I write to you today with great pastoral concern for the young people in Catholic education, and on behalf of my friends at The Cardinal Newman Society.
Did you know that nearly 1-in-8 Catholics will leave the Faith while attending a Catholic college?
On many of our Catholic campuses, there is a crisis thatimperils the souls of tens of thousands of the Church's sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews.
Today's Gospel reads: "If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them should go astray: doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the mountains, and go to seek that which is gone astray?... [I]t is not the will of your Father, who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish."
My friend, Scripture here reminds us of why we must be vigilant in protecting the faith of every son and daughter.
We also must fight for a return to the flock of those colleges that are, perhaps unwittingly, teaching false theology and condoning promiscuous student life.
Because while 1-in-8 Catholic students at Catholic colleges abandon the Faith, we have disturbing clues as to why it happens. A recent Cardinal Newman Society survey found that:
27% of students at Catholic colleges view pornography.
59% say their friends regularly use drugs.
Nearly 1-in-5 know a student who had or paid for an abortion.
61% disagree with the Church's infallible teaching on the male priesthood.
60% think that abortion should be legal (and even 50% of those who attend Mass weekly!).
60% think that premarital sex with someone you care about is not a sin.
78% disagree that using a condom is a serious sin.
58% support "gay marriage".
If we cannot do better than that at a Catholic college, what will happen to our culture?
This is a terrible crisis and we all need to do our part. The future of the Church and our nation is at risk, as are the souls of our young Catholic men and women.
I am so very thankful that The Cardinal Newman Society remains steadfast in its commitment to our Faith.
I support their mission to prod wayward Catholic colleges to embrace the richness that is genuine Catholic education. It is a cause that is near to the hearts of Pope Benedict and his venerable predecessor, Pope John Paul II.
I have had a close relationship with The Cardinal Newman Society and am grateful that they are on the job:
alerting the faithful to scandal on Catholic campuses,
working with college leaders to improve policies and programs,
helping Catholic families in their search for good colleges,
promoting Eucharistic Adoration on campuses,
helping colleges defend their religious liberty from secularism,
and much more!
They seek to renew Catholic colleges campus by campus, until the graduates of these colleges are strong in their faith and lead the New Evangelization.
Already The Cardinal Newman Society works with a small but exciting group of faithful Catholic colleges, that embrace their Catholic identity and each year turn out a small army of well educated and faithful students prepared to evangelize the world.
We all need to do our part to renew our Catholic colleges -- and they are truly "ours," since they rightly belong to the universal Church.
One way you can help is to encourage your family and friends to send their children to the strong, faithful Catholic colleges recommended in the Society's Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College (which is in print and on the Internet).
Matt Lauer's interview with President Bush was quite revealing as the segment with the video from Bush's inaugural parade rolled. George and his lovely wife had to sit behind thick bullet-proof glass as they traveled the route down Pennsylvania Avenue due to the hateful, venom-spewing progressives lining the streets. Swat teams were there in full force holding them back, fencing them off, using bodily force to keep them in check. Nasty signs were in abundance, spitting skills were practiced and hateful words screamed at our President and Laura, preventing them from exiting the safety of their limousine. Compare that to the leisurely way Barack and Michele were allowed to stroll peacefully down Pennsylvania Avenue, interfacing with their adoring public, during Obama's inaugural parade on another chilly day in January. I ask you. Who are the hate-mongers, the radical trouble-makers, the intolerant, the name-callers??? Who are the respectful, peaceful, dignified ones??? With which group do you want to be aligned???
Jesus called a little child and had her stand among them. And He said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. ~Matthew 18:2-4 Red is the rose by yonder garden grows and fair is the lily of the valley. My flower, my first little girl, has birthed her flower, her first little girl. Like when Jesus was a young boy and Mary could make all things right when he experienced a hurt, I could do the same for Hannah Rose, when she was a little girl, like the day I saved her life, while she choked on a bite of hot dog. However, when Jesus was on his way to the cross, his mother was helpless to heal His situation, just as I am now. As Anselm of Canterbury said, “For I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this I believe - that unless I believe I shall not understand.” The silence in our home is as deafening as it was at Lily’s birth. We find great comfort in knowing that as her rosebud lips first parted to speak, it was to praise her Jesus! God obviously ordained the selection of her special name, for when Hannah Rose named her Lily Katherine, she wasn’t aware that Katherine, as well as Lily, also means purity. From the start, HR knew that Lily was special to God, and would be a pure set-apart girl for Him! The inspiration for Lily came from Song of Solomon 2:2 Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens. God is good for He has separated Lily unto Himself where the pain, sin, temptations, and suffering of this fallen world can never touch her. She will never taste the saltiness of tears. She will never have to battle the world, the flesh and the devil. She will never have the opportunity to reject Jesus. Hannah Rose’s Lily will remain forever pure! We take exceeding comfort in that! Opening her sparkling, blue eyes for the first time, she beheld her Saviour as He cradled her in His loving arms. This nine month journey has been precious. First of all, and most importantly, Lily saved her mother from her rebellious, back- slidden condition, leading her back to Jesus. HR’s sacrificial love for her Lily brought my prodigal daughter back home to her family. God knew she would need our support, love and strength as she endured a difficult pregnancy and the ultimate loss of her little flower. For the girls’ club to lose its newest member is a hard pill to swallow, especially as the earth is bursting forth with new life resurrecting with the beauty and promise of spring. We three immensely enjoyed the time God gave us with Lily: relishing deep, lively discussions and Bible study on living holy lives, forgiveness, repentance, God’s abundant love and His truth, card making, shopping, planning, fulfilling Hannah Rose’s (HR would always say it was Lily’s) food cravings, feathering our nest, making ready her nursery, going to the 4-D Imaging Center where we found out conclusively that she was a girl, enjoying ourselves with good friends at the cozy tea party baby shower in our home on February 13, appointments with Dr. March (how appropriate is his name?), ultrasounds to view our little love and watch her heart beat, traveling, weekly LifeCare classes and the wonderful support and friendships afforded us there, going on a tour of the Rex birthing center, spending all day at the Kids’ Exchange where we bought a matching stroller and swing for only $40., watching numerous birthing programs, as well as many hearty laughs at funny theoretical scenarios we‘re famous for. All of these activities were engaged in with exceeding delight. During her first ultrasound, we quickly became aware that Lily was a spunky girl, as she showed off her many flips. During each ultrasound, she would look directly at us so we could see her pretty, delicate facial features. Some of Lily’s favorite foods were strawberries on cereal, hash browns, Chick-fil-A, and pizza. Her homecoming outfit was the first purchase we made, even before it had been determined conclusively that she was indeed a girl. However, we just knew in our hearts that she was. That very special outfit is the one she’ll be buried in. It’s pink, bearing roses on the dress and hat in honor of her mother. Her brown shoes were a symbol of the possibility and potential her life promised. From the midst of our dashed hopes and dreams arose God’s higher plan. While shopping, Hannah Rose always knew where she could find me - in the baby clothes section of any store. Lily experienced many fun trips with us. Her twin uncles even moved home from VA to NC so they could be with their first little niece as she grew. She traveled to Thousand Islands in July when she was just a wee one. As she grew, she had fun with her adoring uncles, Adam and Joseph, at the Panthers/Eagles game in Charlotte on September 13, and in October, she was with the girls’ club when Grace took us for a brief respite to Topsail Island. She spent a week at Massanutten where her mother has enjoyed fun family vacations since she was a baby, and attended the annual banquet for the Pregnancy Centers of Central Virginia. She too was rejuvenated as we spent a restorative week at our retreat haven, with our devoted little charges, Luke and Lili, on Apple Green Lane in November. She tried to be born in Philly when we were there at Christmas time for the Eagles/Broncos game. Along with the rest of us, she had fun visiting historic points of interest, gawking at skyscrapers, traversing cobblestone streets, discovering quaint coffee shops and indulging in authentic Philly cheese steak subs. In January, she was with us as we marched in the annual Raleigh Walk for Life. She enjoyed listening to Copeland, HR’s favorite band, at their farewell tour in Chapel Hill early in March. All the music Lily heard helped her prepare the myriad dance moves she spent nine months perfecting for the viewing pleasure of her Master as she dances on streets of gold before Him. Of course, we looked forward to her first Easter, pushing her in her stroller on numerous walks, having her sleep in her comfy Moses basket next to her Dukes as she toiled in her garden, taking her to Emerald Isle for her mommy’s twenty-first birthday, her first Christmas, her first birthday, rocking her as we sang lullabies, hearing her say, “ma ma,“ and laugh for the first time, feeling her soft, chubby arms hugging me in return, even changing her dirty diapers. Our arms are empty but our hearts are full of precious memories we will hold forever dear! On our merry way rejoicing to the Rex Birthing Center early Tuesday morning, we could never in our wildest dreams have imagined that shortly after arriving there, we would become aware that our precious little lamb had died several days before. Astute Emmaline pointed out to us while Hannah Rose was in labor that it was 3-16. Elaborating further as I appeared puzzled, she said, “John 3:16.” How special! That was my dear dad’s favorite Bible verse. It’s engraved on his grave marker and she will be laid to rest by him. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. It’s been encouraging and motivating to read all the chapter 3, verse 16 Scriptures in the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Both HR and I shared the thought that the sky was gloomy because Jesus was weeping along with us. As the sun slipped behind the clouds, God’s Son brought the peace that passes all understanding, Jesus’ healing balm. After she realized Lily was dead, during her long labor, Hannah Rose’s sparkling blue eyes appeared to see heaven, her spirit was supernaturally sweet and she displayed such strength. She truly gave Jesus all authority, and He was glorified through the entire experience. At the same time we said, “hello” to our new joy, we were also required to say, “goodbye.“ Being afforded the blessing of spending time holding and rocking her was healing. In the true, inspirational book The Hiding Place, Betsy tenBoom tells her sister Corrie and the other women in the concentration camp with them that no matter how deep the pit, God is deeper still. The joy Lily brought will always be with us, even during this most difficult part of our journey, because happiness depends on happenings, while joy depends on Jesus! A tiny heart beating steadily for nine months has found its home in Him! I want to encourage each of you to heed what we‘re commanded in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Realize too that the heart cannot exalt in what the mind rejects. Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. Teach me Lord - teach me Lord to wait. ~Isaiah 40:31 As we have the need for everyone to mourn Lily’s untimely death with us, we also want you to join us in celebrating her lovely life with us! We lift our eyes to the Maker of the mountains we can’t climb!
I ask you what is wrong with singing the old hymns? What was so problematic with my grandparents' church? A new kind of Christianity is needed? Really?
The postmodern church speaks of the religious left, the postmodern church, and the religious right, the Body of Christ. To me, it's akin to the Reich church, definitely unChristian, under Hitler's evil reign compared to the Confessing Church, the Body of Christ, led by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The postmodern church is more interested in group hugs, warm fuzzies, providing a shoulder to cry on when folks get "real" with each other, telling folks they're fine the way they are instead of preaching the truth, instead of showing lost, hurting people that Jesus can bring them victory in their pain, as well as save them from their sinful selves! As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the repentant sinner who departs from sin and from whom sin departs. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. Those who try to use grace as a dispensation from following Christ are simply deceiving themselves. Isn't it a blasphemous encouragement to sin boldy and rely on grace? Is there a more diabolical abuse of grace than to sin and rely on the grace which God has given? Is this not the sin against the Holy Ghost?" Words like diversity, pluralism and tolerance have anesthetized us to the reality of good and evil. We’re called to love all men in the name of Jesus, not ignore their debauchery in the name of diversity. Sin is a big deal to God. So much so that He allowed Jesus to die on a cruel Roman cross to rescue us from its grip. Glossing over evil - whether our own behaviour or something the entertainment media has produced - is to say in essence, “What you did is really of little value to me, God. My view of sin is different from yours, and frankly I’m not that disturbed by it." Tolerance is the cultivation of an attitude of indifference to things we see happening around us. It is a numbing of one’s conscience, a dumbing down of one‘s convictions. It is political, religious and cultural correctness. It is being afraid to step on toes. It is not wanting to make waves. It is keeping one’s head in the sand like an ostrich. In the name of peace, we tolerate evil. In the name of tolerance, we accept sin and call it free enterprise or freedom of sexual persuasion. We dare not stand up for what we believe for fear of being labeled intolerant. The postmodern church, whose father is Brian McLaren, has acquired the policy of making grace available to all at too low a cost. Their humanitarian sentiment makes them give that which is holy to the scornful and unbelieving. The call to follow Jesus in the narrow way is rarely heard. What has happened to the warnings of Martin Luther's against preaching the gospel in such a manner as to make men rest secure in their ungodly living? That seduces folks to living on the mediocre level of the world. Deceived and weakened, men feel strong having possession of this cheap grace -whereas they have in fact lost the power to live the life of discipleship and obedience. “Tolerance” and “love” are two very different things. Tolerance sees your sin and embraces it. Grace sees your sin and hands you over to Christ's healing embrace. As exemplary Bonhoeffer said, "Costly grace is the Gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of His Son: 'ye were bought at a price,' and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ. Grace simply means discipleship."
Attempting to portray half a Saviour, bringing only His love to the lost world, without at the same time illuminating His love with His truth, is the scheme afoot in the postmodern church! Of course, half a Saviour is no Saviour at all. Half the Gospel is no Gospel. It's playing cafeteria Christianity, picking and choosing what parts of the Bible to believe and what parts to discard, like President Thomas Jefferson did. That is NOT Christianity! Liberal Christian is an oxymoron. There can be no such person!
Speaking of tent revivals, the Catholic church I grew up in in Charlottesville, VA, held an honest-to-goodness tent revival meeting this August. Lives were changed and rearranged for Jesus Christ as folks from many denominations and differing worldviews gathered together to praise, worship and listen to the Gospel preached in its entirety. They were not there for a riveting performance, or to be told they are fine the way they are. They already knew they were NOT fine the way they are. That's why they were there! They already knew they were living in rebellion towards God, seeking their own way. In Matthew 9:11-13, Jesus' disciples were asked, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." In essence, Jesus was saying that everybody is living in sin if they have not surrendered all to Him, and everyone is in need of His healing and His salvation if they want to have eternal life. He didn't tell the tax collectors and sinners that they were fine the way they were. He didn't join them in their sin in an attempt to relate. He wasn't down with how they were living. He boldly declared that they needed His healing and His salvation! The people in attendance at The Church of the Incarnation, for the tent revival, were there to hear the Truth proclaimed! Herein lies the crux of the problem with the postmodern church, what they have dubbed the "Big Tent" - we cannot simply embrace all religions as if they are equal. THEY ARE NOT! All paths do NOT lead to heaven! There is one narrow way, folks, and we are told by Jesus, "few there be that find it." How sobering! The heresy the postmodern church teaches sends people to hell! That is NOT love! That is NOT the Good News of Jesus Christ! Here is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer said to such heresy, "The church has only one altar, the altar of the Almighty ... before which all creatures must kneel. Whoever seeks something other than this must keep away, he cannot join us in the house of God ... The church has only one pulpit, and from that pulpit, faith in God will be preached, and no other faith, and no other will than the will of God, however well-intentioned." ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"We are saved by faith alone, but not by faith which is alone. That is, we are saved, not by anything we do, but by grace. Yet if we have truly understood and believed the gospel, it will change what we do and how we live. Unlike cheap grace, which means going to church and hearing that God just loves and forgives everyone, so it doesn't really matter much how you live, anyone who truly understands how God's costly grace comes to us will have a changed life. Costly grace changes you from the inside out. Actions must follow what one believes, else one cannot claim to believe it." ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Unlike the unbridled, unholy freedom Donald Miller preaches, the social gospel they proclaim, the worldly preaching focused on sex and pleasure from pulpits such as Rob Bell's, Jim Wallis', Brian McLaren's, the party atmosphere, and the empty 7/11 songs sung in the postmodern church, how about instead offering a courageous man, (like Dietrich Bonhoeffer) who actually knows and craves the wisdom and knowledge in God's Word, to bring the eloquent message of the Truth of the Good News, in all it's grandeur, power and majesty, to the toiling masses? "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." ~Galatians 5:1 We are free in Christ to do that which is right, to surrender all to Him, His will, His way. We are not free to go back into bondage in Egypt, back into living for our own sinful will and way. We are not free to take license in the freedom of Christ to live however we selfishly want to.
The old hymns and Scripture songs are fraught with powerful meaning. Singing them instills peace, joy, comfort, strength and hope, as well as ensuring God's Holy Word will root deeply in one's heart. My grandparents were blessed to hear fire and brimstone preaching, the truth of Jesus proclaimed. They had the fear of God, unlike those in the postmodern church of today - the church that is supposedly so enlightened....so hip.
JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER. All we need do is get back to His way, authentic Christianity, the Gospel of the Good News!
During Ravi Zacharias' ministry in Vietnam in 1971, one of his interpreters who traveled with him was Hien Pham, an energetic, devoted young Christian who had worked very closely as a translator with the American military forces, purely as a civilian, with no official or military responsibilities. He just knew English so well that he was able to be of immense help to them in their linguistic struggles. By virtue of that same strength he also worked with the missionaries. Ravi and Hien traveled the length of the country and became very close friends before Ravi bade Hien good-bye when he left Vietnam to return home. They were both very young, and neither of them knew if their paths would cross again. Within four years Vietnam fell, and Hien's fate was unknown.
Seventeen years later, in 1988, Ravi received a surprise telephone call that began with, "Brother Ravi?" Immediately Ravi recognized Hien's voice. Ravi asked Hien how he had managed to get out of Vietnam and come to the United States. Ravi was not prepared for the story he was about to hear.
Shortly after Vietnam fell to the communists, Hien was arrested. Accused of aiding and abetting the Americans he was in and out of prison for several years. During one long jail term, the sole purpose of his jailers was to indoctrinate him against the West - and especially against democratic ideals and the Christian faith. He was cut off from reading anything in English and restricted to communist propaganda in French or Vietnamese. This daily overdose of the writings of Marx and Engels began to take its toll on him. One of the books he was given to read pictured the communist man as a bird in the ironclad cage of capitalism, throwing itself against the bars of "capitalist oppression" and bloodying itself in the process. Yet still it continued to struggle in its quest for freedom.
Hien began to buckle under the onslaught. Maybe, he thought, I have been lied to. Maybe God does not exist. Maybe my whole life has been governed by lies. Maybe the West has deceived me. The more he thought, the more he moved toward a decision. Finally, he made up his mind. He determined that when he awakened the next day, he would not pray anymore or ever think of his Christian faith again.
The next morning, he was assigned to clean the latrines of the prison. It was the most dreaded chore, shunned by everyone, and so with much distress he began the awful task. As he cleaned out a tin can filled to overflowing with toilet paper, his eye caught what he thought was English printed on one piece of paper. He hurriedly washed it off and slipped it into his hip pocket, planning to read it at night. Not having seen anything in English for such a long time, he anxiously waited for a free moment. Under his mosquito net that night after his roommates had fallen asleep, he pulled out a small flashlight and shining it on the damp piece of paper he read at the top corner, "Romans, Chapter 8." Literally trembling with shock, he began to read:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose....What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all - how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? . . . Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Hien wept. He knew his Bible, and he had not seen one for so long. Not only that, he knew there was not a more relevant passage of conviction and strength for one on the verge of surrendering to the threat of evil. He cried out to God, asking for forgiveness, for this was to have been the first day in years that he had determined not to pray. Evidently the Lord had other plans.
The next day, Hien asked the camp commander if he could clean the latrine again. He continued with this chore on a regular basis, because he had discovered that some official in the camp was using a Bible as toilet paper. Each day Hien picked up a portion of Scripture, cleaned it off, and added it to his nightly devotional reading. In this way he retrieved a significant portion of the Bible.
The day came when, through an equally providential set of circumstances, Hien was released. He promptly began to make plans to escape from the country. After several unsuccessful attempts he began again to build a boat in secret. About fifty-three other people planned to escape with him, and Hien was taking the lead. All was going according to plan until a short while before the date of their departure when four Vietcong knocked on Hien's door. When he opened it, they accosted him and said they had heard he was trying to escape. "Is it true?" they demanded. Hien immediately denied it and went on to distract them with some concocted story to explain his activities. Apparently convinced, they reluctantly left.
Hien was relieved but very disappointed with himself. "Here I go again, Lord, trying to manipulate my own destiny, too unteachable in my spirit to really believe that You can lead me past any obstacle." He made a promise to God, fervently hoping that the Lord would not take him up on it. He prayed that if the Vietcong were to come back again, he would tell them the truth. Resting in the comfort of that impossibility, he was thoroughly shaken when only a few hours before they were to set sail the four men stood at his door once more. "We have our sources, and we know you are trying to escape. Is it true?" Hien resignedly gave his answer, "Yes, I am, with fifty-three others. Are you going to imprison me again?" There was a pronounced pause. And then they leaned forward and whispered, "No. We want to escape with you?"
In an utterly incredible escape plan, all fifty-eight of them found themselves on the high seas, suddenly engulfed by a violent storm. Hien fell with his face in his hands, crying out to God, "Did you bring us here to die?"
As he concluded his story, he said, "Brother Ravi, if it were not for the sailing ability of those four Vietcong, we would not have made it." They arrived safely in Thailand, and years later Hien arrived on American soil where today he is a businessman - forever grateful for America and praying that she would open her heart as a nation to Christ.
A year ago today I was informed of the precious life of my granddarling, Lily Katherine, who was born still on March 16, at 40 weeks, 7 lbs. 9 oz., 21 inches long, the picture of robust health and completed development. What a year this has been for us all. God works all things together for good to those that love Him and are called according to His purposes! Lily, you will be very much missed until we meet again in glory, darling! Thank you for opening blind eyes to the majesty of Almighty God, as well as to the value, dignity and respect He attributes to each and every life He has created. Your life, albeit brief, helped restore relationships with Jesus and with others.
"I'll lend you for a little time
A child of Mine," He said.
"For you to love the while she lives,
And mourn for when she's dead.
It may be six or seven years
Or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call her back
Take care of her for Me?
She'll bring her charms to gladden you,
And should her stay be brief,
You'll have her lovely memories
As solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay,
since all from Earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there
I want this child to learn.
I've looked this wide world over
In My search for teachers true,
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
I have selected you;
Now will you give her all your love,
Nor think the labour vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call
and take her back again?
I fancied that I heard them say,
"Dear Lord, Thy will be done,
For all the joy Thy child shall bring,
For the risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter her with tenderness,
We'll love her while we may,
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay.
But should the angels call for her
Much sooner then we planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes
And try to understand.
Following is the sweetest letter at the back of Dr. James Dobson's (Godson :) ) most recent, wisdom-packed book entitled Bringing Up Girls:
Dear Dr. Dobson,
Today is the sixth anniversary of the day my precious little girl, Delaney, went home to live with Almighty God. As my family and I remember with tears, smiles and confident thoughts of seeing her again one day, I can't help but think of you as you are writing Bringing Up Girls.
Although we had only sixteen short months with her, Delaney is a special gift. As the father of one boy already at that time (now two), I can tell you that she was a completely different being. From the time my boys were old enough to reach out and hug me, I always got the sense that they were practicing their headlocks, which they now use on me every chance they get. To receive a hug from Delaney, however, was an altogether different experience. She never tired of melting into my arms and burying her tiny face deep into my neck. She was pure love. She was my "Sweet Delaney Pie."
When sharing our story with others, especially parents, I am always careful to convey the most important perspective that God has blessed us (yes, blessed us) with through our tragic loss. I always say to them, "I can live my life here on earth without my precious Delaney, but I cannot possibly conceive of spending eternity without any one of my children." God has made the significance of this perspective so very clear to my wife, Becky, and me, and we are eternally (literally) grateful. I wish this truth could become as clear to every parent without having to go through such a tragic experience as ours.
Even through all we've learned, we are still not perfect parents, but we don't have to be perfect in order to pass along God's eternal perspective. Our sons speak often and with confidence of "our sister, Delaney, who lives in heaven." They also smile as they talk about what they will do together when they finally get to see her. The faith of children is so pure. I love that.
I don't know what Delaney will look like when I see her again. Will she still be a little girl, or will she have grown to be a beautiful woman? No matter. We will embrace, and I will weep flowing tears of joy for a long, long time. I will weep because the pain of her death will be gone forever. What will be left will be the only thing that matters: we will share eternity together.
May God bless you, Dr. Dobson, as you write this book, that your readers will take seriously the responsibility of raising, protecting and loving these special gifts - these tender, loving, precious little girls God has entrusted them with.
Your brother in Christ,
I implore you to please pick up a copy of Bringing Up Girls, as well as his excellent book entitled Bringing Up Boys!
Really? I mean, really? Feminists can truly concur with how females are viewed and treated according to the so-called religion of Islam? They think it's OK for men to have four wives at the same time, as well as for a man to be allowed, by the Quran, to beat a disobedient wife?? Do feminists get warm fuzzies over the ahadiths that proclaim that most women will go to hell, while most men will go to heaven? (Realistically, what woman would get all excited about being in paradise surroundered by beautiful virgins?) Do feminists truly believe it's okay, according to the Quran, for a man to lie to his wife in order to please her? As a person who believes in radical womanhood, living set-apart for Jesus Christ, I find this exceedingly disturbing, for feminists obviously do NOT engage their brains to think for themselves.
Emily Young, http://killerquill.blogspot.com/2010/07/conversations-with-psychotic-and.html, made the sweeping declaration that when one sets no boundaries in one's choice of reading materials, basically being free to read any garbage that our corrupt world churns out, that prevents one from becoming a misanthrope. Following are her comments to me from our debate on her aunt's ( my friend's) facebook page, as well as from her charming posting on her lady-like blog entitled Conversations with the Psychotic and Intellectually Barren:
We have so-called "depressing" literature on required reading lists because, in a sense, it is soft preparation for the types of situations and people that young adults might encounter in the real world. Literature is not indoctrination. In fact, it is the one thing that prevents narrow-mindedness and indoctrination. Reading (especially reading a wide array of viewpoints) is at its very essence the antidote to ignorance, bitterness, and misanthropy.
Since Emily has engaged in reading that is so varied and open-minded, my question for her is, why then, is she a self-proclaimed misanthrope? Why hasn't her avid reading proven itself to be her fail-safe method protecting her from harboring bitterness? She has me scratching my head in confusion. Following is her last sentence in our battle of words:
"Sigh. And people WONDER why I'm such a misanthrope."
According to her, taking license to fill one's mind with unbridled stuff and nonsense is supposedly the antidote to disliking and distrusting people. What a contradiction she presents between what she professes and what she actually lives! Emily, I do WONDER why you are such a misanthrope? Obviously, her empty, meaningless reading has not worked it's intended magic.
I've typed these wise excerpts from Ravi for two in particular, Emily and Cara.
They need to learn to differentiate between opinion and conviction. An opinion is merely a preference in a continuum of options. A conviction is rooted in the conscience and cannot be changed without changing that which essentially defines the person. In a pluralistic culture, an opinion should not be given the same passion as the weight of a conviction.
Secularists do not take into account that on their own terms no position needs to be defended if a commitment to it is sufficient reason in itself. If it is believed that all moralizing is purely one's private view then ought not that view itself be kept private? The secularist never answers how he or she determines whether anything is wrong with anything except by sheer choice. Secular belief grants itself privileges that it does not equally distribute.
In a purely naturalistic universe there is nothing to transcend matter - there is no soul or spirit because that would imply the supernatural. This dehumanizing "net worth" is all that secularism has left when life is seen through the eyes of the Spirit of the Age. Brain power is not sufficient to explain what the mind and the heart instinctively understand. If humanity is nothing more than its lowest common denominator, the very philosophy espoused by a valueless creature is valueless. The ideas we pursue can be classified in terms of worth only if human beings have an essential glory. Secularism strips humanity of decency because it strips it of common sense first by denuding the mind.
The pathetic, psychological, voiceless posture where shame is excised from our cultural intercourse, leaves behind a hell of possibilities and swings wide the door to evil in any and every form. All attitudes and all behaviour find avenues of unbridled expression, and no one reserves the right to say, "It is not enough to say you're sorry - you ought to feel sorry and ashamed of what you have done." Ah! But this is too much to ask of the postmodern mind where self-congratulation is the mood engendered by irreligious social policies. It is our philosophical commitment that ends up legitimizing shamelessness that puts an individual on the road to incorrigibility. For any corrective in behaviour of for punitive measure to be effective there must be some point of hurt or undesired feeling within the one who has done wrong. Shame or remorse or society's disapproval is powerless today to induce a desire to change, because the ideas that shape our culture make shame a hangover of an antiquated religious world-view. How then is it possible to reconcile law with liberty when both the sense of right and the sensation of wrong have been eradicated? Shame is to the moral health of a society what pain is to the body. The loss of shame in a society is ultimately an attack upon all of civilization. Loss of shame is an attack upon all of humanity, because shame was given to us as a guardian, not only of ourselves, but of our fellow human being. The loss of belief in the supernatural, which secularism implies, has led to an eradication of the sense of shame, which secularism cannot deal with. The soil of shamelessness gives root to evil in its most violent forms. With the name of God now unhallowed and His kingdom not welcome does it make any sense to cry, "Deliver us from evil"?
*Deliver Us From Evil by Ravi Zacharias, 1997, Published in Nashville, Tennessee by Thomas Nelson
I should also mention that Ginny DOES keep a blog. Enjoy the pure, undiluted 100% crazy! Oh, and her adult daughter has an entire blog dedicated to a stillborn baby. Okay, before you unleash the tide of "you heartless bastard!" -- just hear me out: please don't get me wrong, giving birth to a stillborn baby is extremely heart-wrenching and devastating. That woman has every right to grieve. But there is something EXTREMELY disturbing about setting up a PUBLIC blogshrine to a dead baby, replete with photographs of the deceased. I mean, for fuck's sake, the poor thing in the photograph is so far gone that it's already showing livor mortis. And to think that everyone went around posing for photos and mourning over this stillborn for... how long, Hours? Where is the respect and dignity for the dead? Since when did heartfelt grief for a lost child become an extremely public affair with photo albums and countdown clocks ("it's been 4 months since we said goodbye")? I've noticed that there is a strong trend among religious right fanatics to set up blogshrines to their stillborn babies or anencephalic, dying babies. I'm not kidding. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm guessing it's a combination of: "pro-life" (anti-choice) fervor, the belief that a woman's duty is to be an incubator, religious delusion (and thus an incapability of coming to terms with natural death/dying), poor emotional coping skills, and the chance to become a "martyr mom" among fundies. I think that is why these women SNAP when they realize their pregnancy is not viable and they decide to carry to term any way to show off their martyrdom. And there is mental illness involved. I'm not the sanest person in the bunch, but I feel sorry for Ginny and her daughter, as there is obviously a lot of psychological instability between them. But what can you do? Sigh. And people WONDER why I'm such a misanthrope.
A so-called "friend" on facebook posted a message about the wonderful speech President Carter delivered at James Madison University back in the fall. He gave her reason to announce, "Peace IS possible!" Since she claims to be a follower of Jesus, I couldn't believe her comment, and proceeded to leave her a message concerning her posting. I told her that peace is not possible in this world, according to Jesus. His own words proclaim in Matthew 10:34-36, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law - a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'" I John 5:20 declares, "the whole world is under the control of the evil one." Either this person does not read her Bible, or she is one of those who delves into cafeteria Christianity, picking and choosing the verses that give her warm fuzzies, while discarding those she finds unsavory. Thomas Becket delivered T. S. Eliot's Christmas sermon in the play Murder in the Cathedral: But think for a while on the meaning of this word "peace." Does it seem strange to you that the angels should have announced Peace, when ceaselessly the world has been stricken with War and the fear of War? Does it seem to you that the angelic voices were mistaken, and that the promise was a disappointment and a cheat?
"Will you take one of these parcels and pray that you will be guided to give the clothes to those most in need?"
So, with one of the unopened bundles sent from Christians in England, the merchant set off for Macao, China. Immediately upon arriving there, he went out to buy some food. Coming down the street he met a man who looked ill and starved, yet carried himself proudly in spite of the fact that all he wore on his emaciated body were a sleeveless waistcoat and a pair of ladies' panties!
The merchant stared, then gasped. This man had once been one of China's most prominent men.
"Sir, would you come and eat with me?" inquired the merchant.
"Thank you, I accept," was the dignified reply.
Together they went to a small eating house and the merchant ordered a simple meal.
"I recognized you as you came down the street," the merchant remarked as the meal progressed. "Is there anything I can do to help you?"
"I believe you are a Christian. Will you pray with me?"
The merchant bowed his head, and very simply the nobleman said, "O Lord, thank You for answering the first two parts of my prayer. You have brought me to safety; You have given me something to eat. Now please answer the third part and give me something to wear so that I can get employment and so keep my self-respect."
"I believe God has answered that prayer already," the merchant said eagerly. "Come home with me now."
Together they opened the bundle which had been sent, with loving prayers, from London and there, right on top, lay something which had very seldom come into our hands - a man's complete suit! Rarely was there ever an entire matching suit!
Weeks later those who had sent the bundle of clothes from London, received a letter from Macao, China, bearing the signature of a man who had been one of China's wealthiest and most influential men before the Communists came into power and robbed him of home, money and family.
In that letter were many grateful thanks for the clothes he had received, and through which he had been able to gain employment. Now he was hoping to save a little money so he could help his wife and family to escape and join him once more.
He told how he, a prominent Buddhist, had been stripped of all he possessed, then thrown into prison. But it was there he had come to know Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord.
He had lost all in this world, but he had peace and joy in his heart because he was a Christian, and nothing the enemy could do would take that from him.
~excerpt from GLADYS AYLWARD with Christine Hunter Reflect now, how our Lord Himself spoke of Peace. He said to His disciples "My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." Did He mean peace as we think of it: the kingdom of England at peace with its neighbours, the barons at peace with the King, the householder counting over his peaceful gains, the swept hearth, his best wine for a friend at the table, his wife singing to the children? Those men, His disciples, knew no such things: they went forth to journey afar, to suffer by land and sea, to know torture, imprisonment, disappointment, to suffer death by martyrdom. What then did He mean? If you ask that, remember then that He said also, "Not as the world gives, give I unto you." So then, He gave to His disciples peace, but not peace as the world gives. * “Realize that the aim of the Prince of Peace is not peace with unbelief and disobedience. Those are the enemies that must be destroyed, lest they destroy. When the amnesty of Jesus is despised, division is inevitable. What we meet in the biting language of Christ is a form of love that corresponds with the real world of corruption, the dullness of our hearts and the magnitude of what is at stake in our choices. If there were no great evils, no deaf hearts and no eternal consequences, perhaps the only fitting forms of love would be a... soft touch and tender words. But such a world does not kill the Son of God and hate his disciples.” ~John Piper "There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God's commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of Almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross." ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer
As stated in Colossians 3:15, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace." Within the body of Christ, peace is possible, of course, if we are willing to surrender all authority to Jesus. Face facts folks, that's a big "if." By the way, the person on facebook, who sings in her church choir, claiming to be my friend, deleted my comment on peace. How ironic that immediately after professing how peace is possible, as one key is pressed, she demonstrates how unlikely that possibility is with one swift stroke of her hand.
*The Complete Poems and Plays, 1909-1950, New York: Harcourt Brace, 1952, pp. 198-99.
The other day, my twenty-five year old twin sons and I engaged in a stimulating conversation centered around God's mercy, fairness and judgment of those who have not heard the good news of Jesus, from those who have surrendered their all to Him. Adam spoke of how blessed we are to have been born in the U.S. of A. Of course, we had no control over where and when we were born, for that was all in God's plan. Romans 1 instructs us that "since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." Romans 10:17-18 tells us, "faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. But I ask, Did they not hear? Of course they did: 'Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.'" Psalm 19:1 declares, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." Titus 2:11-14, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good." Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." As we progressed deeper into our discussion, I suggested that perhaps we are not truly the blessed ones. Yes, we are surrounded by abundant material blessings, safety and health. However, the fear of God has been cast away in our rotting culture. Around the globe, there are people who fear God and are eager to learn of and serve Him with their whole hearts. Many of them live in squalor, poverty and disease. Who are the truly blessed? Those who were born into wealthy countries where they have no need for and no desire for God? Or those who were born into poor, undeveloped countries where they yearn to give their all to Him? The Bible clearly teaches in Luke 6:20 that the poor will inherit the Kingdom of God, while it's hard for the rich to enter heaven. In Acts 9:36 and Galatians 2:10, His Word teaches us to treat the poor with high regard.
My entire life I've known of Christian churches equipping Americans to go and be missionaries on foreign soil. My thinking is that is a wasteful use of money, time and energy lavished upon sending those who do not know the language or culture, when, instead, it makes much more sense to equip indigenous missionaries to spread the Gospel of Jesus to their own people. I believe we were born for such a time as this to make a difference for our King of kings and Lord of lords here in our native country. In recent years, missionaries from other countries have been coming here in an attempt to dispel the darkness spread by satan in the U.S. of A. Jesus' light, love, salt and truth are desperately needed here, and we must heed the call. Millions of Muslims around the world are professing Jesus is Lord. Folks are dreaming dreams and seeing visions in countries where the strongholds of materialism, intellectualism, narcissism, pride, humanism, feminism and the total disregard for the value and dignity of each human life are not getting in the way of their hunger and thirst for Jesus Christ. They have the ears to hear and the hearts to understand. God is moving mightily among the poor, forgotten and downtrodden of the world.
God could have shown us how great He is. He could have displayed how powerful and above us He is. Instead, He became as small as we are. What did Jesus know that enabled Him to do what He did? Here's part of the answer. He knew the value of people (His sheeple). He knew that each human being is a treasure. And because He did, people were not a source of stress, but a source of joy. Jesus knows how you feel. You are precious to Him. So precious that He became like you, so that you would come to Him. It is outrageous for the Christ whose rightful place is at the right hand of His Father to step out of timelessness into our world to live as one of us. For people with bodies, important things like love have to be embodied, or else people with bodies would never in a trillion years understand about love. It was not necessary to nail Him to His cross. His unfailing love, arms opened wide for us, would have held Him there. That I should such a life destroy yet live by Him I killed! He lived for us, then He died for us, and then He rose for us. His death atoned for our sins, and His resurrection opens the door to everlasting life. How much easier it would have been for Him to not give us a choice. But to remove the choice would be to remove the love. The one who chose to love created one who could love in return… Now …. it's our choice. Jesus is fishing for us, not to kill us but to give us life. God woos us with kindness. He changes our character with the passion of His love. God is looking down on this earth, half angry because His beloved mankind has cheated on Him, has committed adultery, and yet He is hopelessly in love with her. God's goodness is spurred by His nature, not by our worthiness. We are wanted by God, pursued by God. He is wanting to preserve us, to guide us through the darkness of the shadow of death up into eternal life in His presence. We are temporarily in these shells on this earth. Paul had no questions. That is how he could be beaten one day, imprisoned the next, and released only to be beaten again and never ask God why. He understood the earth is fallen. He understood the rules of Rome could not save mankind, that mankind could not save itself; rather it must be rescued. He knew he was not in the promised land, but still in the desert. We seem to forget - perhaps more truthfully, we refuse to remember - that we are the ones who betrayed Him, not vice versa. We are the ones who listened to the lies of the evil one in the Garden; we chose to mistrust the heart of God. Why, oh why do we have difficulty believing in the God who created the entire universe? Why do we have trouble believing in the One who sent His only Son to save us from ourselves? In the same way God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, so he has delivered us from eternal death to eternal life through His beloved son. He's delivered us from bondage to sin, bondage to narcissism, into fullness of life lived with and for Him. True, God is in control of the universe. True, He can prevent suffering whenever He sees fit. However, that doesn't mean that everything that happens is His doing. Wherever free will exists, by the very nature of things, consequences of choice must exist. These consequences will be either good or bad, depending on the decisions that are made. We are all being tempted by satan. Pain, suffering and death are the result of man's abuse of free will. God does not prevent man's disobedience, even though He knows the consequences will be devastating. He allows a man to reap what he sows. Selfishness grows from the anarchy seed, the seed of the evil one. satan lashes out on the earth like a madman, setting tribes against each other in Rwanda. satan devastates many lives through starvation, alcoholism, substance abuse and pornography. satan is at work in economic chaos around the world, and the corporate-driven greed of American executives. satan is at work in the holocaust of violent, non-loving, disrespecting aborting of babies in the U.S. of A., the narcissism, materialism and intellectualism in America, social class snobbery, and the self-absorption we wallow in when we do not ensure our next generation is brought up in a culture with enriching, wholesome values. What a great responsibility it is to be human. We are human because God made us. If you are not living in touch with God, it is easy to blame Him or pass judgment on Him. We experience suffering and temptation because mankind chose to follow satan. God is reaching out to rescue us … God made nature to sing His praises, to declare His glory and to love Him. He made humans with the ability to choose. He could have ordered our obedience; instead He calls for our heart.
Praying like Hannah did in I Samuel 1:11, “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant‘s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life,” I also asked God to bless me with children, believing as Psalm 127:3 says, “Children are a gift from the Lord.” Experiencing infertility as a young married woman, I believed He would bless me with such treasures, as told to Hannah in I Samuel 1: 17 “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of Him.” Song of Solomon 2:1, “I am a rose of Sharon,” was the other verse fraught with meaning for me when naming my much prayed for daughter, the rose of Sharon symbolizing fertility. Believing one day I would birth a daughter, I chose her lovely name and stitched, for her in faith, a handmade quilt seven years before her birth. Gracing her hand wrought work of love are Hannah Rose’s name, the scripture verses from I Samuel and Song of Solomon and the year I created it.
God could have shown us how great He is. He could have displayed how powerful and above us He is. Instead, He became as small as we are. What did Jesus know that enabled Him to do what He did? Here's part of the answer. He knew the value of people (His sheeple). He knew that each human being is a treasure. And because He did, people were not a source of stress, but a source of joy. Jesus knows how you feel. You are precious to Him. So precious that He became like you, so that you would come to Him. It is outrageous for the Christ whose rightful place is at the right hand of His Father to step out of timelessness into our world to live as one of us. For people with bodies, important things like love have to be embodied, or else people with bodies would never in a trillion years understand about love. It was not necessary to nail Him to His cross. His unfailing love, arms opened wide for us, would have held Him there. That I should such a life destroy yet live by Him I killed! He lived for us, then He died for us, and then He rose for us. His death atoned for our sins, and His resurrection opens the door to everlasting life. How much easier it would have been for Him to not give us a choice. But to remove the choice would be to remove the love. The one who chose to love created one who could love in return… Now …. it's our choice. Jesus is fishing for us, not to kill us but to give us life. God woos us with kindness. He changes our character with the passion of His love.
God is looking down on this earth, half angry because His beloved mankind has cheated on Him, has committed adultery, and yet He is hopelessly in love with her. God's goodness is spurred by His nature, not by our worthiness. We are wanted by God, pursued by God. He is wanting to preserve us, to guide us through the darkness of the shadow of death up into eternal life in His presence. We are temporarily in these shells on this earth. Paul had no questions. That is how he could be beaten one day, imprisoned the next, and released only to be beaten again and never ask God why. He understood the earth is fallen. He understood the rules of Rome could not save mankind, that mankind could not save itself; rather it must be rescued. He knew he was not in the promised land, but still in the desert. We seem to forget - perhaps more truthfully, we refuse to remember - that we are the ones who betrayed Him, not vice versa. We are the ones who listened to the lies of the evil one in the Garden; we chose to mistrust the heart of God. Why, oh why do we have difficulty believing in the God who created the entire universe? Why do we have trouble believing in the One who sent His only Son to save us from ourselves? In the same way God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, so he has delivered us from eternal death to eternal life through His beloved son. He's delivered us from bondage to sin, bondage to narcissism, into fullness of life lived with and for Him.
True, God is in control of the universe. True, He can prevent suffering whenever He sees fit. However, that doesn't mean that everything that happens is His doing. Wherever free will exists, by the very nature of things, consequences of choice must exist. These consequences will be either good or bad, depending on the decisions that are made. We are all being tempted by satan. Pain, suffering and death are the result of man's abuse of free will. God does not prevent man's disobedience, even though He knows the consequences will be devastating. He allows a man to reap what he sows. Selfishness grows from the anarchy seed, the seed of the evil one. satan lashes out on the earth like a madman, setting tribes against each other in Rwanda. satan devastates many lives through starvation, alcoholism, substance abuse and pornography. satan is at work in economic chaos around the world, and the corporate-driven greed of American executives. satan is at work in the holocaust of violent, non-loving, disrespecting aborting of babies in the U.S. of A., the narcissism, materialism and intellectualism in America, social class snobbery, and the self-absorption we wallow in when we do not ensure our next generation is brought up in a culture with enriching, wholesome values. What a great responsibility it is to be human. We are human because God made us. If you are not living in touch with God, it is easy to blame Him or pass judgment on Him. We experience suffering and temptation because mankind chose to follow satan. God is reaching out to rescue us … God made nature to sing His praises, to declare His glory and to love Him. He made humans with the ability to choose. He could have ordered our obedience; instead He calls for our heart.
I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don't agree with Darwin , but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his Theory of Evolution.
Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire Book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.
But it's a Christian prayer, some will argue.
Yes, and this is the United States of America and Canada , countries founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book,Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect -- somebody chanting Hare Krishna?
If I went to a football game in Jerusalem ,I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.
If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad , I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.
If I went to a ping pong match in China , I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha. And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit.
When in Rome .....
But....what about the atheists, is another argument.
What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer!
Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.
Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying.
God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well, just sue me.
The silent majority has been silent too long. It's time we tell that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard that the vast majority doesn't care what they want. It is time that the majority rules! It's time we tell them, "You don't have to pray; you don't have to say the Pledge of Allegiance; you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right; but by golly, you are no longer going to take our
rights away. We are fighting back, and we WILL WIN!"
God bless us one and all...Especially those who denounce Him. God bless America and Canada, despite all our faults We are still the greatest nations of all. God bless our servicemen who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God. Let's make 2010the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions. And our military forces come home from all the wars.
I surrendered my allegiance to Jesus in a stone Catholic chapel while a college student. My four children are my magnum opus: twin sons Joseph Linden and Adam Edward, Hannah Rose and Laurel Emmaline.
My dear dad, eldest of ten, strove for and achieved excellence at whatever he did: surrendering his allegiance to Jesus and serving Him his entire life, most proficient sharpshooter during his stint in the Marines; scouted not once, but twice, to pitch for the Brooklyn Dodgers; struck Willie Mays out; valedictorian at Crozet High, Belmont Abbey and at UVA. While a Marine, he appointed himself as THE man to ensure his mates came safely back to the ship after carousing on land. His exemplary mother, Katherine Kirk Bain, was Mother-of-the-Year for VA in 1966. She was my best friend until her death at age 99 in 2000. I miss her always!