BLOGPOST: Womb for Rent, Child for Sale

“One egg, one embryo, one adult-normality. . . . From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo into a full-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress.”  Aldous Huxley, Brave New World.
We’ve all heard the wonderful stories. Married couples who were unable to conceive become parents. A generous woman endures the discomforts of pregnancy to give them the ultimate gift. And then we imagine–a happily ever after ending.
And for some, it is a dream come true. Life as they had imagined it would be. It just began a different way.
But that’s not what surrogacy means for many children. Nothing like happily ever after. Continue reading “BLOGPOST: Womb for Rent, Child for Sale”

BLOGPOST: The Very Divided United Methodists

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3 (KJV).
Which way is this train headed? Because it can’t go in two directions at the same time.
The worldwide body of United Methodists (UMC) is a train trying to go in two directions. It remains to be seen which side will end up with the engine and determine the destination.
The church’s recent General Conference, held once every four years,  a debate over “LBGTQ” issues ensued, described as “intense” and “tearful”. But instead of resolving the conflict the UMC kicked the can down the road. They will come back in four years and argue over the unresolvable question later. Continue reading “BLOGPOST: The Very Divided United Methodists”

BLOGPOST: Who of us is human enough?

Roland C. Warren sees a disturbing trend in the argument over human life. Early in the abortion discussion, advocates for abortion (and euthanasia) argued that there was “human life” (the mother) and “not yet life” (the unborn), and even “no longer life” (the sick or infirm).
So we had life and non-life. And then ultrasound technology let us peer into the womb where we clearly see–life!
Now, advocates for “freedom of choice” are acknowledging that life is present–and even human. But there is a structure of hierarchy. Some lives supersede others.
Warren cites Mary Elizabeth Williams who penned an article titled “So What If Abortion Ends a Life?” Williams acknowledges that life begins at conception. And acknowledges that the admission can weaken her own argument.
But… Continue reading “BLOGPOST: Who of us is human enough?”

Victory for the Little Sisters–and for Us!

The U.S. Supreme Court dropped a pebble into the water the other day. The ripples will go on. And they are moving in a good direction.
The Little Sisters of the Poor,the order of nuns where Mother Teresa began her ministry, has been in the news regularly since their refusal to follow Obamacare regulations. The regulations would have forced them to violate their deeply held convictions.
The media and many others, myself included, were expecting a tie vote that would force the nuns to get in line, pay big fines, or just shut down.
But that isn’t what happened. Continue reading “Victory for the Little Sisters–and for Us!”

The Powerful Imagery of Life

“I ran the largest abortion clinic in the world for two years. I had no conflicts whatsoever at the time I was doing the abortions. I changed my mind because the new scientific data which we were getting from advanced technology persuaded me that we could not indiscriminately continue to slaughter what was demonstrably a human being.” –Dr. Bernard Nathanson
America is one of only 30 percent of countries permitting abortion on demand. We surpass many of those countries by allowing it, with few restrictions, until birth and for any reason. That liberality opens the door for late term abortions. And we as a people are becoming more uncomfortable with that.
We can see into the womb now. We know who resides there periodically and temporarily. And now we are voting that some of these people not be torn apart–yes, literally. The legislatures of five states have so voted. And more are considering similar legislation. Continue reading “The Powerful Imagery of Life”

A Rescued Life Rescuing Others

Monica Kelsey is a mother, a firefighter, and a medic. She saves lives. But her lifesaving efforts go beyond typical emergency response.
Soon after Kelsey was born in 1973, her teenage mother handed her to a nurse at a hospital and walked away. Today, that once abandoned baby spearheads an effort to save abandoned babies.
Continue reading “A Rescued Life Rescuing Others”

Mountains, Mallo Cups, and Train Whistles

“When a community loses its memory, its members no longer know one another. . . How can they know one another if they have learned one another’s stories? If they do not know one another’s stories, how can they know whether or not to trust one another? People who do not trust one another do not help one another, and moreover they fear one another. And this is our predicament now.” (Wendell Berry, qtd. by Rod Dreher)
When I wake up in my brother’s house, eight counties away from my home, the sound of train whistles reminds me of home. But those rails are so close, the sound so much louder, I know I’m not home. An early morning visit to the deck off his dining room confirms the conclusion. No mountains. A low horizon. Continue reading “Mountains, Mallo Cups, and Train Whistles”

A Prayer for Moms Still Waiting

My heart exults in the Lordmy horn is exalted by my God. I have swallowed up my enemies; I rejoice in your victory. There is no Holy One like the Lordthere is no Rock like our God. I Samuel 2:1-2. 
Mother’s Day is when we remember our mothers and when we celebrate being a mother. For some, it is a cruel reminder of blessings yet to be bestowed.
Hannah was such a woman. Other women reminded Hannah of what she did not have–a child of her own. She wept. She prayed. She endured.
She finally received the blessing she had so yearned to hold. Then she gave her child to God. The one life dream she yearned to have! She did not know that God would ever give her another child.
But He did. He God blessed her over and over again.
Today, I am thankful for my mother. Thankful for the women who have mentored and encouraged me–who have filled the role of mother/sister in my life.
I am thankful for my children and grandchildren. Thankful to be a mother.
And I pray that those who yearn to have their hearts and arms filled with children will receive the answer Hannah received. Many times over.
Please, Lord!

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Loving Army of Believers

Faithful Christians of different traditions are soldiers in the same army, but our uniforms are different colors.  It’s as if we somehow believe it is not a war we are fighting but a game we are playing.  And the soldiers with different colored uniforms are players on a team we oppose—a team of bitter rivals—rather than our fellow soldiers who hold to the same creed and battle the same enemy.
Imagine two nations, each warring against the same evil foe.  The world is in peril as the evil enemy conquers more and more countries, stealing more and more hearts.  The enemy troops are captives.  The soldiers who fight the enemy are duty bound volunteers whose mission is to call the enemy’s troops to freedom. Continue reading “Loving Army of Believers”

Prayer for our nation and from the nations

“Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God,” Revelation 3:2.
Today is the 65th National Day of Prayer in the US.  There is an interesting history to the day. And the observance has spread beyond our borders. Others far from our shores are praying for America.
The roots of the observance go back to post World War II America. In 1952, Conrad Hilton (of Hilton Hotels) and Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas initiated a bill to direct the president to name a day of prayer yearly.
Stephen White explains that “Hilton came to view prayer as no less a necessity and no less a sanctuary than work. ‘Some men jump out windows, some quit,’ his mother told him during the Great Depression. ‘Some go to church. Pray Connie. It’s the best investment you’ll ever make.’ Even at the darkest, most difficult moments of his life, Hilton always found strength and consolation in his faith.” Continue reading “Prayer for our nation and from the nations”