Episode 565

ERLC Asking To Oppose the VFHSA, NC Church Mourns Loss of Pastor’s Wife & Prioritizing Spiritual Growth

Mar 14, 2024

A Christian ethics group is calling on the Biden administration to withdraw the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) planned expansion of in vitro fertilization (IVF) insurance coverage which would include service members who are single or in same-sex relationships. The congregation of a coastal North Carolina church is grieving the loss of its senior pastor’s wife, who died six days after her family’s car was struck by the driver of another vehicle who was seeking to elude police during a chase. And, Mary and Martha were two sisters who loved Jesus. In one biblical story, Martha asks Jesus to chastise Mary because Martha was busy entertaining guests while her sister was sitting and listening to Jesus. Instead, Jesus encouraged Martha to be more like Mary.

Transcript

A Christian ethics group is calling on the Biden administration to withdraw the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) planned expansion of in vitro fertilization (IVF) insurance coverage which would include service members who are single or in same-sex relationships.

The ERLC is also asking U.S. legislators to oppose the Veteran Families Health Services Act of 2023, which seeks to permanently codify the expansion into federal law.

The VA announced the planned expansion on Monday (March 11). The proposed expansion also includes the provision of IVF to veterans who are not able to produce their own sperm or eggs due to service-connected injuries or health conditions by allowing access to donated sperm, eggs and embryos.

The expansion marks the first time fertility treatments of any form have been covered by Tricare, the federal insurance covering service members and their dependents, without regard for marital status, sex, or gender identity.

In their announcement, the VA stated their desire to implement the new expansion quickly and make the coverage available to veterans in a matter of weeks.
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The congregation of a coastal North Carolina church is grieving the loss of its senior pastor’s wife, who died six days after her family’s car was struck by the driver of another vehicle who was seeking to elude police during a chase.

Suellen C. Leonard, 44, died on Saturday, March 9, as a result of injuries sustained in a crash that happened Sunday, March 3 in Morehead City, North Carolina. Her husband is a pastor in Morehead City.

While the family and church family is devatstated by the loss, they are still pulling together to help one another. So far, the church’s GoFundMe page for the Leonard family has raised thousands of dollars.
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Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.

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Mary and Martha were two sisters who loved Jesus. In one biblical story, Martha asks Jesus to chastise Mary because Martha was busy entertaining guests while her sister was sitting and listening to Jesus. Instead, Jesus encouraged Martha to be more like Mary.

In the Baptist Press Toolbox, Tiffany Collier shares some wisdom on how to prioritize spiritual growth over ministry productivity.

To accomplish this, she recommends:

Schedule (a little extra) time to rest at His feet

The importance of rest is a consistent theme in Scripture and its practice goes beyond basic wisdom.
Learn from the Mary in your midst

Instead of judging the person who is resting while you’re working…see if there are lessons you can learn from them.

Embrace and extend grace

God’s grace allows for imperfections in the planning process. It extends to those seemingly less productive in our midst. It covers the occasional slip into legalism. When we find that perfectionistic tendencies compel us to idolize perfect planning, God’s grace is eager to cover us.

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