Thursday, December 29, 2022

The Transgender Predicament (A Guest Post)

Our longtime friend and pro-life colleague, Dr. Ralph Kramper, recently penned some observations for a letter to the editor. Because he makes sage comments on the issue, I certainly hope the newspaper accepts and prints his letter. But in case they don't, I wanted to pass his remarks along.

 The Transgender Predicament

(Ralph J. Kramper MD, A Scribe of the Holy Spirit)

I was a family medicine intern and resident in the early 1970s.  I was introduced to “sex change” patients (adult males) when called to that care unit from time to time.  I recall that it was often a difficult place to visit to help.

Today, “gender identity” is at the forefront.  I would agree with those who say it is a predominantly psychological, mental issue.  However, we must call on common sense which tells us you cannot cure the “identity confusion” with surgery.

Sound reason and medical science tells us you “cannot make somebody into something they are not.”  We must all have compassion and love for those individuals and their families dealing with such a difficult dilemma.  We are taught in psychology that maturity in females arrived in the late teens, while it was mid-20s for many males.  Let’s be patient and give it the “tincture of time.”

One might ask, why is this a predicament?  Well, in medicine, there were problems and predicaments.  A problem was understandable and usually somewhat straightforward, usually solvable by human reason and thought.  Predicaments were very complex and often difficult to assess and provide appropriate analysis and treatment.  Frequently, I was somewhat overwhelmed by the scenario and couldn’t offer much advice.

I learned that only God could solve a predicament, but I could listen and pray.  Many times, I was later told how helpful I was in the process.  I knew how little advice I offered.

The transgender crisis that is pervading our society can only be resolved by listening to a Supreme Being and praying for His guidance.

Monday, December 26, 2022

What a Christmas Weekend!

What a wonderful Christmassy weekend!  Decorating cookies while listening to Christmas music on Friday night and then braving the Saturday morning cold to pass out plates of cookies and candy to the homes of 7 of our neighbors -- with another two plates going to the firefighters and rescue squad around the block. We live in a great neighborhood.

That night was a warm-hearted Christmas Eve service at Grace Bible Church in which I joined our pastor to discuss some of the exciting yet too-often overlooked details of the Bethlehem birth of Jesus.  The music at that service included congregational carols, an elegant choir presentation, and “Silent Night” sung by candlelight.  Very moving.

The next highlight was our Sunday afternoon church service at Aksarben Village Senior Living.  Being Christmas Day, we were expecting a small group but 15 residents (and 2 guests) joined Claire, me, and Don for a terrific service.  My short sermon concerned the shepherds and how they partnered with angels in “the triumph of the skies” simply by spreading abroad the good news of a great joy.  Our music was superb: Tennessee Ernie Ford and Gordon MacRae doing “O Holy Night,” The Boys’ Choir and orchestra of King’s College in Cambridge doing “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” The Soundiva Classical Choir out of Italy singing “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and The Celtic Women in a Dublin performance of “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.”  Also, there were prayers together and a splendid time of visiting before and after the service as we enjoyed coffee, lemonade, and Claire’s Christmas cookies.

Finally, we closed the weekend (and Christmas Day One) with a supper at our home with a few friends – Don and Alberta, Jim and Jean, and Sharon.  Roast beef, ham, roasted potatoes, carrots with onions, green beans, green salad, rolls, and desserts of mini-mince pies, Eton Mess, and cookies.  Our conversations were lively, stimulating, and full of appreciation for the gift that is the Savior.  It was a really great Christmas weekend.  And now?  Let the celebration of the 12 Days of Christmas kick into gear!

Establishment to the American Public: Please, Ignore These Stories

* What Will the FBI Not Do? (Who watches the watchers?) (Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness)

* "Revelations about Twitter-intel ties raise questions about Big Tech, other sites" (Benjamin Weingarten, New York Post)

* "Twitter Files 9 Shows CIA, Other Security State Involvement in Censorship" (Emma-Jo Morris, Breitbart)

* "Judge Peter Thompson Rules Elections with Broken Machines in 60% of Precincts and No Chain of Custody for Ballots Are Free, Fair and Certifiable" (Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit)

* "Leaked Document Exposes EU’s Secret Plan for Palestinian Authority Takeover of Judea and Samaria" (Vijeta Uniyal, Legal Insurrection)

* "Traitors: Congressional Republicans think lining Zelenskyy’s army-green pockets with more U.S. tax dollars is a greater need than tackling any number of ongoing crises roiling the country right now." (Julie Kelly, American Greatness)

* "Reading, Writing, and Satan" (David Lewis Schaefer, American Mind)

Monday, December 05, 2022

The Family Tree of the King of Israel

Denny talks about the revolutionary nature of Jesus' genealogy.

Christmas Is Underway!

And just like that…Christmas is well underway.  All the anticipation, all the planning, all the cleaning and decorating and inviting led to a very busy, very inspiring weekend which included the first of many wonderful Christmas celebrations.  Thank You, Lord!

The kickoff was Christmas at the Cathedral with Claire, me, Dick, Jean, and Karla joining 3-400 hundred other people at St. Cecilia’s Cathedral to listen to the orchestra and chorus perform a very lovely music program.  And then the following day was packed with Yuletide fellowship, first with prayers and Christmas carols with a handful of pro-life friends in the bitter cold outside the Planned Parenthood abortion business.  And, after a quick cup of coffee at the regular debriefing at John and Barb’s, Claire and I headed home to prepare for our first (of many) at-home Christmas party, a British-themed Ploughman’s Lunch with a bountiful meat and cheese platter, Scotch eggs, mince pies, Eton Mess, and more.  We were honored to have Jim, Jean, Deb, Lee, Therese, and Billy as our guests, and we enjoyed delightful, meaningful conversations as well as an interesting and delicious meal.

And then it was cleaning up after, recording the latest sermon summary from our Aksarben Village church service, and then getting everything ready for our second Christmas party of the day – an evening meal (British-themed still) with 4 guests: Dave, Rosemary, Rick, and Kathy.  Here too we were so blessed with the engaging, sharpening fellowship of good friends.

But the Christmassy weekend wasn’t over yet.  For after church, we got everything prepared for the Aksarben Village Sunday afternoon service.  Being the first Sunday of the month, that meant adding communion to the regular mix of 3 music videos, a brief sermon, prayers, and visiting over coffee and lemonade and cookies afterward.  We had a terrific time and it was very beautifully colored with Christmas.  The song videos were Andy Williams doing “O Holy Night,” a lively group of kids doing “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” and Keith and Kristyn Getty and company doing a very festive version of “Joy to the World.”  The sermon centered on one of the unsung heroes of the Christmas accounts, Joseph.  I titled it “So Joseph Got Up!” and the short summary of that message will be uploaded in a day or two on the Vital Signs Ministries YouTube channel and Vital Signs Blog.  And then even the treats were Christmassy delights as Don, Keith, Carol, Allen and Claire and I distributed an assortment of very pretty, delicious cookies that Carol made for the occasion. 

But this first weekend of the Christmas season still wasn’t quite over yet because Claire and I had already packed the car for a two-day trip to Wichita, Kansas where we were planning to visit my sister Sherry in the nursing facility where she is now living.  Indeed, we’re presenting the Christmas “When Swing Was King” show at her place (and the one next to it) in those days.  So…quite a jam-packed schedule for this first Christmas season but we are so honored and grateful to God to bless us with these opportunities.