Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Musings on When is Enough...Enough?



“Isn’t it like 30 degrees there?”my sister asked upon seeing this picture.  She lives in a place where 30 degrees is a heat wave.
“Yes...I am looking into electric heated jackets. Our director of Cities4Life showed up grinning like a Cheshire Cat and asked if he looked warm. Then he showed me amazing details on his new heated jacket. I didn’t even know there was such a thing!”
“Because you live in North Carolina,” she reminded me. 

Scoff if you must but standing out in the early mornings on the sidewalks of the abortion center for hours in winter is not easy on old people like me. So I called the heated jacket hotline. (Get it? Hot line. LOL)

“I had never heard of electric jackets,” I said, “And I have many questions. Like first, if it rains, will you get electrocuted.?”
Pause.
“Only if you are plugged into the wall at the time.”
I had other questions...several. He hung up on me after about an hour. He pretended he was having trouble with the connection but I am no dummy.

When the policeman came to check our sound permit as they do every day when we are using amplified sound on the sidewalk, he told me to “have a nice day and stay warm.” (He probably noticed my ‘nanook of the north’ get-up.)

“Speaking of that,” I said, noticing his not very thick jacket, “Have you ever considered a heated jacket?”
“No, I’d worry about getting electrocuted.”

I rest my case.

However, the lure of the heated jacket was too strong. I found one on sale with free returns and ordered it.  But now I have a new problem. I discovered there are also heated gloves and heated socks. There is even a heated scarf. To fully heat all exposed areas of my body would cost me the equivalent of a 30 foot yacht.

I realized that I had fallen into the trap that the world continually sets. You can never have ENOUGH STUFF. There will always be more STUFF that you want, even that you need. And everything conspires against your self-control. Within nanoseconds of me ordering the heated jacket, my Facebook news feed was filled with ads for heated jackets, and the next tantalizing lure: heated gloves. How did it know????

I have often wondered how King Solomon, commanded to have one wife by the God he loved, ended up with 700 wives and 300 concubines. That is 999 more female significant others than anyone needs, if you ask me. And he knew God...he knew God’s commands. How did he go so far off-track? And here is another irony. Solomon was supposed to be the wisest man who ever lived.

That collection of wives, many who did not worship God, led his heart astray. He erected ‘high places’ or altars for the detestable false gods, including Molech, whose followers practiced infant sacrifice by fire. Does this sound like wisdom to you? 

This wise man penned this verse:
Ecclesiastes 2: 26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

(I wonder if he wrote this while gathering and storing up 1,000 women....)

He knew that the collection of things was never going to satisfy. That gathering and storing up STUFF would not fulfill the longing for contentment that would last. I feel very sorry for Solomon and I think I understand him a little better as I lust after heated gloves, and heated socks, and heated scarves.

Whenever we seek satisfaction outside of God, it will disappoint. We cannot fulfill an eternal longing with a temporal object. Solomon said the eye was never satisfied with seeing, the ear never satisfied with hearing. 

So when is enough enough?

Our sufficiency is found only in God. Until we come to a place where we can honestly say God is enough, we will never have enough. 

2 Corinthians 3:5 


Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

When We Cannot Speak, God Can




A couple were stopped by one of our Cities4Life volunteers before turning into the abortion center parking lot. They didn’t speak much English. The Volunteer assumed they were Hispanic and handed them our Spanish literature. It is filled with pictures of babies at different gestational ages in the womb. They took the literature as I approached. 
“No aborto,” I said. 
They nodded and drove on. They pulled over a little ways up the street and we could see them looking through the pamphlet.
I got one of our Spanish counselors on the phone, and hurried up the street to them. They rolled down their window.
“Espanol!’ I said, holding the phone out to them.
“No,” the man said, “No speak Espanol.”

Now what? He did speak some English, so I said, “You don’t want to kill your baby do you?” Both of them shook their head. Then they drove on and I watched, praying they would pass the driveway to the abortion center. They did. They drove out of sight and did not return.

Three women chose life for their babies yesterday but that one was perhaps the most miraculous to me. ALL they needed was to see photos of the baby in the womb. That little nudge helped them do the right thing. Praise God for His ability to speak and help them understand when we cannot.

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Romans 8:24-25 


For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Plans to Give You a Future and a Hope


Praise God for His convicting spirit that worked in the heart of this baby’s mother. Praise God for Cities4Life and LoveLife Charlotte  and Truth and Mercy Prolife Ministries for interceding in the life of the mother with tangible help. Praise God that I got the immense joy of holding this little miracle in my arms and touching her silky cheek and counting her tiny perfectly formed fingers.

What if we hadn’t been on the sidewalk the day that mom showed up, in a desperate situation thinking all her options were gone? Abortion was all that was left to her, she thought, but she knew she didn’t want to kill her child.

As I held this precious child yesterday, the mom told me that her dream now was to open some sort of housing program for moms like her who felt desperate and hopeless. 

“I’ve been there,” she said, “I know.”

We reminisced about that day I had met her. Hopeless, distraught, dripping with sweat on a blistering day, her face etched in sorrow. How different she looks today.



She told me about her baby so eager to enter the world that she barely made it to the hospital in time. Then she told me about a woman and her young child who she met outside KFC one day this past week. They were shivering in the cold, homeless, hopeless....just like she had been. She gave them her bucket of KFC chicken.

“I can’t get her face out of my mind, Miss Vicky.”

This incredible mom, who knows what it is to feel all is lost, now wants to help others.

“I can tell them, don’t give up. There is hope. There is help. There is God. I have been where they are. I can tell them not to give up.”

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If you want to help be a beacon of hope to those who feel hopeless, please consider volunteering on the frontlines of desperation. Click HERE for volunteer information with Cities4Life.

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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.

Jeremiah 29:11 


For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Miracle of Mothers Loving The Child They Considered Destroying



Unto Us a child is born...

Today, if all goes as promised, I am released from Facebook Jail. They never answered my pleas to explain why I was banned from posting to groups, including a group I formed and another of which I am one of the administrators. The other groups I could not post to request my pro-life blogs, though the only note I got from Facebook was I was being blocked for posting  spam...but then they looked at the post and said no it wasn’t spam...yet I remained blocked.

It would be easy to be frustrated and angry. The good news is I have great friends who posted for me and my blog was as widely read as it always is. But there is a greater point. There will always  be attacks, sources of despair, and ruffles in our feathers. One can continually respond to provocation and be stressed, angry, bitter, and unhappy. There is always something that could evoke those feelings. Always.

The wonderful flip side is that if our focus instead is on the wonder, beauty, and revelation of God, most everything else loses its importance or power over us. 

I had a full week of being out on the sidewalks of the abortion center every day to fill in for our Cities4Life director who had a much deserved vacation with his family. The weather had just decided to switch into her winter clothes, so it was not the easiest week weather-wise. Friday was downright miserable with pouring rain and frigid cold. There were even snowflakes sifting out of the dreary mess now and then. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I had the stamina to be out there so many hours all those days in a row. I am pretty intense out there, and it takes an enormous amount of emotional and spiritual energy. There were many hard fought battles for babies’ lives, and I felt like I was returning from war after some of them.

So yesterday, I did something I NEVER do. 

NOTHING. I did NOTHING.

Well, I did do a load of wash, vacuumed the whole house, cleaned the bathroom, and put away all the dishes in the dishwasher. And took a two hour walk. But other than that, I did NOTHING

I lay down on the couch and listened to hours of Ravi Zacharais aplogetics seminars while drawing the picture at the top of the blog. All the worries and baggage of the week on the sidewalk melted away as I listened to the arguments for GOD, and drew a picture of a shepherd as he gazes at the star that was the sign the Messiah was born.

I even took a nap, something else I NEVER do unless I am sick. 

I was awoken from the nap by one of my favorite women I work with who just gave birth.
“Miss Vicky, when are you coming to see my baby?”
“NOW!!! Or whenever you want me to.”
“How about tomorrow?”
“I will be there...right after church.”

Unto us a son is born...

Unto us a little baby is born, whose mama thought she wanted to kill her but instead is now glowing with joy that her precious child is alive, and home, and healthy. She cannot wait to show her to me because I was there when she made the monumental decision for life. 

I have no plans today. I will do NOTHING again. NOTHING except hold a little miracle in my arms and praise God for the privilege.
***************

John 1:14 


And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Couple Who Choose Life Wonder Why Anyone Would Try to Silence Offers of Hope and Help Rather Than Abortion





Buckets of freezing rain were pouring out of the sky draped in mournful gray on the sidewalk counselors standing in front of the abortion clinic. A woman and man drove out of the abortion center and pulled over to talk with me. By the end of our discussion with this wonderful couple who chose life, he said, “It is amazing all that your ministry does for these women. God bless you all for what you do. I really respect and appreciate what you are doing.” This was a couple who just an hour ago had believed abortion was their best and only real option.

When this couple entered the parking lot of the abortion center, the pro-choice escorts swarmed around them with umbrellas to “shield” them from our Cities4Life team’s offers of hope and help. The woman stepped out of the car, and the escorts clustered around her, telling her to ignore “those crazies.” (That would be US.) The man raced to his girlfriend’s side and told the escorts to leave, now, leave them alone. He helped the woman back into the car, and they drove out of the parking lot. 

They rolled down their window and told me they had changed their mind; they would not abort. They were eager to pull over and hear all we had to offer them. The woman, ‘A’, was so relieved. So was the man. They knew God. They knew abortion was wrong. But they were overwhelmed, and not confident they could trust God in this. They went to the abortion center, heard us calling out the truth of God’s word, the help we could offer, the humanity and intrinsic value of the baby in the womb. They contrasted that with the pro-choice crowd who was doing everything in their power to block the choice for life. Why would anyone silence offers of help? Why would anyone mock the truth of the Gospel, which they believed? That sealed it for them. They chose God. They chose life.

I had thought I would be alone on the sidewalks. It was raining and bitter cold and our regular team members were out of town. Incredibly, when my fellow volunteers heard I would be alone, they showed up in droves. The sidewalk was filled with saints proclaiming life. Because of their presence and their boldness in declaring truth, three women chose life for their babies.




Humbled. Grateful. 

Lord, blesssed be your name, and blessed be those who strive so hard to follow you.
**************

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 127:3 


Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Psalm 106:37-38 


They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood.


Friday, December 8, 2017

When God Closes a Door...Literally.... You Rub Your Eyes and Fall to Your Knees


This young man pulled over while we were winding down our morning at the abortion center. He said he felt a deep burden for years to be on the frontlines of the abortion crisis. He had joined the Love Life prayer march around the abortion center last Saturday, and heard about Cities4Life and what we do each day on the sidewalks of the SE’s busiest abortion center. He hopped out of his truck.

“I’m ready now if you can use me.”

Music to my ears! But before I tell you about the miracle he participated in within the first twenty minutes of volunteering with us, I want to set the stage with other miracles God sent our way. I arrived early, as I always do, so that I could see and speak with every woman who drove in to the parking lot before the doors of the abortion center open. It is a quiet, peaceful time, before the slaughter, and I spend the half hour pacing in front of the abortion center, and praying. Sometimes I sing. (Good thing no one but the angels are there to hear me.) 



Many abortion workers arrive at that time and I always call out to them, “Abortionworker.com! Go to that website. I know you don’t want to destroy the innocent lives of babies for your career and they will help you out of this work! “
Most of the time, they ignore me. Occasionally, the new ones give me the finger. But yesterday, to my surprise, one of them answered me. “I’m on it, Honey. I intend to leave this place soon.”
“Call me,” I said, “We will help you.”

She nodded and disappeared inside the belly of the beast. I continued praying and pacing. The rest of my team trickled in. The abortion minded women poured in. It never ceases to distress me, those cars zooming around the corner and zipping into the parking lot. Our day began as our faithful team began speaking to the women. 

I set up our sound system behind a “pro-choice” woman, who responded to my, “Good morning,” by snapping, “I don’t talk to pederasts.” Pederast? I was so stunned that I just laughed, and said, “Oh. Well that’s good.”

While I spoke at length on the microphone,  one of our counselors moved towards a car whose driver had rolled down her window. She reached for the Cities4Life information the counselor was handing her.  At that moment, the same woman who had made the strange comment to me lunged for the car and snatched the literature from the driver’s hand.

“Get the **** out of my face!” the driver yelled. I guess pro-choice only applies to choices that don’t include life and resources to help the choice for life.


One of our other counselors spoke on the microphone for her first time. That is always a pivotal moment, and very freeing. She read a beautiful testimony from a former abortion worker, pleading with women to turn their hearts to their child.



Two women left shortly after arriving, with no time to have seen the abortionist or for a check up. We felt confident they chose life. Meanwhile, a small drama was playing out. A car had stopped for me, and as I handed them our literature and told them about free ultrasounds and our resources, the man and woman seemed interested. After doing this work for so many years, I quickly sense ‘soft hearts’. This couple did not want to abort. The woman held a young baby on her lap. I knew why she was there. She was overwhelmed with the thought of raising two young children so close in age. I knew we could help her.

At that moment, the pro-choice woman again told them we were crazy and waved them in to the clinic lot. All our wonderful counselors spoke on the mic or called out to the woman. She was in and out several times. Her conflict was evident. 

It was at that time that the new man, Mike,  arrived and asked how he could help. He watched us in action for a few minutes, and listened to me calling out to the man and the woman. Then, sadly, the woman went in the center, and the man stood by his car. I spoke to the man for several minutes. Then, the woman came out, and stood by her car, consulting with the man. I spent the next fifteen minutes calling to the woman. I reminded her that the worst time to make a life and death decision is when we are in crisis, or feel overwhelmed. I asked her to let me take them to lunch, talk with them about all the resources we could offer. She got in her car and closed the door. 

We all prayed they would leave, but instead, she opened the door and began walking back to the clinic...slowly. I begged her to understand that the child in her womb was as precious as the child in her car, that maybe she had prayed on the way here for some sign from God about what she should do. Maybe we were the sign?

She walked slowly as though under a heavy burden, each step agony for us and for her. As she reached her hand to the door she paused. It was clear she was listening to me. Give me hope, give me a way out... 

Her hand rested on the door handle and she stood still listening.
“Is the door locked?” Chrissy, a fellow counselor asked me. 
NEVER in my four years out there have I seen the door locked in the middle of the day. 
“God is giving you a clear sign,” I called, “Honey, that door is never locked. He is literally putting an obstacle in your path. You know you do not want to take your child’s life, and God is showing you, you must not!!!”

She returned to the car and got in. A short time later, a worker came to the door and opened it. The woman went in. Chrissy had to leave as did all the other counselors except for me, Katie, and Mike. 
“I can’t leave now,” I said. GOD locked that door. I had to see how this miracle would play out.

The man again opened his car door.
Mike told me, “I so wanted to call out to that man....”
“Go for it,” I said, handing him my megaphone.
He spoke to the man about the joy of fatherhood, trusting Christ, knowing abortion was wrong. 

As he spoke, the woman again came out. Mike handed me the megaphone. Again, I called out with a plea to turn her heart to the little baby whose heart was beating in her womb, to talk with us about the help we could offer, to trust that the God who created the universe would equip her for this task before her to raise her baby and leave this terrible place. I spoke several minutes as they sat in the car. They appeared to be discussing. 

Then, the car engine grumbled to life, the back up lights came on, and to our delight, the young couple drove away. They have my name and my number in the literature I gave them. I hope they will call to let us help them.

As I drove home, I thought of the verse  from Revelation 3: 7-8 To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”
‭‭
I believe God shut the door, physically and spiritually on abortion, and what He shuts, no one can open. This woman had little strength, but God can work with little strength, as long as we trust Him and do not deny His name. I think in the end, she could not deny His name, and He opened a new door for her. The door that led her back to Him. 

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

If Jesus Is Lord Why Is it Not Obvious?




Thanks for your prayers yesterday while our Cites4Life team stood on the cold sidewalk in front of the abortion center. No saved babies we know of, but one very broken man who didn’t want his baby to be killed and came over several times to talk with us. 

We shared the gospel, prayed with him, and gave him our literature, including our names and numbers to call. We urged him to have his girlfriend call us. He was close to tears, and could barely speak. He had offered to do anything necessary for her not to kill his child. She refused.

He claimed Jesus is Lord of his life, but is not walking in sexual purity as, clearly, Jesus would have him do.  The vast majority of abortions would never be an option if the women and men were obedient to this Biblical admonition. 

It is one thing to call Jesus Lord, but if you do not do what He says...is He really Lord?

Over and over again, God tells us that if we call, “Lord, Lord, but do not do what I say, I never knew you.”

Walking in obedience is not what saves us. Faith in Jesus and His atoning sacrifice and resurrection is what saves us. Nonetheless, Satan believes in Jesus...but Jesus is not Lord of Satan’s life. Satan is. That is the critical component that I think so many people miss. If Jesus is Lord, you will obey Him.

“She wouldn’t listen to me,” he said sorrowfully. I told him what I had told someone else that morning about what happens if we trust in others for our happiness. If you seek to satisfy people or have them satisfy you, you will ALWAYS be disappointed. If you seek to satisfy God and have Him satisfy you, you will find peace, contentment, and joy everlasting.

Sadly, as the cars slowly drove away from the parking lot, the devastated young man remained, waiting for his girlfriend. We all mourned with him. It looked like the baby was not to be saved, but unless both that young man and young women reexamine what it is to be a Christ-follower, I fear they will be back. A third of abortions are repeat abortions.

We all sin and fall short of God’s glory. That is true, but I think we also use that verse as an excuse to continue in sin or to wiggle out of obedience when it does not suit our agenda. If the young couple does not take God’s commands seriously, I suspect the girlfriend will be back here for another abortion down the road. Unless one changes one’s world view to be aligned with God and His commands and His truths, we are doomed to remain lost and beaten and broken with a sense that there is more to abundant living, but no idea how to achieve it.

The young man came over to talk to us again, three times, but the comfort he thought he sought, we could not give him. The only comfort we had was Jesus and the hope of abiding in His Will. I pray he recognizes that is where he needs to dwell.
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Luke 6:46


“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

1 John 2:4 


Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,

James 2:19 


You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

Matthew 7:21-23 


“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’