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9/18/2011

A SIMPLE BEADED CROSS

My mother had been rushed to the hospital with a stroke.  I had rushed to her and, after the hospital had sent us away so they could run some test, was resting at her apartment with family.

I had pulled on a Cherokee bead work necklace with a cross on that morning because it reminded me of mother.  As we had driven, I had felt it there on my breast and prayed.   Now, I merely prayed.

After awhile, a little woman came to the door, another of the elderly living on the block.  She was tiny and sprite.  She was frail and sassy.  She reminded of my mother in as many ways as she did not remind me at all.  She asked after mother, expressed her concern and was obviously a friend.   She noted the necklace and it was obvious she liked it.   I saw her, reminding so much of someone I loved yet not looking anything like her and a total stranger and saw my mother.

I wanted to hold my mother. I wanted to express my love for my mother but I saw only this small, frail woman.  I slipped the necklace over my head and onto to her tiny shoulders.   Fingers made of pale parchment lifted it up and her old eyes glowed in happiness as she looked at it.   She left soon after, we went back to the hospital, and I never saw her again.

Thinking of that, I realized I had looked at her and not seen her at all. Instead, I had seen my mother. I had given something to her because of my love for someone else.  In a way, that may describe what happens when God looks at those who have come to believe in Jesus as their Savior.   Or to those who want to find forgiveness for their life's errors and sins.  God looks at us but sees the sacrifice on our behalf.  He looks at us but sees Christ.  God looks to the one loved and sees us.

So, perhaps, that is also what we are supposed to do as well. As we weave our way through life meeting people here and there we should have the eyes that do not see the sinner but the savior. That do not see the fault but the forgiveness.  Do not see the stranger, but the one we love.




... namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:19)

9/09/2011

Ages and Stages

Some aging babyboomers are reluctant to accept they are getting older.  The generation that embraced the might and power of all things youthful is now faced with crow's feet in the mirror.  In a life predicated on youth, vigor, sexuality, and me-centric living there are now heel marks where they are fighting against the approach of their own mortality.

This is especially hard on women because in the youth-centric world this generation created there is no room for the grandmother, the older woman, or, eventually the wise woman.  Centuries past, in a world long ago, there was an understanding that women were like the seasons and each one brought its own special joys, challenges, and honors.  The youth was lithe, innocent, joyous, and filled with growth.  The middle ages were strong, sexual, capable, and fecund.    The latter ages were wise, intelligent, loving, and powerful because of their years.

Woman has often been depicted in these three stages. She has been child, wife, crone..  She has been Spring, Summer, Fall,   She has been youth, mother, hag.   Different times and different labels.

It is probably time to re-discover the lost sense of stages over the lost self in ages.  We were once young, we were once middle aged, and now we approach the threshold of the wise woman years.  Can we live up to it?

9/05/2011

Abortion

This is a delicate issue, fraught with strong emotional responses and political maneuvering. The recent debate over defunding Planned Parenthood is just the latest volley in on ongoing war of ideologies.


Currently in North American there are 23 abortions to every 100 live births.


Pro-Life (Some of the Arguments):

The unborn child is a human being with potential rights of its own.
It is a unique creature created by God and to destroy it for any reason is murder.
It (abortion) becomes nothing but an alternatives method of birth control.
Woman, in her role as carrier and nurturer, becomes the slave owner of the potential life inside her.
Woman alone has say over the creature being formed within her and no one, not even the other DNA contributor, has any business butting in.
When we choose to abort we are devaluing all of life and arbitrarily setting ourselves up to determine who is worthy of life and what constitutes such a life.


Pro-Choice (Some of the Arguments):

It (abortion) saves lives, women died every year from 'back alley' abortions before it was legalized.
Victims of incest, rape, or abusive relationships were forced to carry offspring of these situations.
It is a woman's right to have a say over her own body and its health.
It is a woman's right to determine when she will reproduce and no one else's.
The nascent offspring is merely a collection of cells until it is born - being born grants humanity and not becoming pregnant.
Women would die from being forced to carry a child to term due to health reasons; an emergency abortion is a right and expectation for proper female reproductive health.
Women will be allowed to die without a right to an abortion
There is also a lot of illogic at work due to the emotional component.


For example, supporters of abortion always trot out that 'women will die because emergency abortions were not available.' Yet, no source, citation, or statistic is ever cited to support that emergency abortions for health reasons are a major problem. Such may exist, but they seem to hard to find. How many women actually have to have a medically induced abortion to save their life?


Another example, supporters say 'women will die without having abortions because they did before Roe vs Wade'. Yet, they also die from abortions since Roe vs Wade. The high figures cited by supporters often fails to take into consideration the overall gradual IMPROVEMENT of health care in the decades just before and since abortion was legalized.


A researcher can pull out a statistic on women who died from abortions in the 1920's or 1930's and point to the high numbers as proof of the need for abortions. The high numbers also mirror the statistics in ALL medical procedures during the same time period. Medicine was crappy then and everybody suffered not just women having 'abortions.' Research in England states death rates in rich and poor nations about the same and working from the assumption rich means more progressive, i.e. more civilized and more abortions, that is thought provoking. One study even suggests abortion may be a contributing factor to women's mortality rates.


It is amazing that Planned Parenthood, an organization birthed in the nihilistic eugenics philosophy of the early 20th century, would today bear images on its website of people from the very groups it would have seen selectively eliminated to produce a more perfect human race. Sanger, the erstwhile founder, believed in selectivity in reproduction....


In A Plan for Peace (1932), for example, Sanger proposed a congressional department to:





Keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such asfeebleminded, idiots,morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of 1924.[22]

And, following:


Apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.[22]


And basically, that is where it all comes full circle. The most negative element of abortion is the de-humanization it engenders. So much so that modern philosophers such as Harvard's own faculty can pontificate that parents should be able to determine abortion up till and including the first full month after birth.

9/04/2011

WOMAN AS THEOLOGIAN

God created humanity as both male and female.  God gave to both dominion of this world. God used throughout scripture both male and female to accomplish the goals of God's heart. God included men and women, in pointed and definite ways, in the ministry of Jesus Christ. The church was filled with, led by, and spread through the work of both men and women.  Women have contributed to the understanding of God throughout time.

Women such as Julian of Norwich, Theresa of Avila,  Cathryn Booth, Phoebe Palmer, Elizabeth Achtiemier, Georgia Harkness, Mildred Bangs Wynkoop...well the list could go on ... who will be next to rightly divide the Word of Truth?   Who will be the next ones to integrate the male and female experiences into a common, and balanced, understanding of the relationship of God to Human?




Biography

Biography
Noel Brooks: A Life Shining and Burning, 1914-2006

Waiting...Renewing...Moving

Waiting...Renewing...Moving

Huldah's Gate Badge - Men and Women Before God

Huldah's Gate Badge - Men and Women Before God
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