Sunday, May 15, 2011

Minnesota House Passes Tax-Funded Abortion Bans

Last week, the Minnesota state House passed two pro-life bills — the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, S.F. 649 and H.F. 936 — which would ban taxpayer funding of abortions after the 20th week from fertilization because medical research has shown evidence that a preborn child can feel intense pain. The Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, the state's largest pro-life organization, states, "These bills represent the will of a large majority of Minnesotans, who oppose the inflicting of suffering upon unborn children and the forced funding of elective abortions. These mainstream measures enjoy broad bi-partisan support in the Legislature and among the people of Minnesota." []

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Good News for Foster Kids

According to a report released last month by Child Trends, adoptions are at a record high, fewer children are waiting for permanent families and their average wait time has shrunk by a year. Based on statistics available in 2009, the research revealed that:

Adoptions from foster care reached a record high of 57,000, up from 37,000 in 1998.
The number of children waiting for adoption fell to a record low of 115,000, down from 135,000 in 2006.
The average wait to be adopted fell to a record low 35 months, down from 48 months in 1998.
The likelihood a waiting child would be adopted in a year rose to 45 percent, up from an average 39 percent over the previous decade.

Child-welfare specialists credit these improvements to the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act, which created cash incentives for states that increased their adoptions of foster children, and set deadlines for action.

Also, since 2008, the Focus on the Family program, "Wait No More," has been used to encourage families to think about adopting foster children. "In recent months, 6,000 people have attended nine adoption events, and 1,500 have decided to pursue the adoption process," said Kelly Rosati, who heads up the adoption initiative at Focus on the Family, and who is an adoptive mother herself.

According to their Web site, Child Trends is a nonprofit, non partisan research center, founded in 1979, that studies children in all stages of development. []

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wheaton College Alumni Group Supports Gay Students

A new group of Wheaton College alumni, known as OneWheaton, recently circulated a letter on the Wheaton College campus "affirming the full dignity of every human being regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity." According to the OneWheaton Web site, the group is made up of "alumni young and old, men and women, LGBTQ and straight allies, all connected by a desire to support students who feel isolated during their time at Wheaton College."

Speaking to students who are struggling with their sexual identity, the letter that was circulated outlines the group's belief that, "your sexual identity is not a tragic sign of the sinful nature of the world. You are not tragic. Your desire for companionship, intimacy and love is not shameful. It is to be affirmed and celebrated just as you are to be affirmed and celebrated." A press release on the OneWheaton site states, "We do not believe there is anything wrong with being gay. We don't just believe otherwise, we live happily, and even faithfully, otherwise."

In response to OneWheaton, Philip Ryken, President of Wheaton College sent out an email that reaffirms the school's commitment to "loving our neighbors as ourselves" and the LGBT's group's message of "the full humanity and dignity of every human being. While we recognize that Wheaton's stance may be unsatisfying to some of our alumni, we remain resolved to respond with truth and grace," wrote Ryken. According to The Christian Post, "Wheaton College takes the position that homosexual relations is a sin but that Christians should love those struggling with same-sex attraction instead of judging or ostracizing them."

(from FotF's Pastor's Weekly Briefing)

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Pastor's Wife

The following was written by H.B. London a few years ago.

The life of a pastor's wife is at the same time beautiful, blessed, complicated and confusing. Yet, it is one of the most important and vital positions in the body of Christ.

In so many ways, a clergy wife sets the emotional and spiritual tone for the household, and becomes both the enabler and the encourager for every member of the family. She is a critic at the right time when correction is needed, but she is a listener and an affirmer when her husband and children just want to talk.

She feels lonely at times, and overwhelmed with parishioners at other times. She wishes the congregation understood the nature of her husband's call, but sometimes wonders what it all means herself.

She is a wife and mother first. She desperately desires more time with the family unit, but understands "balance" is a luxury and management is a must.

For most clergy wives, work outside the home is not optional. It is a necessity just to make ends meet. For others, it is a means of escape from the telephone and the "joy-suckers." Some feel called to their lot in life, while others, all of a sudden, just became pastors' wives. For some, it is unbridled joy; but for others, they wonder how long they can hang on.

Yet, they are God's gift to His church and to those who lead her. They do not get enough credit, attention or reward. If anyone in the church needs to be prayed for, it is the pastor's wife. They need space. They need consideration. They need understanding. They need lots of love.

So, pastor friend, when you pause to recognize the moms in your congregation — don't forget the mother of your children. And in front of the assembled folks, let them know just how empty your ministry would be without your precious mate. Salute and honor her, my colleague! She is a treasure.

Be blessed and be a blessing. --HBL

"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her." (Prov. 31:27-28)