.” The three basic steps of the inductive Bible study method are: Observation, Interpretation, and Application.

There are a range of questions to ask the Scriptures throughout these steps, but this will be an overview to help get you started. If you’re looking to deepen your grasp of the three steps, I would highly encourage you to read Kay Arthur’s How to Study Your Bible: Discover the Life-Changing Approach to God’s Word. She is a prolific author, speaker, and teacher of the inductive Bible study method and President of Precept Ministries that teaches people all over the world how to study and know the Bible for themselves.

Let’s get started!

Prayer: Pray “Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions” (Psalms 119:18).

Tip: If you are new to this method, it is recommended you start practicing this method with a short book of the Bible, like the Book of James, for instance.

Step 1: Observation (What does this passage say?)

This is the foundation. This is where we are not only reading the Bible with our eyes, but also with our minds. Here you are reading and re-reading (repetition is the key to observation and understanding) to observe the context, discovering what the biblical author intended to communicate to their original audience. Understanding the context is key before making an interpretation and application. Without establishing proper context, we can easily read into the text what we want it to say based on our assumptions and experiences. This can (and unfortunately throughout church history has) lead to unbiblical and heretical applications of the text. The inductive Bible study method has developed some categories and questions to help you look more closely at the text and establish an accurate context that will serve as the basis for your interpretation and application: who, what, when, where, why, and how.

  • Who: Who is the author? Major ideas?
  • When: When was it written?
  • Where: Where was this done?
  • Why: Why was there a need for this to be written?
  • How: How was it done? How did it happen?

You are also observing:

  • Words that are repeated multiple times in a passage
  • Anything written as a list
  • Words that indicate a change in topic or time
  • Words that contrast one thing against another
  • Words that indicate cause and effect

Here you are learning the historical background, dates, key people, and whatever information the text plainly gives. This helps in setting up the context for accurate interpretation. This is where a good study Bible comes in handy because they often provide summaries at the beginning of each book that details a lot of this information.

More on step 1 can be found here.

Step 2: Interpretation (What does this passage mean?)

Here you are seeking to understand what the biblical author meant to communicate to his original audience by understanding the historical and cultural background of the text.

This may mean looking up words you do not understand in a good “Bible Dictionary” or using a “concordance” to cross-reference to other passages for better clarity and understanding. Again, this is where having a good study Bible that combines all these tools is helpful. The best interpretation of Scripture is Scripture. Letting Scripture interpret Scripture means considering the passage in light of the surrounding verses and chapters, the book in which it is found, and the entire word of God.  If you’ve already taken the step of reading the Bible from start-to-finish, you will already have a fuller understanding of God’s over-arching story, which is the context needed to interpret the Scriptures. You will find yourself remembering themes, characters, references to things in the past, and more. You will simply have a more complete context before digging into the nitty-gritty of a specific passage. Therefore, when seeking to know what something means, ask yourself (as Kay Arthur has written): “Is my interpretation consistent with the theme, purpose, and structure of the book in which it is found? Is it consistent with other scriptures about the same subject? Am I considering the historical and cultural context of what is being said?”

To gain an “interpretation” of the text, you are using the understanding you have gained from “observation” and the examination of the context to interpret the plain meaning of scripture, not a hidden meaning. I found these questions used in this article to be helpful:

  • What did the author intend for his readers to understand?
  • How does this passage unfold a broader theme of this particular book of the Bible?
  • What doctrinal or moral problem was he addressing?
  • What action did he want readers or listeners to take?
  • What is still unclear? (Are the confusing terms or phrases used elsewhere in this book, or elsewhere in the Bible?). Before reaching for your dictionary, allow Scripture to define its own terms contextually through cross referencing.

Bible Translations: Remember that when you read the Bible you are reading a translation (the Bible was originally written in Hebrew (most of the Old Testament; although a few portions were written in Aramaic) and Greek (the New Testament). Here is a short list of some easy-to-read versions of the Bible: English Standard Version (ESV), Christian Standard Bible (CSB), New International Version (NIV), and New Living Translation (NLT). Any of these Bible translations strike a good balance between literal word-for-word translation and contemporary phraseology.

Study Bibles: All of the aforementioned translations are available in study Bible versions. Study Bibles typically include extra materials for greater understanding of the text by providing historical context, geographical information, character profiles, word dictionaries, commentary, etc. Some even provide book introductions for each of the 66 books, so the reader gets an overview of what they are about to read. I cannot overemphasize the advantages of having a good study Bible. There are libraries full of resources to help you study the Bible. You can pull out several  different kinds of books, commentaries, maps, and concordances to study God’s word, but for the average individual person who is not writing a theological doctoral thesis, a simple study Bible that combines several of these tools into one volume is a sufficient tool for better understanding God’s word.

You can find more on step 2 here.

Step 3: Application (How does this apply to me?)

The goal of Bible study is not merely knowledge, but to get to know God and apply his truths to our lives. Once we know what a particular passage means, we are now responsible for putting it into practice in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. As Kay Arthur has written, “When you know what God says, what He means, and how to put His truths into practice, you will be equipped for every circumstance of life.”

More on step 3 is available here.

Tip: Designate a study time once a week. Studying takes time. We don’t have to set unrealistic expectations for ourselves about studying the Bible by saying we are going to do it every day (even though we should make reading God’s word, even if it is just a chapter or a few verses, a daily goal). The goal is not how fast or how much ground we cover but that we habitually do it. The point is to get close to God by knowing, understanding, and applying his word.

Write it down: Certainly, all of this should warrant you to write it down! Either by notebook, computer, or even app—keep track of what you are learning!

During this time of isolation and quarantine, getting closer to the one who created us is a great use of our time. This life comes with so many distractions that can take our eyes off of who and what matters most. Let us see this time as a gift and use it to receive comfort and truth from God.

Ways to Read the Bible (Part 2): Reading the Bible Start-to-Finish

by Patrina Mosley

April 14, 2020

Read Part 1 and Part 3

Before attempting to study the Bible, I would highly encourage that you first read the Bible in its entirety, from start to finish. If you are a believer, ask yourself, “Have I ever read all of God’s word?” If we say we are followers of Christ, we should read all of what he has said. Moreover, God has sovereignly preserved his word for us in a language that we can understand. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul writes, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Because every word in Scripture is “breathed-out by God,” every follower of Jesus ought to prioritize reading the Bible in its entirety.

Reading the Bible cover-to-cover will also give you an overview of the story God is telling before digging into the nitty-gritty of specific texts. Without a full understanding of the Bible’s metanarrative, it will be more difficult to understand the big picture. In other words, trying to study the Bible without having read it is like trying to dissect a scene in a movie you’ve never watched. Things won’t make sense because you will be missing a lot of context. Take it nice and slow and read the Bible like you would any other book—start to finish.

There are a lot of different ways to read the Bible because the 66 books contained in it can be easily separated by the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Gospels as well as different genres (such as narratives, poetry, prophecies, epistles, etc.), but my recommendation is that before you start breaking off into different segments of the Bible, read the Bible like a real book within its complete context! The story will come alive for you and you will be fascinated at how much you’re learning just by reading. 

Here are two ways to do this:

  1. Simply pick up your Bible and start from Genesis! Here is a two-year Bible reading plan from Family Research Council that will take you through the entire Bible, day-by-day.
  2. Follow a chronological Bible reading plan or read through a chronological study Bible. Although the majority of the books of the Bible are in order, some events and books are not arranged in chronological sequence. Reading chronologically will open up your understanding even more because you will have greater context by the sequence of events.

Bible Translations Remember that when you read the Bible you are reading a translation (the Bible was originally written in Hebrew (Old Testament; a few portions were written in Aramaic) and Greek (New Testament). Here is a short list of some easy-to-read versions of the Bible: English Standard Version (ESV), Christian Standard Bible (CSB), New International Version (NIV), and New Living Translation (NLT). These Bible translations strike a good balance between literal word-for-word translation and contemporary phraseology.

Write it Down: As you’re reading, keep in mind that you are not reading to make theological applications (although that will come to you naturally over time as you learn good Bible study methods) but you are reading to get to know God. Whatever you don’t understand you can always go back and study later, so write down your questions. Often you will find that the more you keep reading, the more will make sense. But when that doesn’t happen, you can come back to all of your questions when you’re ready to study the Bible. Here is where I would highly recommend having a study Bible. For those who can’t wait to have their questions answered until they’ve read all 66 books, a good study Bible will provide a fuller understanding of a specific passage that might confuse you.

Study Bibles: All of the aforementioned translations are available in study Bible versions. Study Bibles typically include extra materials for greater understanding of the text by providing historical context, geographical information, character profiles, word dictionaries, commentary, etc. Some even provide book introductions for each of the 66 books, so the reader gets an overview of what they are about to read. I cannot  overemphasize the advantages of having a good study Bible. There are libraries full of resources to help you study the Bible, but for the average person who is not writing a doctoral thesis, a simple study Bible that combines several of these tools into one volume is a sufficient tool for better understanding God’s word..

Tip: You can choose a book or a passage of the Bible to read along with a helpful commentary during your daily devotional reading or study time!

Prayer: Don’t forget to pray before you start seeking God. Ask him to “Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions” (Psalms 119:18).

Ways to Read the Bible (Part 1): Devotional Bible Reading

by Patrina Mosley

April 8, 2020

Recently, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell announced at the White House that his company would repurpose their production facilities to make 50,000 face masks a day for health care workers combatting the pandemic. You would think there would be united praise for his patriotism. But left-wing, anti-God critics have ostracized him for simply encouraging Americans to use this extra time at home to read their Bible and connect with God.

He is right.

As many of us are doing our part to #StaySafeStayHome in the midst of the coronavirus, some of us have more time and fewer excuses to do the things we’ve been putting off for a while. Perhaps one of those things is reading the Bible more. There is no better way to get to know God than by spending time in his word. And there is no better time than now.

When it comes to studying the Bible, there are a lot of options. There are different methods, Bible translations, commentaries, podcasts, and sermons. Even within the Bible there are different genres (epistle, historical narrative, poetry, etc.) that can seem confusing if you are unfamiliar with how to interpret the particular genre. The goal of every Christian should be to rightly interpret the Bible.

My hope and prayer is that this blog series will help you learn to read the Bible and have it become a habitual part of your life. More tools will also be mentioned for going deeper in your journey to learning God’s word. It is a journey—not a destination.

So, let’s get started!

The first thing we should always do before reading God’s word is to pray.

Prayer: Starting with sincere prayer humbles us and focuses our heart to hear from God. When we are engaging his word, we are engaging God himself. Praying first helps eliminate distractions by pouring out our heart to God (Psalm 62:8) and laying our burdens down at his feet (Psalm 55:22). After praying, you will often find that God speaks to you through his word about the very things you prayed about. Knowing that he hears you will encourage your faith.

Before Bible study, pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you and help you understand God’s word. John 16:13-15 teaches us that the Holy Spirit is the one who reveals truth to us. Pray that he makes your time in Scripture fruitful.

You can pray the Scriptures as well. What better way to pray for God’s will in your life and others than by praying his word! For example, you can pray, “Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions” (Psalms 119:18).

Devotional vs. Inductive Bible Study

Two components essential to getting closer to God and having our lives transformed are devotional Bible reading and inductive Bible study. What’s the difference?   

Simply put, inductive Bible study (which will be covered in the third part of this series), is where you are spending time looking into the Bible to see what it says about itself, God, and humanity. Devotional Bible reading is time spent looking into your own heart to see where God’s truth needs to be applied to your current circumstances.

Let’s start with devotional reading.

Devotional: This is where we spend time meditating on God’s word to be encouraged and directed by God’s truth. Devotional reading can be done by reading a Bible-based devotional book, a passage of scripture, or both. During devotional time you are looking into your own heart and asking God to illuminate his truth and apply it to your present circumstances. Knowing and thinking (meditating) about God’s word is how we can learn to follow God more closely. Some good questions to ask while meditating on God’s word are:

  • What does this passage say about God? What does it say about me? My sin? My struggles?
  • What is the lesson I need to learn? What example is given that I need to follow?
  • What is the command I need to obey?
  • What fruit or character development needs to take place in my life?
  • What is blocking God’s work in me? What sins do I need to avoid? Consider how you are spending your time, your thought life, your motivations, and relationships.
  • What promise does God have for me to receive? How am I encouraged and strengthened?
  • What is God asking me to surrender or submit to him?

Write it Down: This is where I would encourage you to write down your reflections, pray, and ask God how you can implement his truths in your life. Writing down reflections and truths God reveals to us helps to focus our minds and disentangle our thoughts. By having this record, we can look back and remember what God has said to us. Psalm 1:1-3 tells us that meditating on God’s word day and night brings much fruitfulness in our lives. Beginning and ending our day by thinking about what we have read will bring us into closer fellowship with God and help us to become more like him.

Helpful Tool: The YouVersion Bible app is a free resource that is jam-packed with a variety of Bible reading plans that include devotionals; some even include videos. Take some time to scroll through the app and choose something that speaks to you.

Bible Translations: Remember that when you read the Bible you are reading a translation (the Bible was originally written in Hebrew (Old Testament; a few portions were written in Aramaic) and Greek (New Testament). Here is a short list of some easy-to-read English translations of the Bible: English Standard Version (ESV), Christian Standard Bible (CSB), New International Version (NIV), and New Living Translation (NLT). These Bible translations strike a good balance between literal word-for-word translation and contemporary phraseology.

Tip: There are study Bibles that provides helpful commentary and notes. You can choose a book or a passage from the Bible and read the accompanying notes as part of your daily devotional reading or study time!

Read Part 2

6 Encouraging Points as We Face Coronavirus Together

by Patrina Mosley

March 27, 2020

We are facing something we’ve never faced before, that’s for sure—but we are all going through this together. I recently came across an encouraging message by Pastor and author Dr. David Jeremiah of Turning Point ministries. Here are the six points of encouragement from the scriptures Dr. Jeremiah offered that encouraged me and that I hope encourage you too.

1. Concentrate on Prayer

The first thing we should do when we face insurmountable challenges is to cry out to God. When King Jehoshaphat heard his enemies were coming to invade the kingdom of Judah, the first thing he did was “inquire of the Lord” and proclaimed a fast for all the people. We can pray the same prayer he prayed in 2 Chronicles 20:6-9; 12:

Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you… ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’…For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

2. Control Our Minds

I loved this quote from Dr. Jeremiah’s sermon: “How many of you know the human imagination is a powerful force? It can create a beautiful vision of a desirable future or it can conjure up the worst-case scenario. These dark products of the imagination can put us in the grip of fear—a place God would never have us go.”

There’s a great a principle to apply from 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

We need to learn to control our thoughts within the environment of the facts we have instead of letting our minds wander to all the terrible “what if’s” out there. This destroys our peace. What banishes fear is a sound mind—taking every thought under control. As a well-known saying goes, “Imagining the future without Christ is what it means to be anxious.”

3. Count Your Blessings

Counting our blessings may seem counterintuitive at this time, but it’s not. In the midst of uncertainty, we need to maintain a spirit of gratitude for all the blessings we have in our life. We can’t become ungrateful people. Pause for a moment and say thank you for what you have—often it’s things we took for granted during times of plenty. We can rest knowing that every blessing we have comes from God and the most important blessings are the spiritual ones. How has God worked in your life?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

- Ephesians 1:3

4. Claim Your Promises

The Bible is filled with promises from God. We look to God for the strength that we need, and when everything around us doesn’t make sense, God still makes sense. Find a promise, take a time-out, and meditate on those verses.

Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you. Therefore, we may boldly say,

The Lord is my helper;

I will not be afraid.

What can man do to me?

- Hebrews 13:5-6

5. Consider Your Responsibility

While we are distancing ourselves socially, we can still get closer to one another spiritually. When you pray for someone, you actually draw closer to them at the throne of grace. If God puts someone on your heart, just pick up the phone or send a text and pray with them. Use this time to become spiritually close. Give yourself this goal: to spend five minutes each day praying with or for someone.

6. Continue Your Work

We are all adjusting our normal routines at the moment. Perhaps you’re a schoolteacher and your school is closed. Your routine is different, but you can still do a lot. Keep doing whatever you were doing the best you can, to bless others. Just keep doing the next thing! Keep going in the peace that God provides.

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.

 - John 14:27

Even During a National Medical Emergency, the Abortion Industry Still Thinks It’s “Essential”

by Patrina Mosley

March 25, 2020

As part of their COVID-19 response, the U.K. initially approved new measures to allow women to take the complete abortion pill regimen at home. Now, it appears that this measure has been reversed. The reasoning given was, “This was published in error. There will be no changes to abortion regulations.”

The abortion pill is a two-drug regimen that is basically a do-it-yourself method anyways, but normally, the woman would have some type of interaction with a physician by taking the first pill (mifepristone) under their supervision at the clinic and then going home to take the second drug (misoprostol) 24-48 hours later.

Because the U.K. considers abortion an “essential service” amid the pandemic, their response was to completely place the burden of abortion on women. These women would have been popping both pills at home with no physician oversight.

But this is what the abortion industry all over the world has been calling for even before the current pandemic—for abortions to be unrestricted, unregulated, and do-it-yourself. Gone are the days when they were calling for “safe, legal, and rare” to protect against desperate women performing their own “back-alley” abortions. Now abortion pills are the new back-alley method, credentialed by the world’s most prestigious medical institutions.

Because the U.S. has FDA restrictions (REMs) on the abortion pill (U.S. brand “Mifeprex”), it cannot be a “complete” DIY method, but either way, restrictions or no restrictions, the abortion pill method is set up to be an at-home, multi-day, traumatic process that comes with the risk of serious complications.

Chemical abortions carry four times the rate of complications compared to surgical abortions. The two side effects observed to be more prevalent during chemical abortions than surgical abortions were hemorrhage and incomplete abortion. An incomplete abortion means there needed to be surgical intervention to extract any remaining parts of the unborn child from the woman’s uterus. Prolonged hemorrhage requiring blood transfusion can occur. It’s already been reported to the FDA that over 500 blood transfusions, over a thousand hospitalizations, and 24 deaths took place as result of Mifeprex. And that is just what’s been reported.

Fortunately right now, the U.S. has strong pro-life leadership from the top down, so at a national level it’s unlikely that we will see abortion be declared an “essential service” at a time like this. However, that will not stop the abortion industry from demanding that it should be. Some states have already deemed abortion “essential.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and their allies have already put out a statement complaining that abortions are being left out of essential health care services that need to remain open at this time. Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio is at war with the state Attorney General and Health Department as they continue to perform abortions even though they have been directly ordered not to.

Planned Parenthood claims they can still achieve the goal of conserving medical resources for essential health care personnel combatting COVID-19 by remaining open. How would they do this? They didn’t explain.

It doesn’t take a lot of time to deduce that the abortion industry is likely dispensing abortion pills to pregnant women who are past the FDA-approved gestational age limit of 10 weeks. The abortion industry has already been experimenting with performing abortions past 13 weeks on vulnerable women in Burkina Faso, Columbia, and Mexico.

Even the once abortion-neutral humanitarian aid group Doctors Without Borders (DWB), with the approval of the World Health Organization, has instructional guidelines on how women can perform their own drug-based abortion up to 22 weeks!

Although they claim these instructional videos are for training their medical workers, they acknowledge that they expect women to go to the site in order to learn how to induce their own abortions.

The fact that chemical abortions already carry significant complications and that the rate of those complications only increase as the gestational age of the pregnancy increases shows that Doctors Without Borders are bordering on medical malpractice.

The complications that can arise from taking the abortion pill place women in life-threatening situations that may require follow-up visits to the abortion clinic and the emergency room. We are now likely to see scenarios where women who have taken the abortion pill regimen will need blood transfusions, treatment for infections, and possible follow-up surgery to complete the abortion, which means they will need to go to the emergency room and wait for treatment next to possible victims of the coronavirus pandemic. How is this conserving medical resources? How is this protecting the safety and health of women?

Thankfully, there are still some reputable medical leaders, such as AAPLOG, who refuse to put women in this type of danger by categorizing abortion as an “essential service.”

Killing innocent children in the womb should never be considered any type of “service,” in the midst of a pandemic or not. By encouraging women to self-manage an abortion up to 22 weeks and calling do-it-yourself abortion a “paid” service, the abortion industry has been and is currently showing us that they have no regard for human dignity whatsoever—for the child or the mother.

Women’s History Month: Esther

by Patrina Mosley

March 19, 2020

March is Women’s History Month (WHM), so it’s a great opportunity to commemorate the contributions of women to American history. The most influential book in the United States—even the world—is the Bible; it not only shapes the way we Christians live, it also helped set the foundations for the way our nation is governed. Thus, women featured in the Bible, despite never having lived in America, have contributed greatly to the spiritual heritage of our nation. Periodically throughout the month, we will be sharing their inspiring stories.

Esther, whom God used to save the Jews from genocide in the late fifth century (483-473) B.C., is one of the most admired women in the Bible.

Through a series of providential events, the Jewish maiden Esther was chosen by King Xerxes of Persia (alternatively named Ahasuerus) to be his new Queen. Shortly after Esther was crowned, Haman, one of the king’s officials and an enemy of the Jews, manipulated the king. He acquired approval to annihilate all of the Jews living in the kingdom. Up until this point, Esther had never spoken of her nationality. But her cousin Mordecai urged her to petition the king about the matter. Esther was reluctant, knowing that going before the king without an invitation could result in her execution.

Here are two lessons we can glean from Esther’s story:

1. She was confronted with the truth and then committed to doing the right thing.

[Mordecai] sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

- Esther 4:13-16

2. Her strength and courage grew over time as she relied on God for wisdom.

On the third day, Esther went before King Xerxes despite fearing for her life. But God had given her favor with the king since the moment he met her. That favor continued when she approached his throne. Instead of coming right out with “save my people from slaughter,” she invited the king and Haman to a banquet. No better way to get a man’s heart than through his stomach!

At this banquet, the king asked Esther what she really wanted and promised to give her whatever she requested. Again, Esther did not come right out with her true request but instead invited the king and Haman to another banquet she would hold the next day (Esther 5:1-7). That night, fueled by discontentment and hatred, Haman set up gallows to execute Mordecai on. However, at the second banquet, Esther revealed her nationality to the king and exposed Haman’s plot to annihilate her people. The king was so furious with Haman that he had him hung on the very gallows that Haman had built for Mordecai! (Esther 7)

Since the prior edict of a king could not be reversed, Esther asked the king to give the Jews permission to annihilate anyone that tried to kill them, and he did (Esther 8). Esther repeated her request for a second day, and the king granted her request a second time! (Esther 9)

Esther’s Role “For Such a Time as This”

Once Esther decided to do what was right, her strength and courage grew over time as she relied on God for wisdom. From the moment Esther first requested the king come to her banquet, to the end of the story when she asked for the Jews to defend themselves for a second day in a row, we see her courage grow more and more with each request as God gave her favor with the king.

Esther’s dependence on God allowed her to reach the king in a winsome way, and by delaying her actual request, it gave time for Haman to build his own deathtrap! Only God could have orchestrated the timing of such events to bring about deliverance for his people. Esther knew how to listen and obey God for his instructions and timing. Mordecai even said God could use someone else to accomplish deliverance for his people, but it was evident that God had allowed her to be in a position of influence “for such a time as this.” Those six words are known synonymously with the story of Esther because it was evident that God’s providential hand was at work throughout.

Like Esther, it’s okay if all our courage and strength doesn’t come immediately; sometimes it doesn’t. But once confronted with the truth, we must decide to do right, regardless of the consequences, and immediately seek God for wisdom on how and when to do the right thing for his glory.

Women’s History Month: Shiphrah and Puah

by Patrina Mosley

March 11, 2020

March is Women’s History Month (WHM), so it’s a great opportunity to commemorate the contributions of women to American history. The most influential book in the United States—even the world—is the Bible; it not only shapes the way we Christians live, it also helped set the foundations for the way our nation is governed. Thus, women featured in the Bible, despite never having lived in America, have contributed greatly to the spiritual heritage of our nation. Periodically throughout the month, we will be sharing their inspiring stories.

Shiphrah and Puah are two women written about in the Book of Exodus:

The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”

The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”

So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

- Exodus 1:15-22 (NIV)

Shiphrah and Puah defied Pharaoh’s order—risking their lives in the process—because they revered God more than man. In the New Testament’s Book of Acts, Peter and the apostles found themselves in a similar predicament. They had to choose between obeying the high priest, who ordered them not to preach the Gospel, or obeying God, who had commanded them to preach the Gospel to all nations. For Peter and the other apostles, the choice was clear: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29). They undoubtedly remembered Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:28, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Understanding God’s infinite authority and power—and humanity’s finiteness in comparison—will put things in perspective rather quickly. It gives us the courage to do what is right, even if it might cost us everything. Shiphrah and Puah understood and believed that God is the ultimate rewarder of righteousness and the ultimate punisher of evil. The faith of these two women saved many lives as a result. But that wasn’t the end of their story: God noticed Shiphrah and Puah’s faith and blessed them with children of their own. God takes notice of our obedience and love for him.

History could have easily forgotten these two midwives. Instead, Scripture mentions Shiphrah and Puah by name, ensuring that they and their fear of God would be remembered forever. While their story is brief—only eight verses in the book of Exodus—it has nevertheless been sovereignly preserved for all of us to learn from and emulate. Christians are exhorted to obey those in authority (Romans 13), but when their commands are in direct conflict with the commands of God, we should do as Shiphrah and Puah did and fear God rather than man.

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