Saturday, August 18, 2018

God Sent You All Here Just For Us





I was told that there is no “Human Disposal” law in North Carolina, thus the babies dismembered at the local abortion center can be legally dumped down the garbage disposal. However, further searching revealed that a 2015 law requires the fetal remains be buried, cremated, or incinerated. Thus, the baby remains are often put in a biohazard bag and taken away with “medical waste.” This saddens me deeply but to do what we do urging Moms to choose life on the sidewalk of abortion centers, we cannot focus on the sorrow ... I choose to focus on the joy. 

It may be hard to believe there is joy in that place, but read on. Settle back with a cup of coffee and be ready to find redemption and joy,  even in this dark and evil place where Cities4Life and its partner ministry Help Pregnancy Center minister every day the abortion center is open. HELP Pregnancy Center sends an RV each day which parks on the curb of the abortion center. It is equipped with a mobile ultrasound and staffed by nurses and trained sonographers.

I am the volunteer coordinator, and the one you will contact because you are so convicted that God is telling you to put down your coffee at the end of this blog and join us! We have several new volunteers, all of which are at a point where they are well trained to handle whatever comes their way. To set the scene, yesterday I was on the microphone as the twenty or so women were lining up at the door to abort their babies. I was speaking to the women as I always do about the sacred, precious nature of their babies made in God’s image, the humanity and development of their unborn child, the hope and help of our network of supporters and resources, and the barbarity of abortion. This particular morning, I felt God nudging me to speak about coercion to abort. I usually only speak about that if I see what I suspect is coercion. I did not see anything of the sort, but spent at least five or ten minutes reminding the women that no one can coerce another person to abort or threaten them if they do not abort. I told them that was illegal, and all they had to do was yell “Help” inside the center or run to us and we would call the police and help them.

The women filed in and I headed up the road to encourage cars to pull over to take our information before they reached the evil darkness of the abortion center. One of our new volunteers, Natalie, was posted at the driveway. Some of our volunteers were clustering and calling out to two women who had left the abortion center. Shortly thereafter,  a car roared out of the center’s lot and zoomed past me at about sixty miles an hour. The driver looked majorly TICKED OFF.

It turns out, a young girl had stormed out of the abortion center and refused to return. Her mother started yelling at her, “You get back in line!” Then she noticed our volunteers watching and calling out to the girl offering help. The mom let go of her daughter’s arm, and they got in the car and zoomed away. Undoubtedly, if we had not been there, that girl would have had no support in challenging her mother’s coercion to abort. One of our counselors later told me about how her own mother had tried to force her to abort and how damaging that had been. I have heard countless stories of teens forced to abort against their own conscience and convictions and the lasting trauma that resulted. The “pro-choice” crowd doesn’t like to talk about coercion though some statistics suggest 60% of abortions are coerced in one way or another.

Natalie came up the road to inform me of what had transpired and then returned to her post. Almost immediately, a car drove down the street towards the abortion center. It slowed down but did not stop for me. It did stop for Natalie. It pulled over to the curb and two women got out. I could tell it was likely another young girl and her mother. Within seconds both were clearly crying and enveloped in the arms of our counselors. Then they walked to the RV, counselors’ arms around their shoulders.

The young girl had confided to her mother that morning she thought she was pregnant. The mother was devastated. They headed to the abortion center, but both were distraught as they believed in God and knew abortion was wrong. When they stopped for Natalie and she offered our free help and resources, both women began to cry and told Natalie, “God sent you all here just for us.”

The time on the RV was spent strengthening the mom and her daughter in their faith and trust of God. Importantly, as Liz, the Cities4Life counselor, and Sherry, the nurse, shared truth with them, the two held each others’ hands. Lines of communication that had been closed were opened. Frank discussions about sexual behavior and God’s protective plans for chastity and obedience to His commands were explored. In the end, the girl turned out not to be pregnant, but what they received on the RV was life changing. Absorbing the truth of God always is.

Natalie hurried up the road to tell me what had happened. She was glowing. It was the first woman that had stopped for her and changed her mind about abortion. Natalie was overflowing with joy. She had been discouraged that morning over a few items outside her control. How like God to reward His good and faithful servant with a blessing of redemption to remind her how He is in control, and if we trust Him, it will be okay.
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Addendum: after writing the blog today, I got a call from another fairly new young counselor who had gone to the abortion center to support her brother who wanted to spend the morning there speaking for the unborn. A young mother stopped for Angela, decided she would keep her baby, and Angela gave her my name and number for help. Angela, like Natalie was overcome with excitement and joy that God had used her!

I just got a call, and my phone said No Caller ID. I answered and a tremulous voice said one sentence, “Thank you...I’m keeping my baby.”

1 Peter 3:15 


But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,



Sunday, August 12, 2018

Just WHO is Interfering with Choice?




This year, over 330 women have gone to the abortion center intending to destroy their child, and instead turned away. They chose life, and every one of them that requested the help of Cities4Life ministry and its partner ministries has received it. Countless lives have been transformed by the redemptive message of the Gospel and the tangible help of loving Christians and the network of pro-life ministries in our city.

Friday, I was calling out to a woman sitting on the steps outside the abortion center. I suspected she had a friend in the center, so was sharing life affirming information: 

The truth of God. The truth of tangible resources and help we could offer. The truth of human development in the womb. The truth of the devastation of abortion. 

I don’t always use a megaphone because I don’t want to look like a cheerleader, but the more days and longer I am on the sidewalks of the abortion center, the more compromised my vocal cords become. I need the megaphone for my quiet voice to reach the women.

At any rate, as I was calling out, one of the “pro-choice” women tried to block me by standing an inch from me and holding two 3x4 foot foam signs in my face. I am an avid biker, runner, and kayaker...so could probably outlast anyone on that sidewalk in a pacing contest. I spoke while pacing back and forth. It would have been comical watching the “pro-choice” woman try to stay even with me, especially when I did quick pivots, had it not been a life or death struggle for the baby involved. I KNOW that our ministry can help those women and babies. 

Why would the people who espouse the religion of CHOICE not want this choice to be heard?

“This is harassment,” the ‘Pro-choice’ woman cried, whipping out her phone to videotape me, “She doesn’t want to listen to you.”
“Ma’am,” I said to the woman, “Do you want me to stop talking?” 
“No,” she said, “I may not listen but you don’t have to stop talking.”

So I didn’t stop. Not till she told me that she had heard enough now.

One woman chose life, and stopped in the driveway and tried to reach out for our information. Three ‘pro-choice’ people blocked her from our counselor and screamed at her to drive on, move out of the driveway. She drove away, without our name and number and countless resources that could help her in her pregnancy and early years with that baby.

The FACE act (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) prohibits certain activity by “protesters” outside abortion clinics. We cannot obstruct or interfere with traffic or people in and out of the clinic. Challenges to the FACE act went to the Supreme Court level with the determination that sidewalk counselors could step towards cars or pedestrians to offer them literature as long as we did not hinder or interfere their forward progress. The FACE act specifically defines “interfere” as “to restrict a person’s freedom of movement.”

A couple of days ago, a policeman told us we could not step across the driveway to offer literature to a stopped car as it was “interfering” with the vehicle’s progress. He said it was based on a city ordinance. I asked him to define interference. He said it was not defined. I asked if he knew about the FACE act which did define interference and did give us the right to step towards a car to offer literature. He was not familiar with it. I asked if a city ordinance could be in violation of a Federal law. He said he was just doing what he was told by his superiors to do. However, we showed him the FACE act and the definition of interference and how it conflicted with what the city was claiming we could not do. He said he would get back to us.

That day, I received a text from a mom in an abusive situation, under threat of homelessness, who stopped for our literature earlier in the week. She saw her twins on our ultrasound, chose life, received a whole host of resources and help, including domestic violence resources and counsel, job assistance, housing resources, and free counseling for both her and her estranged husband. In a week, nearly every issue she presented as the reason to abort has been  altered. She said she is so excited about her twins...and so grateful to us for “interfering” in her plans to abort.



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Today is my birthday. Rather than sending me the gifts you had planned to FedEx my way (;-D), consider sending a donation to Cities4Life to help fund legal counsel in fighting the attempts to shut us down. Maybe a baby doomed to die at that abortion center will instead be celebrating a birthday...like this one:



Isaiah 55:11 


So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.




Friday, August 3, 2018

When Did God Say She Had No Value?



I received this text late last night from one of the moms I met on the sidewalks of the busiest abortion center in the Southeast. She drove in determined to abort, but stopped long enough to take our Cities4Life  information offering hope and help with my name and number on it. She left that day, after looking through the pamphlet (Tiny Hands by Leanne Stevenson). Her baby is alive and well, and this young mother is tired and overwhelmed, but completely transformed by the love of God and love for her baby.

That’s why our teams stand on the sidewalks in the past two weeks of rain and thunder storms, the stifling heat and humidity of summer, the numbing cold of winter. Human life is of priceless value.

A couple of days ago, I met a pastor standing on the sidewalk. He was not there to speak on behalf of the unborn, or to offer the truth of God’s word about the sacred duty of all of us to protect those who are vulnerable...It is not that there is a paucity of such verses. The Bible is filled with them. The Bible uses the same word for the unborn and the born baby. God makes no distinction. Below is a smattering of such verses:

Jeremiah 1:5 


“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Psalm 139:13-16 


For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Exodus 20:13 


“You shall not murder.

Genesis 9:6  

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.

Genesis 1:27 

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Luke 1:41 


And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,

Jeremiah 1:4-5 

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Isaiah 49:1   

Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name.

Proverbs 24:11   


Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?

Proverbs 31:8-10

Speak for those who cannot speak; seek justice for all those on the verge of destruction. Speak up, judge righteously,  and defend the rights of the afflicted and oppressed.


The pastor was there to “support a congregant” who was standing on the sidewalk trying to prevent us from handing literature to the women, speaking to them and offering our resources that might not only change their minds about abortion but their lives, and the transformative truth of the Gospel. The Pastor told us “abortion is a grey area.”

Really? I am usually not filled with fury on the sidewalk, but this filled me with fury. No wonder women stream into the abortion center confused about God’s clear word on the sanctity of life, the call to protect those who cannot protect themselves, God’s love for humanity from the moment of conception, and the abomination of shedding innocent blood.

This is a plea to every pastor who loves the word of God. Preach from the pulpit the truth about the sacred value of human life. Preach about our call to protect the innocent, the voiceless. Preach about God’s love of of every human being not from birth but from the moment of conception. Until you have stood for a long period of time and heard countless women defend the slaughtering of their own children because “God is a forgiving God...this baby is better off dead anyway...it is not the right time for a baby....” you cannot understand the damage and destruction that ensues from letting any person who loves God think abortion is a “grey area.”





This photo is of the same baby in utero and then a couple of months later. 
When did God start loving her? 
When did God say it was okay to kill her? 
When did God say she had no value? 
When did she deserve our protection?



Sunday, July 29, 2018

My Heart Breaks Too Much...I Could Never Do That





I have been a sidewalk counselor in front of the busiest abortion center in the SE for almost five years now. Some of my fellow Cities4Life counselors have been there even longer. Over and over again I hear, “I could NEVER do that. My heart breaks too much.”

Forgive me for this, but that comment makes me want to scream.

Does your heart break LESS knowing that your mere presence on the sidewalk can increase the no-show rate of abortions and you choose to stay home?

Sometimes what God asks us to do is hard...very hard. But it is much harder in the end to ignore Him.

I can choose to wallow in the grief and heartbreak of all those babies being ripped apart limb by limb, or I can stand on the sidewalk and wait in eager expectation for His miracles. I can choose “the joy set before me” and perhaps be a little more like my Lord each day. I may see a woman notice I care more for her baby than she does...and she may choose life. Or a man driving down the street and stopping to talk, angrily at first, may come to at least question his own standing before God. Or a victim of domestic abuse who is so traumatized she sees no way out may find hope and help through our list of resources, and finally wrench free from the terrible cycle of abortion, abuse, and self-hatred. Or a homeless family could be assisted in finding a home when they choose life through our extensive network of obedient and loving Christians. Or a mother could feel her child move for the first time while watching him on our HELP Monroe Mobile Ultrasound and fall in love with that baby she was ready to kill moments ago.

See, you, like me, can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us. We can endure the heartbreak for the glory of God. And in amazing wonder, we can see there is joy in the midst of all that sorrow.

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To volunteer with cities4life, click HERE.

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Hebrews 12:2 


Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Psalm 16:11   

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Pro-life Sidewalk Counselors Significantly Affect the No-Show Abortion Rate





A few days ago, a  very vocal “clinic defender” at the busiest abortion center in the Southeast told Cities4Life director, Daniel Parks, that the presence of our pro-life sidewalk counselors has led to a “no-show” rate of 60-70%. She stated it as though we should be ashamed. We are all rejoicing, and even more invigorated to proclaim life, offer the hope of Christ, and tangible resources to help women know there are far better options than abortion. That number seems inflated to me, but the “defender” said it was based on the clinic’s research. We know our presence affects the abortion rate because women leave and choose life and we help them with resources and mentorship programs. However, it was rather astonishing that the abortion defender thought we would be sorrowful over that fact...

On the wave of that encouraging news, I received a text from a beautiful mother who had just given birth to her precious daughter. She had gone to that very abortion center several months ago, feeling hopeless and confused facing an unexpected pregnancy. She took the literature I offered that shows fetal development through the entire pregnancy. It had my name and number on it. She went in to the center, but left, convicted by the information we provided that she should not take her innocent child’s life. Several weeks later, she called me. She could use help, and wondered if and how we could help.

We talked about many things, including God. She asked Jesus to be Lord of her life and quickly fell head over heels in love with her baby. She told me the baby’s birthday was the best day of her life. She also told me that if we had not been on the sidewalk that day, she would never have known the incredible blessing that now filled her life with joy.

She also texted that her mother flew in to town when she gave birth. I asked how her mother felt about the beautiful new baby. This was her response (my comments are in green):


All of us who speak for the unborn and offer the conflicted moms resources that can help them choose life know the truth. We know that God’s design for a woman to love her child is the only path that leads to joy. However, it was still an amazing encouragement to hear the abortion center corroborate that we are making an astonishing difference in the battle for the rights of the unborn.

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Psalm 119:92-93 


If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

Jeremiah 9:24 


But let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

Psalm 51:15-17 


O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Luke 14:12-14 

  

He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”





Tuesday, July 24, 2018

She Just Wanted to Leave that Abortion Center As Fast as Possible....


Five women chose life at the southeast’s busiest abortion center yesterday. One appeared to be under coercion from a boyfriend. He was clearly furious as they drove away. That woman faces a hard road ahead trying to stick to her resolve. Another pulled over to accept our gifts and offers of help, but would not pause long to learn about all our resources. Not yet.

“I just want to leave this place as fast as possible,” she said, “But thank you. Thank you so much for being here.”

I totally understand.

Our team was made up of two brand new counselors. They know that we stand on the sidewalks of abortion centers speaking for the unborn in obedience to God, but it is always encouraging to see women choose life. We don’t always see it, though that doesn’t mean the time has not been fruitful. God’s word has gone forth, help and the love of God has been proclaimed, and we know that most women who choose life do NOT stop to tell us.

I remind our volunteers, and myself, that if we are standing there smiling and offering God’s truth, hope, and help, we are doing what God has called us to do. And very few people are willing to do even that.

If interested in standing with us, click HERE to set up a time to come shadow our experienced volunteers.
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Matthew 19:26 


But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 17:20 


He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”



Sunday, July 22, 2018

Biblical Principles in Reaching Goals



My sweet daughter, Asherel, is determined to bike with her Siberian Husky, Ragnar. Ragnar is residing in my home for a few months as my daughter and her hubby transition through a new job, apartment switch, and last semester of school. Since I am a little hyperactive, Ragnar and I get along great. He runs with me every morning, and then walks every night. When the weather cools off, I am sure we will be even more active. So I warned Asherel that she better start running, since Ragnar is now doing about 5 miles or so every day of walks and runs.

She told me she hates running, but she intended to bike with him. I tried my best to talk her out of this foolishness, but she was insistent. In desperation, I knew that if someone was to die, it must be me. So I began training Ragnar, first just to walk alongside the bike while on leash. I rewarded him lavishly for every positive action. Sitting when I stopped the bike, turning when I turned, not running after squirrels....

Encouraged by how well he did walking on a leash by my bike, I ordered a hands-free “Leash Buddy” dog runner for bicycles. As the experts suggested, I also purchased a harness for Ragnar to use with the leash buddy.

It arrived a few days ago. Ragnar was very excited and eager to try it out. I was a little terrified. However, it went surprisingly well as this video shows you!



Each day, I have been bringing Ragnar out on a bike ride/run. He loves it. We did a three mile run the first morning after the video above. He was flawless. Each afternoon we did a shorter bike/run. I kept my daughter apprised of his progress. Less than a week after starting our training, I felt it was safe suggesting she come try it herself. 


She was so excited. She does not love to run or to go on long walks, but she likes to bike. She was thrilled to see how happy Ragnar was trotting beside her.  “I honestly didn’t think he would learn this so quickly,” she told me.

Now Ragnar is the smartest dog I have ever worked with, and among the most eager to please. However, I was surprised too by how quickly he mastered this endeavor. There are some principles that I used in training him to do this that I think are key in encouraging others (canine or human) to joyfully learn and embrace new things. I think they are Biblical principles as well.

1. Be confident the goal is worthy and within your grasp. (Luke 1:37 Nothing is impossible with God.)
2. Be consistent, doing a little each day to reach the goal. (Proverbs 6:6-9 Go to the ant, O sluggard, consider her ways, and be wise.Without having any chief officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.)
3. Do only enough for the day, without overwhelming the student with all they will need to know to complete the task. (Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.)
4. Be joyful and be sure the student is joyful as they learn. Reward lavishly! (Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.)
5. Rejoice when the student reaches the goal (Luke 6:23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven...)