Category: Incarnational Love

BOOK CLUB: The Hiding Place

hiding place“We must tell people what we have learned here. We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. They will listen to us, Corrie, because we have been here.”

So implored Corrie ten Boom’s sister as she lay ill as a prisoner at Ravensbruck concentration camp, during World War II. I’m so glad Corrie listened to her sister, and told us their story. What an incredible story it is.

I don’t want to say much more about the particulars of the story, just in case there’s one other Christian in the world besides me who had not read The Hiding Place before. If by any chance you fall into that category, YOU MUST OBTAIN A COPY OF THE BOOK AND READ IT NOW!  (more…)

This is the Duty of Our Generation

72-year-old Yamada calls his generation to service Photo credit: BBC News
72-year-old Yamada calls his generation to service
Photo credit: BBC News

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Yesterday my kids and I drove past a retirement center. My oldest son asked me what it was.

I tried to explain the concept of retirement to him: that many people save money throughout their lifetime with the hope that they won’t have to work to support themselves when they are older.

I struggled a little internally as I spoke to my kids. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with the idea of retirement. My husband and I “save money for retirement.” I think it’s actually wise to prepare for a day when perhaps our bodies are too tired or our minds too feeble to produce enough income to live on.

The tension for me comes from sorting through some of the pervasive views on retirement in our modern American culture: the (sometimes subtle) sense of entitlement that can creep in when we think about our twilight years. A popular sentiment in our country is, “I’ve worked hard for decades. Now I deserve some time for myself, to do what I want to do. This is my rightful expectation.”  (more…)

Who Would You Take a Bullet For?

silver_bullet

As I continue to process the news about Osama bin Laden’s death, one particular aspect of the raid on his compound really intrigues me: That a woman was fatally shot during the action.

At first we were told the woman was one of bin Laden’s wives. Now that doesn’t seem to be the case. Early reports also indicated that the woman acted as a human shield, attempting to protect bin Laden. Now it turns out that may not be accurate either.

But for two days I pictured a woman throwing her body in between the bullets and bin Laden. I wondered, Did she love him? Did she just believe in him and his cause? What motivated her to sacrifice herself?

I thought about what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome during the first century:

“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man, someone might possible dare to die.” (Romans 5:7)

I began to wonder: Who would I take a bullet for?

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On the Way To Jerusalem

jerusalem1

Clarity of purpose. That’s what I sometimes lack.

When I find myself discouraged, depressed, disheartened, or merely disinterested, it’s usually because I’ve forgotten my purpose.

Lack of purpose is what drew me to the Lord in the first place. Before I knew Christ, my heart ached from the unanswered question, What’s the point?

The point, the purpose, of those who would follow Christ is to love and die like He did.  (more…)

I Am The Way, The Truth, And The Life

The Last Supper of Jesus by Andre Derain
The Last Supper of Jesus
by Andre Derain

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“Having loved his own…He loved them until the end.”

The hour has come
I gather them
To a room, to a table
To my heart

I know Father
Has put all things
Under my feet
I wash theirs

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21 Ways To Support Women With Unplanned Pregnancies

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In my previous post I made an argument for why we should support women with unplanned pregnancies. In this post I’ll share some ideas on how:

  • Find a great pregnancy support center and donate funds to it. The people there are already doing this work, and often on a shoe-string budget. Two agencies my husband and I support and highly recommend are New Life Pregnancy Center in Northwest Houston and Bethany Christian Services (offices nationwide).
  • Volunteer at a pregnancy support center. Receive training on how to counsel women. Or just sweep the floors and file some paperwork.
  • Organize a fundraiser for a pregnancy center.
  • Take part in a fundraiser by donating items or services for a raffle, or inviting friends to play in a golf tournament.
  • Donate services as a web designer to create, maintain, or improve the center’s website.
  • Ask to be put on a pregnancy center’s prayer request/pressing needs email distribution list, in order to stay informed about specific ways to help like…
  • Hand down gently used baby clothes and baby gear for them to store and give to women at their time of need.
  • Organize the storage place for those donations.
  • Teach a pregnant woman how to create—and live within—a budget.
  • Help her learn how to reduce her debt.
  • Help her apply for WIC and then teach her how to navigate that system.
  • Just listen to her and be her friend.
  • Drive her to the doctor for her check-ups.
  • Donate a car so she can drive herself to the doctor.
  • Commit to becoming her birthing partner. Take her to birthing classes. Stand by her side through labor and delivery.
  • Provide a temporary home for her.
  • Purchase her baby’s formula and bottles ($50-$100/month for one year).
  • Purchase her baby’s diapers ($30-$40/month for 2-3 years).
  • Pay for, or personally provide, childcare so she can finish high school or receive job training.
  • Knit a blanket for her new baby.
  • Pray for her.

This list is by no means exhaustive. What ideas would you add? In what other ways can we come alongside women experiencing unplanned pregnancies?

On Unplanned Pregnancies And Being Pro-Life

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I am pro-life.

I hesitate to write that.

Not because I lack conviction. But because when some people see that word—pro-life—what comes to mind is a condemning, moralistic, angry, religious zealot who wants to suppress women.

Sadly, that characterization is sometimes true. Or at least parts of it are true.

One of the accusations the pro-choice movement levels against the pro-life movement is: Why do pro-lifers only value life when it belongs to the unborn child? If pro-lifers were consistent, they would value all life. Not just the child’s, but the mother’s as well. Where are pro-lifers when it comes to tackling—or even being aware of—the systemic issues that often lead to unplanned pregnancies in the first place?

These are valid questions.

Being truly pro-life is more complicated—and certainly more demanding—than many of us would like to admit.

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