Advent is a good time to read about the tiny child born in a manger, the humble beginnings of a remarkable life. But I am reading the omega of that story.
Let’s not pass thoughtlessly by the images in the Book of Revelation. Let’s not glaze over when we read the uncompromising declarations of Who He Is.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord,
and who was
and who is to come, the Almighty.”
“One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He…
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Embryology and Science Denial
by Patrick Lee and Melissa Moschella
from The Public Discourse
I am appalled when I hear of a young married man and woman being asked to spend nights apart because of ministry duties.
God created human society. At humanity’s core is the intimate relationship between man and wife. It is the nucleus of the relationship between man and woman; it is the Big Bang which creates the family; it is the center of all human relationship. Church, village, nation, world–all human society springs concentrically from the source of this physical/spiritual union between man and wife.
God designed the marriage relationship as a human mirror of His most intimate, unconditional and expressive love. His love for His Bride.
The marriage bed is respected and set apart — or made sacred — by God the Creator. Have we bought into the world’s evaluation of married sexual relationships? The newly married couple–wink wink–now can have some legal fun. No big deal if they have to put other priorities before this bit of self-indulgence.
No, no, no. This is what God has to say in His Word about married sex:
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:4
Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Proverbs 5:15
Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. Malachi 2:15
God designed the first years of marriage as a special time when a couple nurtures and builds their love. He knows that physical expression binds the two together in a connection so close that we can hardly comprehend. It is a mystical union meant to reflect the faith, constancy and intense affection that He has for us. It is how we seal the ownership of one another, heart, body and soul. It is a time to develop a new wordless language unique to each relationship. It takes time, intentional effort, and self-sacrifice.
But I’m in a struggling ministry and I’m needed, you say. If you are married, you will never have another ministry which supersedes your marriage. It is your Number One Ministry Priority. The cultivation of your marriage as an expression of God’s gift, and its maintenance as a representative of God’s unbounded love, far surpasses any other ministry goals over time.
We are here to represent God to a world which needs Him. We are here to love God through loving (verb) His other human creations. How better to do that than to live out a marriage as He designed, since your marriage is an example of how God loves each of us?
The marriage bed is not to de slighted. It is the far more important than the world knows. Let’s be the ones who respect the marriage bed. The freedom of the married man and woman, particularly the newly married couple, to cultivate this most vital foundation—unhurried, unhampered, undistracted—should not be infringed by anyone. No one should tempt a newly married man or woman away from the marriage bed, from the right to spend private time together overnight in their own home. The marriage bed takes precedence over other relationships. The marriage bed comes far before any other ministry responsibilities.
And no man, and no woman, having recently married, should submit to a request to spend an overnight apart from his or her spouse. To do so is to slight the other, and the marriage, and the Lord who sealed your union.
How do I know? This is what God has to say on the subject of young marriage:
“When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.” Deuteronomy 24:5
God is not winking and nudging at honeymoons. He does not think the man and wife self-indulgent who enjoy their new intimacy. Even our Creator respects the marriage bed and tells us that it is of first priority over virtually all others.
Please allow me to tenuously connect some scattered thoughts. They’re buzzing around like bees but we’ll see if they all return to the same hive.
Recently my husband/craft show roadie/tireless supporter drove us through Philly the back way–avoiding highways because I’m phobic–to arrive at the craft fair venue, a new “park” by Spruce Street harbor on the Delaware River. I was one of several vendors of fine crafts, our tables set up along a walkway in the park.
Often lately we find ourselves driving through the ugly parts of Philly to get to someplace where you really want to be. And again, as we drove, I was thinking about the many millions spent and being spent on transforming every tiny bit of space along the Parkway to another cute little park, the walking/biking trail from the Art Museum all the way to the next county, the modernish fountains/skate rink by City Hall, the movie screens and built-in benches also by City Hall, and here — Spruce Street Harbor Park with its conversation pits, rentable hammocks, giant chessboard, and high-end microbrewery and gourmet concessions.
Endless playgrounds for the hipsters and coolest millennials. Better court those sophisticates, the Philadelphians we want to be our face.
As we drive through the rest of the city, outside center city and the waterfront, outside the several seemingly random spots selected for gentrification, we notice that the other parts of our fair city literally haven’t changed as long as we can remember. We realize that the neighborhoods where our parents and aunts and uncles lived haven’t changed since our parents grew up there, going on 100 years ago. Not a thing has been updated, renovated, or improved–at least not in the neighborhoods not recently designated for a better class of residents. The only change is the steady decay.
Step into yesteryear! Vintage styles are untouched! But streets badly need repair. Homes are dilapidated. Infrastructure needs updating.
That’s most of the city. Most of the city gets nothing, decade after decade, while we spend fortunes tempting the pretty young people to endlessly amuse themselves. Kick back in this city park like it’s your private space, lounge, drink, play. It’s the cool place to be!
Because what smart and cool person doesn’t want to spend his entire Sunday in a rented hammock hanging in a public park 15 feet from a busy highway and forty feet from a dock? Who doesn’t want to throw on just a slip which was lying on the floor, tie a denim jacket around her waist and sally forth to show off her I-don’t-care in public?
City planners encourage public drunkenness and lounge culture. There were people with beers in hand when we set up in the morning, who were still wandering, beers in hand, when we packed up. To pose in their warmed-over sad punk gear, to shock with their most shocking! outfits, and to validate their subversive! cultural identities. What freaking fun.
Who doesn’t want to wander around a tiny park all day, drunk, pawing and mangling vendors’ handiwork, not buying, and walking on?
Me: Ma’am, like the sign says, they’re ALL blank books. No need to bend open and flip through every single page of every book. You’re not going to find any secret messages in there. I would like to sell them to someone as though they’re new.
And after, on the park venue Facebook page — the petulance! I didn’t think much about the several people who asked me, essentially, is this all of it? until I read these comments:
Yeah was nonsense wasn’t even a flea market more like 6 or 7 tables of nonsense
Such a waste not even good this year we need the old punk rock seen back no clothes nothing smh
It was about 8 vendors and a crowd full of the opposite of punk. Completely lame
The darling objects of city planning are supposed to be the cutting edge. The sophisticates. The thinkers, our leaders of the future. Instead they are objects–objects to be pandered to, to be courted. They were lazy, dumb, rude, oblivious, pushy, entitled, and narcissistic. And cheap— I sell more in one hour at high-end craft events in the burbs than I did in five hours at this place-to-be.
The whole day left me sad and angry. Worst vending experience ever.
Let’s see the mainstream media run with this detail.
According to Obianuju Ekeocha:
Someone at the @UNHumanRights committee is trying to redefine Right to Life to exclude unborn.
“This nightmare is now unfolding before our very eyes as the UN Human Rights Committee wraps up a draft legal commentary on the right to life that excludes unborn children from membership in the human family and the protections of international treaties.”
Let that last phrase sit in your consciousness for a minute.
“…excludes unborn children from membership in the human family and the protections of international treaties.”
Wherever abortion is legal, literally the only defense a pre-born baby has is the personal inclination of his or her mother. No state will protect him, no law will recognize her right to exist. Whether an unborn child gets to grow up and become a member of human society, exactly like you and I did, or whether she is terminated and dismembered, or forced through premature delivery before viability, depends entirely and solely upon the attitude of her host.
If the UN Human Rights Committee has its way, whenever a host-mother is inclined to terminate, no one in the world will recognize the right of that unborn child to protection. Unborn children will be legally excluded from the human family, and officially unrecognized as humans deserving any rights or protections whatsoever. If the pro-abortion activists in support of Article 6 have their way, there will be no place on Earth where an unborn child has protection under the law.
Unwilling to allow sovereign states to decide their own policies toward life, the U.N. wants to overrule any possibility for the defense of the most vulnerable of our world. What is this obsession with ensuring potential death for children everywhere?