Archive for May, 2013

May 28

How Donated Blood Saved Alyssa Byrd’s Life

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Events

Blood drives are one of the ways that DSC is invested in our community. With DSC’s next blood drive around the corner (June 8), we asked Ian Byrd, DSC’s Facilities Supervisor, to share the story of how donated blood was used to save the life if his wife, Alyssa.

If you think that giving blood won’t make a difference, think again.

photoIn November 2007, we lost our daughter Sydney to stillbirth at 31 weeks gestation. As we waited for my wife to go into natural labor we learned that the cause of the stillbirth was a concealed full placental abruption, meaning that the onset of preeclampsia and spike in blood pressure caused the placenta to tear away from the uterine wall effectively cutting off blood flow and oxygen to the baby. Because it was concealed there were no tell tale signs that there was a problem. Complicating matters was a genetic blood clotting disorder called Factor Five Liden, that we found out she had a month prior.

So as we waited all day for delivery, my wife was bleeding internally and not clotting as efficiently as the rest of us. At this time the doctors decided to perform an emergency C-section, not to save the baby as that was too late, but to save my wife. During surgery she required 14 bags of blood and we nearly lost her.

The average human body contains around 5.5 liters of blood. In terms of a bag or unit of blood given that would equal around 11-13 bags/units. My wife had her blood effectively replaced once over and then some with blood given by donors like you. So If you think that thirty minutes sitting comfortably while a liter of blood is exiting your body isn’t worth it or won’t make a difference, think again.

I give blood every chance I get because it will save someone. We may have lost a child that day, but my wife was spared because people gave. I give blood to honor my wife, and I give in memory of our little girl.

Our next drive will be held on Saturday, June 8 from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Sign up at the Information Center or online by clicking here.

May 22

Piper on Government, Submission, and Resistance

2013 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

Like Peter in 1 Peter 2:13-18, Paul in Romans 13 writes in rather absolute and seemingly unqualified ways about civil authorities and the Christian response to them: Be subject to the governing authorities. …whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed. …he is God’s servant for good.” But why write in these such absolute and seemingly unqualified ways? Why emphasize the right of government and the need for submission, and leave out any and all exceptions? Perhaps we can query a couple of sermons from John Piper for answers to these and similar questions.

In a sermon on Romans 13, Piper explains why Paul wrote Romans 13 as he did:

He is more concerned with our humility and self-denial and trust in Christ, than he is about our civil liberties. In other words, Paul risked being misunderstood on the side of submission because he saw pride as a greater danger to Christians than government injustice. I cannot imagine Paul writing this way if Paul thought that the ultimate thing was being treated fairly by the government. But I can imagine him writing this way if faith and humility and self-denial and readiness to suffer for Christ is the main thing.

Or, in other words:

[Paul] wants us to know that the danger to our soul from unjust governments is nowhere near as great as the danger to our soul from the pride that kicks against submission. No mistreatment or unjust law has ever sent anyone to hell. But pride and rebellion is what sends everyone to hell who doesn’t have a Savior.

But is there ever a proper place for civil disobedience? From the same sermon, Piper answers:

…some Christians have come to the point in history where they believed laws were so unjust and so evil, and political means of change had been frustrated so long, that peaceful, non-violent, civil disobedience seemed right.

What factors would be involved in consideration of civil disobedience? Piper suggests that “it would be a combination of at least these four things.”

  1. The grievousness of the action sanctioned by law. How atrocious is it? Is it a traffic pattern that you think is dumb? Or is the law sanctioning killing?
  2. The extent of the unjust law’s effect. Is it a person affected here or there? Or is it millions? Does the law have an incidental inconsistency? Or is it putting a whole group of people into bondage because of their ethnic origin?
  3. The potential of civil disobedience for clear and effective witness to the truth. This is the question of strategy, and there will certainly be room here for differing judgments about whether a particular act of civil disobedience will be a clear and effective statement of what is just.
  4. The movement of the spirit of courage and conviction in God in people’s lives that indicates the time is right. Historically, there appears to be a flash point of moral indignation. An evil exists for years, or perhaps generations, and then something strange happens. One person, and then tens of thousands of people, can no longer just get up and go to work and say, “I wish it weren’t this way.” A flash point is reached, and what had hung in the air for years as tolerable evil explodes with an overwhelming sense that this state of affairs simply can no longer be!

So, if and when that time comes, what should civil disobedience look like? What is its tenor and heartbeat? Piper looks to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:38-48), which contrasts retaliation and love in response to enemies. Then he concludes with these guidelines:

The words of Jesus rule out all vindictiveness and all action based on the mere expediency of personal safety. The Lord cuts away our love for possessions, and our love for convenience. That’s the point of Matthew 5:38-42. Don’t act merely out of concern for your own private benefit, your clothes, your convenience, your possessions, your safety.

Instead, by trusting Christ, become the kind of person who is utterly free from these things to live for others (both the oppressed and the oppressors; both the persecuted and the persecutors; both the dying children and the killing abortionists). The tone and demeanor of this Christian civil disobedience will be the opposite of strident, belligerent, rock-throwing, screaming, swearing, violent demonstrations.

We are people of the cross. Our Lord submitted to crucifixion willingly to save his enemies. We owe our eternal life to him. We are forgiven sinners. This takes the swagger out of our protest. It takes the arrogance out of our resistance. And if, after every other means has failed, we must disobey for the sake of love and justice, we will first remove the log from our own eye, which will cause enough pain and tears to soften our indignation into a humble, quiet, but unshakeable, NO. The greatest battle we face is not overcoming unjust laws, but becoming this kind of people.

Church, let’s pray to that end!

May 21

Resources for Thinking Christianly About the Christian’s Role in the Public Sphere

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

Here are a few resources in follow up to Sunday’s message, “Dual Citizenship,” from 1 Peter 2:11-17.

May 15

Clarus ’13 Recap – “One-Anothering the Word”

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 13

If you have relationships or know someone who does, then keep reading.

58006_527631897275811_553404974_nPaul Tripp and Timothy Lane have teamed up on a number of writing projects over the years, including How People Change and Relationships: A Mess Worth Making. Earlier this spring, Tripp and Lane joined us at Desert Springs Church to address the theme, “One-Anothering the Word,” at Clarus ’13The Gospel Coalition’s Southwest Regional Conference.

These men have thought carefully and deeply from the Bible about how our broken relationships can be redeemed, and about how God actually uses our relationships with “one another” to conform us into the image of his Son. Every relationship, even difficult ones, are a gift of God’s grace for our growth in the knowledge and likeness of Christ.

In addition to a panel discussion, each of the men spoke three times. Below you’ll find a round up of their talks, including links to audio, video, and blog summaries, followed by session videos in the order they were delivered. Photos from the conference are available at the TGC Albuquerque Facebook page.

Timothy Lane

“Why Are Friendships So Important?”
– Ephesians 4:1-16 (audioblog recap)

“Godly and Ungodly Conflict”
– James 4:1-12 (audioblog recap)

“Practicing Forgiveness: What to Do When You Fail”
– Matthew 18:21-35 (audioblog recap)

Paul Tripp

“Self-Examination Is a Community Project”
– Hebrews 3:13 (audioblog recap)

“The Essential Ministry of the Body of Christ”
– Colossians 3:12-16 (audioblog recap)

“The Difference Between Amazement and Faith”
– Mark 6:45-52 (audioblog recap)

Panel Discussion

Ryan Kelly with Paul Tripp and Timothy Lane (audiovideoblog recap)

May 13

Facebook, Arrows, and the Pro-Life Home (The Link List, 5/13/13)

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Link List

Preparing for the Future in the Age of Facebook,” by Alex Chediak

“Our best work simply can’t be done in five minute increments between text messages.”

Raising Arrow Children,” by Douglas Wilson

Don’t reduce your children to being “adorable,” and miss out on the promise of formidable children, arrows in the hand of a warrior.

Donald Rumsfeld’s Rules for Successful Meetings,” by Donald Rumsfeld

Common grace wisdom for the dynamic work of leading people through meetings.

The Gay Marriage Campaign and the Despotism of Conformism,” by Justin Taylor

A helpful analysis of “the peculiar non-judgmental tyranny of the gay-marriage campaign, which judges harshly those who dare to judge how people live.”

Advice for the Pop Culturally Perplexed,” by Ted Turnau

Consider five ways to understand popular culture, and therefore engage popular culture.

Gosnell, Law, and Modest First Steps,” by Christopher O. Tollefsen

The Gosnell case shows us that a society’s laws teach, and if they teach a lesson of injustice they will corrupt its people over time.

The Real Life of the Pro-Life Home,” by Rachel Jankovic

“But the truth is that abortion is the sacrifice that our religion of selfishness requires . . . Motherhood is the big-leagues of self-sacrifice . . . It is the real life of the pro-life movement, and it will change the world.”

‘Supercharged’ heart pumps blood up a giraffe’s neck,” by Jody Bourton

Giraffes display the glory of God with their long necks and custom designed hearts.

9 Things You Should Know About Pornography and the Brain,” by Joe Carter

Joe Carter discusses the neurological dynamics involved with pornography addiction in this frank, though non-graphic, discussion of this always urgent subject.