Kristi Burton Brown

#1 inspirational author continually tackles difficult topics of abortion, adoption

Kristi Burton Brown
By Kristi Burton Brown
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October 5, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - If you haven’t read any Karen Kingsbury books, you should definitely go pick one up. Maybe even order Shades of Blue on Amazon or get the Sunrise series sent to your Kindle. You could start by watching her book turned into a movie, Like Dandelion Dust – without a doubt one of my favorite movies ever. While I can’t wholeheartedly recommend every book written by Kingsbury, the vast majority of them proclaim good, healthy messages about relationships, love, family, and life.

Kingsbury is known as a Christian author, but she is hailed as “America’s favorite inspirational novelist” on her Amazon bio:

New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America’s favorite inspirational novelist, with over 20 million books in print. Her Life-Changing Fiction has produced multiple bestsellers, including Unlocked, Leaving, Take One, Between Sundays, Even Now, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, and Ever After, which was named the 2007 Christian Book of the Year. An award-winning author and newly published songwriter, Karen has several movies optioned for production, and her novel Like Dandelion Dust was made into a major motion picture and is now available on DVD. Karen is also a nationally known speaker with several women’s groups including Women of Faith.

What’s more, Kingsbury lives what she writes. She’s been married to the same man – whom she refers to as her “Prince Charming” – for over twenty years, and together they have six children. Three of their boys were adopted from Haiti just over a decade ago. Her ministry, Life Changing Fiction, raises money for various charities.

No matter which of Kingsbury’s books you pick up, you will likely walk away with the message that God has a plan for your life – a plan you may not personally approve of at the moment, but a plan that is altogether good. There are several messages like this one that Kingsbury continually pounds home in the most delightful ways. She illustrates the constant faithfulness of God in everyday life situations and in the most difficult circumstances. She paints her characters as realistic and usually down-to-earth. In fact, most of them could easily be your next-door neighbors.

But there is one message in particular that Kingsbury sends home to her readers in poignant ways, again and again. And that’s the message of the beauty and value of all life. Kingsbury doesn’t shy away from the hard topics of abortion and adoption. She has a personal story to share. In her author’s note in the back of Shades of Blue (a story about healing, forgiveness, and restoration for a man and a woman after a long-ago abortion), Kingsbury shares how she regrets driving a friend to an abortion appointment years ago when the friend had no one else to turn to. Kingsbury writes about how she wishes she had thought of something else to do, somewhere else helpful to take her friend.

Several people have written to Kingsbury, letting her know how Shades of Blue has changed their lives. Sixteen-year-old Lexie wrote:

Anyways, I really wanted to say thanks, for teaching me that every life is important no matter what age they are, and I can never thank you enough for filling me with knowledge that I never knew of. This book changed my life, maybe not drastically, but enough to make me never forget your words and these characters that you have so carefully made. I can’t remember a time where I have cried so hard over a book because I just kept thinking, someone in the world is going through this pain and suffering and hate for themselves and thinking God will never forgive him, but God is good, he forgives us no matter what we have done.

Jessie shared her own touching story:

So I think I have finally found healing after reading Shades Of Blue this weekend..I myself had an abortion years ago and have never forgot that. The guilt that pours through you is unbearable.. I have wondered who and what that baby may have been and have often wished I could go back in time and do what I have always known was right. I think I cried through this entire book and by the end I felt like I had some answers and could finally start to heal. I have been to church and have asked Jesus into my heart but it never felt right and I think I now know why…I have always felt like God has forgiven me but I never forgave myself! …

I saw it and picked it up and felt I had to have it. I didn’t even know what it was about..( God must have known I had to have it) I started reading it Friday night and finished it Saturday morning. Later that day I met a girl who had just discovered the day before that she was once again pregnant… My eyes instantly filled with tears. She had said she wasn’t sure if she was going to keep the baby. I started to sob and asked her if we could talk…..

Low and behold she agreed to have a conversation with me, so I was honest with her. I told her what I had been through in the past and then I told her about a book I had just finished reading. I wept and told her to please reconsider her choice. To make a long story short by the end of the conversation she herself was sobbing and thanked me for talking to her. She said she had goose bumps and that she would reconsider her decision.

And Shades of Blue is just one of Kingsbury’s books that deals with this tough subject. She writes about a young unmarried girl in Take Three (part of the Above the Line series) who nearly has an abortion but changes her mind and gives her son up for adoption. The trailer for Take Three shows an elderly man outside the abortion clinic giving Andi – the girl – a pro-life pamphlet about the development of her unborn baby.

Click ‘like’ if you want to END ABORTION!

The Sunrise series, particularly Summer, deals with Ashley Blake and her discovery that her first daughter has anencephaly – a condition that will cause her to die in the womb or very soon after birth. I won’t give away too many details, but suffice it to say that Summer is an absolutely incredible story that accurately portrays the feelings and beautiful experiences of many families who reject the advice to abort a baby with defects. You won’t walk away without crying your eyes out and celebrating the absolute wonder of each tiny life, no matter how brief.

This Side of Heaven, Loving, and Like Dandelion Dust all deal with adoption. When Joy Came to Stay and Between Sundays address the foster care system in a moving way. The entire Bailey Flanigan series is written about the Flanigan family, who have adopted half of their children from Haiti, just like Karen Kingsbury’s real-life family.

I can’t say enough good about Kingsbury and her choice to address the tough issues of abortion, adoption, and foster care from multiple angles in multiple books. I have no doubt that her books will continue to inspire, save lives, and bring healing to many. This culture needs more authors like her!

 

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org


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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

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By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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