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Showing posts from October, 2017

27 Weeks: Why It Matters Where You Live

At 27 weeks pregnant, I find myself considering the world this child will enter. If born today in my passport country, our baby would have a 90% chance of living. In rural West Africa, the survival rate (without surfactant, ventilators, or NICU level nursing care) is zero. Zero. Nobody lives here when born this early. Nobody. This is just the beginning of the vast disparity in options that life affords those born in the minority and majority worlds. Where we are born dictates so much about our lives: what (if) we can eat, whether our children can go to school, how we worship, whether we can participate in government, whether we are exposed to war, and what how long we can expect to live. When I read the litany of complaints Americans launch against all things American on social media, my head spins. Have any of us really considered giving up our citizenship and moving elsewhere? Do we not realize that any poor person in any developing country would gladly trade places with even the m

Privilege Is Not Our Fault, But It Is Our Responsibility

When I look at our children in Africa, I see privilege. I probably could've seen it in the U.S., but I didn't. Perhaps I was distracted by how our very broken American systems still generally met the most basic of human needs. Education (variation in quality notwithstanding) is available to every child through high school, free of charge. Healthcare (value notwithstanding) is provided to anyone, at least on a survival level (Emergency Departments cannot turn people away for not paying cash up front). Clean water and working sewage systems are nearly universally afforded. Yes, my children represented privilege in the U.S. They were born into a home with two parents who had completed advanced degrees. Their exposure to language alone gives them a significant advantage over children in poor American homes . They are white. They would never have to explain, on account of the color of their skin, why they are in an expensive car (not that we would ever buy one) or in a particular

Cacophony of Argument vs. Glorifying God with One Voice

Reading through the end of Romans this week, I was struck by the exhortation to avoid conflict over disputable matters. There are true believers who hold different (but strong) convictions about a variety of topics: infant baptism, worship style, practice of the gifts, missiology methods, role of women in church leadership, and many others. Arguing about these differences does not glorify God. While there are issues worth debating (particularly, things that are sinful -- which this post does not address), humility is essential. We are all wrong about some (many?) things. We don't know which they are, or we wouldn't be wrong. There are no "neighborhoods" in Heaven. We need to get comfortable with our fellow believers, using even differences in opinion on non-essential issues to thank God for saving such a diverse lot. Sola fide. Sola gratia. Sola scriptura. Solus Christus. Soli Deo gloria. "We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of th