Thursday, February 26, 2009

Truth wears well...

'Truth Wears Well'...
a letter to Ann Coulter

Dear Ann,
I was privileged to hear you speak at a fund-raiser in Atlanta in '07 and follow your commentary as much as possible. We own all your books. They're on the shelf, appropriately I believe, right between Uppity Women of Medieval Times and Uppity Women of the New World.
You are a role model for my eighteen-year old daughter for boldly speaking the truth regardless of the consequences to you personally. She has been in a Christian school since kindergarten and then home-schooled since she was 12. It's worked out very well -- she knows better than to believe whomever is speaking on TV or in print unless she cross-checks their opinions with reliable standards for truth such as papers written by the founding fathers and other great men throughout history, the Bible and her daddy who ran for the US Congress in '86 to carry on Larry McDonald's great work as a principled statesman. Although he was not elected, even though President Reagan made a TV commercial for him! I know that he would have been a powerful voice for the Constitution and right-thinking in Washington but I thank God for the benefit his continuing to preach has been for our family and church where he has pastored for 35 years.
Our morning Bible reading (for February 26th) was from the book of Proverbs: The lip of truth shall be established forever; but a lying tongue is but for a moment. -- Prov. 12:19.
Comments from the great 19th-century, English Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, on this verse are worth noting:
Truth wears well. Time tests it, but it right well endures the trial. If, then, I have spoken the truth, and have for the present to suffer for it, I must be content to wait. If also I believe the truth of God and endeavor to declare it, I may meet with much opposition, but I need not fear, for ultimately the truth must prevail. What a poor thing is the temporary triumph of falsehood! It is a mere gourd which comes up in a night and perishes in a night; and the greater its development the more manifest its decay. On the other hand, how worthy of an immortal being is the avowal and defence of that truth which can never change; the everlasting gospel, which is established in the immutable truth of an unchanging God! An old proverb says, 'He that speaks truth shames the devil.' Assuredly he that speaks the truth of God will put to shame all the devils in hell, and confound all the seed of the serpent which now hiss out their falsehoods. O my heart, take care that thou be in all things on the side of truth, both in small things and great; but especially, on the side of Him by whom grace and truth have come among men! -- C. H. Spurgeon, February 26th reading from,Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith.
Thank you, Ann, for standing boldly for the truth, even when it must seem that you stand alone at times. If ever the Morecraft family can be of assistance to you, we'll be happy to do so. Meanwhile, know that we pray for you frequently, especially that the Lord Jesus Christ would be first in your heart and His redeeming, sustaining grace your undergirding strength.
Pro Rege,
Becky (Mrs. Joe) Morecraft
Canton, GA
(Go to to hear my husband's excellent series of sermons/lectures on the History of the Reformation and many other topics. They have been downloaded thousands of times around the world and are used as curriculum in history classes in Christian schools and colleges in America, Asia, Africa, South America, Australia and Europe, at least.)
I have copied and pasted your article of today from World Net Daily below for my family and close friends to read. Thank you. As usual, it is cogently written, humorous and easily understood by all in my family, none of whom, thank God, were public-schooled (at least, not in the past generation).

The Cal Ripken President
Ann Coulter hails fact 'a mentally retarded woman can become speaker of the House'

Posted: February 25, 20095:56 pm Eastern
By Ann Coulter

As Obama prepared to deliver his address to Congress yesterday, Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner, Fox News' Bret Baier and Charles Krauthammer all gushed that history was being made as the first African-American president appeared before Congress.
Even Gov. Bobby Jindal, whom I suppose I should note was the first Indian-American to give the Republican response to a president's speech, began with an encomium to the first black president. (Wasn't Bobby great in "Slumdog Millionaire"?)

Are we going to have to hear about this for the next four years? Obama is becoming the Cal Ripken Jr. of presidents, making history every time he suits up for a game. Recently, Obama also became the first African-American president to order a ham sandwich late at night from the White House kitchen! That's going to get old pretty quick.

But as long as the nation is obsessed with historic milestones, is no one going to remark on what a great country it is where a mentally retarded woman can become speaker of the House?
Obama spent more than twice as much time in his historic speech genuflecting to the teachers unions than talking about terrorism, Iraq or Afghanistan. So it was historic only in the sense that Obama is the first African-American president, but was the same old Democratic claptrap in every other respect.

After claiming that the disastrous stimulus bill would create or save 3.5 million jobs – "more than 90 percent" in the private sector – Obama then enumerated a long list of exclusively government jobs that would be "saved."

He was suspiciously verbose about saving the jobs of public schoolteachers. Because nothing says "economic stimulus" better than saving the jobs of lethargic incompetents who kick off at 2 p.m. every day and get summers off. Actually, that's not fair: Some teachers spend long hours after school having sex with their students.

As with the Clintons, Obama so earnestly believes in public school education that he sends his girls to ... an expensive private school. He demands that taxpayers support the very public schoolteachers he won't trust with his own children.

It is one thing to tell voters that school choice is wrong, because, you know, the public schools won't get better unless Americans sacrifice their children to the teachers union's maw. But it is quite another for Democrats to feed their own kids to the union incinerator. Consequently, no Democrat president since Jimmy Carter has been stupid enough to send his own children to a public school.

And yet the stimulus bill expressly prohibits money earmarked for "education" to be spent on financial aid at private or parochial schools. Private schools might use it for some nefarious purpose like actually teaching their students, rather than indoctrinating them in anti-American propaganda.

The stimulus bill includes about $100 billion to education. By "education," Democrats don't mean anything a normal person would think of as education, such as learning how to talk good. "Education" means creating lots of useless bureaucratic jobs, mostly in Washington, having nothing to do with teaching.
Apparently, nothing irritates public schoolteachers more than being asked to teach. While 80 percent of the employees of private schools are teachers, only half the employees of public schools are. The rest are "coordinating," "facilitating" or "empowering" something or other.
The Department of Education alone provides more than 4,000 jobs that haven't the faintest connection with teaching. And now the stimulus bill will double the Education Department's funding. (For those of you who went to a public school, that means it will become twice as big.)
We've come a long way from Ronald Reagan promising to eliminate the Education Department, which itself was a Jimmy Carter sop to the teachers unions.

Federal meddling in education has been an abject failure, so the Democrats' plan is to keep doing more of the same. If only there were some aphorism about people who fail to learn from history – oh, well!
It can't be easy to reduce the educational achievement in America year after year, but the education establishment has done it! Yes they can!
Thanks to the hard work of thousands of government workers at the Department of Education and well-paid teachers union employees, American schoolchildren perform worse on education tests for every year they spend in a public school.

It turns out that being in U.S. public schools has the same effect on people as hanging around Paris Hilton does.

In fourth grade, the earliest grade for which international comparisons are available, American students outperform most other countries in reading, math and science. Fourth-graders score in the 92nd percentile in science, the 58th percentile in math and the 70th percentile in reading, where they beat 26 of 35 countries, including Germany, France and Italy.

But by the eighth grade, American students are only midrange in international comparisons. (On the plus side, by the eighth grade they're noticeably fatter.)

By the 12th grade – after receiving the full benefits of an American education – Americans are near the bottom. Let X represent the number of years spent in U.S. public schools, and Y represent average test scores in math and reading – oh, never mind.

With an additional eight years of a public school education under their belts, Americans fall from the 92nd percentile in science to the 29th percentile. While American fourth-graders are bested only by South Korea and Japan in science, by 12th grade, the only countries the American students can beat are Lithuania, Cyprus and South Africa.

Which suggests that if public education were extended all the way through college, by the time a student gets to graduate school he might very well be qualified to be ... speaker of the House!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Judy Rogers, guest post

Dear Friends & Family,
I often hear stories of how God has used my music, and many of those stories leave me utterly speechless & weeping. I have realized that keeping these stories to myself robs you of a great blessing, though you may weep at times as well! Therefore, I will try to be more faithful at relating substantive stories & would ask you to pray that God will continue to do His work with these songs.
Two days ago I received a call from a lady who had talked to me last fall about using Why Can't I See God? songs in the children's choir at her church in Greensboro, NC. She said, "I started to e-mail you but decided that I would rather tell you this story on the phone. A precious & vibrant little girl in our choir suddenly passed away last night. Her name was Karis & she was eight years old. She was one of those vivacious children who tells you everything her family is doing & she loved to sing, especially 'God Made Me!' We sang this as part of our choral presentation & she just LOVED it! Her family recently went on a cruise & she sang it on the cruise ship at a talent show. Karis was one of those children who loved Jesus & radiated His joy wherever she went."
She had complained on that evening that her stomach felt bad, didn't eat supper, and on her way to bed collapsed on the stairs. They rushed her to the hospital but she died shortly thereafter. An autopsy was performed but nothing was discovered as to why this little girl should have died. God gathered this little jewel gently to Himself.
This lady wanted me to know the joy that "God Made Me" had brought to Karis. She sent me her picture from the day of their presentation at church (attached). She has a little sister Olivia who is 6 today, the day of her sister's funeral. The children's choir has volunteered to sing God Made Me at her funeral. PLEASE pray for this family, the Winters, as, no doubt, their hearts are breaking, but at the same time comforted by the life of such a precious daughter & God's grace in her & their lives.
May we everyday see beyond the "daily routine" into the very souls of our children & speak often with them, not morbidly, but joyfully, of being able & ready to meet Jesus one day, for indeed, it is a day which we know not!
"Out of the mouths of children, God has ordained praise!" (Ps. 8) Who knows how many lives were touched by this little girl's singing, especially on that cruise ship 3 weeks before her death? May our praise & that of our children be such that upon our deaths, young or old, our songs will have impacted other lives for His glory.
Karis's exuberant praise has surely impacted mine.
For His Kingdom & His children,
Judy Rogers

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dr. Leila Denmark Celebrates 111 years of life!

Happy 111th Birthday, Dr. Denmark!
(click on title above to access link to a book of Dr. D's advice)

(*see photo credit information below)

Part I

When Dr. Leila Alice Daughtry-Denmark was a girl, growing up in the little town of Portal near the coast of Georgia, she never dreamed she would become a pediatrician. She went to Tift College to become a teacher, but told me she always really wanted to be a hat-maker and took classes to learn how. When the first world war broke out the young men who were her friends left, (including the one who would become her husband later for almost seventy years, John Eustace Denmark, sent to Java, Indonesia with the State Department), she decided to go to the Medical College of Georgia, becoming the only woman in the graduating class of 1928. Maybe she could help the sick and injured regain a life after such a terrible war? One of her prize possessions was a tablecloth she showed me spread out on the table at her 60th wedding anniversary celebration. It's a patchwork of small silk squares intended to be used as parachutes to drop small bombs all over America during that war. Somehow she had come into possession of them and made a tablecloth from them. "Think of it," she said with shining eyes, "those tiny squares that were meant to bring destruction to hundreds of Americans are now on the table of a home that promotes health and life!"

Dr. Denmark was the pediatrician for all four of my children. And we are far from alone! I continue to meet people whose mothers, children and now grandchildren had gone to her for advice and medical help--three or sometimes four generations of families served by this woman who raised her daughter, Mary, at her feet as she helped other mothers learn what their priorities should be. She broke many of the modern feminist's rules for the "emmancipated" woman. She practiced medicine from her home because she longed to help women learn how to care for their own children and never encouraged mothers to leave their children to get a job. She loves to say, "I never worked a day in my life. If you do what you love, it isn't work." Her husband was a vice-president of a large financial institution in Atlanta throughout his long career. She didn't practice medicine because she felt she needed an outlet or that she had to affirm herself as a person or to add to the family income. She never charged ministers or missionaries one penney. She only asked that they pay her cost for any medicine or vaccine she administered, usually $5.00. She said, "I want to encourage those who are doing God's work." She didn't have a receptionist, nurse or associate. She answered her own phone--sometimes the wait would be long as the caller listened to babies crying and Dr. Denmark's calm, assertive but husky voice giving instructions or chirping softly as she looked at a tiny ear, "Listen, can you hear the little bird?" she would croon.

No appointments were necessary with Dr. Denmark. Bring your child, sign the book in the waiting room and wait...sometimes for hours if there were lots of sick children to see. Then finally, it was your turn. Dr. Denmark's head--the wisps of gray hair settling around it like a halo --would appear at the door. Her eyes crinkled at the corners as she smiled, "Now who's my next little angel?"

(*photo of Dr. Denmark and Mary taken in 1936, photo credit information below)

"Dr. D.", as she is still called by her patients and their parents, made medical history for her part in the development of the pertussis vaccine. She told me she had personally witnessed the deaths of over 75 children in one year due to whopping cough and was determined, with God's help, to try to prevent this. (Ironically, our son, John, whose photo is posted below with Dr. D., caught whopping cough from the vaccine administered to him at five months of age. Dr. D. called me, day and night, for three weeks, every day, to check on his progress--it was a horrifying time which God graciously brought us through, largely due to Dr. D.'s valuable advice and assistance.) She held a 'free baby clinic' every Thursday for over fifty years at a large Presbyterian church in down-town Atlanta where thousands of children were treated, free of charge. "Every child Should Have A Chance to be all that he or she can be," was her slogan. She poured her life into making this phrase take on real meaning and wrote a book by this title full of her advice. A photograph (posted below) of Dr. D. with our son John, sitting on her examination table was the picture on the back cover of her book for years. Although the book is currently out of print, you may be able to purchase one from Dr. Denmark's daughter, Mary (Mrs. Grady) Hutcherson, who resides in Athens, GA.

(photo credit, Betty Wolfe, 1978)

We often asked if we could help out around the clinic--maybe answer the phone for her while she saw patients? "Mrs. Morecraft," she replied once to this query, "when you call me, to whom do you wish to speak and when do you wish to speak to her?" 'Nuff said. Instead, I prayed for her and sent her scores of new patients through the 30 years that I knew her.

Despite living through two world wars, witnessing suffragettes put on tent shows to promote the vote for women in her South Georgia hometown, and seeing the age of the horse and buggy transform into a high-tech world of high anxiety, Denmark said the most significant change in her lifetime has been parents giving up responsibility for their children. It's her pet peeve. "Children are not getting parental guidance, and it's wrecking this nation. Parenting has gone out of style," she said. She said she always had her office in her home so she could keep an eye on Mary... "Parents pursue materialistic goals -- new cars, bigger houses -- to the neglect of their children." She advises against putting children in day care, where she thinks kids are deprived of attention and catch illnesses. "Day care supports the pediatricians in the country." she said with a laugh. "Without it, we'd starve." --from July 24, 1998, article appearing in The Atlanta Business Chronicle, by contributing writer Barbara Keenlyside
What else sets Dr. Denmark apart from other pediatricians besides her refusal to leave her own child with another caregiver to practice medicine? For one thing, she says babies should sleep on their tummies. She scoffs at the 'new' practice of putting them on their backs. But what about SIDS and suffocating on spit-up? Nonesense, she says. Put four towels with a sheet stretched across them (I always used two thick towels) to absorb any spit-up and let the little baby develop his/her neck muscles as she turns her head. She says the digestive system works better on the stomach and that this position affords many other benefits. She believes in scheduling feedings for infants as well as scheduling meals in adulthood--wait at least five hours between meals to allow your food time to digest so that undigested food isn't moved into the gut with the digested food. But what if baby cries between feedings? "That's his privilege," she smiles. "Make sure he's alright and let him develop his lungs a little." She reiterated over and over to young parents, "Your baby has come to live with you and must adjust to your needs, not the other way round. If you live helter-skelter, any which way, with no order in your life, letting your baby set the house rules, you will all be miserable!" Dr. Denmark emphasized the value of human life and loved children as the bulletin board set up in her lobby displaying literally hundreds of notes and photos from her patients attested to. "All your life, your baby will need you--do it right from the start," she says,"and he will always know he can count on you."

She loved to talk about her own homelife. "I was the third oldest child in my family," she would smile, her eyes sparkling with the memories. "My mother didn't like children much--she only had 12." Then the husky laugh, "Mother always knew what to do if one of us was sick. But occasionally she would call the doctor if she thought she needed his advice. When he arrived, he'd say, 'Alice, what do you think is wrong and what do you think we should do?'" Her laugh was warm with the memory. "Most of the time, he'd follow mother's advice and all was well." She greatly admired her mother and father who both died in middle age.

(*photo credits for the two photos in the opening of this article, the one of a young mother, Leila, and her young daughter, Mary, as well as the photo later below of Dr. D. and her brother on the golf course, from an article published in Georgia Magazine, August, 2002, written by Victoria Scharf Decastro)

Part II

(photo credit, from an online article written for the National Library of Medicine, entitled, Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Physicians)

Dr. Leila Denmark

Sugar is anathama to Dr. D. "I started developing arthritis in my mid-thirties and by age 50," Dr. Denmark told me once, "I suspected sugar was the culprit so I cut it out. Haven't had a twinge of arthritis since then," (she was about 80 at that time). In fact, she refused to eat the birthday cake presented to her for her 100th birthday because there was too much sugar in it! Dr. Denmark has all her own teeth. She wears the same clothes she made for herself when she was in her twenties. When the property she and her husband had lived on for over fifty years sold in the late 80's due to an agreement they had made with a purchaser many years prior to the date (they assumed they'd be gone to glory by then), Dr. and Mr. Denmark moved their possessions, lock, stock and barrel, to Cumming, where they had bought some land many years before. It had a nice lake and they would often go walking and fishing there for recreation. They hired an architect to design an exact replica of the home they had vacated at the corner of Glenridge and Johnson's Ferry Roads in Sandy Springs and rebuilt on that Cumming property.
The Denmark home in Cumming
The original house was almost immediately torn down and offices now occupy the space. Dr. D. wanted to put all her furniture, rugs, pictures and the curtains she had made sixty years or more before in the exact spots and thus had the replicated home built. Her new office--an old slave cabin on the Cumming property--was rennovated by her 6' 7" tall grandson, (a remarkable height for offspring coming from his Denmark grandparents since Dr. D. was about five feet tall and her husband around 5' 6"!)

Dr. Denmark's office next door to her home in Cumming, GA

Dr. Denmark believes that pasturized cow's milk is akin to poison. She encourages mother's milk until eight months of age and then, having introduced food at around three months, three big meals a day with a mashed banana as the common ingredient in each pureed meal. Not only is this fruit of choice full of minerals, it's sweet and makes those green beans and pureed beef go down more easily. She swears she did the research and that cow's milk actually destroys red blood cells. That's what she preaches and who am I to argue? A mere no-nothing mother...So, my grown children--all in their thirties--drank virtually no cow's milk growing up. They have (almost) perfect teeth, healthy bones and pretty amazing good looks if I do say so myself! Instead of 'fun foods', they ate three hearty meals a day of very healthy food, mostly farm-fresh vegetables, particularly black-eyed peas, (high on Dr. Denmark's list of good food--she says that's what Daniel ate instead of the king's rich food in the Bible), eggs, whole grains, a little red meat, fish or chicken and whatever fruit was in season. They drank clean water, ran around outside in all weather, climbed trees, helped feed the chickens and worked in the garden, were read to often, loved by parents and grandparents, were taught the scriptures, were praised more than spanked but were spanked when necessary (some days, a lot), played hard, slept well and grew up happy and healthy. Our boys were taught to always show respect, especially to ladies and remove their hats as soon as they entered the house. Our girls were taught to work as hard as boys, who were also taught that work is a virtue, not an option, and were expected to act like ladies always, even when being "tomboys."
The four rules of the Morecraft house were easy to remember if not always obeyed perfectly:
2)obey quickly
3)obey cheerfully
4)"Whatever you do, do it with all your might, as to the Lord."

Three of our children in the photo above in 2007. Below, Joey and his wife, Jennifer, (not present for above photo), in 2008

Dr. D. believes in certain vaccinations but started them later than is common today and didn't give multiple vaccines at the same time. (I think a case could be made that she would question the wisdom of many of the newer vaccines but that's another subject and only an opinion.) Her greatest contribution to three generations of mothers was to urge them to stay at home with their children. "Why do you want to go off to work and take orders from some other man?" she would say to each mother who entered her office. "Stay home and make your husband happy--cook him three healthy, hearty meals a day, raise happy, healthy children and God will smile on you."

Although Dr. D. advised eating three healthy meals a day, she ate very little most of her life, starting the day with a cup of hot water (she never drinks any other drink than water), figs preserved in honey when she had them or a banana, eggs and a piece of toast. She rarely took the time to eat lunch but had whatever she wanted for dinner (minus the sugar and milk, of course) and told us she usually only slept about five hours a night. Once when my husband had caught some nice little fish from her lake, he offered to prepare some for her dinner. "How would you like me to prepare them?" he asked her, expecting to hear her say broiled or baked. "How 'bout frying them up in a little lard," she smiled.

She loved to play golf with her husband. They tried to get away to the Canadian Rockies or White Sulphur Springs when they could to hike and golf. She loved to tell about the time she was hiking around her lake in Cumming. "All of a sudden," she laughed her husky laugh, "I spied a big, ol' copperhead coiled up beside the path. Well, sir, I don't like to kill things--I mean, after all, he was there before I was, so I guess he kind of had squatter's rights. But I started thinking, might someone come along that would be bit by that fella and that could be really bad." Her eyes twinkled. "Now I had just recovered from breaking both my wrists a few days earlier--I slipped on something when I was going out to feed the birds on my patio out back several weeks before and broke both wrists. They had just come out of the casts when I saw that snake. But I real carefully picked up a pine limb that had a knot in the end kinda like a golf club. I aimed at his head and swung and, well...(laughing)...that ol' boy's not ever gonna hurt anybody..."

(photo of Dr. Denmark and her brother playing golf. In one of the last rounds she played while in her 80's, Dr. Denmark sank a 26-foot putt!)

(*photo credit info listed above)

Dr. D. had to quit her practice at age 103 because of macular degeration of her eyes that couldn't be corrected -- she is legally blind. Still willing to talk to parents by phone from her daughter's house where she lives now, this determined, Christian woman who urges women to keep the best job in the world and stay at home with their children, raising them to be strong, productive, courageous adults, is one of my heroines.

Thank you for teaching us to be committed mothers and wives and for helping me raise four strong children who are leading godly, productive, joyful lives, due in large part, to your example and advice. Thank you, for helping me and thousands of others raise the next several generations of Christian leaders and mothers!

Happy birthday, Dr. D.

[For more Denmark advice on baby and child rearing, look online or in your local stores for Madia Bowman's book, Dr. Denmark Said It! ]

Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: 'Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.' Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. --Prov. 31:28-31

(photo of John Morecraft, age 14 months, taken with Dr. D. in 1978)
(photo of John and Kim Morecraft and their children, Asa and Izalou, 2008.)

Joy at Home

(a poem written in honor of Dr. Leila Denmark when Mercy was four months old)

The far horizon beckons me

to distant shores unknown,

but I must firmly turn away

and find my joy at home.

Such joys there are, though simple ones--

there's joy in baby's smiles

that bring contentment to my heart

far more than wordly wiles.

And when she's sad, we all are sad;

and when she frowns, we sigh.

Our ears are tuned and listening out

to hear her slightest cry.

Yes, I've found much adventure

as distant lands I've roamed,

but contentment deep and rich

are mine as I find joy at home.

--Becky Morecraft

March 7, 1991

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