42 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 1-28-19

  1. In all my years in Phoenix (I was 22 when I left, and I had lived there all my life except for two years in northern Arizona), I saw snow only once (I was about 18)–though I had already seen snow other places, including northern Arizona. And we didn’t drive out to the desert to see it on cactus, though that would be cool to see.

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  2. Morning! Well if ya’ll want to come on over you will see plenty of snow in this here forest!! It is currently whiteout conditions and they have called off school for our local kiddos. I can barely see the lights on at the house across the road…it ‘tis a blowing! It will be outta here around noon they say but not before it drops about 5 inches of fresh powder….I’m thinking this is from a system that brought Kare some of her snow as it is coming from the north… 😊 ⛄️

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  3. We definitely have lots of new snow and it was blowing yesterday. I am refusing to go anywhere today, it is too cold and we have to go in for the post-op appointment tomorrow. Stuff can happen then – what’s 24 more hours. Of course, I’m not the one in pain.

    A friend has volunteered to come and use our quad to plough us out today sometime. We are very thankful for him. He’s also one of the ones who helped fill our wood room earlier this winter.

    A fire is currently roaring in the furnace and the house is slowly warming up again. We probably only have enough wood for a couple of days and they are going to be cold ones. I guess we will have to use oil to heat – it’s just so very expensive. But I am thankful we have the option of oil and our house will be warm.

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  4. I’ve been praying for your husband. I take it he’s not returning to work today?

    I’m feeling pretty normal today, thanks be to God, but will put off dancing until Wednesday. Meanwhile, it looks like my husband is getting sick . . . .

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  5. A few thoughts on the discussion about the view of animals from the Scripture:

    On Romans 8:22, about the whole creation groaning together in pain, it is absolutely true that the creation of God, water, earth, plants, birds, and animals, all have been cursed as a result of man’s sin. But Romans 8:23 only speaks of the redemption of humans. Our redemption is only by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and he came as a man, born of a woman. Christ did not die for the redemption of animals, for animals were not created in the image of God. Although animals kill and are often cruel to one another, what they do is not sin, but as a result of the curse – plants are also cursed and the earth bears thorns and thistles. When Cain killed Abel, God said that the blood of Abel cried out from the earth. Earth was given to humans to rule over, and sin corrupted our rule, so that our dominion is filled with pain. That is the reason I cannot believe in evolution, for an evolutionary interpretation of the fossil record would place the deaths of those fossils before the coming of man, and the Bible says man is responsible for the death of not only animals, but all of the decay of the created heavens and earth. The first animals to die in creation were killed by God to provide coverings for the man and the woman. It is an awe inspiring picture, that God slaughtered and skinned animals for Adam and Eve’s nakedness. The record of creation in Genesis 1 shows that animals were among those things created to cover the earth. They were the last decoration, so to speak, of the place where humans, who were God’s image bearers, would dwell. As such, I believe animals will be a part of the new heavens and earth, but not as redeemed former inhabitants of the old creation, as humans will be, but as newly created entities.

    That is not to say that I believe the animals that exist now can be treated carelessly or cruelly since they have no existence beyond this earth. There is a flawed line of reasoning in some Christian circles that it doesn’t matter how we treat this earth since it will be burned up. Such reasoning sounds like the careless servants of Jesus’ parable of the second coming in Luke 12:42-48. As Proverbs 2:10 says, “A righteous man regards the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” How we treat the creation God has given us to tend is a sign of whether we actually fear God or whether we only pay lip service to the idea of God.

    That obligation to be good stewards who rule our habitation well does not mean that we should not kill or eat animals. God’s own example of killing animals and the covenant he made with Moses (Genesis 9:1-7), shows that the death of animals became part of the plan to bring humans to redemption. It isn’t just a physiological necessity, although the protein of animals is necessary for human health, but also, as in the Old Covenant, a spiritual necessity. Even in the New Covenant, there is still a sense in which the constant necessity of killing animals is a constant reminder of our own sinfulness, a reminder of our need of humility. The self righteous satisfaction of those who are vegan or vegetarian – not just in the West, as I have gotten a similar sense in the portrayal of Brahmins, who are vegetarian, in Hindi films – at not being involved in the killing of animals, is yet another example of how humans try to save themselves by the works of the flesh. It is reminiscent of Peter’s self satisfaction at never having eaten anything unclean being punctured by God’s admonition that what He called clean, Peter could not call unclean. God was preparing Peter to go to the Gentiles in that vision, but God did say in Genesis 9, that the flesh of animals was food for humans. Just as we will always die in this present world, so too will the rest of the creation that was formed for our habitation. The use of animals for their meat and skins is a constant call, not to pride that we have power over creation, but to humility, because we have sinned and the creation suffers for it.

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  6. Here is my late contribution to the discussion on animals. . .

    We joke that Heidi is my daughters’ younger sister. But it is just that – a joke – and all in fun.

    I have no problem referring to myself as “Mommy” to my pets. Although I’ll refer to Heidi as “my girl” or “my baby”, I don’t mean it in the same way as with my daughters. Often, I tell Heidi she is “my best girl”, but that is in comparison with Janie, not my daughters. (Although, let’s be honest – there are days she pleases me more than they do. 😀 )

    When this subject comes up, I often think of the story about the prophet sent to David with the story (analogy) of the poor man who was raising the lamb, and loved it as a daughter. If that idea was so outrageous, I think David would have said something, or at least that exact analogy would not have been used.

    I only add the pets’ name to a card to one family that does the same.

    We might say that our pets are members of our family, but we don’t actually mean it as making them equal with the humans in the family. It’s more like they are an important part of our life together as a family, like how Cheryl put it, that a pet is a part of the household.

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  7. Has anyone here seen the movie, “Snowmen”? It was the latest Netflix DVD to come in the mail, and I found it quite enjoyable. It is a family film, or some might consider it a “children’s movie”, but it was good. There were some predictable moments, and it also had its _______* moments.

    *There is a word I used in my head last night that I cannot, for the life of me, remember today. This forgetting a word happens to me very frequently these days, and it is so frustrating. I often end up picking a different word, but those other words often don’t have quite the same meaning I was really trying to get across.

    Anyway, the word I wanted may have started with an s or sh (or not). “Schlocky” isn’t it. The word describes a scene that tries to bring on the tears, and often succeeds, even though the scene is predictable, or a trope overused in many movies.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1373406/?ref_=nv_sr_1

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  8. Something I have pondered from time to time over the past several months is what kind of comfort does God actually give us in our griefs and sorrows? We pray for God to comfort people facing loss or difficult situations, but how does He do that?

    In my own case, I must admit that I have felt every stab of pain and grief that comes with losing Hubby. So does that mean that God is not comforting me?

    The conclusion I have come to is that God’s comfort doesn’t take away the natural griefs and sorrows we will feel, and may not even diminish them, from a “natural” (as opposed to spiritual) point of view. But His comfort comes in drawing us into a deeper faith and trust in the midst of the pain, sorrow, and grief, and a more acute awareness of His presence.

    Does this make sense?

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  9. Ah, Monday morning. That seagull’s face says it all.

    Tess is my “baby girl,” now that I think about it 🙂

    Stay un-sick everyone, ’tis the season. I get my worst colds and, on occasion (but this year I had the shot), the flu typically in January-February. All that stuff seems to peak right around this time.

    Someone nearby has planted a big cactus like the one that was in Peter’s photo yesterday — so funny as they decked it out with Christmas lights this year. I’m not a fan of the cactus look for Southern California (we’re more Mediterranean in climate than than we are ‘desert’) but I have to say, if you have a cactus but no snow, you might as well fancy it up for the holidays.

    Today’s story to write is a developer’s plans to build a 22-story building in our quaint little downtown area on the waterfront. There are a few other tall buildings now, but none that tall, it would become the tallest. We mostly still have the early 1900s masonry buildings (1- or 2-story tops) lining what’s known as our ‘historic’ shopping district.

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  10. In the discussion with animals, Peter contrasted modern attitudes on animals to modern attitudes towards abortion. Chas mentioned today on the prayer thread about hearing someone talk about women who have abortions saying “Mercy trumps everything.” I mentioned a few days ago, about being concerned about a topic related to the evangelical Church’s misconception that if one does everything right, everything will turn out right, but was too big to address at that time. I have some time to address it now.

    My concern came from reading this article, written by a woman who carried a dying child to term: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2019/01/18/march-for-life-abortion-roe-wade-rights-choice-column/2591915002/. In my comments, I am not criticizing the woman’s decision at all, but rather commenting on some implications I see in the way she tells this part of her story:
    “In the end, her deformities didn’t cause her any suffering or pain. She died just before the last stage of labor of a placental abruption. An hour before she was born, she simply went to sleep safely enfolded in my body.”

    The woman is using her story to campaign against abortion on demand, and I do not criticize her for that. What is causing my concern is in the way she portrays the death by placental abruption as being natural. You see, placental abruption is a life threatening condition, not just for the baby, but also for the mother. The physicians and nurses who were giving her care during labour would have been fighting for that mother’s life as her baby died of the abruption. Yet she speaks of her child dying “safely enfolded” in her body, as if it there had been no health risk in carrying a dying child.

    There is actually a huge risk in carrying a dying child. The chemicals and hormones released by the dying child and the child’s placenta can trigger a terrible condition in the mother called DIC, Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, in which all the blood clotting factors are used up in small clots in capillaries, which causes organ failure, and, with all blood clotting factors used up, the woman then bleeds uncontrollably from every available opening. The healthcare team who tries to save a woman with DIC will often be standing in a pool of her blood as they manually pump donor’s blood into her veins to keep her alive and frantically try to reverse the loss of the clotting factors and restore function to her organs. Placental abruption is one such condition that can lead to DIC.

    It is a gruesome picture, but one I do not apologize for painting. As I said several days ago, the greatest weakness of the modern evangelical Church is thinking that if one simply does everything the right way, then everything will be all right, and if something goes wrong, then one must have done something wrong.

    You see, I am seeing, in the ongoing struggle between those who support and those who oppose abortion, that those who oppose abortion are taking a much harder line. They are beginning to no longer make exceptions to save the life of the mother. John Piper, a respected leader in the modern evangelical world, went so far as to suggest that efforts should be made to save ectopic pregnancies, which are implantations of the fetus in the fallopian tube (rather than the uterus) which will causes rupture of the fallopian tube and hemorrhage possibly leading to DIC. I have seen commenters who claim to be pro-life suggest that if a woman dies while carrying a child who was a danger to her life, then she died in a worthy cause and it was God’s will.

    This comes back to Chas’ observation of the interview with the Catholic advocating for mercy for those who had an abortion. The phrase the Catholic used, “Mercy trumps everything” is no doubt a rough paraphrase of “Mercy rejoices against judgement.” (James 2:13). There is, in the day in which we live, countries which criminally prosecute women who have abortions, as well as the abortion providers. El Salvador is one of those countries. But in El Salvador, not just women who deliberately abort their children, but also those who miscarry them, can be charged with murder. There are women in Ecuador’s jails whose only crime was that her body could not carry her child to term and she had a stillbirth (after 20 weeks gestation) or miscarriage (before 20 weeks gestation). The recent legalization in Ireland of abortion, was brought about by a similar law, which led to the death of a woman because her unborn child was dying inside her.

    There are a number of different conditions which necessitate the removal of the child to save the life of the mother, and which failure to do so will lead to the death of both mother and child. Very few people, outside the health professions, will have heard of conditions such as pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, or HELLP syndrome. The fact that sometimes both mother and child can be saved with these conditions further complicates the issue, as people who do research the conditions insist that since sometimes both lives can be saved, there is no circumstance in which the life of the mother takes precedence.

    Yet, life is not that simple, and answers to tangled questions of whose life can be saved are seldom clear. The pro-choice side of the struggle often seems strident and defiant, pushing abortion privileges to unreasonable limits. But Christians are told to remove the beam from their own eye first, and there is a growing lack of mercy rejoicing against judgement in the pro-life movement.

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  11. Another thing I have pondered. . .Although I tried not to torment myself with these questions, I couldn’t help sometimes wondering if Hubby had done something different, or if the doctors had done something different, would he still be alive?

    I think of when he was first diagnosed with prostate cancer, when he was 50. Due to his very high PSA count, the doctor assumed that the cancer had already spread from the prostate, making removing it maybe pointless, but I think Hubby had the choice. Hubby chose to not have it removed, having radiation and hormonal treatment instead. The main reason he chose to not have the surgery is that he didn’t want to have to be out of work for long.

    What led to him being hospitalized for so long is that the tumor in the prostate had been growing again, and was intruding into his bladder, causing the bleeding. Although he had had that stroke after being released from the first hospital (when the bleeding had seemed to have stopped), he was treated quickly, and he bounced back quickly. (We have a slip of paper in which he wrote “My handwriting as of September 10, 2017,” and then his signature. His handwriting was as nice as usual. He had had the stroke just two days earlier.)

    But then the bleeding had started up again, keeping him in the hospital.

    So I have often wondered if he had had the surgery, would all this have happened? Would he be alive, cancer-free? Was he short-sighted in not wanting to be out of work for several weeks?

    But then I thought of a movie I saw several years ago, in which a man found he could do something to go back in time, and he decided to use that to change a certain situation. But every time he did, no matter what he tried, the end result would still be the same, although it would come about due to different circumstances.

    Now, I know that is not a biblical or spiritual lesson, but the thought helped me come to the conclusion that Hubby’s life – and death – were in God’s hands, and if it hadn’t been one thing, it would have been another that ended Hubby’s life.

    Quite frankly, I don’t even know if that is the whole truth, but for now, it is comfort enough.

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  12. Janice, I believe the Rams left last night for Atlanta following a big rally at the site of their future stadium that’s still under construction. Big week ahead and I’m sure your city will be packed. Our senior editor and his teen daughter will be going (he and his wife are Rams season ticket holders and he somehow managed to swing getting tickets and a rental place without having to sell their house).

    Haven’t heard if our regular Rams reporter/sports photographers will get to cover the game, but I sure hope so. There was some speculation that the Denver Post, our larger (though sadly also shrinking sister paper) may take over coverage of the game itself for the entire chain. 😦

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  13. Kizzie–let’s turn the prism instead and ponder the extra years of life Lee got instead of what you may have lost. By all accounts, he may very well have died at 50, but instead got 12 years to see his family in a more secure spot. We do know that. We cannot know what might have been.

    The time travel movie (which is well-rated R for language and behavior), that I find interesting is About Time. The young man went back to change time and each change made his future different and far worse.

    I asked a friend recently about his new post-fire house–would his wife have liked it?

    He shook his head. “If she had lived through the fires, I’m not sure we still would have been married.”

    That answered surprised me. It’s helping him, however, resolve her death a little bit, though still he grieves.

    You will miss Lee for the rest of your life, as will your daughters and grandson. That’s a given. The choice you have is how you will respond to missing him. Would he want you in widow’s weeds your whole lives not moving forward from the stability of love he gave you?

    Based on what you’ve said about him, I’d think yes, he’d want you to miss him, but make good choices, trust God, pray and love into the future. Yes, mourn, but don’t stay there.

    You know as well as I do, that grief is a sine wave that comes and goes–23 years after my mom’s death, I still find myself missing her dearly. But she gave me the sturdy love and equipped me to go forward in life without her. That’s her legacy. If I stopped living, or spent my time in grief that she missed this that and the other major event–I wouldn’t move forward and be able to love my family and Adorables the way she loved us.

    We honor her when we attend a wedding with a piece of her. My young cousin teared up when my wedding gift to her was from her great-grandmother, via me. She pulled out the crocheted table cloth and wrapped it around her shoulders showing everyone the family gift. My uncle remembered his mother, my cousins our grandmother. We told stories, we reminisced how she would have been on the dance floor–with my mother–and how much she would enjoy her family.

    A few tears, yes, but connection, love, laughter and a reminder of what we have together.

    xoxox

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  14. I think, too, about our friend about his wife. We’ll always be sorry my mother died when she did–without knowing the last granddaughter–who is named for her. But, the horror we went through with our dad for seven years after her death, we were thankful she missed that.

    Other events in the family she would have been involved in could have gone even more negative than they did. I think about that sometimes and while yes, I still miss her, there would have been ugly battles that may have destroyed others–with the best of intentions.

    So, I think about what was, not what might have been. But I’m also a lot farther out than you are.

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  15. Still snowing…weather underground said less than an inch expected…so far at least 5 and not to stop until around 2 or 3 this afternoon …let it snow!
    Kizzie when I think upon the number of our days here on this earth I am always taken to this scripture:
    Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
    He is the Lord God Most High knowing all and in Him we will trust. While missing our loved ones here, we are not without hope. Nothing goes without His notice. I agree that Lee’s life was indeed in His Hands…. ❤️

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  16. Thanks for your observations, Roscuro.

    As a long-time PCC volunteer, we always saw ourselves as loving both the mother and the baby. We were concerned about the women having enough information to make an informed decision.

    And then ministering to her afterward–whether it be through the pregnancy or when she felt the need to emotionally address her abortion.

    There were some pro-life organizations that used shame and guilt for the pro-abortion-minded mothers. They stand before God with their actions and the rest of us are very sorry.

    As you know, we went through a challenging pregnancy that ended in stillbirth. Like the mother in the article, we honored the time Ava was a “real” person in our life. But, her parents still consulted with the physicians to ensure carrying Ava would not harm her mother nor potentially compromise a future pregnancy.

    Your information about the placenta abrupto, of course, is absolutely correct. The women I’ve known who carried dead children did so under the supervision of physicians–they weren’t left without monitoring over the period. In another family case, the mom went 10 days carrying a child who had died–but the doctors watched and eventually did a D&C to guard her health.

    It’s when women do not have good information that poor outcomes are more likely.

    Glad you have a breather for a couple days.

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  17. I skipped ahead and haven’t yet read the last few posts so I don’t forget what I’m responding to; forgive me if someone else has already said it. Kizzie, two verses come to mind: one is that we sorrow not as others who have no hope, but not that we don’t feel sorrow. The second is that God will (in the future) wipe away all tears from our eyes.

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  18. I am very pro-life. I suspect that if I were pregnant with a baby whose life endangered mine (in the kind of situation where there is treatment that I need, but cannot get while pregnant) that I would give the baby the best possible chance at life. That said, I think abortion for ectopic pregnancy is a non-issue (that it is a morally acceptable treatment) and I think that laws against abortion not only may, but morally must have an exception for life of the mother. It is one thing to choose to risk one’s own life, but to make it a legal requirement is morally indefensible. I have a relative who is so black-and-white that I believe she has called me “pro-death” (her version of “pro-abortion”) because of these exceptions.

    Your medical insights into these things is very helpful, Roscuro.

    My mother had a lady in her church, wife of one of her pastors, die of eclampsia; the baby survived, and the young widower married a year or two later, with his new wife holding the little one throughout the ceremony; the toddler already saw her as “mommy,” and the story thus had a bit of a happy ending. But his first wife’s death was needless . . . especially when they found out that doctor had lost other mothers to eclampsia. If my memory was accurate, this lady was his third death from eclampsia in a year, and that is inexcusable. I have since known of women who potentially faced pre-eclampsia, and I have always told them do not ignore symptoms of that; take it very seriously, because it is.

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  19. Michelle – Believe me, I am very grateful for those 12 years, and that Hubby got to see his daughters grow up, and be in The Boy’s life long enough that he has good memories of his Papa, and I express that gratitude to God regularly.

    As for my current state of grief, I am feeling that this wave may perhaps be the last particularly strong one before the waves start to lessen in intensity. Cheryl had mentioned that her sister had a hard time in the second year, too.

    As I have said before, my current life seems a bit strange to me, in that in many ways, it is so similar to what it was before Hubby died, but at the same time, it is also so different. Some of those differences are in small ways, like being able to have music on or watch TV after 6:00 in the evening, or being able to have the light on in my room while I’m getting ready for bed.

    Recently, it occurred to me that I didn’t have to make my coffee in the morning, but that I could get the coffeemaker set up and turn on the timer for the morning. When Hubby was here, it was always set for his coffee in the early morning. It almost felt “fun” to finally do that for myself. 🙂

    So although I am still grieving, I am slowly moving forward. Today I filled the first bag to go to the clothing ministry at church, with winter coats from Hubby and my mother. (Mom died over eight years ago, but her coats were still hanging on the coat rack in the entryway, and I had kind of forgotten to do anything with them. I did choose one to keep that I like.)

    I am planning to go through a bunch of stuff this year, getting rid of a lot of it, and organizing or rearranging the rest. Last week I spent a little time redoing the decorations in my living room for a fresher look.

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  20. All good, Kizzie. Great.

    I’ve told the story of my daughter’s pregnancy. I had a lump in my breast and spent several months in the 1990s wondering if I was going to give birth and then die of breast cancer.

    I certainly know what it is to wonder if the child you are carrying will kill you.

    It was a difficult six months until I could finally have a mammogram and a lumpectomy. The Lord took me through a whole range of emotions and thoughts before I reached a faith-sustained equilibrium.

    I’m sympathetic to women tormented by fear, but I have been there.

    The first thing the doctor said was, “You don’t have to abort the baby.”

    “Good,” I answered. “Because I won’t.”

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  21. So glad for you, Kare. It is indeed a blessing having wonderful people around who are willing to lend practical assistance when needed.

    Roscuro, may I ask you something? Your mentioning that it’s a risk for a mother to be carrying a dead unborn child made me think of something. Is that more true with mothers farther along in their pregnancies than those in earlier stages?

    I ask because, with my first miscarried baby, the ultrasound at 11 weeks (post-LMP) showed that the baby had died two weeks earlier. The doctors who delivered the news said I could either get a D & C, or could wait and just let the baby come forth when my body naturally lets go. I don’t remember if they told me that I would need to get a D & C if a certain amount of time elapsed without going into labor? It seems they mentioned something — perhaps certain signs to watch for that would indicate I should come in and get a D & C — but I don’t think there was any particular time frame.

    I decided to avoid the D & C, and baby emerged 8 days later, thus being in my womb about 3 weeks following death.

    Is there similar danger to a mother carrying a dead child in early pregnancy to one in, say, the second half of pregnancy?

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  22. Cheryl, I agree that laws that compel women to risk their lives are immoral. But one thing the pro life movement needs to acknowledge is that an improperly written law against abortion will do just that. Laws that criminalize the woman having the abortion, not just the abortion provider, will result in situations such as seen in El Salvador, while laws that protect the personhood of the fetus, as Ireland’s law did, prevented healthcare workers from saving a woman’s life when her dying baby was killing her, because they had to wait until the child actually died to remove the child from the woman’s body. I believe the fetus, which is simply Latin for child, is fully human, but the relationship between the mother and unborn child is unique, and unlike any other relationship, except perhaps, that of conjoined twins.

    The writer Mark Twain was fascinated by the moral implications of two people sharing the same body, and in his novel Puddin’ Face Wilson he portrayed a scenario in which one conjoined twin committed a capital crime and was hung, causing the other conjoined twin, who was wholly innocent of the crime, to die also. Those who know anything of how the body dies, releasing a cascade of harmful chemicals as its cellular tissues break down, will understand why the death of one conjoined twin will always result in the death of the other. That is why, if at all possible, conjoined twins are separated, but for those who share essential organs, such as the brains or hearts, that is not an option. The dynamic between permanently conjoined twins is a very difficult one, and their stories are often very tragic. They must negotiate a balance between two different personalities and often, they cannot find that balance.

    The balance between the mother and unborn child is also a difficult one. I have been reminded, training where I am, that not every child has the same beginnings in life, and not every mother is a married woman with a supportive family. The homeless, the addicted, the prostitute, the promiscuous, the mentally ill, the developmentally delayed, the disabled, the diseased, the desperate, can all become pregnant. The world’s solution to that truth has been to sterilize or abort, to pretend to solve the problem by pretending it never existed. The affluent Western Church’s solution to the same truth is very often to forget, to overlook, and if driven into a corner, to say that if one does everything right, everything will turn out right, and if something goes wrong, one must have done something wrong – in other words, to pretend to solve the problem by pretending it never should have existed.

    Because of that precarious balance between a mother and her unborn child, a law that protects the unborn without also protecting the pregnant mother will be unjust. I know that pro-life organizations have been trying to campaign against abortion using the slow tactics that were used against slavery by Wilberforce and others. But they have not been working, and the reason they have not been working is that the dynamic of the maternal-child duo is far different than the dynamic between slave and owner. That fact must be fully acknowledged by the pro-life movement, or the people whose hearts and minds they are trying to win will continue to distrust them.

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  23. 6 Arrows, there are multiple reasons a child may die during the pregnancy. Earlier deaths are frequently caused by fetal anomalies which caused the death of the child and result in miscarriages – as I mentioned before, miscarriages is the term for spontaneous abortions (abortion refers to any loss of pregnancy) before 20 weeks gestation – and these are often survived by the mother, provided there is little loss of blood and no infection. Later losses of pregnancy, called stillbirths after 20 weeks gestation, can be caused by fetal anomalies, but may also be the result of infections, such as chorioamnionitis (premature rupture of membranes can can such an infection), or other physical conditions of the mother or baby, and these are the conditions more likely to cause death of both mother and child. The effects of a dying child in the womb of its mother really depends on its size and the size of the placenta which is an extension of the child.

    As I mentioned, a dying body releases chemicals which are deadly to human tissues. We learn about the stages of shock, which is a general term encompassing any situation in which the human body begins to die (barring direct death from explosion, perhaps), and shock is basically a cascade of molecular disasters leading to death. Let me illustrate from the treatment of cancer. There is a condition that those receiving chemical or radiation for a cancerous tumour can get called tumour lysis syndrome. Basically, as the tumour is killed, its cells release their contents into the bloodstream, essentially poisoning the patient. It isn’t the chemotherapy or the radiation causing this syndrome, it is the products of the dead tumour cells, but it doesn’t always occur. It depends on the size of the tumour or tumours. Our cells hold in powerful chemicals that if suddenly released in an uncontrolled way, will kill us if enough cell die, causing other cells to break down, which causes massive tissue damage, which causes organ failure, which causes other organs to fail, and eventually, if left unchecked, causes death. So, essentially, the further along in the gestation, as the unborn child is bigger and heavier with more cells to break down and release their contents into the blood plasma, which is shared between mother and child, the more dangerous it is for the mother to carry her dead or dying child.

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  24. I have already written a lot about the unique relationship between mother and unborn child, but it struck me, in writing about how mothers and unborn children share the same blood plasma, which is how the child receives oxygen and nutrients and gets rid of carbon dioxide and cellular waste, that it perfectly demonstrates why the relationship is unique. In Genesis 9:4, after the flood, God forbid Noah and his family to eat blood, because, as God later reiterates to Moses, the life of all flesh is the blood thereof (Leviticus 17:14). The mother shares that life with her unborn child.

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  25. Thank you, Roscuro. That makes sense.

    With that particular miscarriage, they told me they suspected it was a chromosomal abnormality with the baby. It sounds like a lot of systems develop in the sixth week of life, so its quite a vulnerable time as far as this that can go wrong. Miscarriages around that time, which mine was, at right about seven weeks after conception, are quite common.

    Really amazing to think that six of my babies, along with many others’ babies, made it through that time. (My other miscarried baby didn’t make it that far — only living about a month.)

    God be praised for all the ways he brings us along and through life’s journeys.

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  26. Roscuro, a woman who used to belong to our church had a miscarriage so severe one time that she almost bled to death. She hemorrhaged in her fourth month, and needed blood transfusions and a hospital stay of several days. She was quite tired and weak, not surprisingly, for some time afterward.

    Regarding sudden release of chemicals in our cells, I know of one lady — a librarian at an area library — who had had cancer for a while. I’m not sure how long, but she died quite suddenly after something burst in her abdomen. Whether it was the tumor (I think that’s where it was located) or something else, I don’t recall, but she died within days (maybe hours?) of that event.

    Sobering.

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  27. I don’t know the exact statistics, but I have read that the number of abortions performed each year is decreasing as people are becoming more pro-life, or at least more uncomfortable with the idea of abortion. The rabid pro-choicers may be scary, but the public is not as much on their side as they would like us to believe.

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  28. Roscuro, my 6:51 “That makes sense” was in reference to your 6:20. I didn’t see your 6:49 until just now. But that’s a good thought, too, that you shared at 6:49.

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  29. Kizzie, I’ve also heard that the number of abortions is down. HRW says that from time to time on the News/Politics thread.

    Here’s my question: Could that statistic, if correct, be because the number of adults and youth of childbearing age is declining?

    I know that at my former high school, in a city where the population has stayed relatively the same since 1980 when I graduated, the class sizes are now about 300-something, versus 500-600 when I was in high school.

    In other words, the ratio of young people to older people who are beyond childbearing age is quite different now than it was when abortion was legalized in the 1970s.

    I wonder if this accounts for some of the decline. How are the numbers being calculated?

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  30. Statistically, the millennial generation actually exceeds the baby boomer generation in numbers, and they are those of childbearing years. World Magazine often insinuates that the decrease in abortions is probably due to the increasing availability of over the counter abortofacients such as Plan B. But they also have reported that millenials are more prolife than previous generations – they did a few stories on non-religious pro-life groups which are run by millennials. There are probably many factors at play. It is true that in Canada, where abortion is neither legal nor illegal (our Supreme Court ruling on the issue in 1988 simply disabled the law against abortion – the law has never actually been repealed in Parliament) and most abortions are done in hospitals and thus under more supervision than the clinics in the U.S., that the abortion rate is significantly lower per capita than in the U.S. (the Canadian Medical Association recommended a 20 week limitation on abortions – essentially, the medical community regulates itself on the issue in the absence of federal regulation – and I also know from what I was told in a certain interview that I have recounted that hospitals do not perform abortions after 20 weeks unless it is to save the life of the mother). HRW is Canadian, but I know he also takes an interest in U.S. statistics.

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