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Saturday, January 26, 2013

He Remembers the Barren

The highlight of my week in Fort Wayne was meeting Katie Schuermann, the recipient of this year's Sabre of Boldness award.
She is the first woman and first layperson to ever win the award. Here is the reason she was nominated: Mrs. Schuermann is author of the book He Remembers the Barren, and had spoken to groups of women burdened like her with the affliction of barrenness. In the course of these meetings she soon found herself hearing from women who had turned to in vitro fertilization as a last resort to ease their pain. In spite of the sensitive nature of the matter, she felt constrained to tell the truth in love about the unacceptability of in vitro fertilization. For us who know that life begins at conception, there is really no ethical alternative than to reject in vitro fertilization, in whose process fertilized embryos are always discarded. For her to have the courage to say so in such circumstances, and to speak up for life, for which she has endured much grief and rejection, is commendable.
In addition to a book, Katie also maintains a blog by the same name. He Remembers the Barren.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

CrossTalk: And A Happy New Year

“Happy New Year!” A week ago today we were greeting each other with this age old salutation. Did you ever wonder why? Why not “Merry New Year”? or “Solemn New Year”? or some other kind of New Year? Sure, nothing else has quite the right ring to it. But I think it goes deeper than that.

Think about the word “happy.” We all use it and know it as a good thing — a happy thing. But what exactly does it mean? Where does it come from?

It comes from an 800 year old English word “hap” which means a person’s luck, fortune or fate. From this word we get: haply, hapless, haphazzard, happen, happening, happenstance, happily, happiness and happy.

Given this background, it would seem that the word “happy” is a hold-over from some godless age. But wait, before you vow never to use it again, notice what happened when the Bible began to be translated into English. Instead of rejecting this word, the Christians knew that everything which happens, happens by God’s will. Even better, everything that God does is good.

It is for this reason that this entire word group took on a more ‘happy’ tone. No longer does it mean just blind luck, or fickle fate. Instead, it means good events, good things, and blessings. So Jesus says, “If you know these things, happy are ye if you do them” (John 13:17). And Job says, “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth” (Job 5:17).

This brings us back to “Happy New Year!” When you say these words, you are wishing God’s blessings and joy to come in the next year. That’s what we want. It what you wish for those you love and what you hope for your own life.

Now that we’ve looked at the word “happy” we also have a much better idea of how happiness happens. Happiness is a result of God’s doing His will in our lives. Because everything that God does is good. That’s true even when He is correcting me through difficulties (remember Job 5:17 above).

When you are living according to Jesus words, you are guaranteed to have a happy new year. For “happy are you if you do them” (John 13:17). When you are praying for God’s will to be done, you are guaranteeing your happiness. Jesus says, “whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you” (John 16:23). These promises are absolute!

What could possibly make you happier? As you go forward into this new year, this is your certainty in the face of doubts. This is your confidence in the face of fears. This is your joy in the face of sorrow.

Your happiness does not depend on what things happen or don’t happen in your life. Rather, your happiness rests on the certainty that what happens in your life comes from God. With God’s Word in your ears and God’s will in your prayers, you can look forward to the very happiest of New Years.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Exceeding the Speed of Thought

In his clear and engaging review of the latest book advocating a new morality, Matthew J. Franck makes two necessary observations.

1. Unlike any other issue of social justice in the history of America (or the world) same-sex marriage has absolutely no history. No one ever -- Christian, pagan, homosexual or straight -- thought that homosexuals having the right to marry is a matter of social justice.

2. With the advocacy of same-sex marriage, it is less about respect and kindness toward homosexual behavior than it is about redefing the purpose of marriage. Instead of marriage existing for the sake of the children, every advocate of same-sex marriage contends that marriage is for the financial and social benefit of those who are married.

Read the full article here: Same-Sex Marriage and Social Change: Exceeding the Speed of Thought