August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin: Hope, Change, and a Role Model to Christian Women

I was hoping for Huckabee, I was expecting Pawlenty or Romney. Pleasantly suprised, I am so excited about McCain's selection of Gov. Sarah Palin for Vice President.

The choice of Gov. Palin as McCain's running mate brings conservative values and government ethics reform--something Senator Obama fails to address of his corrupt home state of Illinois--to the forefront of this election cycle.

Wife to Todd and mother to 5 children, including one with Down's Syndrome who Gov. Palin chose not to abort, is an inspiration to women everywhere, but particularly to women in the evangelical community who aspire to leadership but have few role models. In addition to her work throughout this election, I encourage Palin to reach out to young women who want to know how to be a Christian and how to be an effective leader without compromising ethics and integrity. Gov. Palin has broken through the glass ceiling in the sense of being called to the role of Vice President, but she makes it possible for women in the evangelical community to recognize that one need not be a secular feminist to aspire to such possibilities.

August 28, 2008

Obama's Big Give

Did Oprah write Barak's speech?? Perhaps I'm not old enough to recall the promises of previous presidential candidates, but the crowd was acting like Barak "big pockets" Obama was making all their dreams come true. The laundry list went on and on and on and then it hit me....Obama's Big Give. This campaign is turning into the greatest mass manipulation in the history of humanity and the greatest show of arrogance I've personally witnessed. Sadly, the talking points of "dignity and respect" that have so permeated this DNC were lost in his expressed desire to "reduce unwanted pregnancies." That's political-talk for avoiding the subject of abortion.

August 27, 2008

Women's Leadership Conference--Oct 18, 2008

If you're in the Chicago area, you want to plan to attend the 1 day conference for women's leaders--in church, culture, or the marketplace. It's a conference for all ages and designed to accommodate your busy schedule. Find the details here.

Who are the conference speakers?
Session 1
From Dial Ups to Smart Phones: Women's Ministry Then & Now
Felecia Thompson, Trinity Christian College, Palos Hts IL

Session 2
Kingdom Writing: How Your Words Serve Heavenly Purposes
Caryn Rivadeneira, Christianity Today: Gifted for Leadership

Session 3
The Caris Approach: The Third Voice
Angie Weszley, Caris Pregnancy Clinics

To register or to obtain more info, email

August 25, 2008

The Church--Reaching in or Reaching Out?

This weekend I was involved in a training equipping me to teach young women about the pitfalls of sliding into bad relationships without thoughtful, decisive contemplation. For example, cohabitation and casual sex will lead to constraints such as isolation from family, unplanned pregnancy, and a lack of advancement in goals, all of which will make it difficult to get out and get into healthier relationships where there is physical, emotional, and commitment safety.

I'm so excited about incorporating this educational component into my existing ministry because I have such a heart for seeing young women succeed in life. But this also seems like the type of ministry that churches could offer to educate the community. Young women are not likely to attend church if they are stranded in difficult relationships and have difficulty moving forward. The need to reach out is huge, both to talk with young women not yet in such relationships and to those already in them.

This work is often left to parachurch ministries like my own, but unless a ministry is functioning as an agent of the church, they aren't being delivered to the church. Young women like these are expected to find their own way (obviously there is hope that there are other Christians in there lives).

The church bears the message of the gospel, and it preaches the gospel. But how far is its reach? Is the church "going out" or is the church's reach only an arm's length? I believe we should be seeing the church's fingerprint on the community, involved in every possible way to assist in the broader development of people for the sake of the gospel. This will not happen if the church is waiting for unbelievers to find them.

August 18, 2008

Obama Determines Embryos Worthy of Destruction, Not a Pay Grade Issue

Obama supports relaxing federal restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. He voted for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, which was vetoed by President Bush. The bill would have allowed federal funding to be used for research on stem cell lines obtained from discarded human embryos originally created for fertility treatments.

It isn't above his pay grade to determine that embryos are worthy of destruction. This week will prove to be decisive in his campaign in that his inability to understand the issues has become apparent. There is no change or hope in this, this is politics as usual.

August 17, 2008

Most People are Single-Issue Voters

Prolifers, myself included, are often accused of being single-issue voters. I think its generally true for everyone that there is a particular issue that causes you to lean a certain direction. If you homeschool your kids your issue might be vouchers or protections for homeschoolers, likely a conservative candidate. If you support abortion rights, chances are you aren't voting for any prolife candidate. If you are anti-war, you aren't going to vote for a candidate who is a respected veteran. If you think universal health care is a high priority, chances are your vote will go to a democrat. We all have many issues we're concerned about, but one or 2 in particular will be what drives us.

I believe there is nothing more fundamentally important than the sanctity of life and human dignity, for it is those two that undergird every other good piece of legislation. I can care about other issues, but my priorities begin with respecting life. For instance, I can't imagine supporting someone with a great plan for the economy if they support and encourage the death of millions more unborn children. If we were promised that poverty in the US would be greatly diminished, yet they upheld a woman's right to choose to kill her unborn son or daughter, I could not give him or her my vote. If a candidate could provide substantive evidence that he had a clear shot at peace in the middle east, yet would persist in embryo-destructive research, the ordering of priorities would necessitate I vote for the prolife candidate.

Are economics more important than the lives of the unborn?
Is the concern about poverty a greater concern than the concern for the life or death of others?

Without a proper respect for life at every stage, we cannot create a society--a world--where a great economy or world peace can truly exist. Human dignity needs to be the basis for real change, or there can be no change at all.

Obama: No 'Change' or 'Hope' for the Unborn

During the August 17th conversation between Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren and the presidential candidates, Obama & McCain, the cultural crisis of abortion was given significant attention.

Warren asked both candidates, pointing out that 40 million abortions have occurred since Roe v Wade, "a what point does a baby get human rights in your view?"

McCain: "at conception."
Obama: "Well...i think...whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or uh, a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, uh, ya know, is, is uh above my pay grade."

Clearly, Obama doesn't believe that a child should have any human rights until birth--and even then that's been called into question. To be generous, he probably believes that life does begin at conception, but like secular feminists, he avoids the question of what is life and when does life begin and when does this person have rights and focuses instead on what are believed to be the rights of the woman.

Obama persists,
...But but but let me speak more generally about the issue of abortion...I am pro- choice, I believe in Roe v. Wade and I come to that conclusion not because I'm pro- abortion, but because ultimately I don't believe women make these decisions casually. I think they wrestle with these things in profound ways, in consultation with their pastors or their spouses or their doctors or family members.
Here Obama is simply naive because I don't believe we can account for 40 million abortions as the result of 40 million introspective women and families. In fact, Planned Parenthood isn't interested in women wrestling with this decision or else they would be in full support of the facilities that educate women about the alternatives. Crisis pregnancy centers provide women with an understanding of the life they are carrying and communicate options such as adoption or continuing the pregnancy and raising the child. Planned Parenthood's existence depends upon large numbers of abortions while hiding their history of promoting abortion as a matter of societal cleansing.

Obama continues,
So for me, the goal right now should be and I believe this is where we can find common ground, and by the way [I've now inserted this into the democratic party platform (unclear)], is how do we reduce the number of abortions? Because the fact is that, even though we've had a president who is opposed to abortion the last 8 years, abortions have not gone down....
Interestingly, the Guttmacher Institute says otherwise. In January 2008, it was reported that the abortion rate had dropped to a 30 year low. Accurate or not, it's clear that Obama doesn't even know what his pro-choice colleagues are saying on the matter.

Obama doesn't want to enter into theological or scientific discussion on when life begins and when a child has human rights because he doesn't feel qualified, yet he's willing to take a position on the issue without doing the research. He prefers to settle on the issue by an appeal to women's rights. How is it that he knows a woman's rights ought to trump those of the unborn? He really expects Americans to believe that someone as learned as himself can't study this issue and come to an understanding. But on the otherhand, how often do we hear politicians admit that they don't have the answers? When Joe Carter and I testified before the Illinois State Legislature on embryonic stem cell research, it was clear we were dealing with clueless politicians who not only did not know what they were talking about, but didn't know what they didn't know. Obama clearly doesn't know what he needs to know and demonstrates a lack of integrity by his unwillingness to pursue these answers. Politics as usual. Where's the change in that?

August 15, 2008

Hannity, Politics, and Theology

One of the greatest problems plaguing humanity today is the belief that it does not matter what one believes, so long as you are a good person. Along with that, matters of faith have come to be viewed as matters of feeling and experience, not a matter of the intellect--rejecting that absolute, knowable truth exists.

The last few moments of Hannity and Colmes last night made clear to me that Sean needs some theological mentors in his life. Yes, I know he has some training within the RCC, but any theologically-astute person that might have heard him last night now knows that he probably ought to leave the work of theology to the professionals. In his effort to make nice to Oprah, he openly embraced Eckhart Tolle's book, A New Earth. Now as a Roman Catholic, he likely has a diminished view of protestant theologies anyway, but even his own theology embraces absolutes that are rejected by Tolle.

Since so much of the current political showdown has revolved around theological concepts, it concerns me that Sean, in his prominence, could cause the theological-right to lose credibility (what little it may have) because of his haphazard understanding of things. Will someone step up to mentor him in areas of theology?
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August 11, 2008

Taking a Bite...

Tomorrow evening I will resume my blogging ritual from the inspiring location of New York City. I'm hoping to run into Bill O'Reilly so he can add to my vocabulary and make Flash Point more interesting. We'll see. Stay tuned!

August 7, 2008

Is Dim Economy Good for Biotech Industry?

CNN reported yesterday that the dim economy is probably a primary reason for a recent increase in women wanting to sell their eggs and the upsurge in calls to fertility clinics. Cited was one young woman named Michelle who has 2 kids and in need for a way to pay for college. Like Michelle, many women, for whatever reason, are living paycheck to paycheck. Selling their eggs may provide temporary financial freedom, but it may also be the cause of serious health problems.

Right now, the biotech industry, in its pursuit to conduct embryo-destructive research (ESCR), is plagued by 2 problems, a lack of funding and a lack of eggs. And even though recent progress has been made though iPC's, embryonic stem cell research is still considered (for some reason) the "gold standard" or the "holy grail." Women like Michelle who find themselves vulnerable to this economy are easy prey for the biotech industry as it is unclear whether there are protections in place that prohibit fertility clinics from obtaining eggs to transfer to research facilities. The ban on payment for eggs in states where it exists for biotech firms ought to apply to fertility clinics as well, whether or not the science is speculative.

Speaker of the House not Entirely Mum on Faith in the Public Square

In an online discussion on August 6, Nancy Pelosi discussed her new book, Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters, with the listeners of Book World Live. As was written in the Washington Post, the book is about "the women who have inspired her in her personal and professional lives, and about the lessons she wants to pass on to the women in her own family as well as around the country."

One of the participants in the online interview inquired about the role faith has "clear[ly]" played in her life. To this, Pelosi replies:
My faith has always been central to my public service. Growing up in Baltimore, we were raised in a devoutly Catholic family and taught that we had a responsibility to other people and that we must always honor the spark of divinity in each person.

When I became Speaker, I quoted St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of San Francisco: "preach the Bible; sometimes use words." I try to follow that guidance in my work - to remember that we are all God's children and we have a responsibility to each other and to our planet - God's creation.

I'm not quite sure what it is about Pelosi that makes it "clear" to this individual that faith plays an important role in her life, and I'm a bit confused about this devout Catholicism she seems to have experienced as a child. "Responsibility to other people," especially as a devoted Roman Catholic, includes a responsibility to the unborn, something Pro-Choice Pelosi lacks in her worldview.

What are we to make of Pelosi bringing her faith into the public square? Of course, she is suggesting in this quote that she utilizes the words of Assisi to justify an inexplicit use of religious language. But this is, in and of itself, a religious argument for a certain religious language and mission. Simply because she or any other liberal doesn't quote the Bible chapter and verse does not make them secular--secularism truly is a myth. As well, what is most clear is that from her own words she is functioning according to a religious worldview. We may not appreciate its contents and how it works itself out, but she has made it impossible for herself to argue against religious worldviews making themself apparent in the public square.

August 5, 2008

Do They Know it Came from the Outlet Store? The Ethics of Worship and Shopping

Today I was listening to Alistair Begg talk about women and their adornments. (1 Timothy 2:9) While its one thing to dress "nice" for church, he suggested it is no place to "dress to the nines." Of course there is a bit of relativity in this, but he was trying to make the principled point that worship is about attending ourselves to God and not doing or wearing anything that would be a distraction. He spoke primarily of over dressing for the occasion or dressing in a way that only our husbands should see and appreciate.

I frequent many websites and blogs of womens speakers and one in particular grabbed my attention recently, Begg's sermon bringing it back to my mind. Her focus in the particular post I was reading was advice on how to buy expensive label clothing without the cost. These would be the labels that are sewn in to the clothing and sold in Saks Fifth Avenue and elite boutiques, where a pair of sandals cost as much as my car payment.

At first, I thought it was cool advice...scour Goodwill, look for damaged items in the stores (to repair yourself) and shop the outlets. How exciting it is to look and feel as if you spent a million dollars on yourself! Think again.

What is the testimony of the million-dollar-look? While it may have literally cost you only pennies to own, it can cost you a lot more. The motive in obtaining expensive labels at discount prices is to give the impression that you spent a lot of money and that your outward appearance is worth such an expenditure. Is that really the impression we want to give? Granted, there are casual items that can be purchased, even at Saks, but today's image-driven culture knows exactly how much was on the original price tag.

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August 1, 2008

Join a Movement: Christian Women Bloggers Network

We talk about many things: parenting, philosophy, cooking, theology, music, pop culture, Scripture, and much more. But in the spirit of Dorothy Sayers, we may differ in a great many ways, but we find similarities as human and in the experience of womanhood.

As Christian women bloggers, join the new network that will bring us together in our sameness and our differences as we connect in the blogosphere and face to face. Be watching for a network gathering in the not so distant future!