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Monday, April 15, 2013


John rented the movie "Lincoln" from the redbox yesterday.  We began to watch the movie after the kids went to bed, but the babies were still awake and so we had a rather distracted beginning.  (*On an unrelated totally proud mommy note - Jonah is trying to learn to walk, so he kept standing up and we'd try to take a video of him in case he took more than one step!) Then after putting the babies to bed, we were both too tired to focus with all the dialogue early on, so we decided to go to bed and finish in the morning.  This meant that the babies were up and in the way again, so although I feel like I understood the movie, and technically "saw" it, I have to admit to being frequently interrupted and distracted.  However, it really made me think about the Civil War, and to understand more deeply the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 13th Amendment.  I do believe every high school History teacher should include this movie when teaching those subjects (probably over the course of 3-5 days, because they should be stopping periodically to discuss and explain events with the class, keep students engaged, and to foster deeper learning and interaction).

I learned so much more about Abraham Lincoln! For example, I had no knowledge of Lincoln's personal life and during the movie, I spent quite a bit of time researching his family so I could keep up with the conversations he had with his wife (Sally Field does an excellent job of portraying her in the movie).  The poor man!  He had four sons total.  The first son was the only one to reach adulthood.   The second son died at age 4, during the same year the third son was born, before Lincoln was president.  This third son "Willie" was a household favorite, and said to be very precocious and much like his father, only more attractive, and he died at age 11, while the youngest son was also very sick, the first year Lincoln was in office.  This article about Willie's death and funeral is so touching and brings insight to the Father's heart that Abraham Lincoln had.  What great stress this man was under as our nation's president to be enduring the heartache of losing a second child while trying to navigate a war and changing history! Wow! The devil was so actively opposing him that he was taking this man's children.  His youngest son died years after his father, so Lincoln did not have to endure that one.  However, it drove his wife, Mary, almost insane (understandably - the death of 3 sons and your husband has got to be just horrible).

I also had no idea that the 13th Amendment (to abolish slavery) was such a struggle to pass!  I mean, the Confederate states weren't even voting, and it still took so much work to get enough of the Union people to go along with it!  I'm not sure who Tommy Lee Jones played in the movie, but that man was also very wise.  Slavery was so evil for so many reasons on so many levels.  This movie does not depict the evil of slavery at all, but it brought to mind what I know from classes and reading books, and personally researching in college.  Some will say "Not all slaves were treated poorly," but being considered a slave- property - is poor treatment of a human being in my book.  There is a movie about the author of the song "Amazing Grace" that I remember watching, and then the movie "Amistad," and all the great books about the Underground Railroad, and Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth, that share about the horrific experiences many slaves were put through if you need reminding or want to look it up.  Slavery at it's root, was an evil invention of man to put other humans in bondage.  All people now recognize this as being wrong today.  No one argues that we should return to a plantation-run agricultural system and again enslave an entire race of people.  This is not a political issue anymore because people realized the inhumanity, the evil behind it. Thank God! People should not be slaves, forced to work like animals, and treated like machines. People should be treated like people!  This is our history now - but are we already allowing an even greater evil?

As I began to think about how evil slavery was, and how hard some people fought to preserve it, I wonder why the issue of abortion has not caused a greater fight?  Abortion is just as evil and wrong as slavery.  The age of the human should not matter.  Slavery captured a person and made them become property.  Abortion murders a person before they have the chance at life and freedom.  This is a very educational article about what Late-Term Abortions really mean.  This article in USA Today about "late-term" abortion is especially horrific to me.  I don't understand why this is not viewed as just as evil as slavery.  The mindset that a baby in the womb is not a person with rights is so crazy.  I really believe that if abortion was a political issue during the same time as slavery that Abraham Lincoln would have opposed it just as radically, and fought just as hard for abortion to be illegal as he did for slavery to be illegal.  I also believe that many people would agree on this issue and say that abortion is wrong.  However, they aren't doing anything about the flip side of the abortion coin - the orphans who are left.

This is the very hypocritical part of it all.  If you say "Do not have an abortion," then you should be saying, "This is how I will help to take care of your baby if you can't." I'm not saying every single person should adopt, but a lot more people could be helping with orphan ministries, and they aren't.  Adoption is the best way to help, after that, foster care, but many will say "I'm not called to that." Well, then giving financially or in other ways to families who want to adopt or be foster parents can be a way to help.  Volunteering your time to be a tutor or babysit for parents of multiple kids, giving away your kids' clothes they've grown out of to a place specifically for orphans, and offering to bring over a meal to a family who just got some new members is always helpful!  Finding out about the ministries in your city/town that help kids is a good place to start.  When John and I got married, we always planned to work a few years, then have some kids, then adopt some kids.  We never factored foster care or being house parents into our "life plan."  However, we were open to God's call when we moved to Memphis.  When we heard someone give the astounding statistic that "Over one thousand children are in the foster care system here every day, needing a permanent home," we just looked at each other and knew it was time to start helping.  From the day we started training, to the day we were "approved," took about 7 months.  The very next day, we were placed with a child.  They are that desperate for foster parents there, and probably in your town too!

As I think about learning history in school, and how insanely awful slavery was, and so it took a war to end it, I wonder what it will take to end abortion.  I wonder if our country is just going to continue to allow it.  I wonder if in two hundred years Americans will look back at the abortion issue the same way. "People actually murdered fetuses in the womb, and it was legal until someone stood up and put an end to it." Who will that be? When will that be? How could it be possible? I believe that if more Christians stood up to adopt unwanted babies, there would be fewer abortions, whether it was legal or not.  The Underground Railroad functioned only because some people thought slavery was so evil they were willing to risk their lives to give freedom to others. I know taking care of orphans is hard work - I've been doing it and researching it for the past three years.  It's literally putting your own selfish goals and desires to the side and saying, "I want to help this other human being."  If you are a Christian - it's part of what Christ calls us to do.  Religion that our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this, to look after orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unpolluted by the world. - James 1:27  Adoption is the essence of loving others, and it shows a picture of how we are adopted in God's family.  The book Adopted for Life is a wonderful resource if you are even considering adoption, or if you have adopted.

What if it was so easy for children to be adopted because so many Christians were ready and available to take a child?  How amazing would it be if common knowledge was that abortions were more expensive and physically damaging than just going full term, delivering a baby, and giving it to waiting, willing, loving parents?  How cool would it be to look back in just fifty years and say, "Yeah abortion used to be a really booming business until Christians got involved and started adopting all those babies!" ? How many times have you told someone that abortion was wrong, but then never thought about all the orphans who are not aborted, who need a home? What if churches large enough to have separated preschool ministry, children's ministry, and youth ministry, also had an orphan ministry that reached out in that city to orphans and those taking care of them and went on mission trips to orphanages, or an adoption ministry that encouraged and taught people in the congregation how to adopt?  It's easy to say you're against abortion.  It's harder to get involved and actually help orphans.  However, Jesus never said it would be easy, He said, If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. - Matthew 16:24 Pray about how God wants YOU to help an orphan.

I don't usually blog this close together, but I've spent the entire babies' nap time today working on this because I felt like it was that important to share.

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