Newsworthy

Boom.

Three hours ago at approximately 3:15am Bronce and I were startled out of our slumber when our house shuddered fiercely. It was a strange thing and it literally shook us awake, causing momentary panic. We hopped out of bed and ran around looking for the cause… was it a tree that fell? Somewhere in my half-consciousness I recalled that the heat turned off at the same moment and wondered if the furnace broke. In our sleepiness we wandered around the house looking for the cause and noticed some neighbors standing in the street between our houses – wrapped in their robes, getting drenched in the rain.

We ran outside and asked them “Did you feel that?” They said yes without turning to face us and pointed. In the near distance we could see a house burning.

Now, I’ve been in the strange circumstance of watching a neighbor’s house burn down and it was a surreal thing. But this… THIS was something different entirely. The noise we heard was an explosion. And that house was not burning, it was engulfed. About half a mile away, sitting on top of a hill allowing for visibility, the house was pouring smoke and the fire was intense. I ran inside to call 911, thinking the whole time “Surely that fire’s been burning for a while… someone has already called” – and after being on hold (yes, on hold!) for a second they confirmed they’d already received the call and help was on its way.

The most frightening part of this whole situation didn’t occur to me until I got to bed later. As I was tossing and turning, fighting the images and the fear that wells up inside I began to hear the sirens come. And I realized – that house has not been burning for long – the flames and smoke we saw were fresh. As I write this I’m still not sure what happened, but the explosion started it.

The idea of my house exploding into that fury of heat and confusion gives me tremors. How do you walk away from that? I slept a fitful sleep, dreaming strange dreams about visiting the house and theorizing about what happened in that crazy way our brains work before dawn.

House fires are one of my all-time fears. But even when I dwell on that frightening situation I think the “what would I grab?” thoughts. Imagining I’d get my laptop, wedding album, Bible, and certainly my cat – surely I’d have enough time to get all those valuable things, right? But to think that this family may have been sleeping soundly – that there may have been children and babies resting their precious heads – and the house blew up. Just boom. My heart stops beating. My skin gets clammy. It makes me want to get in my car and fly to South Carolina to hold my niece. Grabbing those things precious to us has a new meaning.

[I just did a little reporting and found this article… Wow. Natural gas explosion blew the couple out of their bed and threw them in the street. Sheesh.]
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/dec/09/120909webexplosion/

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The Abortion Debate

My Father and I have long stood on opposite sides of the political arena in many ways. I can recall showing up at the voting booths at the same time during the 2000 election and joking that our votes would be a waste of time because our presidential selections were opposites and thus would cancel the others’ vote.

With this year’s election looming I find myself more concerned than ever about some issues. Yesterday my Google Reader alerted me to a new post on our pastor’s blog and I felt the need to pass it out to my friends and family via email. Here is the text of that blog:

Obama and Abortion
October 14, 2008
by gpinkner

I plead with you to read this link. Place it on your blogs and send it to your friends and families-

http://theologica.blogspot.com/2008/10/robert-p-george-voting-for-most-extreme.html

Dad responded with an email challenging the notion that Christians cling to abortion as THE issue and tend to make decisions based on that alone. I’ve heard that before… a lot… and responded below.

I agree that far too many “evangelicals” (however that’s defined now) consider abortion to be the absolute final issue. period. total. that’s it. And I agree that this attitude can be percieved as extremist in that one issue cannot define a person or a campaign. However… that one issue does tell us an awful lot about a candidate/person and I think in a sense it CAN define a person.

What we believe about LIFE defines what we believe about GOD. Do I believe that a woman has the right to end the life of another person for any reason? Then I’m basically declaring that I, not God, have the right to decide life and death for another human.

Michael Horton is a Professor of Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary in California. He writes: “In order to engage in this serious sin [abortion], a Christian must actually deny a cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith. He or she must deny that God is the Sovereign author of life who alone has the power and right to give and take away human breath, and he must also deny the creature, destroying his or her dignity as an image bearer of God Himself” (The Law of Perfect Freedom, p. 151).

The original “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” scripture reference is from Exodus 21:22-25 which begins by talking about harming a pregnant woman thus killing her child… and the punnishment that should come from that… “life for life” (v.23).

Unfortunately, our culture is full of crazy people calling themselves Christians and claiming to act as Christ commanded who have done some wacky stuff in the name of “ProLife.” Their actions have served to discredit the honest and genuine cry of those of us who see this issue not just as a Wedge Issue but as a piece of the larger picture… this so clearly reflects the character of a man and his ability to submit before a Holy God.

The pre-born are protected in Old Testament Law. Exodus 21:22-25

Permitting the murder of innocents pollutes the land. Numbers 35:33-34

Believers are charged with defending life. Proverbs 24:11-12

God hates those that shed innocent blood. Proverbs 6:16-17

Cursed is the man who accepts money to kill an innocent person. Deut. 27:25

One of the sins of Ammon that resulted in God’s wrath was killing pre-born children. Amos 1:13

It is worse to kill the innocent in a protected place. 2 Sam. 4:11: “How much more – when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed – should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!” (John MacArthur comments in a sermon. “How can you tell me that isn’t a description of an unborn child. A righteous person in his own house upon his bed . . . Sure it means a good man, but if it means a good man it certainly would imply a protected child.”)

I feel so passionately about this because I’m so curious as to how this issues has become so taboo in our culture – if I declare myself ProLife I’m immediately tossed into an extremist category. It may be extremist to believe that God, not man, is the author of life, and for that I make no apologies. It’s part of the larger picture of our culture which is slowly pushing God out of the equation and trying to inforce the idea that we humans are in control. I refuse to believe that it isn’t part of the central problem with our culture – the denial of God and the glorification of man.


Please leave any comments, I’d love to continue this debate.

Tragedy of Eric Volz

If you haven’t heard about what’s going on in Nicaragua with Eric Volz, please go check out this website. It’s heart-wrenching and we need to pray. Go to the facts section of his page for the story and then updates to find out what’s new. Last night there was a benefit in Nashville (which I was unable to attend) but awareness of these issues is important.