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Karner responds to terminally ill woman’s suicide plan

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Comments (7)
  1. Avatar Jim Claybourn says:

    I met Maggie only once. She sat in front of me at the 2010 Synod convention. She was very gracious and when she spoke from the floor mic, very eloquent. I seem to remember that she had to leave the convention early because of a family emergency. What an inspiring servant of our Lord. Blessings and strength to you and your family!

  2. Avatar Jason Traxler says:

    We are all terminally ill. Some will die prematurely as a result of an accident but most will die through illness or natural failure of our bodies. When we do pass from our earthly life most of us look forward to experiencing a face-to-face relationship with our God. But, how do we who are left behind until another day relate with those who are departing? Are we supportive and encouraging in a loving manner or are we cajoling and judgemental? Ultimately it is the dying person ‘s relationship with God that carries the day and we have no input to the moment. Only God is in the relationship at that final moment. Our plea to God should conclude with, “Your will be done.”

  3. Avatar John Warther says:

    Maggie’s confident faith and joy in Christ sound like a commentary on this weekend’s Epistle reading from Philippians 4. She is, also, a living example to others of what Paul means when he writes: “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Thank you, Maggie, for encouraging others. May God continually enable you to “do all things through him who strengthens you.”

  4. Dear Brittany and Maggie,

    Thank you both for prompting discussion of and reflection about life’s most important matters! At the center of this discussion is “worldview.” Worldview matters because worldviews shape life, death, relationships, and histories of people, cultures, nations, and the world.

    I too am in the company of the sufferers of cancer. I am currently in pre-conditioning for a stem cell transplant at UCLA after a rapid recurrence of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Let me please share two thoughts pertinent to our current sufferings and to the relevance of worldview to this discussion.

    First, we really have no earthly “rights.” Our U.S. Constitution may strive to bestow them or we may claim to have them; but in reality we have none. Oh, we may have “abilities,” but abilities are far different than rights. And, just because we have an ability does not make the ability “a right” or the outcome of that exercised ability morally right for us or for others. Rights can only be bestowed, not seized. And, without a Sovereign to bestow, we only self-declare our rights. Our Sovereign Lord doesn’t bestow earthly rights. Rather, He bestows blessings and saving and peace-giving grace, the right to be called the children of God (John 1:12), and, ultimately, eternal life through Jesus, our Savior (Revelation 22:14).

    Second, Acts 20:24 has become a theme verse for me throughout this journey. “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the Gospel of God’s grace.” This verse does not give me rights; but it gives me something far more precious — purpose and the joy of meeting Jesus at the finish line having run the race for Him and others.

    I made a short video while lying in bed in the hospital (we all know about those times … may as well “make the most of every opportunity”). It speaks to these matters.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvKvai8rx0Y&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop

    Brittany, please, please, please trust the Lord during this time. He will be more than sufficient for every trial and suffering we face, and He will provide grace upon grace (and JOY) for you and for your family as He guides, strengthens, and brings us to our earthly finish line which is really no finish line, but a surprising new beginning for us – and for those who follow.

    Bill Bartlett, LC-MS pastor and retired founding executive director of Crean Lutheran High School, Pacific Southwest District

    1. Avatar Bernie Schaeffer says:

      O God, help us not to despise or oppose
      what we do not understand.

      –William Penn

  5. Avatar John Trier says:

    Dear Maggie & Brittany,
    I will be praying for both of you, that God will lead, guide & direct you in the days ahead as you face this difficult time in your lives. As you do so, remember all the ways that God has blest you in the past and remember the promises of His Holy Scriptures, Job 19:25-25, Psalms 23:1-6, St. John 14:1-4.

    When I was a boy of twelve years, in a near drowning accident, I saw my life flash before me as a movie from a young child until that moment of near death as I struggled in the water going under six times. Then some one had me under the arms pulling me upward toward heaven. As I looked down, I was at peace, yet I saw myself struggling in the water with my cousin and all the other children in the lake. The campground became very tiny as I seemed to be halfway to heaven. Then, just as quickly, the life guard had me by the chin & pulled me to safety of the beach & I survived. I tell you both this, so that you know that for a fact the soul separates from the physical body, prior to our physical death and is taken peacefully to our heavenly home. God promised us that he would never give us more pain than we could bear. I am saved by faith in my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, yet God gave me this special gift of revelation. I don’t know why, but I thank Him for it & cherish it. Be faithful to Jesus, lean hard on Him, He will carry you thru this trial & bring you safely home to Him. He loves you, because He lives you will live forever with Him in heaven.

  6. Avatar Patrick says:

    What is a more sobering concern is our casting away of life, which is given by God alone, and the casualness we tend to take toward it. Instead we ought to recognize it as a true gift from God for special purposes sometimes He alone knows. Undoubtedly current policies in place now for decades in America, and the same kind of modernistic spirit world wide that it’s all right to take life in the womb and just discard it — abortion, of course — have created this unwholesome attitude that is overtaking human sentiment worldwide.
    We have this concept of ‘dying grace’ but there will be fewer who truly experience it because we wish to avoid the pain of what the Bible calls the ‘sting’ of death.
    It is true that America has become a symbol of freedom, and individuals should be free to make choices like this, we can understand. But underlying it all is the dreadful feeling, ‘what if we might be going at this wrong in a regretful way, just like the frog sitting in a pan of heating water about to be destroyed.
    Matthew 10.28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
    John 14.16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—
    Now that is scary, indeed! Because no one can describe in an appreciable way FOREVER! O-O