Wednesday, December 31, 2008
At 2-and-a-half she's a lot of fun. But, as she's 2-and-a-half, she's also being used by God to teach me patience. Her favorite phrases: "but I don't WANT to," "but I don't LIKE it," and "but I don't WANT spankin's."
She's also becoming a great singer. Her favorite songs are "Twinkle, Twinkle," "abc's," "And Can it Be," "Joy to the World," and "Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners."
She's sure a cute kid. Daddy thinks she's abnormally smart. Mommy just has high expectations. Mommy would be more impressed if she didn't pee pee in her panties.
Every year, Dorothy Bode asks for two things for Christmas: a new Bible and a new baby. The previous year's Bible inevitably has been destroyed by one of the babies. "There's something about those crinkly pages that attract little hands," she said.
So the Bibles keep coming, and so do the babies. This year's arrival is Jeremiah.
This is the seventh Christmas that Dorothy and her husband, Robert, have adopted an infant. Their two-story home in northeast Minneapolis teems with 10 kids from infancy to 12 years old, a blend of birth and adopted children, white faces, black faces and unknown races. The new babies come to them battling autism, fetal alcohol syndrome or their birth mother's drug addiction.
To them this is not sacrifice, it's a mission. It's their way of following Jesus' teaching to love your neighbor. "Every person is equally valuable and important," Dorothy said. "[We are] doing all of this in Jesus' name -- with no strings attached for those we serve."
Love is one thing the Bodes have plenty of. Time? Not so much. But they manage with humor, faith and air-tight scheduling.
"There is a lot of love in this house, and you can feel it," Robert said. "But we do have to focus a lot on the kids. We've been to those seminars where they say married couples should have a date night once a week. We tried that, but it doesn't work for us. Now our date night consists of bringing in Chipotle and watching a movie after all the kids are in bed."
An open-door policy has added to the clan, making pseudo-family members out of a teenage neighbor who sought refuge during family distress and an 87-year-old from across the street who shows up for dinner so often that everyone calls him Grandpa.
Check out the slide show
If you guessed they attend Pipers church you get bonus points.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Noticing that Warren has gone out of his way to be considered a "cool" evangelical, Mohler writes (in fine form, I might add):
It doesn't take much. We would all like to be considered cool. Cultural opposition is a tough challenge and bearing public hatred is a hard burden. Being cool means being considered mainstream, acceptable, and admirable. Believing that same-sex marriage is wrong is enough to turn "uncool" in an instant, at least in many circles.
I am not throwing Rick Warren to the wolves over this. He now finds himself in a whirlwind, and he will not be the last. Pastor after pastor and church after church will face a similar challenge in short order. No matter how cool you think you are or think that others think you are, the hour is coming when the issue of homosexuality -- taken alone -- will be the defining issue in coolness. If you accept the full normalization of homosexuality, you will be cool. If you do not, you are profoundly uncool, no matter how much good work you do nor how much love and compassion you seek to express.
Liberal Protestantism came to this conclusion long ago, and those churches desperately want to be considered cool by the elites. Having abandoned biblical authority, there is nothing to prevent them moving fast into coolness. The only barriers are outposts of conservative opposition, but they will not last long.
Many in the "emerging" and "Emergent church" movements also state their intention to transcend the divisive issues like abortion and homosexuality. Some of these represent the quintessence of cool in cultural identification. But for how long? Eventually, the issue of homosexuality will require a decision. At that point, those churches will find themselves facing a forced decision. Choose ye this day: Will it be the Bible or coolness?
Rick Warren has just found himself in the midst of a whirlwind. We must pray that God will give him wisdom as he decides what to do -- and what to say -- as he stands in this whirlwind. But every evangelical Christian should watch this carefully, for the controversy over Rick Warren will not stop with the pastor from Saddleback. This whirlwind is coming for you and for your church. At some point, the cost of being "cool" will be the abandonment of biblical Christianity. We had better decide well in advance that this is a cost far too high to pay.
Apparently, many Obama supporters are outraged that he would choose an anti-gay marriage pastor to pray at his inauguration. I find it fascinating. I've never been very cool. I'm o.k. with that.
1Co 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
NEW YORK: It may not seem so at the time, but moms-to-be who suffer through morning sickness during their pregnancies actually may be fortunate - they have less chances of developing breast cancer later in life.I'm not sure this will actually make me feel better, should God so bless us again, but it's interesting nonetheless. Just further evidence of God's amazing design.
Researchers in the US have carried out a study and found that women who experience pregnancy nausea have almost 30 per cent lower risk of developing breast cancer in later stages of life than those who experience nine nausea-free months.
"Although the exact mechanism responsible for causing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy has yet to be pinpointed, it likely is a result of changing levels of ovarian and placental hormone production, which may include higher circulating levels of human chorionic gonadotropin.
"This hormone possesses several activities that have potential protective effects against cancer cells," the 'ScienceDaily' reported, quoting lead researcher David Jaworowicz of the University of Buffalo as saying.
In fact, the researchers came to the conclusion after analysing data from a population-based case-control study of breast cancer conducted in a group of women aged between 35 and 79 years in two American cities between 1996 and 2001.
In their analysis, the team compared extensive data on pregnancy related conditions from 1,001 women with primary breast cancer and 1,917 women without breast cancer matched to cases by age and race who actually served as controls.
They found that the lower risk of developing breast cancer was linked to nausea and vomiting, and the evidence appeared stronger as the symptoms became more severe or persisted longer into pregnancy.
"Pregnancy is a time when the breast undergoes a variety of cellular and anatomical changes. We found that these pregnancy related factors serve as indicators of underlying biological conditions that may influence a woman's lifetime risk for breast cancer," Jaworowicz said.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate bleu cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because,
WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no persona l computers, no Internet or chat rooms.......
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not poke out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!
I never hitchhiked or ate worms, but I did the rest of it (but mostly in the 80's).
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Now, both Russell and I grew up in families where Christmas was a very special holiday. The most looked-forward-to time of year. I started playing my Christmas music in October. I wanted my Dad to be the first dad on the block to get his lights up.
I have fond memories of family times and gifts and music and sweets. But, I've had to ask myself if these things are a help or a hindrance to my love for Christ. It was with many tears that I've come to realize that my love for Christmas was really a love for the season, lights, gifts, family, music and magic.
People who don't love Christ still love Christmas. The Capitol building has a door decorating contest (and you know those people don't love Christ.) There are parties and Christmas cards and gifts in the secular world and I don't think it matters a hoot whether they say "Seasons Greetings" or "Merry X-Mas." Christ is not in their holiday.
I hate to be a bah humbug here. I really don't want to be. I think it's totally a matter of freedom of conscience for everyone to celebrate Christ's birth how they see fit. We know we're strange. I hope we don't mess our kids up too bad.
I've come to realize that, for me, no amount of seasonal magic can trump the signifigance of this:
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
My heart is too easily dazzled with the world's allurements. Until I'm more dazzled by the incarnation I must lay aside every encumbrance.