Saturday, January 31, 2015

One Nagging Text From Victory


 How  hard should one pressure someone to do the right thing? How relentless should one be in confrontation when you are certain you are right? I don't know about all of you, but when I know God's word on a subject, and I know the practical benefits of something, and someone chooses not to do that thing, I cannot back off. I feel burdened, even compelled to doggedly pursue them, to convince them to make the choice that I know leads to life, to God. Word to the wise: this personality trait does not lead to developing a large circle of friends.

I can think of countless specific examples, not the least of which is speaking on behalf of the babies at the sidewalks of the abortion mills. But I had an unusual new drama play out this weekend. A new mama ran out of money and called me. She needed money for her brand new baby's formula. I took a deep breath, and refused help. I told her I could not help her, but God could. Nursing her child costs nothing, has benefits for both her and the baby, and there were lots of experts around willing to help her. She did not seem enthused, but agreed to try.

However, she didn't. Not till she was home from the hospital and called me with other concerns. I revisited the nursing issue. (of course I did....) She would make no promises, didn't want to be pressured, but told me she might try. Later, she texted. Baby wouldn't latch on. She would just find a way to get formula. So I said, "Oh well," and backed off.  


"Try again," I implored her, "It will help both of you. Please, try again."

Through my cities4life contacts, I found a lactation consultant. I called the mom and asked if I could have the consultant contact her. She reluctantly agreed. I spoke with the consultant. No sooner did I get off the phone than the mama called me.

"Mrs. Vicky, I did it. She nursed. My baby nursed."

I don't know when to back off sometimes. I have dogged determination, and it can be a weakness. But I think sometimes God wants us to be pit-bulls. Don't let go. Wrestle with truth and stand your ground. You just never know when victory is one nagging text away.


Isaiah 66:10-13 

“Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her; that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious abundance.” For thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip, and bounced upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

Luke 11:27

As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!”

Lamentations 4:3 

Even jackals offer the breast; they nurse their young, but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

Psalm 22:9 

Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother's breasts.

1 Peter 2:2 

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—

Joel 2:16 

Gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber.

Genesis 49:25 

By the God of your father who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that crouches beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

Isaiah 49:15

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hard Pressed but not Destroyed

My poor Honeybun is not doing well. She spent early Wednesday morning awakening us before the sun by puking several times. She couldn't walk, and looked drunk. Hubby and I tag-teamed clean up and dog ministrations till morning. She was slightly better, able to wobble outside to do her business around 9. I had a meeting, but called vet to set up visit there after my meeting if Honeybun was still wobbly when I got home.

She was, so we went to the vet. She has one of three things:
old dog vestibular disorder (basically, dizzy old dog.)
blood clot that hit inner ear

The vet thinks it is the least serious, the old dog dizzy disorder. If so, it will pass, and she put her on Bonine. She already looked better a couple of hours later, ate a good dinner, and kept it down. Still, her poor eyes were flicking back and forth, and she had difficulty walking in a straight line. She kept circling to the right. I could take her on a short bathroom walk if I stayed on her left, and guided her to the left. Never a dull moment around here.There is always a mini-crisis developing, resolving, or in our future. Such is life.

Appropriately, I am in the book of Job in my Bible study (and really, when isn't Job appropriate?) Job has everything taken from him - children, livelihood, health, and respect. He has nothing left but God, and God is what He clings to. When he is afforded a glimpse of God, hearing His voice, He recognizes that God is all he needs. I suspect God works on each of us until we come to that conclusion. I prayed all night that Honeybun would recover and be well on the mend by morning. God is all we need, but it is comforting to have a furry face to kiss nearby.

Praise God for respites; Honeybun is much better this morning.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8–9 (NIV)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

IN Your Frustration, Sin Not (yeah, yeah, yeah....)

Question for all you really devout and perfect Christians...if you were on hold for forty minutes after speaking to someone in customer service of an American company who was obviously not a native English speaker and you could not understand a word he said....would you still maintain your impeccable Christian witness? And how about if he were completely unqualified to answer your simple question? And how about if he repeated the issue, to be sure he understood it, five times...and each time he was wrong?

Hypothetical question, of course.

Frustration. It is a killer. I suspect handling frustration is really wayyyyyy up there on God's list of character refining for one Vicky S Kaseorg. I hate those lessons which are so hard to learn. Those are the ones that God feels the need to subject me to again and again and again.

Fortunately, the hypothetical (not) story ended well. I reached a manager who thought the customer representative was as terrible as I thought he was, and he lodged a massive complaint. We were both on a conference call with said representative, and all of a sudden, without warning, we were both put on hold...for twenty minutes. I finally hung up. The manager emailed me and assured me this guy was getting a reprimand in his record, and the manager himself would call me back soon...once he got off hold with the foreign speaking rep.

I have to keep reminding myself: Jesus loves that inept, unqualified, incredibly stupid customer representative as much as He loves me. (Hard to believe, but that's what the Bible says.)

Still, I am feeling a little convicted. If I don't behave well when frustrated, then where is the power of God within me? How is my exploding at incompetent oafs drawing anyone closer to Jesus? It's not. I hate to admit it, but it's not. This is why I need Jesus, every day, every moment, every second. On my own power, I can do nothing. Especially when talking to idiots. Forgive me for that last comment, Jesus.

Then, I read the morning study by Charles Spurgeon. Here is an excerpt:

"Perfect in Christ Jesus."
Colossians 1:28

Do you not feel in your own soul that perfection is not in you? Does not every day teach you that? Every tear which trickles from your eye, weeps "imperfection;" every harsh word which proceeds from your lip, mutters "imperfection." You have too frequently had a view of your own heart to dream for a moment of any perfection in yourself. But amidst this sad consciousness of imperfection, here is comfort for you--you are "perfect in Christ Jesus."

oh. I would have to admit, I am not perfect. Not even close. Any holiness in me is from God alone. Ouch. 'Idiot' is not a word I should use about others, even in thought. Forgive me Lord. Really, I know better.


Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

John 16:33 

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 34:18 

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

1 Peter 5:7 

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 4:4-5 

Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

May Evil Not Dwell With You

This baby I am holding is just a few hours old. This is a baby from a mom who considered abortion. She saw how Cities4Life helped her sister with an unplanned pregnancy, and she called me. She had nothing for the baby, was overwhelmed, not making ends meet...could we help her? I put out pleas to my social network through Cities4Life and Facebook friends and was able to find her food and groceries on a regular basis, every baby equipment she could want, diapers, clothes, a crib, and we are waiting on a bed for her toddler...but the organization I contacted seems confident it will arrive before the end of the month. God is mighty. When people obey Him and step forth in faith, He does incredible, miraculous things.

Yes, I look a little haggard in the photo above. Cut me some slack. I had just spent 3 hours on a cold day on the sidewalks of the abortion mill. It was like Grand Central Station there. At least 40 abortions were being performed that day, judging from the cars streaming in when the abortionist arrived. 40. An entire kindergarten class being annihilated.

All of us on the sidewalks were shaking our heads. So many mamas making such a devastating choice. And then, I saw a couple pull in to the lot. I followed the car, and as the door opened called out to the woman. She looked so heartbroken. There was no doubt in my mind, this woman did not want to abort. I had just received the text with the picture of the little baby I am holding in my arms in the picture above. I held up my phone and encouraged the sad mama that I would show her the photo of another woman who had once considered abortion. But now, she was sending me a picture of her new little daughter, overjoyed. The couple went in the abortion mill.

Almost immediately, they came out. The woman was ahead of the man, who was following her, pleading. It was clear to all of us which one of them was pushing for the abortion. They got in the car, and the man continued to plead. We all prayed. I texted some friends to pray. The car rumbled to life, and the couple drove away, the woman still in tears. A shaky save, but the baby still lives. Pray for that little child, that her silent voice will sift through all her mama's and papa's fears to a place of compassion and love.

Two mothers chose life while we were there, but it was such a slaughter. All those cars...

I left the mill and hurried to the maternity ward of the nearby hospital. The vision of a parking lot filled with people bent on death was replaced by the vision of a child, a beautiful little girl, who is alive.

New training session  Feb. 7 -

Ecclesiastes 12:14 

For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

James 1:13 

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

Psalm 5:4 

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you.

Romans 6:23 

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 3:10-18 

As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” ...

1 John 5:19 

We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

Acts 17:30 

The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Enemy Defeated

A few weeks ago, Mary, a fellow sidewalk counselor for Cities4Life, set up a very special service at her church. She  would be sharing the mission and work of Cities4Life, the ministry we volunteer with that sends us to the sidewalks of Charlotte abortion mills to urge women to make a different choice than abortion. Key to the work of Cities4Life is changing hearts through the Gospel, as well as meeting the needs of these women. Mary wanted to show her church the impact of our ministry through a personal story.  She is increasingly burdened with a desire to bring awareness and action by churches to be more involved in fighting abortion's terrible scourge on our country. These women who choose life need a network of support: physical, practical, emotional, and especially spiritual. As James 2 reminds us, if you see a brother in need, but don't meet the need, you are worse than unbelievers. What a difference the church could make by coming alongside these women when they turn from abortion. If the church could see how one woman's life was changed, it would be a powerful testimony. 

I had spoken some time ago about baptism with L, a woman Mary and I had co-counseled to choose life when she found herself pregnant in difficult circumstances. She saw abortion as the only way out. When she saw her baby on a mobile ultrasound provided by Monroe HELP center for crisis pregnancies, and was counseled and promised help by Cities4life, she knew she could not abort. 

I have known L for almost a year now, since she decided not to abort her child. When we met her, she was abortion-minded, desperate, and didn't know God. It has been a privilege to walk alongside her, watching her transform before my eyes, helping her to make better choices, and encouraging her to pursue dreams of making a better life for herself and her baby. Many needs have arisen, and Cities4Life supporters have met every single one. Most exciting was when she prayed with me to accept Jesus as Lord. She and I do a daily bible study by texting back and forth.

During one of our lunches out, she wondered about baptizing her baby. When I shared the verses in the Bible about baptism, she felt it was clear her baby girl should not be baptized till the child could choose and understand Jesus. On the other hand, she was convicted that she herself should be baptized. I spoke with Mary about L's desire, and the idea of a baptism at Mary's church was born. After some missed opportunities for baptism,  Mary arranged that L would be baptized, as well as dedicate her baby to the Lord at this special service about Cities4Life that Mary was planning. L agreed. It was all set.

In the interim, L got a job. It is one of many great choices she is making in turning her life around and building a future for her beautiful baby girl. Unfortunately, she works all night. She texted me Saturday, mere hours before the special event, saying she didn't know if she would be home Sunday morning in time for the service! Mary and I momentarily freaked. Several worried texts back and forth ended as night fell and exhaustion set in. We decided we had done all we could do. It was in God's hands.

We felt there were many issues at war inside L, but Mary and I prayed, and assured her that no matter when she got home from work, we would find a way to get her to Mary's church. L confided to me that she wasn't sure she was ready for baptism, but did want to dedicate her baby. I was concerned as this is how I believe Satan works. He  fills our heart with fears and doubts, and tries to drown out the promptings and quiet voice of God in our hearts. I knew L had wanted to be baptized. Why was she hesitating now? Mary and I prayed that the Holy Spirit would move L, and somehow, the baptism would still take place. 

L did get home from work in time, and since Mary lives near, she picked her up. L told us she would do the dedication, but not the baptism. Mary and I hoped God had other plans. I met them at the church. From the moment the service started till it ended, tears were rolling down my cheeks. Same with L. The baby slept, unaware of a whole ceremony going on in honor of her life. Mary spoke eloquently and movingly of the mission of Cities4Life, sharing L's story and other incredible anecdotes of the women who had chosen life and turned away from abortion at the last minute. I kept glancing at L's baby, thinking that beautiful child would not be here now were it not for Cities4Life ministry!

At the end of Mary's talk which had dissolved me into a steady puddle of tears, Mary and I  were asked to go up front with L for the baby dedication. L woke her baby, and we went to the front. The whole church gathered around us and prayed for the precious little baby and her brave mother. It was clear that the precious little baby was very busy filling her diaper so convincingly that it began to leak all over L.  No matter. God was there, even then, while  laughter bubbled out around the chain of congregants praying for the baby with the dripping diaper.

After the congregation left, and the last stragglers were packing up, I sat down next to L.  I asked if she might want to be baptized now, with just us few witnesses. I could tell she did, but she had been so certain she would not be, that she hadn't brought clothes to change into. Mary walked by. Mary had on two shirts. Providential!  I asked Mary if L could use one shirt of hers to get wet so L could be baptised. Appropriately, it was a Cities4Life T-shirt.

"What about pants?" asked L. 
"We'll find some shorts somewhere," Mary promised.
"How will I dry my hair before work?" asked L, who doesn't own a hair-dryer.
"I'll buy you a hair dryer," said Mary, laughing.
Mary went hunting and returned with shorts that miraculously fit L.  My  heart leaped with joy when L took the clothes and went into the bathroom to change.

The  baptism pool was frigid. There is no heater and the church itself was quite cold. L came out in her baptism T-shirt that said "Speak Life," and her borrowed shorts that fit perfectly. She dipped a toe in the icy water and groaned. Slowly, cringing and shivering, she stepped into the freezing water. While the few of us remaining stood around the pool, Mary's husband asked L the pertinent questions of faith and then began to dunk her.

"Wait, wait!" cried L. It was so cold, and she doesn't love water at any temperature. We began chanting encouragement, and she took a deep breath.
"Ok, do it fast!" she cried.

He dunked her and she rose from the water with a gasp. As she dashed to the towels, I followed her.
She stood there shivering, and I said, "Sorry L, it didn't take. You have to do it again." Her mouth fell open. Laughing, I hugged her. "I'm so proud of you," I whispered.


James 2: 14-17

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Romans 6:1-23 

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. ...

John 15:7 

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Revelation 12:10 

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

God Meant it for Good

The very day I got my Surface Pro2 back from the shop (who cleanied it of all viruses and assured me now no worries, now it would be all fixed and no more crashes,)  it was crashing, not playing videos, not opening several apps, and sluggish. I called Microsoft on-line help, who were unfailingly polite, but even after taking over my computer remotely, couldn't help me. Then they hung up on me. I don't know if it was on purpose, but they didn't call back. And after 2 hours on the phone, much of it on hold, I was not happy. Grrrrrr.

So, I brought it (back) in to the Microsoft store yesterday.  They listened to the list of issues and said the easiest thing to do would be to switch it out for a new one (again) which is what they had done two weeks ago. 

I explained I am an author, and this would be the second switch to a new one, and for months I had been coming in with issues. Each time they take it from me, I can't work on my books. Furthermore, hours and hours have been spent on the phone trying to solve the ongoing concerns.

The manager was great. She said immediately that she would give me full purchase price of my Pro2 to upgrade to the Pro3. (That's the newest Surface computer model and I so wanted it!) I'd been playing with the Pro3 while waiting for the technician to help me the last time I'd been in. In fact, I had drawn a picture with the new improved pen on the new improved screen, and the store manager had taken my photograph. I lusted after the Pro3, but knew I should not even begin to think of getting it. Too expensive, and my Pro2 was only a year old. I would never have even thought to pray for it. I would not bother God with such a selfish prayer.

And yet...look what God did with the trouble and dismay and lost time over my cantankerous Pro 2! He gave me an (un-needed) desire of my heart, one I hadn't even dared ask for. Of course, if I am going to write, I must have a working, reliable computer, and certainly God knows that. And He knows I want to write messages that draw others to Him. But I could have limped along with what I had. 

To think I'd been groaning and moaning about all the troubles the Pro2 was giving me! Now I praise God for those troubles! I suspect it was no accident that my Bible Study was about Joseph, and how his brothers threw him in the well, leaving him to die. They meant it for harm, but God used it to bring about immense good. In the interim of course, Joseph was thrown into slavery, and then prison, before being finally restored as the Pharoah's right hand man. However, while enslaved and imprisoned, I will bet he wasn't feeling so beloved of God. But He was! Even in the midst of all that trouble, God was working and preparing Him, and ultimately rescued Him for a great purpose.

Take heart! Take heart! What feels like constant struggle and evil may be like Joseph's well. Others may have meant it for harm, but God can use it for good. 
Genesis 50: 15-21

15And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. 16And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, 17So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. 18And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. 19And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 20But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. 21Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

Nothing is impossible with God
save a dog-

I Will Not Forget You

I was privileged to teach a wonderful woman (J) in a Memory Care Nursing Home to draw with pastels yesterday. She was so appreciative. She had been a life-long artist. The activity director wanted to give her a special treat, so called me, and asked if I would do a private lesson. I don't often do private lessons, but agreed, since I love teaching the elderly to draw. And it was a paid gig! I noticed instantly when I met her that she wore a cross around her neck. A fellow Christian!
"What a beautiful necklace," I said. She did not seem to know what I was talking about, as though perhaps she had forgotten she wore the necklace.

J was like a sponge. She followed my directions explicitly. When she finished her beautiful sunset over water scene, she said, "Fair to middlin'. "  She told the activity director that it had been a lot of fun, and that the teacher was "very sweet." (make my day!)  I was surprised she only found it "fair to middlin'" since I thought it was a really astonishingly beautiful picture for someone with tremors who hadn't used pastels since she was a child. It is the picture she is holding in the blog photo above.

Then the activity director tried to take the picture from J so she could pose us for a photo. J refused to part with it. She clenched it tightly, and nothing we said dampened her resolve. Neither of us could coax her to let go of it. I suspect she thought it was better than just "fair to middlin'." Fortunately, the other activity director had a frame available, and was able to talk J into letting go long enough to frame it.

As she clutched that picture, I knew she was clinging to something very dear to her. Perhaps it was the memory of what it used to be like as an artist, when she could draw anything without any struggle. I thought of her necklace. When one has dementia or Alzheimers, does one remember Jesus? Does one remember coming to faith? I would think the very worst thing to lose would be that.

Realistically, these people may forget God. But there is great comfort in remembering that God never forgets them. The Bible tells us our names are engraved on His hands,  indelibly recorded in the Book of Life. When we have made a commitment to God, our flesh and our body may fail, including our memory, but our name is carved in God Himself for all eternity. We may forget Him, but He will never forget us. What a blessed assurance!

"Had you ever used chalk pastels before?" asked the Activity Director.
"As a child," answered J.
"I guess it's like riding a bike. You never forget," I said.
J smiled at me, clutching the picture she had drawn, remembering.
Isaiah 49:15-16
"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

One Person With God

I went to the 42nd anniversary of Roe V Wade memorial in Charlotte yesterday. It was very moving. As my friend, Lisa, one of the directors of Cities4Life, was introduced with one of the mamas she'd counseled who had chosen life a few years ago, I snapped a photo. Later, as I looked at it, I saw that sunbeams were radiating across the scene and settling on the Mama, Lisa, and the child who had once been slated for abortion. I hadn't noticed that at all while standing there during the ceremony. What a beautiful picture. I think it speaks eloquently of God's pleasure in this wonderful warrior for Christ, and for the sanctity of life. This mama was so affected by her near abortion, that she has recently started a non-profit organization that will provide transitional housing for other mamas who choose not to abort, and are in dire need.

I teared up not a few times that morning.

As the ceremony ended, the organizer told us if we wanted to take the anniversary pamphlets and hand them out, that would be great. I have never been one to hand out tracts on the street. The  people that do that sort of thing are people I have shunned in my past. But, I grabbed a handful, and decided to hand them out as I walked back the half-mile to my car. Some people ignored me, but many took my pamphlets. A group of two men and a women were on the edge of the sidewalk. I stopped and asked if they would like my pamphlet.

"Oh," said the woman, "I would like one! I am a reporter and I was supposed to cover this event! Will you walk with me and let me interview you?"
So I walked with her, telling her about Cities4life and how we help the women who choose life over abortion. She asked many questions, and I answered them all. I cited some of the terrible statistics about the emotional upheaval of women who choose abortion, including the suicide rate. She seemed genuinely intrigued by how many women actually change their mind, right there at the abortion center. She also was vigorously nodding her head as I described how we are not protestors, but advocates for life, and approach those women with lists of resources and real help in accessing them.

"We do help many of the women," I told her,  "but ultimately, abortion is a Gospel-issue. If we are going to change the culture that believes that abortion is the answer to terrible circumstances or inconvenient pregnancies, we must change the heart. Only Jesus can do that." She wrote that down. I hope it goes in the article. The most important thing we do is challenge them to examine where they are spiritually, and why abortion can never be the answer. Not from a moral/ethical humanitarian aspect, and certainly not from a spiritual one.

I talked with her the entire walk back, where I introduced her to the organizer, Flip Benham. She took my number because she said she'd like to talk to me more.
"Flip will set you straight on anything I said that was untrue," I laughed, passing her off to Flip. We shook hands.
"I really enjoyed our discussion," she told me as I waved and scurried away. It felt like she meant it.

I hope she doesn't twist my words. To the degree that one person is able, I so want to change the heart of this community, of this nation such that we might never memorialize a 43rd year of legal abortion. As I gazed at the photo later of the sunbeams falling like a benediction upon the mama who chose life and her sidewalk counselor, I was grateful that none of us are just one person. We are each one person with God

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.”

Genesis 9:6 

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

Exodus 20:13 

“You shall not murder.

Psalm 127:3 

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

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.

Isaiah 49:16

Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

Ephesians 2:10 

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Well, the Surface Pro 2 is back in the hospital where computers that crash all the time end up. This time they think the culprit is my Avast Virus Protection. They claim the Surface comes equipped with wonderful virus protection and I don't need anything else. Besides that, Avast doesn't recognize the small but critical updates as non-viral...and deletes them. The technician helping me felt that was likely the cause of my crashes. His diagnostic program showed him that my Surface is only working at 70 % which is what I had noticed with several of my applications. He thinks he can fix it by doing a virus scan and uninstalling Avast. But I will be without my computer for two days.

Last time, just two weeks ago in fact, I was unable to post my blog while my computer was in the shop. This is a test. It  may post or it may not. In case it does, I am going to take a stab at what I think God was telling me through this very frustrating set-back.

Spiritually, what we have been equipped with is all we need. (Just like Avast was unnecessary and even harmful to my Surface Pro.) We  don't need any extras. All our power is of no avail. It is God whose grace and power is sufficient for all we are required to do in His name. When God is for us, who can be against us? 

Honestly, sometimes it feels like everyone is against us, and perhaps they are. But  it doesn't long as God is for us, and we are using everything He gave us as best we can, remaining as faithful as we can, and seeking after His heart and desires for us as ardently as we can. He is all sufficient.

And apparently so is the anti-virus software already installed in my Surface Pro. Lesson learned. 

2 Corinthians 3:5

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

Luke 12:16-21  

And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ ...

Isaiah 50:10-11 

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches! Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled! This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.

2 Corinthians 12:9 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

John 15:5 

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.


I popped in to visit a mama who had once thought of aborting, but instead is due with her second child Friday. She had nothing for the baby at all, till Cities4life volunteers and supporters, as well as the wonderful organization, Common Heart, answered my requests for items. When I previously visited the mom to drop off food and baby supplies, I had not seen a single toy in her home for the toddler. I put out another plea to Cities4life team members. Did anyone have toddler toys they no longer needed? Two women instantly volunteered, and brought me supplies for the new baby as well as bushels of toys for the toddler.

When I walked in, the little girl looked at me and waved. I had a huge container of toys in my arms. I set it down on the toddler's little table. She looked at it. I expected her to rip into it with utter delight. I expected toys to fly in all directions as she tore through them. She didn't move a muscle. She just looked at the toys. She didn't even reach for the teddy bear, dressed in a pink tutu. It occurred to me that she didn't know how to play with them. I took out a pile of stacking cups and un-nested them, laying them in a row. Then I put the cups, one by one, inside each other. The little girl suddenly burst into a giant smile. She picked up the cups and began to nest them, her mouth wide open in wonderment and delight. She didn't say a word, though she paused to wave "bye-bye" as I left.

It was the best moment of my day.

As I was getting ready to drive away, my phone rang. I answered it. It was from the mama, though she didn't speak to me, and there was a lot of background noise. I suspect she had dialed my phone by accident, but I heard clear as a bell from the little toddler, "Thank you."

If ever I start to feel sorry for myself,  wishing I had more than what I have, I will remember that little girl. Sometimes, it just takes a little perspective to recognize blessings.

Philippians 4:19 

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Luke 6:38 

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Isaiah 41:10 

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Numbers 6:24-26 

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Scar on the Soul

I worked like a dog...and got my new dog book with its strong pro-life message out in time for the Roe V Wade anniversary Thursday. It went live when I got home from my volunteer work as a pro-life counselor. What a blessing! I was so weary, but still elated. Here is the link for the e-book: (it's up to #38 today. happy dance.)

As I drove to the abortion mill yesterday to speak on behalf of the babies on their way to death, I heard a quote on the radio by Martin Luther King, Jr.
"It is better to go through life with a scar on your body then a scar on your soul."

I wonder what this great civil rights leader would have thought of the scourge of abortion in the black our land of human rights.

When I got on the microphone at the mill, I spoke of King, and this quote. 

One young man had been mocking us from the sidewalk with his two friends. The two friends went inside and the young man was left alone. He looked over and I told him, "Look at us old ladies on the sidewalk! We can't hurt you. Come talk to us." He paused.
"Look at my grey'll be safe." To my surprise, he came over.

"What's your name?" I asked.
"Cool! Do you know what your name is derived from? Christopher. Christ. Our Lord and Savior! Do you believe in Jesus?"
He nodded.
"What would Jesus say about you being here?"
"He wouldn't like it."
We begged him to bring our literature into the young woman.
"I'm just the driver," he said, "I have nothing to do with what she's doing. I don't have the right to stop her."
"If you were driving someone and you see where you want to go in the distance, but there is a cliff in front of you, would you keep driving?"
He asked me to repeat the question. I did. He said, "No."
"Why not?"" I asked.
"I'd die."
"And she would die, too. You would be responsible.You would cause her death by driving off the cliff, right?"
"Chris, abortion is a cliff. Look at this picture of a 5-week-old in the womb." I held the pamphlet open to the photo.
He gazed at it silently, a troubled look on his face.
"What is this a picture of?" I asked quietly.
"A baby," he whispered.

There were times when Chris almost looked like he would cry. He finally reached out and took our literature, but he still stood there, looking down. The abortionist arrived.
"Chris, time is short. What do you think you should do?"
"Bring it to her."
"Then why are you standing here?"
He shook his head, still gazing at the ground.  A minute of some inner struggle, and total silence. I know fellow counselors were praying.
"Go, Chris," I urged, "Go, now."

Slowly he turned around, and went into the clinic. A short time later he came back out.
"Did you give it to her?" I asked.
"They wouldn't let me see her," he said.
At least he tried...Maybe it will make a difference down the road. I suspect Chris will sleep a little better than he would have if he hadn't made that effort. In a small way, I think a battle had been fought and won.

One couple drove in with a beautiful dalmatian in their car. I thought of my new book, and of people who would never think of killing a puppy, but would so easily kill the baby within them.
"Oh!" I called to them, "I love dogs! Much as I love dogs, that baby you carry is of even more worth than your beautiful dog!"
They ignored me.

Two women that we knew of chose life Monday. One went on the mobile ultrasound, and then drove away from the mill. The other gave us a thumbs up, but was eager to get away, leaving in a hurry. I stuck around till I felt faint with hunger, praying and hoping that the woman Chris had brought would emerge and tell us she had chosen life. Finally, I had to go forage for food, and I left. God knows where the conviction in Chris's heart will lead. Still, I would have liked to have known too...

Romans 7:15-25 

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. ...

1 John 3:6-10 

No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

Hebrews 10:26-27 

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Battlefield

I did it. My files are uploaded with the publisher, the final edits done, and I think the e-book, The Paws That Bring Good News, might be out in time for the Roe V Wade anniversary on Thursday. The book is a novel that explores the issues of the sanctity of life vs. the needs of the mother. There's a strong side-story about the No-Kill paradigm for Animal Shelters, as well. I love all life, though I do believe human life is sacred above all...even dogs...(This statement will make me enemies.)  It was hard to try to get it ready in time for the sobering anniversary of Roe V Wade, but I felt in my heart, I should strive to make that deadline.

I plan to attend the Roe V Wade pro-life anniversary rally in Charlotte. The pastor who baptized Jane Roe (real name Norma) and led her to the Lord will be there. I admire him greatly, a fellow counselor on the sidewalks of the Charlotte Abortion mill with me. His 87-year-old mom, and firebrand sister are also with me on my Monday mornings at the abortion mill, pleading with women to choose life for their baby. It is an incredible honor to serve with them.

Our Bible study at church this week was about "taking up the cross" when we follow Christ. One member of the class said he had never experienced persecution for his faith. While our country is among the safest places to be a Christian, there is indeed persecution. I felt like crying. Everyone who has ever stood on the sidewalks of an abortion mill, speaking on behalf of the unborn, has been ridiculed, sworn at, threatened, laughed at, and even physically attacked. If someone loves Christ and has not been persecuted, maybe they would consider joining our team this Monday.

Prayers appreciated for our team. I leave soon for the battlefield.

2 Timothy 3:12 

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

John 15:18 

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.

Matthew 5:44 

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

1 Peter 3:17

For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.

1 Peter 4:12-14 

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

See Clearly

I woke up early this morning and the world was fuzzy, my eyes particularly dry.  It took several minutes of blinking to bring everything back to normal. I'd gone to bed at midnight -- after 15 straight hours of editing my book.  It has a strong pro-life message, and I wanted it out (if all goes perfectly) by Thursday, the 42nd anniversary of Roe V Wade. I figured I must have really strained my poor eyes.

Finally, all the blurry was gone after much blinking. I was so tired, but I had another edit run through before sending the files for review. I went to put in my contacts. That's when I realized I had never removed my contacts the night before. I had slept all night with my contacts still stuck on my eyes. That cannot be good, but I had only had closed eyes, deprived of oxygen, for 6 hours.

There must be a symbol in this, besides stupidity and fatigue.

When the king of Syria surrounded the camp of Elisha and his servant to seize them, the servant quaked with fear. Elisha and he had arisen early in the morning to see Syrian soldiers, horses and chariots surrounding the city. The servant cries to Elisha, We are in massive trouble now...what do we do? This is impossible. I cannot see how we are going to get out of this mess, Batman! (This is a paraphrase.)

Elisha then delivers one of my favorite rallying cries in all of scripture:
“Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16)

Then Elisha says to his frightened servant, Rub your eyes! Your contacts are already there! You just have to realize you can see!  See clearly the encouragement of God! oh Lord, help this man to see he forgot to take out his contacts and if he just lets your healing oxygen fill his dried out orbs, he will see you are there and always have been. (Paraphrase again.)

The servant then looks around, and sees the chariots of God all about them, in such vast numbers that there is little doubt who will win the battle.

I have another six hours of edit to go...I hadn't planned to publish quite this soon, but it seems so appropriate that my book, a call to examine the precious value of life, come out on the anniversary of the day when our nation chose to devalue it. As a nation, I hope we will collectively rub out tired eyes, see God clearly, and understand.


  2 Kings 6: 15-17

15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Sun and a Shield

An unexpected warm sunny day graced our city. I could almost feel the hint of spring, though even in the sunny south, Spring is two months away minimum. After a week of rain and cold grey skies, the sun was such a cheery, and welcome surprise.

And another cheery surprise greeted my inbox this morning. My latest book, Poppy, is featured on a wonderful literary blog. Here is the link for those of you who would like to share and help the new book go viral:

Meanwhile, in another drama, one of the new expectant mamas I work with to try to  help her in her very difficult circumstances needed a car-seat to bring her baby home after her c-section Monday. I found someone with a car-seat to donate, but due to a series of unfortunate events, the car-seat ended up an hour from me, and the donors had left for vacation when they realized it. Two people offered to buy one, but when I priced them, I almost fainted. Car-seats are way more pricey than they were 17 years ago when I had my last baby. I decided it would be better to save those generous people's money for other urgent ministry needs and work with the car-seat donor to see if we could find a solution. After some time, we worked out that the donor would get the seat to me after the weekend, and I would still have time to get it to the mama. It complicated things a bit, since the mama doesn't live nearby and I was going to see her this morning to drop off food. I would have to make the long trip twice in a span of 3 days, but if it saved the ministry money for future needs, it was worth it. This morning, I settled down to coffee and received a text on my phone.

"The carseat is there."

 I looked out on my porch. There was the car-seat. How the donor managed to make that happen, I don't know. But it was like a gift from Heaven. Like the sunshine.

Sometimes, it feels like the rain and cold and dreariness will never end. But it does. This is God's promise, and He shows us with every break in the rain.

Philippians 4:19 

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

2 Peter 1:4 

By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

2 Corinthians 1:20

For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

Philippians 4:13 

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Titus 1:2 

In hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began

John 14:18 

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Psalm 84:11 

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

2 Corinthians 7:1

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.