What makes parenting hard: There are no easy times, but there is hope

The biggest problem we face in this world, John Piper preached this past Sunday, is not politics or culture or choices we make but the power of sin. Because sin entered the world, childbearing and childrearing, for one example, became hard. There are no easy times for parents, Piper said, although some times may be harder than others. “If you think (parenting) is easy, you’re dreaming,” he said. “Or wait a few days.”

His sermon, “Parenting with Hope in the Worst of Times,” looked at the situation the prophet Micah was in around 700 years before Jesus was born. What we see in Micah 7 is parenting in the worst of times, where the situation in his culture and at home is bleak. There is no one he can trust, whether it’s in his community or even his own home. In verse 5: “Put no trust in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your arms.” And it goes further in verse 6: “For the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.”

Is this uncommon? No. Many have families that are torn with strife, broken in some way either by corruption or some other problem. Or even something else. Jesus in Matthew 10:34 quotes this very passage where he talks about the way he divides one family member from another because of his calling. He does it. Not because he loves to break up families, but because there is something so radical about what Jesus demands that it causes disruptions in families. You know what this looks like. The family that doesn’t get that call accuses the one called of being “arrogant” or “too good” for them. Jesus wants them all, but the split can happen over Jesus. The point is is that the tear is not always over some evil.

What is the response? What can we learn from what Micah says? Here are his words from Micah 7:7-10:

7 But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. 8 Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me. 9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me. He will bring me out to the light; I shall look upon his vindication. 10 Then my enemy will see, and shame will cover her who said to me, “Where is the LORD your God?” My eyes will look upon her; now she will be trampled down like the mire of the streets.Read More »

Mardy Gilyard: More to the story

One of our favorite football players is Mardy Gilyard because not only does he excel at what he does — catching passes for the University of Cincinnati — he also takes time out to console small children. But now we find that he has a great work ethic to go along with his big heart. So, for the time being, kids: Don’t be the next Tiger Woods, instead be another Mardy Gilyard.

The chilling words recounted

ultrasoundGretchen Naugle, wife of Desiring God resources director Lukas Naugle, recounts at A Beautiful Work a disturbing episode in her life:

This month marks a strange anniversary of sorts for me. It was 2 years ago this month that I was sitting in a chair looking at my unborn baby in 4D. She was precious! We had previously found out that our baby had several “markers” for down syndrome and had enlarged kidneys which may have required surgery upon birth. Thus we were monitored more carefully and had a ton more ultrasound shots at a hospital. This was the first level 3 ultrasound with this pregnancy (I had had one with my 3rd with no problems). I got to gaze upon my baby for almost a full hour – it was wonderful! I was there alone as my husband was out of town. The specialist doctor called me in after the ultrasound to go over the findings. The first words out of his mouth to me were “Well you will have to come in tomorrow for your abortion because of how far along you are.” I was utterly shocked and devastated. All I could do was mutter “What??????” He then proceeded to tell me that my baby had more “markers” for down syndrome and it didn’t look good. I was more shocked that his automatic assumption was that I would abort my baby. I almost couldn’t comprehend what he was telling me in that office. All I wanted to do was run as far away from that man as possible.

Read the rest of the post to see that, unfortunately, Gretchen’s encounter is not that uncommon for women with babies diagnosed with Down syndrome.

New ground being broken in Georgia on embryo adoptions

From the Christian Examiner:

ATLANTA — The nation’s first law governing the adoption of embryos is set to take effect in Georgia after being passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.

The “Option of Adoption Act,” which will go into effect July 1, will provide safeguards for both parties involved in an embryo adoption, which is a unique form of adoption in which a couple — often an infertile one — adopts one or more surplus embryos from a couple who has undergone in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

Embryo adoption allows the adopting mother to experience pregnancy and has been promoted by pro-lifers for years but, until now, has not been governed by the laws of any state. Significantly, the Georgia bill amends Georgia’s adoption laws to make clear that embryo adoption in fact is a form of adoption. The law also allows adoptive parents to file in court for a final order of adoption (for the child who is born as the result of the embryo adoption), which supporters of the new law say clarifies that the adopting parents are eligible for claiming some but not all of their expenses for the federal adoption tax credit, which this year is more than $11,000.

Although embryo adoption tends to be cheaper than traditional adoption it nevertheless can still cost several thousands of dollars.

Couples who undergo an embryo adoption in a state without such a law as Georgia’s must sign private legal contracts that treat the embryo as property. The new Georgia law defines an embryo as “an individualized fertilized ovum of the human species from the single-cell stage to eight-week development.”

The law has the support of the nation’s embryo adoption programs, including Nightlight Christian Adoptions, which runs the nation’s oldest embryo adoption program — the Snowflakes program.

“Science has outpaced our legislation in clarifying the rights of the parties in potential disputes involving embryo transfer between families,” Ron Stoddart, executive director of Nightlight Christian Adoptions, previously told Baptist Press. “There needs to be certainty, particularly before an embryo is thawed and implanted in the womb of an adopting mother.”

HT: Zach Nielsen

Young woman making a difference exposing Planned Parenthood

Reuters recently profiled 20-year-old Lila Rose, who has gone undercover to expose how Planned Parenthood is working in several states to cover up abuse suffered by young women and push abortions. From the story:

Rose stages her own sting operations at Planned Parenthood clinics, posing as a pregnant teenage girl to shine a light on what she says is the taxpayer-subsidized organization’s cover-up of sexual abuse.

She claims Planned Parenthood counselors routinely ignore their duty to report statutory rape when dealing with young girls impregnated by older men and often tell them to lie about their age or the identity of their sex partners rather than alert authorities.

Planned Parenthood declined to discuss specifics for the story, but maintained that they have strict guidelines for dealing with mandatory reporting. The organization also says that corrective measure have been taken in instances where employees violated policy. Still, the fact that the same thing has occurred time after time leaves one with the impression that Planned Parenthood is talking out of both sides of its mouth, so to speak. Because Planned Parenthood is a taxpayer-funded organization, there are ramifications for this kind of blatant disregard. From the Reuters article:

Because minors cannot legally consent to sex with an adult, health providers are required to alert authorities when an underage girl has been impregnated by an older man.

A grand jury in Marion County, Indiana, is investigating Planned Parenthood based on Rose’s videotapes and authorities in Tennessee and Arizona say they are reviewing the matter.

Officials in Tennessee and Orange County, California, have considered suspending public funds to the organization.

For people who care about abuse and torture, please note that Planned Parenthood gets $320 million each year from U.S. taxpayers so they can send children back to abusive situations for the sake of keeping abortions under cover. If protecting women’s rights is the big deal in this country that it’s supposed to be, more people should be made aware of this.

Mohler: Obama avoids the issue of abortion itself

Alber Mohler says that President Obama, in his address at Notre Dame, talked about talking about abortion but never addressed the issue itself. Rather, he gave some evasive phrases:

Mr. Obama went on to call for “Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.” In the end, the President’s comments were entirely about how Americans should discuss or debate abortion. There was no serious consideration of abortion itself. President Obama merely talked about talking about abortion.

This was a moral evasion and an insult to the importance of the issue. If the President had actually addressed the issue of abortion — if he had actually even offered a defense or rationale for his own position — he would have dignified the issue. Instead, Mr. Obama issued what amounted to a call for civility.

When the President called for Americans to agree that, while differing on abortion, “we can still agree that this heart-wrenching decision for any woman is not made casually,” he failed to make clear why this is so. If the unborn baby is not a person who possesses an intrinsic right to life, why is the decision to abort so “heart-wrenching?” If the fetus is just a collection of cells, why the angst? Furthermore, does the fact that a decision is “heart-wrenching” make it right or rational?

Your family makes a poor god

Matt Chandler, pastor at The Village Church in Texas, is preaching through a series called “The Great Cause.” During this past Sunday’s message, “The Reason,”  he spoke about how we really aren’t good at all, pointing to God loving us way more than we deserve. One part of the message I thought was particularly apt was when he talked about how our sins keep us from God.

In Isaiah 59:2 it says: “but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” When we are fallen we try to make secondary things in our lives the primary thing. The excerpt below is stinging in our church culture.

The Great Cause excerpt

Apparently, when they say women’s rights they don’t mean teenagers

From liveaction.org:

MEMPHIS, April 20–A counselor at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Memphis, TN was caught on hidden camera coaching a 14-year-old girl to lie to a judge so he would not find out about her 31-year-old boyfriend and the girl could obtain a waiver for an abortion without her parents’ knowledge. This is the sixth Planned Parenthood clinic implicated in a developing multi-state child abuse scandal involving the deliberate suppression of evidence of statutory rape.