Archive for November, 2005
November 30th, 2005 | Comments Off | Posted in » In the News...
A new initiative petition regarding stem cell research was approved for circulation recently in Missouri. Should the initiative garner enough signatures, it will go to voters in 2006.
The official ballot title (from http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2006petitions/06init_pet.asp#200608) follows:
OFFICIAL BALLOT TITLE AS CERTIFIED BY
SECRETARY OF STATE
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to allow and set limitations on stem cell research, therapies, and cures which will:
- ensure Missouri patients have access to any therapies and cures, and allow Missouri researchers to conduct any research, permitted under federal law;
- ban human cloning or attempted cloning;
- require expert medical and public oversight and annual reports on the nature and purpose of stem cell research;
- impose criminal and civil penalties for any violations; and
- prohibit state or local governments from preventing or discouraging lawful stem cell research, therapies and cures?
The proposed constitutional amendment would have an estimated annual fiscal impact on state and local governments of $0-$68,916.
Sounds great, huh? We’re going to allow Missourians access to any therapies or cures stem-cell research provides, allow research in Missouri permitted by federal law, ban human cloning, small financial impact to the state, etc…. All motherhood and apple pie, huh?
Better check out the entire text (http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2006petitions/ppStemCell.asp).
A couple things I noticed when reading the entirety of the text:
- Embryonic stem cell research is allowed, with limited restrictions (basically just whatever federal restrictions are in existance… anything allowed by federal law can occur).
- Research involving somatic cell nuclear transfer is NOT prohibited. This is a fancy way of saying that cloning cells is allowed. The prohibitions on cloning are solely in regard to actually implanting anything in the uterus in an attempt to initiate pregnancy. In a nutshell… you can clone all the embryos you want, so long as you’re using them for research and not trying to grow a baby.
- It allows for the destruction of existing embryos awaiting implantation (assuming that they are donated and federal law allows it).
Don’t be fooled by the spin in the ballot initiative… this is NOT as benign as proponents want you to believe!
November 30th, 2005 | 3 Comments | Posted in » My Life / Family
Here’s a quandary I’ve got right now…
A sibling has purchased and sent a Christmas gift to my three-year-old. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but the gift is rather excessive (costing more than any two of the gifts my wife and I have bought for our children), and for that reason, feels wholly inappropriate. We’ve always bought gifts for each other (and now each other’s kids), but never anything too expensive or extravagent.
My wife and I would very much like to keep Christmas gifts within reason, so as not to distract our kids from what Christmas is really all about… Jesus. My sibling does not understand this fact, and celebrates Christmas in a far more secular manner.
I’m most curious to hear what others would do… I’m quite perplexed as to how I want to handle this. On one hand, I want to talk to my sibling and request that the gift be returned or exchanged for something more reasonable… on the other, I feel that perhaps I should just be gracious, allow the gift to be given, and express thanks.
So… what would you do?
November 30th, 2005 | Comments Off | Posted in » Just For Fun...
Tired of all the commercialism of Christmas? Tired of the focus on things other than Jesus?
You’ll enjoy this, then… the Santa Catapult game.
November 30th, 2005 | Comments Off | Posted in » In the News...
So it’s hunting season, and you don’t want any of your animals accidentally shot. Paint them orange!
November 30th, 2005 | 2 Comments | Posted in » Baptist Issues
Micah (micahfries.com) brings up an excellent question arising from a recent issue regarding baptistmal requirements for IMB missionaries.
What are your thoughts on correct methods for baptism? What’s a definite Biblical requirement? What’s negotiable?
Check out the discussion and share your thoughts at: http://friesville.blogspot.com/2005/11/baptism-really-big-deal-in-baptist.html.
(As Micah notes, there’s more on the IMB issue at http://www.stevekmccoy.com/sbc/2005/11/imb_tongues_and.html.)
November 29th, 2005 | 1 Comment | Posted in » Devotions / Bible Studies
While sitting at break today, my co-workers were talking about things our company could do for Christmas (apparently, we always do something charitable). I heard one of them tell the following story about previous activities…
A couple years ago, our company provided food and gifts for a needy family in our community. Apparently, this co-worker was one of two individuals from our company that delivered the gifts. This family was FAR from ungrateful… breaking into tears over the gifts… gushing over how much they appreciated what had been done… just showing their thankfulness on and on. According to my co-worker, even months later they would run into this family and be continually thanked for the generosity.
So what made me relay this story on here? It’s what my co-worker said when wrapping up the story… “I’ll NEVER do that again!”
Ever been in that kind of situation? Doing something Christ-like, yet feeling awkward about it to the point you almost wish you didn’t do it? Ever said, “I’ll never do that again” after such a thing?
Most of us would probably answer yes, which puts us in kind of a tough spot.
Remember Matthew 16:24-25?
“24… If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”
Yeah. If we’re going to follow Jesus, we’ve got to carry our cross, and be willing to give up our life for Him. That means that when doing something Christ-like is uncomfortable… we do it anyway. When doing something Christ-like is difficult… we do it anyway. When doing something Christ-like brings fear… we do it anyway.
We’ve got to be willing to follow Christ no matter the cost. Our fear… our self-consciousness… our feelings of inadequacy… our unfounded worries… we simply can’t let these things hold us back.
When it comes to following Christ’s example… may we never allow ourselves to take attitudes of “I’ll never do that again”.
November 28th, 2005 | Comments Off | Posted in » In the News...
Did you hear? Apparently, there’s another statue of Mary weeping tears of blood.
Check out a few quotes from news stories about this:
“The baby is just a week old. We thought we would come out and pray to Mary and â€¦ have Mary bless the baby too,” says Amber.
Others are visibly shaken by the image â€” considered by many a sign that something bad will happen. “I believe,” says Noc Lee.
“I don’t know. It could be a miracle. But it’s a miracle just seeing people praying, you know? The faith of the people is something else,” says Margaret Herbert, a former diocese teacher.
One man who came from North Carolina said he believes the statue’s tears are proof that God exists.
“I think it real, I believe it, I think it’s true, this is real … I’m coming to pray,” Son Doan said.
Jeremy Vega, bound to a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy, has been praying daily and asking for a sign from God that he will walk again. Vega said he believes this is the miracle that could make it happen.
“For one, I’m not wearing braces no more. I used to wear braces and now I’m not … so that’s a pretty big step for me,” Vega said.
Since then, Truong said he has been at the church day and night, so emotional he canâ€™t even work. He believes the tears are a sign.
â€œThereâ€™s a big event in the future â€” earthquake, flood, a disease,â€ Truong said. â€œWeâ€™re very sad.â€
â€œI think that itâ€™s incredible. Itâ€™s a miracle. Why is she doing it? Is it something bothering her?â€ asked Maria Vasquez, 35, who drove with her parents and three children from Stockton, about 50 miles south of Sacramento.
â€œI donâ€™t know how to express what Iâ€™m feeling,â€ Operario said. â€œSince religion is the mother of believing, then I believe.â€
â€œItâ€™s a call for us to change ourselves, to love one another,â€ Hoang said.
Interesting, huh? Such varied responses from these people of faith… belief that the statue could bring healing or blessing… belief that it could be a sign of future events… belief that it’s a call for change… belief that it’s a call to faith… you could almost undoubtedly ask 100 people and get 100 different responses.
So, what does this say about these people?
They’re still searching.
Searching for truth about God… for signs of things to come… for hope… for healing… for something to awe… for blessing… for meaning… from a statue?
Now, I understand that miracles are a very exciting thing, so if this phenomena is real… yes, it would be very cool to witness. But searching for hope, meaning, or anything else in it? Does anyone that believes that Jesus is our everything actually do that? Do we really believe we need anything else but Him?
If we think about it… we’re all guilty as charged. It’s not just Catholics in California…
We’re all still searching.
Think about it… family… friends… jobs… money… sports… you name it. What do you put in place of Jesus to fill perceived holes in your heart?
Do you (as I), often times find yourself unfulfilled by the things that fill your life… still searching?
Why not let Jesus truly be everything?