October 2013 Newsletter

Posted By on November 7, 2013

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendents might live!” . . . Deuteronomy 30:19



Thank You Owen by Rev. Dr. James I. Lamb

Many of you know that I do not hesitate to speak about our grandchildren. We have another, Owen James Lamb, son of Heather and Aaron. Unfortunately, Owen only lived for twenty-one weeks in the womb. He developed a tumor nearly as large as he was that required pre-natal surgery. But the tumor was so invasive and vascular that his little heart finally gave out.

We are thankful for the surgical team who cared for Heather and Owen. They always treated him as the little human person he was. They referred to him as the “baby,” and, when they found out his name, as Owen. He received sedation for his surgery through his mom and was given pain medication directly. He was given meds to try and stabilize his heart. Chest compressions were performed for twenty minutes before giving in to the inevitable.

A nurse washed Owen and placed him in a tiny receiving blanket with one of those little preemie stocking caps on his head. He was brought to Aaron as we waited for Heather to arrive in the recovery room. After a while, he gave our little grandson to me. Owen was as warm as the tears running down our cheeks—and very cute if you don’t mind me saying. I pulled back the blanket a bit and held his little hand. His fingers were very long, slender, and delicate. His legs, too, were quite long. He would have been an NBA star I’m sure.

I have held up the twenty-week Touch of Life fetal model hundreds of times over the years to show high school students seated in an auditorium or pre-school students sitting on a floor. I will never hold it the same way again. Over the years I know I have grown numb to the reality of who that model represents. Thank you, Owen, for bringing that real­ity back to me. Thank you, Owen, for restoring in me a sense of urgency about what we do at Lutherans For Life.

As I was tucking Owen back into his blanket, I had to lift one of his arms to position it properly. I suddenly found myself weeping for other “Owens,” those who had such arms torn from his or her tiny body in an abortion because of a culture that says, “It’s good.” “It’s your right.” “You really have no other choice.” Thank you, Owen, for reminding me again of the horribleness of abortion.

Soon after, one of the doctors came in, put his arm around Aaron, and said, “You know, the guy I believe in knows what it’s like to lose a Son.” Yes, He does! And He knows what it is like to receive a son back through resurrection. Because of that we can all face whatever circumstances in our lives with a living hope (1 Peter 1:3).

I am grateful that the Lord allowed me to touch you, Owen. But please know you touched me in ways that perhaps I will be able to share with you someday in the resurrection. Thank you, Owen.


Who so happy as I am, Even now the Shepherd’s lamb?

And when my short life is ended, By His Angel host attended,

He shall fold me to His breast, There within His arms to rest.

(I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb, LSB 740)


Death Dinner Parties: People Gather over Dinner to Discuss Dying

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com

The new craze in the Manhattan social scene isn’t related to the latest cocktail, the newest bar or the next fabulous dance club. Instead, top socialites are gathering together for old-fashioned dinner parties with a new twist:  a conversation about death and dying.

At a Manhattan dinner party, the former CEO of Citigroup Inc. mixed it up with guests at his Fifth Avenue to sip wine and discuss their plans for how they want to go.

From a report:

“I think about it a lot and talk about it very little,” Landauer said to the group, which included a filmmaker, a private school principal, and a professional storyteller. Not to be confused with a macabre parlor game, the evening was conceived to confront real-life issues wrapped up in death and dying that few people like to acknowledge, let alone talk about at a dinner party. Would I want a feeding tube? Does dad want to die at home? What happens to my kids if I die in an accident along with my spouse?

Those questions are getting asked more frequently. Over the past month, hundreds of Americans across the country have organized so-called death dinners, designed to lift the taboo around talking about death in hopes of heading off conflicts over finances and medical care — and avoiding unnecessary suffering at the end of life. It’s a topic that is resonating as baby boomers, born from 1946 to 1964 deal with the passing of their parents, even as they come face-to-face with their own mortality.

About 70 percent of adults don’t have a living will, a legal document detailing the medical interventions they’d want or not want if unable to communicate, according to the Pew Research Center. As many as 30 percent of Americans 65 and older don’t have a will detailing what should happen with their assets, a Pew survey found. If those discussions don’t happen ahead of an illness or death, it can leave family members conflicted over what to do.

Death cafes are popular in Europe, according to Wesley Smith.


Learn how Lutherans for Life educate on End of Life issues. We have a booklet “Mercy at Life’s End” written by John T. Pless an Assistant Professor at Concordia Seminary Fort Wayne.


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