Archive for February, 2012

The headline was intended to provoke a response:  After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?

It worked.

And it is a trap for those who stand against such evil.

Obviously, real evil like this must be called out for what it is.  But when we do so, we actually grant the writers greater standing and credibility in the world than they deserve.  And they will be heros, to some, for their “courageous” academic work given the hundreds of angry blog postings and commentaries that already exist.

If we ignore it, the culture continues down a heart-hardening slope where the language concerning the destruction of the most vulnerable becomes normalized.  Evil behavior can then follow behind this language.

So, if it isn’t wise to ignore it, and it isn’t helpful to call it out, what should we do?

Here’s my suggestion: Call it what it is, and then dismiss it.  Be persistent in helping people see how evil this thinking is, and also how old it is. Strip it of its power to incite rage and let them run into a wall of determined, eternal, protective regard for the weakest among us.

The idea they propose isn’t really even clever or edgy.  For example, their promoting a new term for infanticide – ‘after-birth abortion’ – might be perceived as clever, but it certainly isn’t ground-breaking.  And including typically-developing babies as candidates for murder appears shocking, but healthy babies are being birthed and then killed, if they happen to be girls, in some parts of the world today.

No, this isn’t new.

I don’t fault Dr. Giubilini and Dr. Minerva for being ambitious.  Both are young scholars with very little published to this point in their careers and it is hard to get noticed.

But this is a horrible way for them to begin their academic careers.  Let us pray for them – really pray – that God would call them away from such thinking and that they would use their talents for much more positive, life-giving and God-centered purposes.

Someday God’s wrath against the evil behind this article will be set aside because they cling to Jesus and his righteousness, or they will be held personally responsible for it and face God’s wrath themselves.  That choice is easy, but only if they are granted eyes to see it.

And wouldn’t the world be shocked if that were to happen!

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From last Friday’s San Jose Mercury News article, “Simply, early blood test offers insights into fetal health” by Lisa Krieger:

Raising the prospect of a world without birth defects, a Stanford-created blood test that can detect Down syndrome and two other major genetic defects very early in a woman’s pregnancy will be available next week.

The simple blood test spares women the risk and heartache of later and more invasive tests like amniocentesis.

But it has startling social implications – heralding a not-distant future when many fetal traits, from deadly disease to hair color, are known promptly after conception when abortion is safer and simpler.

The $1,200 test, which analyzes fetal DNA in a mother who is 10 weeks pregnant, is being offered to doctors March 1 by Verinata Health, a biotechnology company in Redwood City, Calif. It licensed a technique designed by Stanford biophysicist Stephen Quake.

“It’s a game changer,” said Stanford University law professor Hank Greely, who studies the legal and ethical implications of emerging technologies. The controversy over abortion “is about to be hit by a tsunami of new science.”

Actually, no, that isn’t true.  There is nothing new here at all with regards to the controversy over abortion.

Science is not an enemy of unborn children with disabilities.  Lots of mothers and fathers, upon learning their unborn child will have a genetic abnormality, continue to regard that child as a real human being and let the pregnancy continue to birth.  They have exactly the same information as people who choose to abort a child with a similar diagnosis.

The problem is in people and a culture that decides which human beings have value and which do not.  American culture has drawn the line at disability. In other cultures, the line is drawn at gender.  Science didn’t draw that line.

So, March 1 brings a new, earlier opportunity for people to know something about their unborn children.

Let us pray that thousands of mothers and fathers choose to make it an opportunity to trust God above all things, including when the news breaks their hearts and enters them into this world of disability.

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A really helpful reading from yesterday’s worship:

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Psalm 34:4-7

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Joni’s radio broadcast this week included an interaction she had with mother who has a son with an injury very much like Joni’s injury.

It was helpful in several ways – how to listen well to someone in pain, when to respond and when to be silent, and where Joni’s hope is.

There’s a time to listen and a time to just keep it to yourself. After all, her grief of loss is fresh and she’s a mother who can’t be expected to want anything less for her son than a body that works. I can understand that. And so, as she continued to talk about her hopes for healing, I continued to treasure in my heart quietly all those triple-fold blessings — no, not double — much more than that — triple. . .

He’s given me the chance everyday when I wake up to lean on Him out of desperate need. And I know I would not be doing that had I been healed.

You can listen to or read the entire thing here.

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Paul had a crummy week, health wise.  But earlier in the week we visited Grandma Darlene, and Paul was so happy he gave us a song.

God is kind to drop these happy moments into our family – and I was glad I had my phone ready to catch it!

His other grandma taught him ‘A Bushel and a Peck’ some years ago.  I’m pretty sure he connects that song to being happy and safe and loved with his grandmas.

They are both tremendous blessings – God is good to give us godly grandmas who love their ‘different’ grandchildren!

And in case you couldn’t understand the words, here they are:

I love you, a bushel and a peck!
A bushel and a peck, and a hug around the neck!
A hug around the neck, and a barrel and a heap
A barrel and a heap, and I’m talkin’ in my sleep.
About you.

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I’m not sure where I first heard this, but it has been within the past month and it has been deeply encouraging.

I like this version in particular because they end with the chorus to The Stand.

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The headline for David Brown’s article in the Washington Post confirms it:  Genome news flash: We’re all a little bit broken.

Basically, the ‘average’ person has something wrong in their genetic makeup:

A new study estimates that the average person goes through life with 20 genes permanently out of commission. With each of us possessing about 20,000 genes, that means 0.1 percent of our endowment is broken from the start — and we don’t even know it. . .

“It does suggest that human beings have a bigger tolerance for mutation than we thought,” said Daniel G. MacArthur of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in England, who led the study published Thursday in the journal Science. “That we can actually have 20 genes knocked out and still be walking around without suffering any ill effects — that was surprising.”

Paul’s neurologist suggested we get more updated genetic testing on Paul a few months ago.  But, he noted then and which seems to be confirmed by this study, even if they found something it doesn’t necessarily mean it explains his unusual grouping of disabilities because there are genes that are ‘out of commission’ which don’t actually do us any harm. With as much as we know about the human body, there is still a great deal we don’t know.

But God does.  I’m glad for that!

And we’re not just a little bit broken – we are entirely broken!

God knows that, too.  Thankfully, he also provided the cure through Jesus Christ!

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  (Romans 5:18-21 ESV)

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The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. His government is exercised over inanimate matter, over the brute beasts, over the children of men, over angels good and evil, and over Satan himself.

No revolving world, no shining of star, no storm, no creature moves, no actions of men, no errands of angels, no deeds of Devil-nothing in all the vast universe can come to pass otherwise than God has eternally purposed.

Here is a foundation of faith. Here is a resting place for the intellect. Here is an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast.

It is not blind fate, unbridled evil, man or Devil, but the Lord Almighty who is ruling the world, ruling it according to His own good pleasure and for His own eternal glory.

Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God, p. 37.

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Every other week or so since June of last year I have written a blog posting at the Desiring God blog under the same banner as this blog, The Works of God.

Usually I prepare something new.  But I heard from more people than usual on my blog posting from a couple of weeks ago regarding prayer, so I offered that one, slightly modified, for the DG blog later this week.

I have one main hope for all those postings, even the unpleasant ones about abortion, euthanasia and genocide: that people would see God in disability in all his sovereignty and goodness.

And then, in seeing God this way, they would act to embrace and include and prepare all those, created in his image, who live with disability in this present age for the work he has prepared for them to make him look glorious.

Please pray that God would do more than we could possibly hope or expect!

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Jesus controls everything

Nancy Guthrie writes helpfully and beautifully about Jesus.

This quote is about life and death.

If Jesus is in charge of life and death, we can rest in the knowledge that he’s in charge of everything else as well, like a life impacted by disability:

Jesus himself controls life and death.

This means that when you face the death of someone you love, you don’t have to surrender that person to an unknown, uncaring nothingness. You can rest, knowing that the person you love who knows Jesus is safely in his care and under his loving control. Jesus holds the keys.

Even if you aren’t sure about your loved one’s relationship to Jesus, you can be confident in the character of the one who holds the keys, trusting that he will do what is right, remembering that the heart of the one who holds the keys is full of mercy.

And as you face your own death, which may seem far away or very close, Jesus reaches out to touch you and comfort you in your fear, reminding you that he holds the keys. Death cannot catch him off guard or sneak up on him. He is in control.

When we’re confident that Jesus is in control of our lives and our deaths, we don’t have to be afraid. We can surrender our need to always be in control, confident that Jesus not only holds the keys, he holds us as well.

Nancy Guthrie, Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrowp. 146.

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