Thursday, June 30, 2005

A Good Law

From the Sun Sentinel website:

By DAVID ROYSE Associated Press Posted June 30 2005, 11:39 AM EDT

TALLAHASSEE -- Doctors will have to notify the parents of girls 17 and under who are seeking abortions starting Friday under one of several laws that go into effect.

The abortion measure followed a constitutional change that gave the Legislature the ability to put the new requirement into law _ although it has been challenged in court and could be delayed.

The law, signed earlier this year by Gov. Jeb Bush, will require doctors to phone or meet with parents of most girls 17 or under 48 hours before performing an abortion on them. If that's not possible, they can use certified mail 72 hours in advance. It wouldn't apply to girls who are married or have already had a child. The measure also lets judges grant a waiver based on a patient's best interests, her level of maturity or if she has been a victim of abuse by her parents.A similar 1999 bill was blocked by the courts, which found it violated the privacy provision in the Florida Constitution. But voters last fall approved a constitutional amendment creating an exception to the privacy guarantee.

The current measure has also been challenged in federal court, but so far it hasn't been blocked from taking effect Friday.Bush said this week that abortion is a serious medical procedure that parents ought to know about.``We're talking about allowing parents _ not to give their consent _ but to be notified,'' Bush said. ``To be notified if a child is having an abortion.... It is a very serious operation.''Abortion opponents say it could be dangerous for young women, particularly those who may be in unstable families.``The law really endangers the lives and health of young women,'' Stephanie Grutman, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Florida, said Tuesday. ``It has provisions in it that do not allow doctors to use their best judgment.''

As if doctors really have a judgment call to make. I've never heard of any doctor refusing a patient an abortion--he may have to refer to a specialist, but my understanding is that the patient has a right to an abortion if she wants one. So where does the doctor's judgment come in? They don't notify anybody's parents now. They can't. Even if a parent calls and asks if their daughter had an abortion, it is a violation of privacy law to answer that question. So how does this new law take away a doctor's judgment? I guess my point is this: you want an abortion, you call the clinic, make an appointment, and you do it. That's it. There's no judgment call in it for anyone except the girl-- who is a minor, mind you. This law only applies to single girls under 18. And the parents still don't have to give consent, they are merely informed. Really, the double standard here is ridiculous. You can't give a child any kind of medical treatment (with the exception of emergency life-saving care) without parental consent. Parents have to sign forms so that their children can use their asthma inhalers in school for crying out loud! I'm sorry that you are afraid to tell your parents. I'm sure it is a terrifying and horrible thing to do. But not telling them doesn't change the reality of the situation: an underaged girl making a life or death decision that will effect her emotional and physical health forever. I'd say she could use a little help with that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Looking for a Gracious Backbone...

... and a brain capable of understanding Samuel Rutherford (I've been assigned Lex Rex for class this week and it just isn't sinking in. Must be user error.)

Ugh. Just spent a depressing evening scouring the internet for more information and resources about embyro adoption/donation. I actually found a site that offered eggs from women whose SAT scores were over 1275. Unbelieveable. Nothing puts me in a Hemmingway mood faster than sorting through this junk. That was one reason that I decided to start blogging. I wanted to try to put something positive out in cyber space about this whole infertility thing. I want to share real hope, not hope contingent on a positive pregnancy test or a call from an adoption agency. Even Christian sites are very results oriented. I want to be reminded that God is in control NO MATTER WHAT. At all times. He is not surprised by anything, and He loves me more than anyone else. If He is all-good and all-knowing, then everything really is going to ok in the end, no matter what it looks like right this second. I need to be reminding of that over and over again. That's my hope and comfort.

Anyway, that is not what I was planning on writing about. I've identified another major character flaw. (I sure do seem to have a lot of them. Maybe that is what God meant when He said my heart was deceitful and I was full of hidden sin.) I can't stick up for truth. Actually, I've discussed that here before, but I was thinking about it again today. I want to be truthful and loving. But I don't know how. Well, it is something else to pray about.

Saturday, June 25, 2005


I got up at 7:30 this morning to drive my husband to work. I thought this would be a good way to jumpstart my day, because I would be up and awake and then get a lot done. Well, after I got home I read my Bible and prayed. I'm always praying for diligence, cuz I don't have a lot of follow through. I was feeling pretty lethargic and I thought maybe I'd go back to bed and read some more of Antonia Frasier's Royal Charles, which is not required reading for class and no, I haven't finished this week's required reading yet. Lazy, lazy girl. Well, God answered my prayer because I went into the kitchen and opened the cabinet and saw... ANTS! Yuck! Crawling on my cereal boxes and bread! What nerve! I cleared up the cabinet and went for the Raid, but the silly thing wouldn't spray so I had to go to the store and get some more really quick. Well, those ants galvanized me, let me tell you. I started cleaning out the cabinet and then moved onto the fridge which I thoroughly cleaned. We're not talking wipe-down, we're talking taking out the shelves and the drawers and scrubbing the whole thing (including the bottom tray-- ew!). This whole morning I've spent cleaning. Now I'm starting to get lazy again. Sigh. I hope God doesn't send me roaches or something! There's still plenty to do around here-- I could effectively bury the Jolly Green Giant with dirty laundry. Anyway, it always feels great to get some stuff done. I always feel better after I clean stuff up. Why is it so hard to get started?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

New Birth Mom Letter

We've drafted a new letter to include in our adoption portfolio. We still don't know what exactly the plan is as far as traditional vs. embryo adoption, but we just felt like we had a different perspective on what we wanted to say to a birth mother. So here it is. Our hearts bare and vulnerable before people we may never meet. I'm so very thankful that all things are in the hands of loving, all-wise heavenly Father.

Dear Precious One,

We know that things must not have gone quite the way you expected them to. Things didn’t go the way we thought they would either. But we are confident that for both you and us, God has plan that will work out for our best interests in the end-- even if things don’t always make sense at first.

We can’t imagine what it must be like trying to choose parents for your child by looking at a book! We’re praying that the Lord will help you as you make this important choice and that He will give you wisdom and peace as you sort through all the details. We often take comfort in Scripture when we feel overwhelmed. Psalm 34:4 says: “I sought the Lord and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” We are praying that God would help all of us to trust in Him.

We believe that the most important thing that a parent can do is to teach their child about God from the earliest age. We are very serious about doing this with any child that God brings into our home. We will pray with and for our child every day. He or she will listen to and memorize the Bible and hear about God’s great love for His people. We will try to the best of our ability to show that love to them everyday through our actions.

A child brought into our home will be surrounded by our large extended families that live here in Fort Lauderdale. Our little one will be taught at home by Jordan, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Jordan is committed to staying home full time once we have a child. Brian is nearly finished with a Master’s degree in Theology . He plans to become a college professor and a pastor. Education is very important to us, and we want to give our child every opportunity to excel.

We recognize that this decision is not one that you will make easily or lightly, and we realize that a child entrusted into our care is a very serious responsibility that we will have to answer for one day; to you, to our child, and to God. We pray that the Lord would give you peace and help you to make the best choice possible for your little one.

With much prayer and love,

Brian and Jordan

Thursday, June 16, 2005


I was recently talking to someone that I didn't know very well, and they criticized some very good friends of mine. Miss Talker did not know them at all, and instead of defending my friends, I tried to make up some lame "excuse" for them, which really only reconfirmed in her mind what she had been saying. Why wasn't I bold enough to tell her that she was being rude and judgemental? Why am I so afraid of conflict with the opinions (however ill-founded) of others? I have very strong beliefs and I can air them quite strongly in front of people that agree with me. Why do I become a shrinking violet when I'm around people who disagree? I don't want to a politically correct child of relativism anymore. I want to stand boldly and respectfully for truth at all times, no matter the audience. I pray that I will learn from this experience before I betray my friends or my beliefs again.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Technical Difficulty....

Hmm. When I posted my pictures, it messed up my site. I have no idea how to fix it, either. HTML is not my forte, which is why I like blogger. I can usually just type and post and it takes care of the fancy schmancy end of the deal. Help!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Photo Guy Must Think I'm Nuts

Ok, so you may or may not know that my husband is obsessed with baseball. Yes, I can say obsessed, beacuse anyone who has ever memorized the stats for every player in both leagues one season qualifies as obsessed. (Can you imagine what would happen if he ever turned his brain power to trying to rule the world???) At any rate, I love my husband and I hate tuning him out, but when it is something that I neither understand nor have any interest in, that invariably happens. So when my guy signed up for a fantasy league again in this year (In case you are as clueless as I was, that's where guys choose real major league baseball players for their imaginary teams and the computer keeps track of whose guys are doing the best.) I decided that I wanted a team too so that I could be interested in baseball. It worked, by the way. I now know what GIDP, OBP, and RBI mean, as well as the fact that Coco Crisp is not a breakfast cereal, but an outfielder. So my team is the Pink Sox, and we're doing pretty good. But every team needs a Mascot, right? I'm not about to pay some moron in an animal suit when I have a perfectly cute dog of my own. So Peekaboo is the Mascot for the Pink Sox. So I had to take some pictures of her to show off the world's best mascot to the other teams and make them jealous. So here they are:

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Of course, I took a bunch to make sure I got a good one. Now if that isn't bad enough, the Halloween pictures (Can you believe it?? Clearly we are no-life losers if it takes so long to get film developed.) were also on that roll:

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Obviously, I'm Little Red Riding Hood and Peekers is the Big Bad Wolf.

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I swear that I do NOT make a habit of dressing my self, my husband, or my dog up. Pinkie swear. Cross my heart, hope to die, these pictures must tell a lie!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

God speaks, but will I listen?

My husband preached again last Sunday evening.

Do you remember the post where I prayed that God would give me purpose?

Well, He remembered.

Brian was preaching from Psalm 138 and the verse 8, the last verse of the Psalm, leapt off the page at me: "The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me! O Lord, Your covenant faithfulness is eternal-- do not forsake the work of your hands!"

I may not-- correction-- do not know what God's purpose for my life is. But He does. And He accomplishes what He chooses. No one can thwart God's plan, not even me. So as I try to live out my faith, I can rest in Him. How foolish I am and so full of worries. He tells me over and over again to trust Him. He is the God of covenant-faithfulness and He will remember His people.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Have you ever met someone like this?

There was once a girl without a home;
the tale she told me would fill a tome.

She had no roof for her head,
nor a place to go to bed.

So I said, "Come with me,
rest in my house by the sea.

Emptyhanded she came,
but her tongue was not lame.

"I come from Timbuktu", said she,
"And I have been used horribly..."

" the Sheik Abul du Ret,
you never met anyone as awful as him, I bet!"

"I do not ..." I began,
but it mattered not, for her tongue still ran.

"I am a princess, and I must always drink
ginger ale, I think. Or perhaps some tea, or I will cause a stink!"

I am the most patient person I know,
and kindly too, but much too humble to say so."

She spun fantastic tales of emerald isles
and quick escapes from crocodiles.

I marvelled at how quickly she could tell a lie.
She could tell a lie without batting an eye.

And she would fume with indignant ferocity
if you questioned her veracity.

The time came for us to part our way,
and she did not thank me for the stay.

Instead with kicking and screaming,
she talked without any meaning.

As she left my hearing she turned and howled,
"My father the King will have you disembowelled!"

And now with a wry look on my face,
I will think twice before accepting my next charity case!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Scholarship Attempt

There is a small scholarship at Knox that is given for the best essay on how Sunday School can be the most interesting hour of the week. Interesting is definitely not the attribute that I would choose as being the most important. But since I am trained in the field of education and have given a lot of thought to teaching kids, I decided I should at least take a shot at it. So even though it is pretty long because of the essay requirements, I thought I'd post it here since I spent the time writing it. Here it is:

When most people think of Sunday School, enjoyment is not often the first thought that comes to mind. While our goal should never be to please ourselves during worship or study times, time spent at church really can be the most interesting time of the week for children. What could be more captivating for a curious child than the beauty of the truest love story of all time and the immensity of the Creator who authored it? The heart of the truly fascinating Sunday School hour must be the glorious gospel of Christ, laid out in truest truth of all time: Holy Scripture. When we are sharing the Word with others with love and passion, we are fulfilling our true purpose in life: glorifying God and enjoying him. No television show, board game, Game Boy, snack, toys, or Bible trivia game can compete with that kind of ultimate fulfillment. Sunday School would look radically different and be much more interesting, if perhaps less entertaining, if we were committed to Scripture teaching instead of fun, looked at Sunday School as a chance to exercise the gift of imagination; and had a deeper, more committed love for our Savior and our students.

A reliance on the efficacy and beauty of the Bible
The problem with many Sunday School programs is a failure to believe in the beauty and fullness of God’s Word. If we truly believed that God’s Word was living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, we would not replace studying infallible truth with play time, snack time, and game time. As children grow older they begin to reject Christianity and we are shocked, but if we have given them a misrepresentation of Christ perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. Glow-in-the-dark Jesus Loves Me bracelets aren’t what sustained the apostles through torture, prison, and martyrdom. We should not rob our children of the spiritual nourishment that they need.
We must teach the whole counsel of God, supporting our covenant families and helping to establish our new converts in the truths of faith. Children should be taught Scripture memorization from the earliest possible age. Time and time again we hear about believers who God has encouraged and strengthened in times of need by reminding them of verses memorized in childhood. God Himself has commanded us to hide His Word in our hearts as a safeguard against sin. It is universally acknowledged that young children have a unique capacity for memorization. We should not waste this golden window of opportunity for our littlest ones.
Not only should we teach Scripture memorization, we should also teach theology. The doctrines of God, man, sin, the church, and the end times should be taught in a systematic fashion. We shouldn’t forget that we are raising the pulpit of the next generation. It is tragic how many men come to adulthood, and even to seminary, without basic Bible knowledge. Our children can and should be taught the books of the Bible, who authored them, when, the audience to whom they were written, and basic outlines of each book.
This must all be done at an age appropriate level, but if we were this serious about teaching the whole Bible then Sunday School would not be the province of Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus alone. Too often we use children’s immaturity as an excuse for our own laziness. This much teaching is a lot of work! Nobody has created any coloring sheets or puppets about Melchizidek.

The use of one of God’s finest tools: the imagination
This is not to say that the Sunday School hour needs to look like boot camp or a puritan meeting. Accommodations must be made for youth, short attention spans, and different stages of mental and spiritual development. Sunday School can be a time that includes songs and games, but we must keep our focus. We should use our imaginations to draw out and illustrate the Word, not replace it. The connection between what is being done in the classroom and its spiritual application should be readily apparent to the students. We shouldn’t be afraid to use our best talents to tell the greatest story of all time. Students should see the passion and love for Christ in our manner and lives. We need not be afraid to be afraid to be funny and animated, but we should never sacrifice truth to do so.
I once taught a Sunday School lesson for two and three-year-olds that serves to illustrate the kind of “creativity” that distracts from truth, rather than teaching it. It was a lesson about Joseph interpreting the dreams of Pharaoh and storing up food for the coming famine. The lesson plan book suggested that I bring in bread dough for the children to manipulate while we discussed the how the grain that Joseph stored up was made into bread. It is ridiculous to suggest that a toddler learns any spiritual truth by playing with bread dough in this fashion. Their total focus is on playing, not God’s provision. It would be more useful to draw their attention to the things that God has blessed them with. After talking about it for a while, the children could “draw” what God has given them. It could even be a mural on big butcher paper that hangs in the classroom for several weeks and serves as a reminder of the lesson. There are many fun, age-appropriate, useful activities that can be done in Sunday School. Scripture memorization can be done with games and songs, role plays and skits can be a great chance to let students practice applying truth, and thoughtful arts and crafts projects can help remind children of the truths of the lesson.
Our imagination is one of the most powerful creative gifts that God has given mankind. Our challenge is to unleash our creative power to exposit the poetic beauty and magnificence of Christ in terms that children can understand. We can use real life examples, activities that reinforce truth, involve children in service to others, and introduce them to pondering the most fascinating questions of life: Who is God? Who is man? What is man’s purpose? We must not be afraid to use the dialectic, and to truly talk with children. Children of every age love this kind of attention from adults. Time spent exchanging ideas and sharing truth is exciting and makes one aware that he truly is uniquely and wonderfully made. We should not be afraid to teach new words and new ideas and to engage students at the place that their interest lies. Children who love space can be engaged in discussions of God’s infinity and transcendence. Children who like sports or skateboarding can dialog with you about God’s order and the laws of physics and gravity that He put into place.

Love as the key to effective ministry
A passionate love for Christ is absolutely essential for the truly interesting teacher. The teacher who loves Christ will love the students, spending time getting to know them individually and praying for them individually. This love for the students is so very important. We all have the ability to recognize whether another person likes us or not and no one wants to spend time with or listen to someone who does not care about them.
A teacher that loves Christ will exhibit an enthusiasm and warmth for the faith that will inspire impressionable children to imitation. A teacher like this will not be afraid to stand against the culture and make Christianity distinctly clear and different from worldliness and vanity. This kind of love and faith will support the teacher through times of doubt and difficulty, strengthening her when she is discouraged by the sin nature of her students.
Teachers who love Christ will preach the hope of Jesus Christ and life eternal in rest and bliss in a powerful and compelling way because that is where all their own hopes rest. This is what we want to convey to our pupils. This is what makes the Sunday School hour the most interesting of the week. What on earth could be better than contemplating the delights of the heavenly kingdom under the guide of a teacher that is loved and trusted?
If we were committed to Scripture, imaginative, and had a true, deep love for Christ, our Sunday Schools would be greatly improved and certainly more interesting. The more time we spend pondering the truths of our faith, the deeper, more beautiful, and real they become to our children and ourselves. No one thinks fairy tales or epic stories are boring. The story of redemption is the most beautiful and exciting story of all time, because it is true and is the one story that satisfies all of our heart’s deepest longings. May the Lord grant His church more skill in loving and appreciating that story.

Praying for Purpose

Dear Father,

You see me as your child that you love and rejoice in, despite all my faults and frailties that you know even better than I do. You in Your good providence have ordered the events of my life and You have kept Your hand on me from my conception to this day. Thank you for preserving my life and supplying me with an abundance of good blessings. Your love has been the thread of gold in my life-- the constant good.

You have compassion on me in my weakness. You know that I have rarely had a thankful heart towards Yourself. You know that I have found it difficult to release my grasp on my life. You have had to pry my will out my hand with force. Now I am empty-handed, Lord, and I bow my knee to you. You alone know the plan for my life. All I ask, loving Father is that I would come into Your kingdom and be received with rejoicing.

Please help me to see what You have for me to do. Help me to serve You where I am and to spend my time and energy wisely-- not for my own glory, but in humility before Your throne seeking to please You and You alone.

I am so very weak. I know that I often look to my actions for justification and am quite rightly despairing. Please help me to remember that Christ is the one who justifies. He forgives the adulterous woman, the harlot, and my own adulterous soul. He comes alongside to help, comfort, and guide. Please let all my works of service to You be out of a heart of love and thankfulness, not a heart that seeks to earn Your pleasure, for that would be like trying to drink the ocean.

Father, You see my heart's emptiness and its longing for useful purpose. Please open my eyes and help me to see what You wish for me to do with my life. I have contemplated trying my hand at worldly success and You in Your mercy quickly thwarted that path.

Let my life be a song of praise to You. I wish to sing of You forever, Father. Give me music, O my Lord! May Your name be praised forever and forever in every tongue of men and angels.

Thank you for hearing my prayer and for Christ's intercession on my behalf there in Your presence.

To Your name be glory forever,