On Jan. 12, 2010, a deadly earthquake hit Haiti. It has been estimated that anywhere from 150,000 to maybe up to 500,000 people lost their lives in this tragedy. There is still much suffering as many who have survived have been left homeless. There are many ways you can help beyond being there physically. Among many choices you can consider I would offer Compassion International, which works with children and their families, and Food for the Hungry. I cannot strongly enough urge you to help in whatever way you can.
Since that day when the major quake hit Haiti, there has been an equally devastating human tragedy that has hit among the most defenseless people in our society. I am talking about abortion. There are some estimates that 3,000 babies in the United States and 130,000 babies worldwide are killed by abortion. John Piper puts it in perspective in his sermon on his observance of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday yesterday at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
There are about 3,000 abortions a day in the United States and about 130,000 a day worldwide. Which means that the horrific, gut-wrenching reality of Haiti’s earthquake on January 12 happens everyday in the abortion clinics of the world. And it is likely that if the dismemberment and bloodshed and helplessness of 130,000 dead babies a day received as much media coverage as the earthquake victims have—rightly have!—there would be the same outcry and outpouring of effort to end the slaughter and relieve the suffering.
Americans have been giving 1.6 million dollars an hour for Haiti Relief for the last ten days—a beautiful thing. I hope you are part of it. It is so unbelievably easy to give with phones and computers. But the funding and resistance to the suffering of the silent, hidden destruction of the unborn is not so easy. So the 3,000 babies who are crushed to death every day in America by the earthquake of abortion go largely unnoticed.
If you have been compelled to perhaps adopt a Haitian child because they have been left orphaned, how much more so should you consider adopting a child that may be aborted. Is there really any difference? The point is not that we should do less for situations like the one in Haiti, but rather that we should not ignore a far greater tragedy in our society. As I sat in my own church on Sunday I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that nothing was mentioned about this tragedy. It is much safer to be concerned about Haiti. I hope we can muster our courage to change that.
John Piper’s latest book, A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race and the Sovereignty of God is now available. In it, he examines the book of Ruth and how it’s themes are relevant in the 21st century. From the publisher:
The sovereignty of God, the sexual nature of humanity, and the gospel of God’s mercy for the undeserving-these massive realities never change. And since God is still sovereign, and we are male or female, and Jesus is alive and powerful, A Sweet and Bitter Providence bears a message for readers from all walks of life. But be warned, Piper tells his audience: This ancient love affair between Boaz and Ruth could be dangerous, inspiring all of us to great risks in the cause of love.
It appears that the long-delayed movie version of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third installment of The Chronicles of Narnia series, has finally wrapped in Australia. And the word is that Michael Apted, who some had feared as a poor choice to direct the feature, has done nothing to prove his critics wrong. Julia Duin, writing recently in the Washington Times, says Apted seems intent on backing off the Christian theme in the book:
“Voyage” director Michael Apted, who has admitted to excising a lot of the religious connotations out of his 2007 film “Amazing Grace,” sounds double-minded.
The Narnia films, he told Rhema FM, a New Zealand Christian radio station, “present a challenge, for me to put the material out there in an evenhanded and interesting way; and not to be, in a sense, narrow-minded about it, either narrow-minded in a faith way or narrow-minded in an agnostic way. I have to open my heart to what the stories are about.”
“Narrow-minded in a faith way”? That’s going to rev up Christians to see this movie.
This truly is disappointing since many fans of C.S. Lewis’ work had been eagerly waiting to see how these literary treasures would be made into movies. When Disney bailed on the series in Decenber 2008 after The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian (which already started to drift from the series’ Christian theme), there was much doubt as to whether the series would continue. Fox picked up the series and Dawn Treader, which was scheduled for a May 2009 release, was pushed back to May 2010. Now, Druin reports, the movie will be released in December. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not that you couldn’t enjoy the movie, it’s just that knowing what the books are like and then seeing the story altered in ways that I’m sure Lewis would be displeased with would be a huge letdown.
As before, my advice would be to find the books. Read them, both for your own sake and your children’s. See exactly what Apted thinks is so “narrow-minded.”
HT: Trevin Wax
Mat Perman, over at What’s Best Next, has a good post about why most people don’t keep their New Year’s resolutions — and how to keep yours. The idea of why people don’t is that they never envision how they will fit into their schedules. So, their resolutions never translate into anything more than wishful thinking. Something needs to happen. Perman explains:
Think of an Olympic athlete. They don’t simply say “my goal is to win the gold medal.” Instead, they adhere to a workout schedule. Without that concrete mechanism of action, the goal would simply be wishful thinking.
Now, what about those more intangible aims such as “lose 10 pounds”? How do you schedule that? Obviously you can schedule the exercise portion of that goal. But what about the “eating less” portion? Speaking from experience, it’s easy to get to the dinner table and forget (or deliberately neglect?) all intentions of eating healthy.
This is where reviewing your goals comes in. Mindsets that need to be more or less continuous (like “eat less”) tend to be kept in mind through regular review until they become second nature. The weekly review helps accomplish this; for things that tend to fall out of mind easily (like “eat less”), just pausing at the beginning of your work day to remember your aims can be helpful.
Which leads to one last thing: you have to keep your number of resolutions small. It’s not possible to create actionable mechanisms for or keep in mind a large number of new (or renewed) aims.
Also good to consider:
God approves of New Year’s resolutions
What if I fail?
It is now 2010, and many of us have been thinking of ways to discipline our lives. We may not all say it that way, but that’s what we intend. Some call them resolutions (I do) and we hope to improve our lives in some way by doing things either a new way or doing the things we already do in a better way. We need to change our way of thinking.
John Knight, in a post at The Works of God, points to an article in the New York Times that talks about how our brain functions and how, for example, in people who are blind it reorganizes the impulses that usually function for sight to do other tasks. It’s an amazing thing and, for me and many others, points to how God has made our brains in his infinite wisdom. Knight says that this also makes the miracle Jesus performed for the blind man in John 9 even more spectacular because the man’s sight was restored instantly and he saw clearly. By science, this man’s brain would have not been able to adjust this quickly because his it would not have been functioning in this capacity for a long time.
As I read John’s post I thought about my hopes for this year and the goals (resolutions) I have made for myself. I am left feeling hopeful because I can see that God can work in ways that are not my natural inclination, my current way of thinking (although my faith in God is present) to do the thing desired. So, I will press on in hope that God will do the daily miracle in my life. And I hope you, dear reader, press on in God as well that he will change our way of thinking.