Thursday, March 31, 2005

Double-think regarding Terri Schiavo

"Michael Lee Swails of Immokalee, Fla., was charged recently with starving 120 cows. The 47-year-old rancher “was arrested Thursday in connection with the discovery of dead, dying or severely malnourished cows on his ranch last year.”

Meanwhile, Terri Schiavo continues to starve to death thanks to the court-ordered removal of her feeding tube. While the exact value of a human life hasn’t been determined, we now know that it’s less than the value of 120 cows."


Just today on Canada AM there was a news report about a man who is petitioning to have the government ban the use of bow-hunting to kill deer. He cited the cruel and unusual torture of a slow death that the deer must suffer if it is not killed quickly by a bullet. He wasn't objecting to the killing of deer for meat, but to the slowness of the death.

All I could think about was Terri Schindler-Schiavo. Her death has been excruciatingly slow in coming, since the courts ordered her feeding tube removed on March 18. I am sure that her husband thought she would quickly succumb; yet she obviously has a strong will to live.

The other day I was cleaning my bedroom and had my ancient, black-and-white TV on for a few minutes. I happened to catch a debate about Terri on "The View" - a show I do not normally watch. Joy Behar was vehemently defending the right of Michael Schiavo to have Terri's feeding tube removed, and her argument flabbergasted me: "The Sanctity of Marriage!" She kept proclaiming that because of the sanctity of marriage, this man had every right to decide what to do with his wife.

This man, who has fathered a couple of children in an ongoing adulterous relationship, has violated the sanctity of his marriage publically, by forsaking his wife and living openly with another woman. He could have walked away and left Terri in the hands of her parents, who were willing to sacrifice everything to care for her, to give her all the therapy that could be found in order to help her in her recovery, and to give all of their time and energy to this poor woman. But no! Michael wasn't going to give up being her husband: after all, there is a lot of money at stake, which he will inherit upon her demise.

This is another case of double-think. Sanctity of Marriage in today's society means that a man can decide to starve and dehydrate his wife to death. It no longer means that he ought to keep the vows he made at the altar on the day of their wedding.

Cruel death means that cows ought not to be starved to death, and that deer must not suffer longer than a couple of seconds. It no longer means that a human being should never have to endure thirst for weeks at a time with only one drop of wine for comfort.

The only thing we can rest upon is the Sovereignty of God. When judges violate God's law and set their own thinking above that of the Almighty, God is not dismayed.

Psalm 2 reminds us of that:

1 ¶ Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us."
4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.
5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure:
6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion."
7 ¶ "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.
8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’"
10 ¶ Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

All Power and Authority has been given to the King, Jesus. He will set things right. Blessed are we who put our trust in HIM. Thank You, Lord!


Monday, March 07, 2005


I am reading and working through a book by Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline. In my study of the Puritans and Reformers, I realized that they had something that I don't have, something I deeply desire: a disciplined life characterized by an intimate relationship with the Lord of Glory.

Richard Foster lists meditation, prayer, fasting, study as the inward disciplines. Outward disciplines include simplicity, solitude, submission, and service. Corporate disciplines are confession, worship, guidance and celebration.

I have been studying meditation this week.

My first reaction is to desire meditation, yet wonder if I will have the strength of character and patience to pursue the living God in this manner. Lord, give me that desire.

The basic difference between eastern meditation and Christian meditation is that eastern seeks to empty oneself to the point of losing one’s personhood and becoming detached from the world, while Christian meditation knows that detachment is not enough: we must go on to ATTACHMENT to Christ. We must give ourselves freely to God.

My life is crowded by trivial pursuits such as computer games, and more important tasks such as being a wife to my husband, managing my home, training my children, and ministering to the Patriarch’s Wives. I am busy, but much of what I am busy at is unnecessary and foolish. Television robs me of time. I need to learn to redeem the time and use my moments wisely.

I do have a desire to hear the Lord’s voice in the midst of all the clutter. Lord, make it so.

Only to sit and think of God;
Oh what a joy it is!
To think the thought, to breathe the Name
Earth has no higher bliss.

~Frederick W. Faber

To sit and think of God requires focussing my attention on Him - on His beauty, majesty, power, awesome acts of Creation, marvellous plan of salvation, and great grace.

I am undone; unworthy. It is humbling to approach such glory when I am so full of sin.

To consider that He not only allows me to approach, but encourages and welcomes me, knowing my frame, can only produce amazement at His grace and mercy.

His mercy endures forever.

Philippians 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
9 ¶ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

That I may know Him... I don’t just want to know of Him...I don’t simply want to know what the Bible says or where this doctrine is found. I want a living relationship with the God of the Universe. I want to bask in His presence and tremble at the thought of shaking my fist in His face. I want to feel Him with me moment by moment through every day, through every little trial and irritation. I want, selfishly, that He should transform me and give me more of His grace and wisdom. I must learn self-control. I cannot do that apart from Him, apart from surrendering to His control.

I am sick of the hypocrisy I see in my life. I drip words of wisdom and encourage others to get their eyes off of themselves and onto the Lord of Glory, then I turn and treat my husband shamefully when he doesn’t come to the table on time for a meal. This ought not to be so.

James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

What an encouragement the next few verses of Philippians are!

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I press on, because Christ has laid hold of me. I press on, because He called me to Himself and He is leading me by His grace. I forget those things that are behind, those accomplishments I have achieved, but I remember His grace and mercy, and I remember my sins and my faults, so I can be ever thankful for His mercy and love. I press towards the goal: God! Jesus! Heaven! Grace! Mercy! God’s glory! I press on, ever mindful of His mercy and grace in my life.

I press on.

Father God, thank You so much for Your grace in my life. Thank You that even when I sin, it is of Your good pleasure to reveal to me the deepest, darkest recesses of my soul. Oh, Lord, give me the grace to live for You. I want to die to sin, and live as a slave to the Master. My life is not my own; I was bought with a price - the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world, including my sin. I praise You, I glorify Your name. I give thanks to You. In Christ’s glorious name, I pray. Amen.