faith · social issues

On Euthanasia…

What a heavy topic to return to blogging on, hey?

Just quickly I would like to say thank you to my followers. I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus as I finish my study (just 30 hours of placement to go!) but this blog is nonetheless always there for me when I’ve got something I feel I need/want to share with the world. It doesn’t matter if those draft thoughts never leave my head, knowing I have this space and even better people who are interested, is a wonderful blessing.

But back to this topic, yep, I’m going there….Euthanasia.

It came up at bookclub last night, as the last dregs lingered on around the table discussing work, life, financial planning and end of life.

The state of Victoria recently passed assisted dying laws which came into effect this month. I do not support these laws and pray other states do not follow suit – why? Quite simply because I am a christian. Is that a good enough reason to support protests against these laws for other people, mostly non-christian? That is a very good question.

I believe God is in ultimate control of our lives, and despite a fallen world with pain and injustice, I believe God is good. Despite daily questioning of His will and ways I trust Him and am content (relatively!) to leave my life and death in His hands. This choice became very clear to me when I was presented with the option (opportunity?) to terminate my second pregnancy. Whilst the medical reality for my child was very scary, abortion was never really an option – life is a gift. A gift I believe God chooses the time for giving and taking away. A gift I am more than happy to put into His capable hands, placing my trust in Him.

At this time in my life it also became really clear to me why people might choose differently to me. Without faith in God, given the option of a life of likely pain and challenges for your child versus regulated safe termination (death), I can see how it could be  a decision of love rather than perhaps convenience.

sunset-sky-sun-cloud-48207

So when at the other end of life and someone is facing certain death, via painful disease or illness, yes the loving choice could be termination. I still choose however to believe and trust in God. I don’t understand why he allows people to linger in pain but I do believe He is all-loving and all-knowing and I do believe there can be continued purpose and meaning in life.

I have not experienced constant pain and I have no idea what it’s like, so it can easily be asked, what right do I have to say how a non-christian chooses to end their life?

I’m not sure I can justify my beliefs….I DO wish for all people to come to know God as I do and to trust in Him….but I also acknowledge free-will. So I guess I don’t think that my choice is anymore valid than yours but I do believe I have the right to express it and continue to make decisions based on my faith, even if they affect others with different beliefs.

I have experienced the death of two grandmothers from bowel cancer. Both had lived long and blessed lives. My Dad shares what a privilege it was to be sitting nearby as his Mum took her last breaths. My mother cared for her Mum at her home until her death, which she too experienced as a great honour and privilege. It was interesting to hear an uncles perspective, who also helping with care saw it as cruelty for his Mum. I’m sure my Mum didn’t find it pleasant and wished for the suffering to end but I believe she also believed the care was dignified and an appropriate way to die.

I guess I wonder why we assume death should be painless? I think many are afraid of death and wish for it to be as uncomplicated as possible….I don’t think that’s realistic, as with all of life, the real picture often isn’t pretty but nonetheless invaluable.

I’m wondering now how to end this…..I feel I’m done.

Would love for any thoughts, alternative views, questions to be shared

GJ

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family

My Family Haven

Doing an 8 hour drive while grumpy with your man, and two beautiful but oh so annoying children in tow, truly is not a recipe for success. But we are home, the kids are in bed, husband has disappeared and I get peace and quiet to reflect on the whole mess.

It follows what has actually been three of the most lovely days of my life. My super fantabulous older sister decided to celebrate a milestone birthday with her parents, siblings, outlaws, nieces and nephews altogether at a secluded Lutheran beach side camp. We had an amazing time making life-long memories. Between us we have 9 children 8 and under, who were spread over two of the dorms with grandparents and their aunt keeping watch and us parents (mostly) getting a room to ourselves. There were cuddles, games, tantrums, even a teeny bit of sharing. We had early mornings keeping early risers quiet and fed, and late nights competing with each other at cards. I absolutely adore my family. To go to bed each night after looking in on all those gorgeous kids was true bliss. There were beach walks, freezing cold swims (crazy kids not me!), horse carriage rides, table tennis competitions and LOTS of yummy food. I want to go back and do it all again.

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Back however to the troubling return home. I guess I’m just sick of farm life getting in the way of family time. And I’m sick of my husband not seeming to care.

He must  be acknowledged though for driving us there and back, helping with the cooking, interacting and I even saw him doing dishes.

I guess I haven’t been very understanding either…

So home again we are, back to the mess, back to ABC 2, back to real life which when it boils down, ain’t too bad either.

Praying that I keep all things in perspective, that hubby and I communicate and show care to each other, thanking God for the overwhelming blessing of wonderful family and praying that I can show His love to my family and the world around me.

Holiday isn’t completely over – off now to finish my vacation reading 🙂

 

political · relationships · social issues · Uncategorized

Opinion post: Legalising Same-Sex Marriage in Australia

Haiku for the religiously observant via On the sabbath — poemsinseason

Freed by Jesus’ words,
standing upright, rejoicing;
giving praise to God.

Religious leaders
speak to defend the sabbath
from such outrages.

Six days for working!
The seventh’s not for healing;
come another day!

Get real, says Jesus.
Common sense and compassion
must rule ev’ry day.

Living is empty
if love no longer shapes us;
Embrace its freedom.

 

Is our faith empty if we are not ruled by compassion, by love? Or is our faith empty if we pretend that everything is ok, sin is not really that bad, love (not forgiveness) is all you need?

 

From a Human’s of New York post

“I call them clobber verses. There are six of them. They’re the verses that get used to hammer gay people… I had tried so hard but nothing worked [therapy, straight marriage etc. etc.]. I got so angry with God for not keeping up his end of the bargain. But after some time, I finally realized why he wouldn’t change me. He never felt like he needed to.”

Let me just talk about me for a minute – what I find so difficult to understand is why I should get so blessed to not be plagued with such a sin as same-sex attraction, not having to live with it makes it incredibly easy to get on my high horse and when I read of people such as above who try so hard to fight this sin it seems so unfair. How do I resolve that?

 

From my understanding of the Bible I do believe that homosexuality is a sin, just as when I lie or say or think mean thoughts, it is not the way God intended the world to be. But there is sin in this imperfect world and we need to find a way to live with it. Through resurrection and grace of my saviour Jesus Christ I live with it in constant forgiveness and a promise of eternal life. In gratitude I try my best to lead a ‘good’ life, attempting (and constantly failing but forgiven) to avoid temptation.

I do not believe same-sex marriage should be legalised as to me it promotes temptation. I do not fight same-sex marriage for this reason though. I’ve come to a belief that just because I as a christian hold to certain beliefs does not mean I can force society to live according to those beliefs, I can simply promote them (and also use my political vote to do this).

Now for me it comes down to semantics, which sounds a horrible reason and yet…. Marriage by definition is the union of a man and woman therefore same-sex relationships are different. Many argue that it’s all love and the difference is unimportant (see a previous post I’ve written on love for an opinion on that topic) but I believe if merely from a biological point of view it IS different. Because I believe they are different does not mean I believe one is better than the other.I consider it a issue around equality and equity

Equality doesn't mean Equity

Psalm 98 v9 He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity

(an aside  -read this recently as with above haiku parable it doesn’t quite fit but does show the Bible talking about equity.)

I don’t think society needs to be quite so concerned with equality (at least in this example) as with equity so straight marriage is different from LGBT marriage however we can ensure there is equity between the two.

 

 

(I actually prefer this image from here as it shows not only different heights but different people with different and equally valuable personalities)

 

 

I strongly support civil unions and for same-sex couples to have the same rights as current married couples ( I do not argue on the basis of the needs of children as there is already so much sin and despair in family relationships across Australia I don’t think straight couples can claim any moral high ground in that area – although I do believe children should ideally have a mother and father there are no guarantees in our society such a family unit is any better than any other). I have long meant to look into whether same-sex couples who are recognised in civil unions receive the same rights as married couples in Australia, please inform me if they don’t as I would certainly work to rectify that.

 

Thus ends my first hopefully regular ‘issue’ post, next – netball in small communities.

I imagine they may be many who disagree with me, I hope I have been respectful and would love to hear any responses.

 

 

 

faith · life · relationships · Uncategorized

Beyond the Best of Times

Of course after my last post things wouldn’t just stay the same. It’s been two weeks of struggle town, although mostly just a few off days with the fear that this could be the beginning of the slide d…

down.

This poem by Moira Neagle a fellow country South Australian really struck me (via Beyond the Best of Times — Moira Neagle’s Word Addiction)

 

There are times

when you are running with hounds

Each day presents its own delights,

the air is warm,

the grass whispers

as you leap frog ahead,

friends bound with you

the sky is deepest blue

 

(My life before the past two weeks!)

 

Your run is halted

A wall, fence, barrier

stops your energetic flow,

the spring in your step

 

(A bad day and the fear of more to come)

 

Time must be taken

to pause

to trot along the extent

to consider options

to look for the narrowest

of possible openings

 

(I had to try hard to stop the fear, let go of the day that was, forgive it and find the best possible opening for moving on)

 

Beyond is beckoning,

the view enticing,

the opening impossibly constricted

 

(I knew I would jinx myself, in stating my joy sure enough the feeling started to squeeze away)

 

The light,

the breeze

the fragrances

fade

in the face

limitation

 

Limitation struck me this week, I got tired, grumpy and emotional. I was hurt, I was stuck – I gave up some of my pleasures knowing I was close to falling asleep at the wheel. Yesterday I was particularly tearful, angry with my husband. Last night I told him, I explained and he apologised.

This morning my ‘acts of service’ man got up, kept the children away so I could sleep in and even got them dressed. The best of times may be fleeting but God keeps sprinkling amazing moments throughout my days. I pray that He continues to give me the resilience to step back and see them.

 

faith · parenting · Uncategorized

Just another part of farm life

The other morning our son was waking up (in our bed of course!) and his first question of the day was,

‘Harry is a baby?’ – ‘yes Harry is a baby’ – we have good friends with a nearly one year old Harry who C absolutely dotes on but that wasn’t the Harry he was talking about…

‘Harry is dead?’ ahhh ‘yes our Harry is dead.’

‘Roo is dead?’ – ‘yes Roo is dead’ and then he got up to watch cartoons.

These questions just come from nowhere. His big sister had mentioned Harry the other day at our local park where we donated a fundraising brick with all three of their names on it, but other than that we hadn’t been talking about our Harry. And Roo? Well he was an old much-loved farm dog who sadly passed away earlier this year.

Death is everywhere. Just yesterday my father in law had to shoot one of our younger dogs who had yet again been chasing the rams. Three had already been killed this year by the dogs and they are not cheap. My husband explained to me that FIL had chained him up in front of the other dogs and shot him, he was still lying there when he left work for the day. It sounds awful, it IS awful, I feel horrible for my FIL as I know it would not have been a nice job. But the farm is a business, our rams provide our income and the dogs I guess are workers, they need to listen and learn and this dog had continued repeating his mistakes.

My husband last night at tea explained to our daughter that this incident was the worst part of his day. I commented after his brief description to her of what had happened, that we don’t shoot humans.

We also had a pet lamb die recently and C continues to comment regularly ‘Lamby died 😦 ‘

Death tends to be a part of life for farm kids, in addition my children have experienced my grandparents, an aunt and their brothers passing. Fortunately as christians we can also talk to them about the promise of eternal life through Jesus, about heaven. I appreciate that my children are introduced to death early in their lives, that it is not taboo for them. Their comments and questions sure pull at the heart strings though.

 

GJ

 

ps Sorry to the animal lovers, I hope you don’t read into this post cruelty against animals, if you do I don’t think you understand the realitites of farming but I am more than happy to discuss further

pps At 29 death has been following me too closely recently, the anniversary of my friends death through cancer passed recently and I have again lost loved ones this year – is that what happens when we grow up?

pps I have had the time to write this post thanks to hubby driving past on a tractor and picking up C for a ride, both my children and I are so blessed to experience life on a farm

God bless

faith · Uncategorized

My faith dilemna

Read a lovely poem today on Watch this Space by rwoz2. I hope he (she?) doesn’t mind if I quote a section of it here

He sees

Through our disguises
To where we are hiding
He hears
The cry of our hearts
Of our inmost deep sighing
He knows
Through and through
Inside we are dying

He cares, so…He seeks

He seeks
And will not stop
Having counted the cost
He sweeps
High and low
For the coin that was lost
He braves
The dark, tooth and claw
For the sheep tempest-tossed

He cares…”

RWOz2 https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/12320983/posts/985441430

But he doesn’t always succeed – THIS is the idea I am struggling with at the moment. I know God gave us free choice, but I can’t understand if the Holy Spirit is working on a person and God seeks all people and gives His Holy Spirit, then how do people choose to turn away from His grace?

I don’t understand how this can happen when he is all powerful and all merciful?!?

I have received eternal undeserved grace and boundless blessings. I feel compelled to share this but I know majority in today’s society arn’t seeking and certainly don’t like an out spoken evangelist. So I am a quiet christian, praying that people can see God at work in my life.

 My Friend who passed away last year knew about Jesus but as far as I know had not chosen to follow him.

I studied a few subjects at Australian Lutheran College while I was at university and discovered the concept of universal salvation, I love it but unfortunately Lutherans don’t believe it and while I havn’t got my head around it all, I guess I agree. Still I struggle.

Another blogger (whom unfortunately I’ve forgotten) wrote ‘God chooses us for the same reason he chooses anyone – because of his grace’

‘called,chosen and faithful followers’ Rev 17:4 – but why are we not all called?

 

Does anyone else struggle with this? Has anyone resolved this in their mind – please share!

 

P.s. I missed a week of blogging whilst on holidays – apologies. But in exciting news I did get my 50th follower in that time 🙂

P.P.S Was going to write about my holidays if you’re lucky you might get a taste of it next week, or something completely different, who knows!

 

 

 

faith · Uncategorized

I don’t want to believe in Hell

I’ve found myself feeling very emotionally drained the last few days.

I met up with my lovely widow friend again (previous blog post God at Work). She asked me lots of questions about my life and shared about her husbands funeral and family (he had ELEVEN brothers!!). I had a good eye cleanse.

But I left feeling drained and head-achey. My week started nicely with lots of time set aside to work on an assignment, but then I was left with only two days for work and errands.

I was also sad – this lady and her husband are truly beautiful people but they are not believers (as far as I know). I know far too many beautiful people, caring and generous who according to my christian beliefs are destined for hell. I find this very hard to deal with. I guess it should move me to sharing my faith and I do try to do this, mostly by facebook.

But I’m tired, in fact I don’t even have the energy to finish this post other to say today I need to complete my uni readings and quizzes, pack, clean and go out for lunch with friends. THEN however I will be on holidays!! And I hope I will have time to rest, relax and refresh (blog!)-but with two kids who knows?! (especially with everyone seeming to come down with sniffles…)

 

Blessed Easter to You. I believe this weekend we celebrate the death and resurrection of God the Creator’s Son. Who was sent to earth and died for our sins, so that we may be forgiven and rest assured in the promise of eternal life.