Did you have an imaginary playmate when you were a child? Did you know children who did?
Our 3-year-old grandson, Jack, just introduced his friend, “Masten” to our family. Last week his sister celebrated her birthday. “It’s Masten’s birthday today, too!” Jack shouted. So we sang Happy Birthday to Masten’s empty chair, to Jack’s delight … and to the delight of us all.
I was quick to tell my daughter, Jack’s mom, to welcome and respect Jack’s unseen friend, Masten. I have come to believe that these unseen playmates could be one of the many angels that surround us. And this young child can see one! A guardian angel? Who knows?.
My son, Joe, had an unseen friend, John Cooper. John was very real to Joe. Joe acknowledged John’s presence at our dinner table by pulling out a chair for him, and when we travelled away from home, Joe asked me to stop so he could call John to tell him where we were.
Continue reading Imaginary Playmates
How do young people today decide where to stand on the issue of legal abortion? The issue has taken on such heated arguments politically, religiously, and personally that it is hard to listen, read, or speak about where lines should be drawn, or when laws should permit or forbid the act of separating a pregnant woman from the unborn child she carries in her body. That is what abortion literally means, and the physical act required to remove the unborn child from the mother has profound consequences.
One of the reasons I think people have a hard time thinking and speaking about abortion is that is an unpleasant subject and that those people to whom we are speaking have such a variety of opinions, often hard held opinions, due to their political views or personal experience.
Considering the over 50 million abortions that have been performed in America since abortion-on-demand was made legal in the United States on January 22, 1973, it stands to reason that few families have escaped the trauma of deciding what to do when faced with an unintended pregnancy within their family. What families decide to do, I believe, becomes the basis for their family members’ hard held stance on the abortion issue thereafter. They preach it, they defend it, and they counsel others to do the same as they did.
I know that’s what I do. My family faced the challenge of unintended pregnancies that met the typical formula for unquestioned abortion: high school and college aged pregnancies. The future plans and careers of my children were suddenly at stake, balanced against the lives of very small, as yet undetected, unborn babies. Continue reading If Only She Knew
Since I was a child, I have always been interested in religion. I was fortunate to have fine ministers sent to Tucson, Arizona, where I grew up: Rev. Harold Cranch, Rev. Douglas Taylor and Rev. Geoffrey Howard. They all taught me, inspired me and answered my questions with serious attention to my growing interest in how to tell others about what we believe in the New Church.
Doug Taylor gave me an answer to people who say they have never heard of my church, or my religion. I say, “Well this is your lucky day!” Later Doug pulled me aside when I was in Bryn Athyn to tell me a new way he explains what the New Church is all about. He said that he quotes John 16, where Jesus says, “I have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now … these things I have spoken in parables, but the time will come when I shall no more speak to you in parables, but I shall show you plainly of the Father.” What if this is what he wanted to tell us! Wouldn’t you want to know what it is?
Recently, I discovered another idea in my random reading that struck me with a new understanding of the First and Second Advents and what the New Church is all about. I can hardly wait to share the idea with a Christian friend, or a New Church comrade, such as a reader of the New Christian Woman posts. God willing, it will enlighten our mutual enjoyment of the coming Christmas season.
Here it is. In a little pamphlet, “The Visible God” by Erik Sandstrom, an explanation of the First Advent and the Second Advent is given that is as simple as it is profound: “Now, the Lord’s advents into the world were modes of His revealing Himself. In His first advent, he took on Flesh, so that he might show Himself among men, and work among them. And in His second advent He caused all that He accomplished while in the Flesh to be described and explained, in order that the glory wherewith He glorified His Human might shine forth. He ever had infinite glory and power. But it is now, in the second advent, that that glory and power have been revealed in fullness.” Continue reading Mary, Did You Know?
My kids set me up with a Facebook page, so I could see the photos that they posted of their children and of their activities. They would email me the fact that they posted something on Facebook, and I could “open” the Facebook link and “like” it or “comment”. But I had to “friend” them first.
I soon found that if I “friended” someone, a long list of people’s names and faces paraded down the page, as possible friends, and I could choose to “friend” them or not. Shorty after I started this activity, I was at a party, and a woman I knew said, somewhat accusingly, “I friended you on Facebook, but you didn’t friend me back!” (Uh-oh, I thought. Have I just started a new stream of obligations?) All I could say was, “I don’t have to ‘friend’ you on Facebook for you to know you’re my friend!”
Continue reading Social Media