The Times Journal & Russell County News
Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY —
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Family, Faith and Favorite Things
In Jan. 15 Issue
By Linda P. Stephens

Something Every Family Should Have. Mike Singletary is the father of seven children. His family has a mission statement they all helped make. It hangs in the foyer and everyone who enters their house can see the sign which reads: " This is the home of champions. As Singletarys, we will always strive to do our very best in all we do. We will strive to be honest and respect each other's feelings, property and time. We will always pray for one another, fight for one another, and encourage one another. For our trust be not in our home, nor our money or status or knowledge, but in each other and above all in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

Mike says "This is the kind of covenant more families could make with each other. It serves to keep all of us focused on our family goals and reminds us of our relationship with the Lord."  These quotes are from Mike's book "Daddy's Home at Last-what it takes for Dads to put families first". Football fans will remember Mike as an All-Pro defensive Captain of the Chicago Bears.

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday-January 23, 2011. Since 1983, Americans have observed Sanctity of Human Life Sunday as a day to celebrate the intrinsic value of all human life. This Sunday is chosen because it's the one closest to January 22nd, the day in 1973 when  the Supreme Court made abortion legal in all 50 states, striking down laws in many states that prohibited or limited abortion.

Focus on the Family and other groups are sponsoring  a one day seminar this Saturday on  Life and  Justice. Conference goals are: 1) conference  will act as a catalyst calling the Body of Christ to advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves and 2) conference will raise a greater awareness of the sanctity of human life as it relates to the preborn child, orphan care, those living with special needs, the elderly, human trafficking and genocide. After the conference  is over, it will be available via video podcast from the Focus website.

Focus on the Family has excellent information on their website about sanctity of human life and related  issues.

I listened to a couple of   beautiful psa's read by children. One was "We're all Handmade by God" and a child said" I think that's pretty cool." Another child  said " God loves every life and we should too!" Amen to both.

 Inspiring Story. One of the most inspiring stories I've  read is about Nancy Guthrie who lives in Tennessee and lost two babies to a rare disease.  Her first child, a son Matt, was born normal. Her second child, a daughter named Hope was not.

She was born with several problems, including club feet, extreme lethargy and an inability to suck. Hope was diagnosed with Zellweger Syndrome, a rare metabolic disorder. There is no treatment or cure. Most babies with the disease live less than six months.

Nancy's life was filled with the pursuit of Christian things, but not necessarily with the pursuit of Christ.   She said "I was so busy for God,  …. but I wasn't  talking to Him or listening to Him by reading His word." So she began by telling God, "It's been so long since we've talked and I don't even know how to do this or why You'd want to talk to me, but…. can we start talking?"  Talking to Nancy meant committing to regular Bible study. Slowly she felt a hunger to know God more. And one day she prayed -to know God better, even if it meant suffering.

Years later when she held Hope, she thought of that prayer.   She also remembered Job( in the Old Testament)  and wondered if she could do what Job did. There's a passage in  the book of Job where God says, "My servant Job will be faithful to me no matter what."  Nancy's  thought  was, "Here's an opportunity to respond to the worst thing I can imagine in a way that is pleasing to God." It wasn't easy and she had to make that decision over and over again.  Her daughter Hope wasn't healed and died on her 199th day of life.

 Both parents must be carriers of the recessive gene for Zellweger Syndrome to occur. Her husband  David had a vasectomy to prevent another pregnancy. Only 1 in 2000 vasectomies fail, so the couple felt secure.

But one year after Hope died, Nancy was pregnant again!  

Prenatal testing revealed their third child would also have the Zellweger Syndrome. Now the article doesn't say this happened but its probably safe to say the Guthries could have been "counseled" by many doctors to have an abortion. That was not an option for them.  They chose life. When  their son Gabriel was born, they knew what to expect. He lived 183 days.

Nancy says" I've experienced one of the worst things that can happen and I haven't found I'm strong and can handle it.

But I've found our God's promise is true. His grace is sufficient. Now when I read that verse (2 Cor 12:9) I believe it not only because Jesus said it in the Bible-I believe it because I've experienced it."

Nancy says that answering "why" or "how" begins with another question- What? What do we believe about God?

Do I trust the character of God enough to believe He's in control and what ever He allows in my life will be for my ultimate good-not whatever He allows in my life is good?

In her book "Holding onto Hope" Nancy writes:" Trusting God when the miracle does not come, when the urgent prayer gets no answer, when there is only darkness--- this is the kind of faith God values perhaps most of all."

In closing, one of my favorite things is snow! In our side yard is a  Washington Hawthorne tree and it's  a delight to look at with its beautiful red berries dusted with snow.

Thanks for reading my column and remember that God loves you "with an everlasting love."( Jeremiah 31: 3)

Till next week.         

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