This is How We Kill You Now

You and I can be incredibly efficient killing machines.

Right now, you feel comfortable reading further because you’re confident that I’m only speaking in generalities, or about “others,” the ones with murderous hands. Please keep reading, but don’t expect much comfort. Murderous hearts are the greater concern.

Since Cain killed Abel, humans have found ways to extinguish other lives. We don’t know if Cain used a crude weapon or his bare hands. Doesn’t matter. That first murder was face-to-face, personal, and the template for all murders to come.

Murder isn’t as mysterious as we make it out to be. Continue Reading →

The Only Way to Make Sense of Women

womens-power-454873_640There’s only one way to make sense of women.

I should know. I’m a woman. XX chromosome credentialed. Bona fide by birth. Not a boast, just biology. Been managing estrogen since way back.

Raised a daughter in the new millennium. Came up in the sixties and seventies raised by a Boomer woman. I’ve seen decades of this conversation. Most of my closest friends are women so I get it, we’re complicated. But, some women have learned to capitalize on that. To wield it like a billy club. To promote a cultural agenda with the underlying message that girls rule, boys drool. It sounds more sophisticated when they parade it out to the podium but that’s essentially the poison apple those evil queens are tossing to the crowd.

The truth is, we live in a fallen world and we ALL fell from grace. There’s not a sinful gender and an advanced gender. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Continue Reading →

The Most Biblical Show on Television

America is abuzz over an episode of the ABC Thursday night show, Scandal.

Most of you are likely not viewers of Scandal and this post isn’t a recommendation for the show. It’s not something most of you would enjoy watching. Scandal revolves around the life of Olivia Pope, a modern writers’ depiction of a fairy tale princess. She’s strong, skilled, independent, wealthy, fashionable, smart, politically savvy, and in love with the President of the United States, the ultimate prince charming. He, of course, is married, but that doesn’t stop their adulterous relationship from being the centerpiece romance of the series.

When I was downed by illness last fall, I binge-watched Scandal and was fascinated that it clearly portrays the ugliness of sin and yet has drawn a wide audience. (**This post is not an encouragement to watch this show.) I’m sure the writers had no intention of writing a biblical drama but that is exactly what they’ve done. There is more biblical truth in this show than is usually allowed on network television. It portrays the relentless allure of evil. The seduction of power. The addicting nature of violence. The hypocrisy of all humans, not just the religious ones. And the soul-less lives resulting from greed and the worship of self. Continue Reading →

Where There is Shouting, Let me Whisper Truth

megaphone-50092_640If I can shout louder than you can, does that make me right?

Does the volume of the outcry justify the stand?

If there are many us, thousands, in fact, and we all shout at once, does that mean that now we own the truth?

When people shout at us, we’re tempted to shout back. Shouting feels powerful and we want to match our opposition power to power. Which would be fine if our call was to wage war as the world does.

But, it’s not. Continue Reading →

Some People Don’t Count

Lori 2016You can tell a lot about a culture and the powers who rule it by the people it doesn’t count.

When Jesus fed the 5000, the gospel writer notes that 5000 is the number of men. Matthew ends his account with this verse: “The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.” Matthew 14:21 (NIV)

Besides women and children . . .” says much about the culture of ancient Israel under Roman rule. Women and children didn’t count – except with Jesus.

The ancient Israelites aren’t alone. Continue Reading →

Abandon the Culture Wars, In the Name of Jesus

What is your life worth
to you?
to someone else?
The value of one human rises and falls
through the ages
depending on the market
for flesh
and soul.
In ancient times, life was cheap.
One marauding tribe slaughtered another.
Captive women and children were sold as slaves.
Disposable, interchangeable, discounted when damaged.
Every day, some people died;
others were born.
A renewable resource. Life was easy to create and simple to end.
Easy to measure – in gold coin, in ability to labor, to provide pleasure, to use as fodder in the frontline of war.
In those days, death was a familiar companion like the village idiot or the local healer.
Death was a personal, home-grown affair handled by the survivors as a matter of course;
mourning – a brief affair or a lifelong estate depending on your perspective.
There was nothing antiseptic about death then.
Both ends of life were cottage industries with screaming, bleeding, wailing, and tears coming from the back bedroom while stew bubbled on the stove and children finished their evening chores. The dead were moved at night time to the kitchen table and someone else moved into their bed before the spot was cold.
Jesus changed the value of human life.
Before He died, lives only ended in death –
by His victory over death, each life has the opportunity to be eternal – to stretch beyond the visible to the land beyond the veil.
This knowledge ushered in an age marked by people who valued and cared for others like they would care for immortal beings, including the weakest of the world.

Christians instituted the first hospitals. Monks and convents took in unwanted children. Missionaries educated girls as well as boys.

In the name of Jesus, every life mattered. Every life had rights. Every sparrow was seen and known by God and so was every beating heart.

Hospitals, convents, monasteries, schools, orphanages, laws, courts over kings, freedom even for the loser in the battle, justice even for those not in power.

The kingdom of God rushed in to preserve and protect life leaving evil gasping to keep up.

But evil has made great gains in the present age.
55,000,000 beating hearts ended by the mothers who refused to allow them to survive the womb – often pressured by fathers who felt no connection to the unseen heart, no responsibility for the result of their pleasure.
Women, children, gentle men trafficked in the sex trade even in small town America. Exploitation on unprecedented levels available with a click of a mouse or the flick of a credit card. Wide-eyed girls ordered up like used books from Amazon.
Young men and old men so desensitized to the value of human life they gun down children, even five-year-olds only bit players in their personal pageant of narcissistic sadism.
Human life used to make a point or hijacked as accessories to madness, as vessels for misdirected rage.
Murder is now an intimate affair – children killing parents in their beds, mothers drowning children in their bathtubs, husbands burying the bodies of their wives in undisclosed locations.
Not only do we devalue the lives of strangers, now we devalue the heart that beats beside us in bed, inside us as new life, or bending over to tuck us in at night.
Are you like me – struggling for answers, seeking solutions that might stop the next slaughter or at least reduce the body count?
It’s hard to blame people for seeking to control the weapons or the systems or the media coverage in order to establish a foothold for sanity as the planet spins out of control. But somehow I know intuitively this is not the answer anymore than tying a child to a stake is the way to keep him from running away.
I believe, that just as Jesus was the answer when He came – He is still the answer now.
I believe it’s time for a new Christian revolution.
I believe that Christians everywhere must make every effort to value life and to infuse this value into every corner of society over which we have influence.
We must imagine that in every human exchange, we are interacting with someone created in the image of Christ who may very well exist for all eternity.
C.S. Lewis said it best: “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”
So I say this: Lay down your arms in the culture wars. Stop trying to influence culture. Culture has an end date.
Instead, BE the likeness of Christ you are called to be.
 Respect and value all other humans as potential immortals, as beings of such value God gave His very Son for them.
There’s a battle on but it’s not a battle for nations or cultures, or civilizations. It’s a battle for souls.
Let’s stop falling for the diversion and take our weapons to the actual field of battle.
It’s not Newsweek you’re trying to reach with the gospel, it’s the guy in the next cubicle, it’s the girl on the bus, it’s your mother, it’s your son.
Stop worrying about controlling their access to guns and give them, instead, access to the Holy Spirit living within you.
Value their lives by laying down yours – your politics, your agendas, your need to be right.
Value their lives by letting them see Jesus in yours. Silence the media and listen to the Holy Spirit, instead.
You are immortal. Conduct yourself accordingly.

There Should Be More Weeping

baby-256857_640It’s not a political issue for me – really.
Whatever that means.

It’s a source of unspeakable sadness.

To appreciate my perspective, understand I came up through the sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties.

I was there for the dawning of the age of Aquarius when all the long- haired, tie-dyed promises of the future came walking over Capitol Hill carrying folk guitars and peace signs.

People believed in people. Our heroes were Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bobby Kennedy and we honestly thought we could hear the answers blowin’ in the wind.

Bang! 

Hope bled out on so many platforms, balconies, hotel kitchens, and jungle floors.

But the bleeding didn’t end there.

My generation knew about holocausts so we weren’t going to tolerate them in our times.

But then, we stumbled headlong into the killing fields of Cambodia, the tribal feuds of Rwanda, China under Mao and the conflict in Darfur.

 We were faced with the red-handed fact that even armed with freedom, voices, education, democracy, and a generational sense of entitlement, there are some things we can’t stop fast enough.

The piles of human skulls buried in mass graves testify to our lack of power.

So, it is incomprehensibly sad to me that we can know of our own domestic killing fields and not stop to mourn the dead.

I can’t bear to look at the statistics today. The numbers for 2012.

I do know that in 2009, 87,000 abortions were performed in New York City alone. 41% of NYC pregnancies end in abortion. Only a headline because a bishop made some people uncomfortable by calling attention to it.

Uncomfortable is the least of what we should feel.

Even before we consider abortions we’ve promoted and enabled beyond our borders, the loss of human life is staggering.

Today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The number of children who have been aborted in the U.S. is in the double digit millions.

I know that behind every abortion there is a woman with a story  and God loves each of those women and knows each of those stories.
I know that every woman’s story is complicated. I know that wrapped in those statistics are hundreds and thousands of reasons, circumstances, agonizing tears and pain.
But behind each of those abortions, there is also a baby – an unborn man or woman – with a heartbeat that was stopped and a story that ended too quickly after it began.
I no longer believe that I can stop a holocaust from happening in my time.
 
The numbers are too great for even the most staunch defenders of abortion to imagine there isn’t also some cultural callousness toward the unborn, a measure of selfish ambition, a percentage of men and women who have stopped valuing human life. 
 

Devaluing their own lives as well as the lives created accidentally, incidentally by their actions and by all the choices that they made along the way to the final choice.

It’s complicated. I know.

There are cultural, personal, societal, economical, physical factors. I know.

But tell that to the millions of unborn American human beings who have no voice, no choice, no hope of ever writing their own stories this side of glory.

They deserve to be remembered.

They deserve to be respected.

They deserve to be the lives that were not lost in vain. They deserve to be the lives that slapped us in the face and woke us up to the value of every human life so that we found a way forward that didn’t involve killing the most vulnerable in our midst.

God made this promise in Genesis 9:5: “And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

Even if we forget them, God will not.

This I believe.

There is forgiveness, purchased with the spilling of more blood, the pure blood of Jesus Christ. For all of us who have remained silent as these lives were taken, for all of us who participated on any level in their demise, for all of us who changed the channel of our souls when the topic arose – there is forgiveness.

But it must be preceded by repentance.

We have become a sensitive people. We put people out of work to protect wildlife. We change our daily diets so nothing with a face will suffer. We cut off aid to needy countries until they promise to value the lives trying to survive within their borders.

What about the lives trying to survive our wombs? Will we not be moved by these faces?

Human life – every human life – deserves to be defended, valued, sheltered, remembered, and given a chance to know its own possibility. I know that many people who have survived the womb still don’t have the basics of life but they had the chance to breathe, to cry out, to debut their stories.

In Isaiah 31:15 is this prophecy: “This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Where is Rachel? Where has she gone? When did she stop weeping and join those who sought her own flesh and blood?

I don’t know all the answers but I do know this: there should be more weeping.

There Should Be More Weeping

It’s not a political issue for me – really. Whatever that means.

It’s a source of unspeakable sadness.

To appreciate how I feel, you must know that I’ve grown up through the sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties.

I was there for the dawning of the age of Aquarius when all the long- haired, tie-dyed promises of the future came walking over Capitol Hill carrying folk guitars and peace signs.

People believed in people then. Our heroes were Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bobby Kennedy and we honestly thought we could hear the answers blowin’ in the wind.

Bang!

Hope bled out on so many platforms, balconies, hotel kitchens, and jungle floors.

But the bleeding didn’t end there.

My generation knew about holocausts so we weren’t going to tolerate them in our times.

But then, we discovered the killing fields of Cambodia, the tribal feuds of Rwanda, China under Mao and the conflict in Darfur. We were faced with the red-handed fact that even armed with freedom, voices, literacy, democracy, and a generational sense of entitlement, there are some things we can’t stop fast enough. The piles of human skulls buried in mass graves testify to our lack of power.

So, it is incomprehensibly sad to me that we can hear of our own private killing fields and not stop to mourn the dead.

5000 lives aborted in 2009 in RI. Pro-life supporters unrolled a banner with 5000 pairs of baby footprints in the State House rotunda, symbolic of the footnote it was on the nightly news.

87,000 abortions performed in the same year in New York City. 41% of NYC pregnancies end in abortion. 60% of all unborn African American’s in NYC were aborted. Only a headline because a bishop made some people uncomfortable by calling attention to it.

These are just the numbers in one small state and one single city in this nation alone. Add the other cities and states. And even before we consider abortion beyond our borders, the loss of human life is staggering.

Today is the 38-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The Pro-Life Action website states that since this decision, over 46 million children have died.

I no longer believe that I can stop a holocaust from happening in my time.


I know that every woman’s story is complicated. I know that wrapped in those statistics are hundreds and thousands of reasons, circumstances, agonizing tears and pain.

But the numbers are too great for even the most staunch defenders of abortion to imagine there isn’t also some callousness toward the unborn, a measure of selfish ambition, a percentage of men and women who have stopped valuing human life. Devaluing their own lives as well as the lives created accidentally, incidentally by their actions and by all the choices that they made along the way to the final choice.

It’s complicated. I know.

There are cultural, personal, societal, economical, physical factors. I know.

But tell that to the 46 million unborn American human beings who have no voice, no choice, no hope of ever writing their own stories this side of glory.

They deserve to be remembered.

They deserve to be respected.

They deserve to be the lives that were not lost in vain. They deserve to be the lives that slapped us in the face and woke us up to the value of every human life so that we found a way forward that didn’t involve killing the most vulnerable in our midst.

God made this promise in Genesis 9:5: “And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

Even if we forget them, God will not.

This I believe.

There is forgiveness, purchased with the spilling of more blood, the pure blood of Jesus Christ. For all of us who have remained silent as these lives were taken, for all of us who participated on any level in their demise, for all of us who changed the channel of our souls when the topic arose – there is forgiveness.

But it must be preceded by repentance.

We have become a sensitive people. We put people out of work to protect wildlife. We change our daily diets so nothing with a face will suffer. We cut off aid to needy countries until they promise to value the lives trying to survive within their borders.

What about the lives trying to survive our wombs? Will we not be moved by these faces?


Human life – every human life – deserves to be defended, valued, sheltered, remembered, and given a chance to know its own possibility. I know that many people who have survived the womb still don’t have the basics of life but they had the chance to breathe, to cry out, to debut their stories.

In Isaiah 31:15 is this prophecy: “This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Where is Rachel? Where has she gone? When did she stop weeping and join those who sought her own flesh and blood?

I don’t know all the answers but I do know this: there should be more weeping.

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But the weeping will not go on forever. God will demand an accounting – of this I am sure:

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