My chickies

by Becca

My favorite animal out of all our animals which is dogs,cats,gerbils, chickens, snakes and tarantulas is the baby chicks.
They are only 3-4 days old. I like to go down to them whenever I can. They are still covered in fuzz, but the oldest one has little tiny bits of feathers on the tip of its wings.
Here are some pictures of them.  I cropped them in Photoshop and Mom showed me how to Save For Web so they wouldn’t take too long to load.

Birth control makes me mad

My sister-in-law Catherine called me last week asking for advice for a friend of hers who seemed in danger of miscarrying for the second time in 8 months.  I gave what advice I could, which wasn’t much, and asked her to let me know what happened.

Her friend miscarried, and was heartbroken.  After losing her previous baby earlier this year at the same point – 8 weeks gestation – she desperately wanted to carry this child to term.

Catherine asked me if I had any idea what might cause multiple miscarriages at the same point, and we talked about possibilities.  Her friend had asked her doctor, who assured her that miscarriages were common and it was nothing unusual to have 2 in a row.  He told her that any further answers were beyond the scope of his knowledge and she should talk to a hormone specialist.

Then Catherine said it: her friend had been on a birth control pill until just before the first pregnancy and miscarriage.

Didn’t her doctor know this?  Doesn’t he know the side effects of the drugs he provides to his patients?  Besides skyrocketing rates of ectopic pregnancies, birth control pills and implants are known to cause abortions and birth defects.  They are known to cause miscarriages in pregnancies that occur during or after use – sometimes up to a year or two later.  This information is available on the package insert of nearly any pill you can buy but doctors plead ignorance, or worse yet they deny it outright!

That poor young woman lost her baby.  She lost two babies.  You can make the case that she should have learned more about the risks of the drug she chose, but I hold her doctor even more responsible.  I also hold those around her responsible.  Someone among her friends should have known and warned her.

Those of us who know these things need to spread the word.  I need to.

Our friends and family may not agree with us on whether to use birth control, but they need to know that certain methods do far more  than simply prevent pregnancy.   If our friends and family believe that life begins at conception, then they need to know that nearly all of the most popular, most effective methods have a Plan B:  murder any unborn child that gets past Plan A.  It’s right there in the fine print that they’ll find in the package.

The quotes below are from Drugs.com.  You will find the same info on nearly any birth control you search except for a simple condom.  All birth control pills work this way.  IUDs work this way.  Implants that gradually release hormones into the bloodstream work this way.

What is Yaz? Yaz prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary) and also cause changes in your cervical and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus

What is Depo-Provera? Depo-Provera is a form of progesterone, a female hormone that prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). Depo-Provera also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus…

What is Mirena? Mirena is a plastic device containing the female hormone levonorgestrel. This hormone causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus...

What is Norplant System (levonorgestrel intrauterine system)? Levonorgestrel is a female hormone. This hormone can cause changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus

Once more because we need to hear it.

Download the audio on Behemoth.com for free here: Doug’s ‘Freedom at Risk Speech’ on behemoth.com

Evening round up

My friends the Brown family at Ketocton Baptists have provided a thought provoking read on feminism from a rather un-American standpoint.

You see Mrs. Brown is Romanian by birth and grew up in a socialist society.

From the post:

Socialist governments want women in the work force as much as men and the family is a tool of production. Fathers do not provide vision for their children, but rather leave it up to the State. I am often times shocked to see that what was seen as oppression in the Socialist Republic of Romania is called liberty here in America (even among Christians). What really hit home was a comment made by Voddie Baucham [In the film Return of the Daughters]. He said, “I don’t know why we allow ourselves to be poured into the world’s mold…”

Read the rest of the post here.

On Doug’s blog there are insanely cute baby pictures and a hot babe in a blue dress … 🙂

Voddie Baucham’s daughter gives us 10 reasons she doesn’t want to be VP when she grows up.

Carmon Friedrich explains there are Bigger Dangers than Obama this election season,

and last but not least Scott Brown sounds off on Searing the Conscience of the Church”.

EDITED to include Kelly’s post on McCain’s positions. We all remember him, right?  The guy at the top of the ticket – the Big Kauhuna who will actually be making all the decisions that effect Sarah Palin 😉

More thoughts on the Mcdonald’s boycott



I as I caught up on some of the comments on my follow-up post on the McDonald’s Boycott I came across the following comment by blogger MInTheGap.  In his followup post he made a few good points I want to interact with, but first his comment:

I always wonder if these things really work– especially with people that are hardened in their ways. McD’s clearly has taken a stand, and believes they’ve taken the right one.

Well, I would point out a few recent boycotts that seem to have worked – Ford and American Girls Doll. I also know of a few that have not seemed to have any effect – the SBC boycott of Disney in the 80’s and 90’s. Incidentally, we did not take part in the Disney boycott because it just wasn’t on the radar for us back then.

The other thing to think about is whether or not this will have the opposite effect. While I’m definitely in the “holiness” camp and not in the “love” camp, this is yet another opportunity for the Enemy to characterize us as unloving.

I radically disagree with this statement or at least the implication that this is a bad thing. God is love AND He is holy; I don’t think the two are necessarily mutually exclusive.  To some extent the fact that we are even having this discussion (is it loving to take a public stand against sin) shows the success of the world to frame the debate. It’s the first card that McDonald’s played – I suspect due to the fact that its Vice President of Communications is a gay man who is also the corporate rep on the board of the NGLCC.  Gay activists are very good at trying to use the politics of guilt and pity for their own ends.

Indeed, we need a positive thing we’re doing instead, and not just a negative thing.

Agreed. I do positive things to combat the sins of our culture all the time. I attend public worship, I tithe, I have family worship, I train my children to read the Bible and pray.  In other words I try to live all of my life (and train my children) to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. This would include how I treat anyone I meet in person.  See Matthew 5.

We also need to be careful that we do not exaggerate the importance of this one sin. We may all be willing to jump on the bandwagon of boycotting a place that supports homosexuality– but how about those that promote gluttony, gossip, and other immorality.

I’m trying to give you things to think about. I believe homosexuality is one of the latter things that happens to a culture in decline, and it’s something that should be fought against, but we’re hypocrites if we only judge where we will eat based on this one issue.

Well there are certainly things to think about here. Several things come to mind.

1.) In my view God exaggerates the importance of this sin. Romans one makes a couple of points relevant to this.

a.) The act is unnatural (Rom. 1:27)

b.) The particular sin of homosexuality is in itself a judgment for the sins of idolatry (Rom. 1:27) – thus putting it in a unique category.  Not to belabor the point but it is a sign of the decay of a culture because it’s a form of judgment that brings more judgment from the Lord if not repented of. 

2.) You are setting up a false dichotomy if you try to force a choice between boycotting everything and nothing. I might, as the head of my house, choose to commit to certain strategic efforts to force public change on one or more (or no) companies as I see fit before the Lord. This does not make me a hypocrite. You said in a recent post

“How about boycotting the All-You-Can-Eat buffet for allowing or encouraging gluttony?  Any takers?  How about an organization to combat gossip, being a busybody, or invading someone else’s privacy? “

As for gossip I direct you to the badge in my sidebar 😉  Back to your comment:

We’re all sinners– some saved by grace. We need to be praying and working to bring people to repentance. This is more important than worrying about buying a burger from a specific place.

Here is the heart of the matter for me.  See, an all-you-can-eat buffet is not actively promoting gluttony in the public sphere the way the NGLCC is.  I see the push to normalize homosexual behavior in our culture as the leading front (or one of them) in the culture wars. It’s at the heart of the attack against the Biblical family, and is being used to chip away, in our culture, at the fundamental social unit in society – the family – by chipping away at  the perceived differences between the genders and their roles.

No one is denying that we need to work for repentance and faith in those who do not know Christ.  When you say “This is more important than worrying about buying a burger from a specific place,” I think you risk trivializing the issues and the people involved in the boycott.

Finally I want to close by thanking MinTheGap for his thought provoking commentary.  We need good issue-driven discussions, illuminated by Scripture to sharpen us as believers.

Links to MinTheGap posts:

Boycott Mcdonald’s?

The Ultimate Boycott

MinTheGap’s comment on Kim’s post

DON’T forget the Gunn Brothers awesome documentary from which the above clip was taken

(BUY ONE TODAY!)

More on the Sanctity of life.

My good friend Doug Phillips has posted an article from Dan Becker of the Georgia Right to Life. In it Mr. Becker quotes the Association of Pro-life Physicians.   I found the following exerpt to be helpful:

“It is only ethical to remove the tubal pregnancy if spontaneous resolution does not occur after watchful waiting and if the physician is 100% certain that there are no twins. At this point, the embryo in the fallopian tube is likely to be dead and, even if not, the death is unavoidable and unintentional, and the procedure is necessary to save the life of the mother. **In conclusion, there are no occasions in which the intentional killing of the pre-born child is justified.”

Read the rest of the article here “Is Innocent Human Life Ever Negotiable? Part I

Ectopic pregnancy and the sanctity of life

As Christians, we are unabashedly, 100% pro-life. We believe that life begins at conception; that every human life is created in the image of God; and that abortion is wrong in every case. This is where we differ from many other “pro-lifers” who are willing to grant that abortion may be merited in certain cases.

Abortion is murder – even in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother may be at stake. We must never reason from difficult cases to make ethical judgments and we must understand that modern bioethics and medical ethics are not reasoning from God’s law.

Doug Phillips recently broached the question of ethical treatment of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy on his blog when he posed the following question from the Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy:

A mother conceives a child. The doctor tells the parents that they have a tubal pregnancy and that the baby has little to no chance of survival, but its continued life poses a threat to the life of the mother. What are the relevant biblical principles? What facts must be determined to make a biblical ethical decision? What medical options might be available. Is killing the baby through abortion defensible through Scripture? If so, defend your position? If not, defend your position? Are there other options?

Certain loud sectors of the blogosphere accused him of endangering the lives of countless women because he suggested they might not need to automatically and immediately abort an ectopic pregnancy.

I was intrigued by this question and the possibilities it presented, and I was not ready to accept the assumption that failure to aggressively treat an ectopic pregnancy amounts to suicide.  I stayed up until 1:00 that evening researching the subject, and here is what I learned.

ECTOPIC PREGNANCY

Ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy in which the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus. In 95-98% of cases, it implants inside the fallopian tube – this is why it is commonly referred to as tubal pregnancy. Other possible locations are in the cervix, an ovary, or in the abdomen where it will attach to a blood supply such as the bowel or liver.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

The standard treatment for ectopic pregnancy follows one of 3 courses: chemically induced abortion (usually by means of a drug called methotrexate); removal of the entire fallopian tube which contains the baby or a the affected portion of the tube; or removal of the baby and subsequent repair of the affected fallopian tube.

All 3 approaches directly result in the inevitable death of the child.

However, there is at least one more option: Wait. Be ready, but wait. Treat the mother if necessary but do not kill the child. No abortion.

The primary argument against the Watchful Waiting method of treatment is that it is dangerous to the mother. Alarmists will try to equate it to a death sentence – and for what? The child was doomed from the start, right?

No. The outcome is not so easily predicted as some would have you think.

PROGNOSIS/OUTCOME

Yes, there is a high likelihood that the child will die. How high? Nobody really knows, because nobody seems to recommend this approach. There was recently a documented case of anundiagnosed ectopic pregnancy that was delivered by c-section at full term. There are others as well: A baby born in 2000 was attached to the mother’s bowel, as was this one in 2005. This 1999 triplet developed in the fallopian tube, while his two sisters grew in the uterus. The triplet article states that there are 60-100 cases of babies growing outside the womb and surviving.

update: Here are 5 more documented cases of ectopic survivors. Thank you to Christina for the link.

Yes, these cases made headlines and amazed the whole world, but how many more cases would do so if we didn’t diagnose and automatically abort them? This site seems to indicate that the prognosis for the ectopic child is not entirely hopeless, at least in the case of abdominal pregnancy:

Prognostic: The abdominal pregnancy is associated with high maternal (0-20%) and perinatal (40-95%) mortality. Maternal mortality is about 5.1:1.000 compared with 0.7:1.000 in other ectopic gestations. The perinatal mortality has been traditionally high. However recent progresses have result in a 70-80% increase in the survival in fetuses older then 30 weeks…

But what about the mother? Is it right to sacrifice her life with so little hope of gaining the life of the child? In the case of abdominal pregnancies that are allowed to continue, the article above goes on to state that:

Mortality and maternal morbidity are directly related to the removal of the placenta during childbirth. The remove of the placenta depends on the degree of invasion, the location of insertion, the involvement of the other organs and the surgical access to the placental blood supply. If it is possible, the complete placental extraction should be done. If not, the placenta should be left at the place, following by occlusion of the umbilical cord. The subsequent management is expectant. The placental reabsorption can be accelerated with methotrexate, selective arterial embolization and secondary laparotomy.

So the life of the mother may be in danger, but she is far from doomed! There are procedures for dealing with the risks of advanced abdominal pregnancy – procedures which allow for the possible survival of the child!

For those pregnancies which implant in the fallopian tube (far more common than abdominal pregnancy), the dangers are surprisingly moderate. Although many will succumb to scare tactics, a plain reading of the statistics can be very reassuring.

STATISTICS

  • Currently, up to 1 of every 50-60 pregnancies is estimated to be ectopic.***
  • Over 100,000 ectopic pregnancies were reported in the US in 1992.
  • 1 out of 2000 ectopic pregnancies ended in the death of the mother for the 1970’s and 1980’s. The mortality rate has fallen even lower in recent years due to advances in medical care. Recent estimates put it at ~3 in 10,000.
  • At least 14 studies have documented that 68 to 77 percent of ectopic pregnancies resolve without intervention (American Academy of Family Physicians).
  • Tubal rupture occurs in approximately 20% of cases. The statistics seem to indicate that this is the number of women whose initial symptom is tubal rupture, i.e. they receive no treatment at all prior to rupture. Studies indicate that another 10-30% may experience rupture while under medical care.
  • Contrary to popular belief, death from rupture is rare where medical attention is available. In the US, 25-50 women die from ectopic pregnancy each year out of about 100,000 reported cases.

Let’s do the math, shall we? In spite of the fact that hospitalization and surgical treatment pose risks of their own and many women have surgery without having experienced tubal rupture, we will generously assume that all of the reported deaths occur among those women who didn’t receive treatment until after rupture.

If there are 100,000 ectopic pregnancies reported each year and 20% of them result in rupture of the fallopian tube, then about 20,000 women are treated annually in the US for actual tubal rupture. A total maternal death toll of 50 would mean that 1 in 400 of those who experienced tubal rupture died. That’s a death rate of 0.25%.

Since rates of ectopic pregnancies have continued to increase rapidly while mortality rates for the mothers are decreasing, actual current numbers would look far better: a death toll of 25 (the number reported in 1992, the most recent I could find) would bring the chance of death after rupture down to 1 in 800, or 0.125% (20,000 ruptures divided by 25 deaths).

A mother who is aware of the situation and under a physician’s watchful care would likely fare even better. If we accept 40% as the rate of eventual tubal rupture (20% happening initially and the other 20% occurring during treatment and medical care), then we have a death toll of 25 out of 40,000 cases of rupture, or a 1 in 1,600 chance of death.

CONCLUSION

The chance of death for a mother who chooses not to abort an ectopic pregnancy appears to be something less than 0.25% – possibly as little as 0.06%, or about four times the risk of full-term labor and delivery.

Does this sound like a death sentence for those who would refuse to abort an ectopic pregnancy? Or does this sound like a reason to reconsider the standard course of action in a difficult situation?

We should always question the presuppositions of the scientific community – from stem cells to aborting tubal pregnancies – because they DO NOT reason from a Christian foundation. Once we begin to question them and their assumptions we start to realize that they are not as sure of their conclusions (or shouldn’t be) as they claim to be.

As Christians, we must always begin with God’s word and work from there. Some decisions will be easy and others will be difficult, but all must begin from the same foundation: God’s Word is authoritative and sufficient for every facet of life.

When we start from this presupposition, we just might find that the difficult decisions aren’t so difficult after all.

REFERENCES

CDC Ectopic Pregnancy Surveillance 1970-1978

Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia

Ectopic Pregnancy: Dr. El-Mowafi

Ectopic Pregnancy on Wikipedia

Time and Risk of Ruptured Pregnancy

Study: An Institutional Review of the Management of Ectopic Pregnancy

Fast Facts on Ectopic Pregnancy

eMedicine: Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic Pregnancy: Risk Factors

*** Figures from the 1940’s estimated that about 1 in 30,000 pregnancies was ectopic. This number has skyrocketed due to common risk factors: hormonal birth control and IUDs, tubal ligations, STDs, PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, usually a result of STD caused by promiscuity), in vitro fertilization, and abortions – all practices which many Christians find ethically questionable or morally wrong.

follow up here: Ectopic Pregnancy Clarifications

Disclaimers

If you enjoyed my recent post on family planning, thank you.  It’s encouraging to have brothers and sisters standing beside us when we take a stance that flies in the face of worldly wisdom.

If, however, you were seeing red by the time you got to the end of the post, you might benefit from MamaArcher’s latest post:

A Disclaimer on Conviction 

MamaArcher succintly answers the all-too-common charges of  judgmentalism, legalism, binding others’ conscience, intolerance, etc.

…Firstly, I think that if we always preface things we disagree with or are not comfortable with by saying, ” the Lord calls some to one thing and others to another,” this really can simply be a cop-out. Where is the conviction in that? There is indeed absolute truth! To say otherwise is to take up the cultural mandate.

Secondly, just because someone shares their beliefs and shares them with passion, zeal, and the conviction that it is truth does not mean that they are being judgmental toward others. To assign that motive to them is just as judgmental in my opinion…

Her post reminded me of a similar post I did long ago.  Maybe it’s time to revisit and update My Standard Disclaimer.

Marx’s feminism

Cultural Marxism [footnote]
The goal of Marx’s feminism was to Marxize the thinking of women, then men, then the entire culture. Notice how women were first on their list? Recall that Satan targeted a woman first, too. God’s enemies have recognized that women are not only the weaker vessels, and consequently more easily led, but they are incredibly influential over their husbands (think of Eve again) and children, and they make excellent and loyal helpers.
“Unless millions of women are with us,” stated Lenin, “we cannot exercise the proletarian dictatorship, cannot construct on communist lines. We must find our way to them, we must study and try to find that way.”[footnote] He insisted, “There can be no real mass movement without women.”[footnote]
So Much More, pg. 65

Patriarchy is not a bad word

From Wikipedia:

Patriarchy describes the structuring of society on the basis of family units, in which fathers have primary responsibility for the welfare of these units. In some cultures slaves were included as part of such households. The concept of patriarchy is often used, by extension, to refer to the expectation that men take primary responsibility for the welfare of the community as a whole, acting as representatives via public office (in anthropology and feminism, for example).

Patriarchy has been dubbed a movement, primarily by opponents within the Church. I’m not sure why they object to the idea that a wife ought to submit to her husband, since the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church. The idea is not exactly a new one and Paul, being inspired, said some pretty smart stuff.

Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything. (Eph. 5:22-24)

Apparently they see dangers in Paul’s position. Do they think God took a break from inspiration here and Paul kept right on talking? Do they think it was a temporary plan, until we were ready for a more egalitarian system?
At any rate, many say that obeying God in this case obeying one’s husband is a bad idea because a husband might abuse his authority, taking it as an excuse to act like a jerk.
But wives are clearly commanded several times in Scripture to obey their husbands (Eph. 5:22, Col. 3:18, Tit. 2:4,5, I Pet. 3:1). There is no doubt as to the meaning of the Greek word. It is used many times in reference to angels and demons under Christ, Christians under civil magistrates, and servants under their masters.

hupotasso: hoop-ot-as’-so
be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto.

In her excellent post, Patriarchs, Feminists, Complementarians, Oh My! Stacy McDonald debunks several common myths about patriarchy. I think that much of the misunderstanding comes back to three basic issues: personal responsibility in light of the failure of others, the servanthood of leadership, and the origin of authority.

Personal responsibility in light of the failure of others
The first is easily dealt with: the failure of another person to discharge their duty does not relieve us of our own duty. I tell my children frequently not to blame their sins on the sins of others. “I didn’t clean the bedroom because she wouldn’t help” is not a valid excuse for a 7yo, nor is it for an adult. “I’m not obeying him; he’ll take advantage of my obedience and act like a selfish jerk.” Wives are commanded to obey even unbelieving husbands.

1Pe 3:1 In like manner, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, even if any obey not the word, they may without the word be gained by the behavior of their wives;

If a Christian wife must obey even an unbelieving husband, how much more should a wife obey a Christian husband, imperfect though he may be?

The servanthood of leadership
The husband is not the unquestioned and all powerful despot in the Christian home.
From above:

…For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church…

and again:

Let the husband render unto the wife her due: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power over her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power over his own body, but the wife. 1Co 7:3-4

Christ came as a humble servant, working and sacrificing for the Church, and this too is the duty of the husband to his wife. He is commanded to love his wife as his own body; to cleave to her; to honor her;

Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his own wife loveth himself: for no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church; because we are members of his body. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. Eph 5:28-31

Ye husbands, in like manner, dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto the woman, as unto the weaker vessel, as being also joint-heirs of the grace of life; to the end that your prayers be not hindered. 1Pe 3:7

A husband’s authority over his wife is not license to act as an absolute dictator; his authority has limits, guidelines, and a purpose. But the fear that he might abuse that authority is not license for Christians to disregard a husband’s God-given authority.

The origin of authority
All authority comes from God. We do not obey those in authority because they demand or deserve our obedience or respect. We obey them to honor God, the source of all authority.
Our children should not obey us because we are bigger and stronger, but because God has commanded it. Our authority over our children comes from God’s command for them to obey us and from His command for us to raise them in His fear and admonition.
Likewise, we obey the civil magistrates not because we’ll get jail time if we don’t, but because God has set them in authority over us.
And a wife must obey her husband not because he is really smart and strong; not because he brings home the bacon; not because he helps with dishes and diapers. She must obey him because God has set him in a position of authority over her. She honors God by obeying her husband, regardless of whether or not her husband helps with dishes and diapers. (A little tip for the guys: helping with dishes and diapers makes it much easier and more pleasant for your wife to obey you.)

Conclusion:
The husband and wife relationship presents a beautiful image of Christ and the Church. Many want to pity the wife and criticize the pattern that God has laid out, but to do so questions His own goodness and reduces Him to a petty tyrannical god fashioned after our own fallen nature.
Rather than judging God’s plan based upon our own shortcomings, we need to see the relationship for what it is designed to reflect, however imperfect that reflection may be. We must strive for perfection, not give up without trying because others are imperfect.
We are created in God’s image, and we must obey God. Rather than fretting or arguing about what might go wrong with His plan, we should obey Him in faith, trusting Him for the outcome.