Monday, November 30, 2015

The Promise of Miracles

After the miracle of my broken keyboard working all on its own, it broke again. I guess it was a timed miracle, designed just to get me through the holidays. I had been told last week the keyboard was not still under warranty...which disturbed me.

I had my eye on the latest keyboard, which has fingerprint recognition so I don't need a password. However, it is $159. I could not justify that while I had a working keyboard. When the keyboard died, I made an appointment at the Microsoft store, to trouble-shoot, but knew I was likely going to have to get the new keyboard, for way more money than I should be spending right now.

The trouble shooting led to inconsistent results. Then the technician told me, "This one is still under warranty."
Who was I to argue?
"Really!!!??? Could I upgrade to the new keyboard?"
Without even a nod, he got a new keyboard from the stock shelf, attached it to my Surface Tablet, and installed the fingerprint recognition feature (which worked like magic.)
"$30, please."

On the way home, I remembered how I had been asking God why about some very hard issues in my life. I know better than to ask Him why, but sometimes I can't help myself. Now, as I drove, smiling like a Cheshire cat, I asked, "Why? I don't deserve this, Lord...but I am grateful."

I came home, and decided to set up the Christmas tree. Sadly, half the lights would not light. It is a pre-lit tree, so I couldn't just put a new string of lights on it. Hubby and I fiddled with bulbs for half an hour.

"Let's try putting the angel on top of the tree, and plugging her in...maybe it is related," I suggested. I was not very hopeful.

He put the angel atop the tree, plugged her in, and the whole tree lit up. We don't know why that worked. Once again, why isn't the important question. The important question is WHO and the answer is GOD.

I know all you electrical whiz brains out there might know why this happened. Maybe you even know why the keyboard that wasn't under warranty, suddenly was, and why Microsoft was willing to upgrade as though my broken keyboard deserved a full price refund.

The angel on the treetop is shimmering, glowing with the promise of more miracles. I love Christmas.

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.”

And God was doing extraordinary miracles

Sunday, November 29, 2015

What Really Matters

We had to have Thanksgiving a day late, to accommodate my busy daughter, son, and daughter-in-law's schedule. What a blessing to see them. There is little I would rather do than see my kids. I assume every mom feels that way. They mean so much to me.

God could have made humans like crocodiles. Once croc babies are born, they are on their own. Some crocoldile mamas will help their little snappers down to the water, but then she smacks them on their scaley behinds, and says, "Happy life! Eat or be eaten." Thus ends her maternal protection.

In contrast, God made human mothers so that their young matter more than life to them. Whether we want to or not, we worry, we grieve, we applaud, we pray without ceasing on their behalf for years. In fact, their entire life. We watch as hopefully and as closely as we are allowed to be sure the world doesn't swallow them whole. I would die for my children.

Fortunately, this Thanksgiving, I didn't have to die for them. I just had to make a bunch of luscious dishes to remind them that I love them enough to die for them. (For someone who's not fond of cooking, this is dying for them, in a way...)

God DID die for His children. Literally.  He knew we would never make it if He didn't find a way to cover our wretched sins so we could find our way back to Him. As a parent, I totally sympathize with God.

1 Timothy 5:8

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Friday, November 27, 2015

When Holding on Is Impossible

While preparing food, the thumb on my dominant hand decided it was done. It shrieked in pain and told me in no uncertain terms, it was retiring for the day. I seem to have sprained it deep at the base. Not everything hurts. Just everything an opposable thumb is best suited to oppose.

I always look for God's messages in the little details in life, because that is where I think He lurks. Anyone can find God in the big messages. I consider it an exciting daily challenge to find Him in the little ones.

The thumb sets us apart from most other creatures. It is the striking evolutionary advantage of most primates. We have opposable thumbs that can grip objects firmly. We can hold on tightly to the things we don't want to let go.

Unless the thumb is sprained. And then we can only hold on with excruciating pain.

So, let go, says God. Let go, and trust me to hold on to that which should be held.

Since I have little choice, I agreed.


Isaiah 41:13
"For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.' 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Source of Thanks Giving

Habakkuk 3:17-18
Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.…

I have been thinking a lot about gratitude. What am I grateful for? I have a big list: God, family, friends, rivers, sunrise, sunset, animals, oceans, rivers, mountains, blue skies, rainclouds, rainbows, trees, flowers, art, writing, purpose, dreams, new haircuts....

The list is endless. I don't always remember how much I am thankful for, however. I often think instead of what I am not thankful for.

In a nutshell, it is this:  Everything God has given me in this world can be lost.

None of it is given to me permanently, despite how tightly I cling to it. Not my home, my marriage, my kids, my health, my parents, my friends, my finances, my dogs...All of it will pass away.

Ever since I was a tiny child my gratitude has been tempered with an agonizing awareness of the angst, the pain of ultimately losing everything I love. We all will. Some earlier in life than others, but ultimately nothing on our list remains in the end...

...except God.

A relationship with Him. If we want it, it is ours. For eternity.  It can never be lost. It will not be revoked.

True gratitude is based on this and this alone. All we are given is through Him, but everything on earth is to be enjoyed only for a season. He is the source of all we are given, and one day it will all be removed, except Him. God alone remains.

I am grateful that I am inexplicably loved by the Creator of the Universe and one day, will return to Him and all understanding will finally be mine.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Psalm 7:17 

I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

When Good Intentions Fail

The pro-life nurse called me in the morning yesterday with a mission. A young, pregnant woman who only spoke Spanish had almost aborted, but instead chose life. They needed a driver to get her to the Pregnancy center in Monroe. She had connected with a counselor there, and was in need of a lot of  crisis intervention. Her situation was very hard.

My job was to pick her up at an apartment in Charlotte, drive her to the appointment 40 minutes away, wait during her session, and return her to her place afterwards. It was urgent, or they would not have asked me.

I showered in two minutes, plugged the addresses into my GPS, and shot out of the house.

An hour later, after circling like a buzzard for forty minutes, I still had not found her apartment. I could not call her as I didn't speak Spanish and she spoke no English. I have Google Translate on my phone, but was using my phone for the GPS. The Spanish speaking nurse tried to get me better directions from the young woman, but finally, we had to give up. The young lady just didn't know the area well enough to direct me to her, and the address was not correct. Finally, the nurse decided they would reschedule for next week, and try to find this woman's home that even their computer was unable to locate.

Two hours later, I returned home, having accomplished nothing other than burning a few gallons of gas. To say I was frustrated would be an understatement. Like everyone this week, I had a ton of stuff to do in preparation for Thanksgiving, and I have three books I am editing right now.

But the baby's life was more important.

So why had my great intentions been foiled?

This is not the first time my good intentions have gone awry. To say I had the perfect attitude facing this inconvenience is just a tad shy of the by about 40 miles.....

I am not thrilled with this tendency lately for good to be rewarded with loss. It seems to me if our motivations are good, results should be good. I have to cover my mouth with both hands to keep from shouting, "Why, God?"?

God rarely answers why. I know that. So why do I have to squelch the need to know WHY?

Another question He rarely answers: HOW LONG?

Sometimes, we are required to struggle in the fog of incomprehension for a very long time. God could remove the situation, and the fog. He could answer our anguished questions. If He doesn't, there has to be a purpose in it. Either there is something we are to learn, or our trust in following Him needs bolstering, or our character needs refining, or our faith needs testing.

And there probably are other reasons. The more I know of God, the less I anticipate what He will do. He cannot be put in a box. He is one incomprehensible surprise after another.

As I drove in circles, several people stopped to try to help me. They looked at the address I had been given, plugged it into their smart phones, and came up as empty as I had. I was warmed by the consideration of strangers, but it didn't help my errand of mercy. I cannot see any positive result of not being able to fulfill such a seemingly simple task.

But God is not unaware. I really had no choice but to leave it in His hands. If I didn't, I would still be circling downtown Charlotte till my tank was empty.

I don't think the message is that we should ignore His promptings to follow our good intentions. That would go against a whole bevvy of Scriptures. I think perhaps He is driving home the message that we are to obey Him, but the results are not in our hands. The results are His province, not mine. Do good with no expectation of where it will lead. If I trust God, I must trust He called me to action for a reason. That must suffice in and of itself.

1 John 3:18 

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. ...

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Of David. Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness. I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites. I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked. ...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Speak the Truth in Love

Mondays are my favorite day of the week. I know this is strange, but I cannot wait to get out to the sidewalks of the abortion center, and see what amazing things God will do. Something always happens that fills my soul with awe. I am always humbled, and always learn something new about truth, mercy, and grace.

This Monday,  a woman was listening to all of us counselors, as we spoke through our megaphones and begged her to come talk with us. At first she laughed at us, which often happens. Then she seemed angry, which also often happens. Finally, she came walking over to me.  She was either going to pummel me or give me a piece of her mind.

I introduced myself and asked if the abortion was for her or for a friend. She said she was not there for an abortion. I asked if she was there for a check up. No. Was her friend there for an abortion or a check up? No. When I pointed out that was all they did there, she dropped the subject.

She was furious with us for "judging others." We hear that a lot. I asked her to explain what we had said that was not true or judgmental language. She could not, but she didn't like the fact that we would try to tell others what to do, when it was their choice. She was not concerned that the baby had no choice.

She agreed the baby was human, though later said she had not really agreed to that. She decided it was human at the point it had a heart beat. When I pointed out that the heartbeat began at 17 days, long before most women even know they are pregnant, she didn't argue anymore about the baby's humanity. 

She agreed that the taking of human life was wrong. She agreed that some things that are legal are not moral. In the end, we had a really nice discussion, and I gave her my name and phone number. I urged her to call me to continue our discussion.

A few minutes later, a car drove out of the lot. The driver smiled, and the woman pointed to the sign we had leaned against a tree. It had a picture of a baby, with the words, "Saved from abortion." It certainly appeared the couple had decided to save their baby, based on their body language.

"That's the woman you were talking to!" one of the counselors said. They had pulled away so quickly, I could not say for certain it was her. But if it was, she had not been in the building long enough to have had an abortion.

You just never know when even the angriest person might be in the throes of God's convicting power. Speak the truth with as much love as you can, and then trust that God is working in that person's heart. Nowhere do I experience the fruit of that more than on the sidewalks of one of the saddest places on earth.

Ephesians 4:15

 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; ...

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Monday, November 23, 2015

There is God

So, I picked up my computer from the Microsoft Store. My old one, still under warranty, was switched out for a new model. I had the new one home one day, and the keyboard started doing funky things, like not typing when I hit the i, the l, and the backspace. But then sometimes, those keys would work. So I wasn't sure if it was me, or the keyboard that was deficient.

I called Microsoft, and they told me to bring it in. I did so, and they told me a critical update had just been released, and once I installed that, the problem would be taken care of. However, the critical update would take an hour, so they told me to go home, do the critical update, and all would be well.

I went home, did the critical update, which took two minutes, and all was not well.  The problem with my keyboard, though reduced, was not solved. They told me to do a "power shut-down" which should solve all my problems. It did not. I called them back, and they scheduled another tech appointment today.

Meanwhile, I turned off the computer, and ate dinner. When  I returned from dinner, the keyboard had miraculously healed itself. I typed this blog without any trouble.

All I can say is: God performed a miracle.

Sometimes He works like that. It defies any reasonable expectation how God can take an impossible situation, and work it in the absolute strangest way possible into something good. All of you who have seen God's miracles in action know exactly what I am talking about. All you who are skeptics just think I am nuts. I was a skeptic once. Finally, the inexplicable miracles got to me.

I had no choice. I had to choose God.

For those of you lying in a ditch, covered with the vomit of your own sinful life, there is hope. There is God.

Acts 4:30 

While you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.

And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

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.”

And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Wonders In His Name

As I always do, I sent a Bible verse yesterday to each of the twenty women I follow who I counseled at the abortion mill sidewalks. These women chose life over abortion, and many need daily encouragement to stay the course. This is the verse:

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.” Matthew 17:20

I instantly got a return text from a woman who just met me last week. She was determined to abort when I met her, but changed over the course of our discussion. When she saw her baby on the ultrasound, as well as heard the life-affirming words of the nurse, Sherry, her perspective shifted. We did talk about God, but it was a rushed day with eight women choosing life, so I didn't have nearly the time to share the Gospel as I would have liked.

Here is her response in her text after reading the verse:
C: I needed this. Thank you Vicky! Your verses always come at the right time everyday. JUST when I can't believe I am doing it [having a baby] or questioning my decision.
Me: You are so welcome! I am glad. God is powerful!
C: He is. I have been changed since the day I met you. Thank you so much.

Look at that. Just like the verse said; though a grain of faith is shared, it can move mountains!

That is the power of God. This young lady took one step in obedience to Him, and read just a little of His word daily, and she was TRANSFORMED. And I am overjoyed by the miracle of redemption.

Acts 4:30 

While you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.

And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Perfect Peace

I have a wonderful  Facebook friend who posts Bible verses each day with beautiful photos from her stunning farm in Virginia. It always lifts my spirit. There is so much sadness, fear, evil, confrontation, despair, and hopelessness in the world. It is heartening to see that spash of optimism each day with the reminder that God made a beautiful world.

Today, I really needed that. Honestly, every day I need that. God is in control. God loves you and He loves me. He longs for us to enter His Kingdom and share the bounty of eternity in Heaven. That is awesome. It is important to remember that.

Philippians 4:6 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

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.”

Isaiah 26:3 

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

1 Peter 5:7

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

Thursday, November 19, 2015

According to His Purpose

My computer is being switched out for a new model. It is still under warranty and doing funky things it shouldn't be doing. Thus, I am using my iPad while the computer geeks transfer all my data and programs to the replacement. I love my iPad but it does not have all the features of my computer. Also, I don't use my iPad much, and it is not as familar as my computer. Working on my blog is harder, though I do love some of the art programs on my iPad. The art on this blog was created on the iPad. 

We get used to the familiar, and change is uncomfortable. However, have you ever noticed that God almost never works in our comfort zone? He is forever prodding us to step outside the known, and embrace 'the road less traveled.' 

As soon as I get comfortable and feel like I can predict what God will do, He throws me for a loop and completely changes the program. He is the God that promises Abraham he will be the father of many nations, and then tells him to kill his only son. He is the God who tells a pregnant unwed teenager she will bear the savior of the world and she should not fear her unwed motherhood. He is the God who tells a man who stutters that he will convince the mightiest man on earth, the Pharoah of Egypt, to let his enslaved, downtrodden people free. He is the God who tells the most powerful evil in the universe to kill His only begotten son, and then in that very act, defeats Satan's hold on mankind forever.

I don't like change, any more than any of us do. I want my familiar, comfortable computer back. But I am intrigued by God, and the surprises He is forever unveiling. I have no idea what is coming next, but for those who love the Lord, it is always for good. Following God is not always comfortable, but it is definitely exciting.

Romans 8:28 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

The Desires of My Heart

Hubby and I went for a ride in the country, and stopped at a little house on the river, so I could dream. A great blue heron lives in the tree on this property. I can't imagine anything much lovelier than sitting on this deck sipping coffee, and watching the great blue heron stretch his wings.

The Bible says:

Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Many people focus on that last part of the verse: receiving the desires of their heart. But I think the first part of the verse is more important. When we delight in the Lord, His desires become our desires. As my heart aligns more closely with God's, contentment and peace reign.


Psalm 37:4 

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Aged and the Young

I love the south! Here it was late fall, November 17th, and I got to go kayaking! Now if I had fallen in the water, I might have been cold, but fortunately didn't. It was a gorgeous day, and it was a blast kayaking with my young friend, Danielle.

I am about thirty or so years older than Danielle, but she has been my friend for seven years, and regularly checks in with me. She frequently asks me to ski or kayak with her. She is also forever asking me to take up whitewater know the kind where you roll in the water, and sometimes go upside down on the rocky river....

I tell her no. Friendship has its limits. I think she forgets I am old enough to be her mother. However, I would not have gone kayaking yesterday if she hadn't egged me on.
"Too cold for you to kayak?"
"Probably. Why? Are you going?"

I had a ton of work to do, but decided it had been ages since I'd seen Danielle, and I do love kayaking. I have been so busy with my books, I haven't kayaked in two months. So I met her at the river. She and her friend Ethan played in their crazy boats, turning upside down in the frigid water, while I sedately paddled in my nice, stable boat beside them.

It was the old gray mare with the skittery colts.
I am always impressed by young people who enjoy the company of people of all ages. So many young people think we grey-hairs have nothing to offer. The Bible reminds us: “You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

It is interesting that in this verse from Leviticus 19, honoring the aged, and showing respect for God are linked. The natural inclination of the young, is to find wisdom and truth in other youngsters. Now that I have the advantage of age, I realize what incredible folly that is. To ignore the wisdom of those who have earned every grey hair is foolish. And the wisdom this grey-haired-one has gained is that I have none, outside of what I know of God. 

And that I would be foolish to try rolling in a kayak.

Proverbs 20:29 

The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Abundant Overflowing Power of God

EIGHT babies lives were spared Monday at Charlotte's busiest abortion mill! It was the craziest day I have ever experienced there, a deliciously, exhilarating insane day. At one point, there were four mothers on the pro-life mobile ultrasound RV at the same time! The photo above is of part of our team. Two other counselors had already gone home. If I learned anything that wild day, it is this:

God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,   Ephesians 3:20

Lisa Metzger, one of the most ardent pro-life warriors on earth, texted me Monday morning. A mom she'd been working with was wavering, and was now thinking she would get a pill abortion. She would agree to go on the ultrasound on the RV before going in the abortion mill. Lisa gave me some background, and set a time for me to meet the mama. 

I jettisoned into whirlwind mode, gathering verses and material that I felt would be helpful with this particular mama. Then I read scripture and prayed...and asked my Facebook prayer warriors to pray. 

When I arrived at the mill, it was with some dismay I remembered we did not have the sound permit this week, thus were deprived of one of our most useful tools in urging the women to choose life. We can normally speak on the microphone and women can hear us in the building. However, all of us had our trusty little megaphones.
(The photo is from a different day, but no one took a picture of us Monday with our megaphones.)
Anyway, a young man listened to me, and when his girlfriend went in the mill, he came over to talk with me. He said he was a Christian, but he and his girlfriend were worried there might be medical issues. I begged him to get her out and get our free ultrasound rather than support the abortion mill, which no Christian should ever support. He took my literature and went in to get his girl friend, 'A'.

At that moment, another mother and her daughter, 'B',  came out of the mill. They came to me, and asked if they could see the baby on the ultrasound. The girl wanted to abort, but felt she needed to see the heartbeat first. So I brought them into the RV, and my team waited for the other couple to emerge from the abortion mill.

While I was counseling 'B', there was a knock on the RV door. One of the other counselors, Anna,  came in with 'A'. While doing the ultrasound with the nurse Sherry, me, and 'B' in the back room of the RV, 'C' came on the RV. 'C' was the mom Lisa referred to me. Now Moms 'A', 'B', and 'C' were all on the RV. There was another knock on the door.

I had just finished counseling 'B', who chose life for her baby, and was running out to my car for a 'blessing bag' for her. I opened the door of the RV to see our other counselors there with a sobbing woman they had brought for me to counsel. If you are keeping track, this was mama 'D'. I put my arm around the sobbing 'D', heard her story, and sent her in the RV with one of our other counselors, Chrissy.

'A' and her boyfriend went to get coffee while we finished up with 'B'. 'C' went to sit in her car while Anna finished with 'A'. While I went in to the ultrasound with 'C', Chrissy counseled 'D'. Are you confused? You can imagine how frenzied we were then!

 The two counselors who remained on the sidewalk talked on their megaphones, and two women chose life, and left with babies still safe in their wombs. Two others on the mobile RV down the street from us chose life and left with babies intact as well.

'B' told me she had been praying on the way to the abortion mill that if God were real, He would send her a sign.
"Did He?" I asked.
"Ever since I got pregnant, I haven't heard him at all."
"Sometimes He is speaking, and we aren't listening," I said."For example, when you pulled into this place and saw all these people, and this RV parked here, did you think God was sending you a sign?"
"Well, this is your job,"  she said.
"No it's not. Every one of us are Christians who love God, and are volunteers. Every one of us is here because we feel God wants us here, and every morning I pray that He will bring me exactly who He would want me to speak with. Even the RV is funded by volunteers who love God."
She nodded. It began to dawn on her that God was speaking, and had been speaking, loudly. God was sending her exactly what she had requested: a sign that she should keep her child. She decided it would be best to listen to God.

'C' told me she was confused. She lacked "clarity."
"What will give you clarity?" I asked.
"I don't know."
"I can give you clarity," I said. I walked her through a logical progression of proving the baby in her womb was human. Then I walked her through a logical progression of agreeing that the taking of innocent human life was wrong.Then I cited the scripture that is very clear that God does not condone the harming of innocent life, particularly babies, knows the baby from the moment He forms her in the womb, and loves her. Then I walked her through a logical progression of what she believed in her soul about whether God would want her to take innocent human life or not.
"Now," I asked her, "What is not clear?"
"When you put it that way...." she said. "It is clear."
"That is all you need for clarity," I told her, "Boil it down to the root issue. Ignore everything else."

In the end, eight mothers chose life for their precious children! Our team was ready to collapse when it was late afternoon, and none of us had eaten since breakfast and all of us had been nonstop counseling. However, it was the kind of collapse that you welcome. The kind that tells you none of your efforts were in vain, and all of them were bathed in the grace, and mercy, and power of God.

go to to join or donate to this incredible, life-saving ministry.

Psalm 28:7

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Speaking Daily Love

I send daily texts of a Bible verse to about twenty mamas who chose life at the abortion mill, where I speak on behalf of the babies every Monday. There are about five of these women who keep in close contact with me. Most of the others I rarely hear from.

However, I feel compelled to continue sending the  verses. I assume if I annoyed them, they would let me know, or block me. I can see they are read each day. And then, out of the blue, after months of silence from one of them, I got this text yesterday:

Thank you, Ms. Vicky.

That is all. I have no idea how her life is going, or even if she has had the baby yet. All I know is the verse was important enough to her to thank me for it. And so, I will continue sending them. After all, I believe there is power in the Word of God.

Psalm 39:1-3
I said, “I will watch my ways
    and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
    while in the presence of the wicked.”
So I remained utterly silent,
    not even saying anything good.
But my anguish increased;
    my heart grew hot within me.
While I meditated, the fire burned;
    then I spoke with my tongue:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Triumphant Ted Cruz Rally for Religious Liberty

Officially blown away by a presidential candidate. I attended the Ted Cruz Rally for Religious Liberty yesterday. From the moment he strode onto stage, a few things were apparent. No teleprompter guided him,  and if there were any notes, he never used them. Nonetheless, he spoke for nearly an hour with enthusiasm, a clear love of God and country, passion, and conviction.

Much of the rally centered about everyday heroes who suffered religious persecution here in the land of the free, and refused to give up their right to live their faith. Coach Joe Kennedy, a football coach who is suspended from his job for silently praying on the 50-yard line. Pastor David Welch, whose sermons pertaining to homosexuality were subpoenaed by the Mayor of Houston, which he refused to provide. Angela Hildenbrand, a valedictorian of a Texas high school who was told she could not pray as part of her speech or she would go to jail. Dick and Betty Odgaard who declined to host a same-sex wedding ceremony in a small chapel they owned. (It was later revealed, the couple was already married.) They were forced to close the chapel to pay the thousands of dollars in fines.

Since plenty of position papers are out there regarding specifics on Cruz's excellent, conservative program to save our country, I won't mention those. The rally was not about his platform and policies,  but about what motivates him at the core to champion the cause of  religious freedom.

Three strong core values and beliefs resonated in his speech:
#1 God is supreme, and central in his life.
#2 All natural human rights are inalienable, given to us by our Creator.
#3 The constitution should be the guide for all United States governmental action.
#4 The United States of America is the world's greatest hope on earth for freedom.

With those core convictions guiding him, there is nothing wishy-washy about Ted Cruz. He knows who and what the enemy is. He is clear on how it should be fought. He is also clear that it must be fought, and when we fight, we win. He has a resounding optimism and hope, that we are an exceptional nation, and a people that can be empowered when we follow what is right, noble, and pure; the principles on which our country was founded. While listening enraptured to his speech, I jotted down several quotes.

On Faith:
"The greatest act of love is to share the Bible."
"What kind of country have we become when kneeling in prayer is treated as an act of civil disobedience?"

To the media:
"You'll spend three weeks talking about Cecil the bloody lion killed on safari, but Planned Parenthood selling baby body parts is not news?"
"To my friends in the media, why won't you air the Planned Parenthood Videos?"

Regarding Public Acclaim, to Pastors primarily, but also to all of us:
"If you're preaching the word and no one is dismayed, you might want to go back and see what you are preaching."
"If the world celebrates you -- why would they do unto you what they didn't do unto Jesus?"
"The day the NY Times sings my praises is the day I retire from politics."
"No wonder we have the government we have, when believers stay home and unbelievers are electing our leaders."

On Religious Liberty:
"Destroying a belief in God is fundamental to destroying liberty."
"If we lose our freedom here, in America, where do we go?"

Standing in Faith for Truth:
"When we stand together, the truth is mightier than the lie."
"The greatest trick the devil plays is to convince the world he doesn't exist. The greatest trick the liberals play is to convince us America doesn't share our Judeo- Christian values."

On Marriage:
[When Cruz went on the Stephen Colbert show, he pointed out that he believed marriage is between a man and a woman, and the Supreme Court had no right to change that.]
"Stephen Colbert said, 'But Ted, marriage is found nowhere in the constitution.' To which I said, EXACTLY. Thus it should be left to the states. And forty states, even California, voted that marriage is the union of one man and one woman."
"This is not settled law. It is not legit, and we will fight." 

On Life of the Unborn:
"Life is not a government creation, but a  precious gift of God. Without life there is no liberty, without liberty, there is no pursuit of happiness."
"Since Roe v Wade, 55 million unborn children have lost their lives. Think of all the scientists...poets, doctors...who never got to breathe, who never got to see the sunlight, because of a nation that has created an industry that traffics in the death of little babies and the sale for profit of their body parts."
"Everyone should watch those Planned Parenthood videos, and ask themselves, Are these my values?"
"If I become president, on the first day of office I will instruct the US Department of Justice to conduct an investigation of Planned Parenthood."
 "The government that has the power to take away life has the power to take away anything at all."

Ted Cruz began the three hour rally with a lengthy prayer for the victims of the terrorist rampage in Paris. He concluded the rally with a lengthy prayer for the everyday heroes of faith and liberty, who stand against the tyranny and injustice of a government that seems determined to squelch public expression of faith, or the conviction to follow biblical principles.

Ted Cruz has an audiographic memory. If he hears something once, he can recall it verbatim. He was a prodigy that used to wow audiences reciting the entire constitution by heart. He is also a Harvard Law graduate, and was a national champion debater.

Those skills will serve him well as President who must have a facile grasp of a huge array of facts. A champion debater, he knows how to argue both sides of the coin. Ted Cruz's greatest gift is ultimately, he knows which side of the coin to choose: the one that says In God We Trust.

I left the rally energized, inspired, and hopeful. Maybe America's best days are not behind us. Maybe we can stand firm against a moral decay, and fight not only the evil that threatens from outside our country, but even more importantly, the evil within.

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Middle of the Journey

I have spent two full days working on the first edit of my pro-life sidewalk counselor book.  I have a problem. I have what I consider is a GREAT title...but I am not sure anyone will get it. But I am afraid to post it, in case anyone steals it. Then, I have this painting for the cover that I have been playing with, but again...not sure it works with the title that I fear no one will get.

The good news is that editing and reviewing my first year as a sidewalk counselor brought back with full impact the miracles God wrought in that terrible place. I had forgotten some of them, and at the time, many had not yet come to their conclusion, and things looked bleak. When you are in the midst of struggle, you do not see God's hand so clearly as when you have the perspective of hindsight.

This is a very important point.

When we are in the middle of a long journey, we can't see the humble beginning nor the hoped for glorious end. We are too far to turn back, but too tired to travel on. It is easy to be only aware of the thorns that snag us from the side, the stones along the way that lodge in our shoes, the rain that dampens our spirits, the cold that freezes our resolve, the sun that turns our hopes and dreams into mirages that vanish as soon as we draw near. Sometimes, we lose sight of the beauty along the way.

John Lennon said, "Everything will be ok in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end."

Now I would hardly look to John Lennon for spiritual guidance, however, I like this sentiment. I would add a caveat.  To those who put their faith and trust in Jesus, the end will be good. I do not believe that will be the case for those who don't.

However, God also encourages us to continue on the journey even when it seems impossible. He promises that a great reward awaits those who persevere. I love this quote that I discovered yesterday: Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.(Sir Tagore)

If you are in the middle of a difficult journey, you are not alone, even though it feels like it. Keep your eyes on the goal, the upward call in Christ Jesus, and keep taking the next small step of obedience. One day you will look back from the mountaintop, and marvel at your lonely journey with the insight you would never have made it on your own.

Philippians 1:6 

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Delusion of Sin

This morning, bleary-eyed and stumbling to make coffee, I noticed the refrigerator shelf was all covered in stains and crumbs. How did it get that way? What a pigsty! The Filth Elf must sneak in somehow, because I keep a spotless home.

With a sigh, I removed the shelf and cleaned it. It takes little time, but it is one of the last things I ever notice or deal with. In actuality, I am not a fantastic house cleaner. It is usually neat, but scrubbed and vacuumed and dusted? No.

As I cleaned the shelf, I remembered the first time my mother-in-law mentioned I should clean the refrigerator. I was flabbergasted. What was there to clean in a refrigerator? I know. I should be ashamed to even admit this. But it is true. I simply did not see how dirty a refrigerator becomes without regular cleaning. Literally, did. not. see.

This is how I feel so many of us respond to sin. It is staring us in the face, kicking us in the shin, strangling us to death...and we do. not. see.

The shelf looked much better, sparkling clean. I need to do this more often.

1 John 1:8-10 

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Honoring God

Since Book 4 of my horse series, newly finished, is in the hands of beta readers now, I worked on the cover painting all morning. I am really excited about this book. Book 3 is with the editor and should be out by the end of the month.

I have been writing so much non-stop the past month, that taking a break for a day felt sacrilegious. I plan to start a new book today if all goes as planned. However, I don't know if I want to go to Book 5 in the Burton Farm Series, Book 3 in the dog series (the Whippoorwill Chronicles,) or edit my nonfiction book about being a sidewalk counselor. That one is already written, but needs a lot of work since it is only a very rough first draft.

If anyone wants to weigh in on that decision, have at it!

Any way about it, I am totally re-energized after receiving the letter from the woman who decided not to commit suicide after reading my book. I realized with renewed clarity that my job is not to seek fame, not to seek fortune, not to seek Twitter followers...My job is to glorify God in my writing. I have no control over any of those other things. But I can control how I honor God in my work. If I do that, He will use it for His purpose, and that is what I desire most of all.

1 Corinthians 10:31 

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Broken Heart

I love how God brings needy people to us when we minister on the sidewalks of the abortion center. We just never know how we will be used when we are out there.

It was pouring rain, and cold. We were all chilled to the bone almost immediately. Normally, we are so intent on trying to save the babies, that time flies by. Not so much in the wet, miserable cold. Time tends to move a little more slowly then. However, blessings poured down like the rain.

Two women chose life for their little babies, and that is always a thrill. That never gets old! But sometimes, it is the "side discussions" that fill my heart just as much.

We try to stop every car that drives by. Some are heading to the few businesses at the end of the street but the overwhelming majority are there to go to the abortion mill. Anyway, a huge van filled with boxes was driving slowly by. There was a man about my age alone in the van, but I stopped him anyway. He clearly wasn't there for an abortion, but I felt I was supposed to stop him.

He told me he was lost. He was from Chicago, and was going to the big Christmas Expo with supplies. I used to go to that show every year with my daughter, so knew exactly where it was. He was way off the right path. How had he ended up in front of the abortion center?

He admitted he was not thinking straight. His face was very sad. I asked if he was okay. He was not. He had just lost his wife four days ago to pancreatic cancer. He was utterly bereft, and struggling to get through the day.

"She was my everything," J said, "Normally when I travel, I would be calling her." His eyes misted.

I have a friend whose wife died about a year ago of pancreatic cancer. I saw nearly daily posts from him as he struggled through those dark days. While I know he suffered terribly, in the midst of his despair he always clung to God. Almost always his grief was tempered with beautiful illustrations of hope, and faith.

I suspected my friend could help J.

I told J about my friend. I asked if he would want to talk to someone who had been through what he was going through.

"Yes," J told me, "I am so lost. I think that might really help."

I gave J my number and told him to call me later. I would check with my friend to see if he would be willing to talk with him. I prayed with him, and asked God to somehow send heavenly comfort in the midst of this sorrow. J told me he hadn't known why he was stopping to talk with me, but felt compelled to do so. When he saw all of us out there in the rain, standing up for little unborn babies, he had a feeling God had led him there for a reason.

When I got home, I texted my friend. He said he would be happy to talk with J, as someone who could relate to what he was going through.

Praise God for these divine appointments. We all want to be there for the shining moments, the big events, the astonishing works of miracles and wonder. But sometimes, what God would have us do instead is be wretchedly cold in the pouring rain, and simply offer a smile and a prayer to a broken heart.

1 Samuel 12:24 

Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

A Letter From a Woman Who Almost Killed Herself

I was declined by a major book advertiser, for my book The Bark of The Covenant. I was feeling pretty bummed, although they decline books sometimes simply because they just don't have the space to run the ad at that time. Authors are encouraged to keep trying. 

Anyway, that same day, I received a letter on my Facebook Author Page from a reader of that very book. She gave me permission to publish the letter. All I can say is thank you Jesus for giving me the desire and ability to write. I have never been so moved by a reader of my books, nor more grateful to God for filling me with the desire to speak of Him and His goodness at every opportunity. It is important to note that the book she mentions in the letter is fiction. I made the story up. Apparently, it was her story. And incidentally, the applause of heaven is way more satisfying than the applause from any where else. Her letter is reprinted below.

Dear Mz Vicky , 
I have only written to one writer in my entire life (Gloria Teague). I have ended up being friends with Gloria. I read Bark of the Covenant and was immediately washed in a strange understanding. Like Angela, I grew up with a father who was abusive. I was whipped and verbally abused daily. I don't remember my parents ever praising me, telling me I was pretty or smart. I was told that I was bad and dirty and stupid. I was never defended for anything even if I was in the right. 

Because of my home life, I left home at 16 to marry a man 7 years older. They say that sometimes you marry your father and in my case I did. For 9 years I suffered beatings and horrible emotional abuse. I gave birth to 9 babies, 4 of whom did not survive. I ran away from my husband after he drew a gun on me. 

During the months following, I kept thinking that God really must hate me, after all, my parents and husband said I was too worthless to be loved. After reading your book, I started to look at things differently; could I really be worth more? 

I have been married to my second husband 38 years. During that time I believed that my life was ok. In recent years I have had several severe health problems and spent a lot of time hospitalized. I was in the hospital last week. My husband came to visit and informed me that he would not live with an invalid, and was filing for divorce. 

When I came home, my thoughts were on leaving this world, no one cares for me, even God. I must have done something really bad and was being punished by the Almighty. I had a bottle of narcotics in my hand. I put it beside me, and picked up your book. 

Maybe I'm not so worthless after all. I have started the second Whipporwill book, and continue to see a little light at the end of the tunnel. I still haven't gotten all my faith restored. Yes, I did have faith at one time. 

I think that God sent me your book. There are too many coincidences not to have come for a reason. I bought your book after reading about what the book was about. I also am involved with a humane rescue. 

Really the reason I'm writing is to say thank you: you may have saved me. Thank you for listening to me also. 

You brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. Jonah 2:6
The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8

Perhaps Danita will read this blog. If you would like to encourage her, feel free to comment. She is one of my heroes now. I hope all of you will keep her in your prayers. Please pray that her husband's heart will be softened and that he will seek God, and love, protect, and honor his wife, who has been through so much heart-break in her life. I sure will!

Romans 8:37-39 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

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.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Monday, November 9, 2015

My Vision at the Abortion Center

Oh goody. Raining again and cold for my day standing on the sidewalk at the busy abortion mill. I am so glad I bought my new rain boots a month ago. They have been used regularly since then! It is a sad place even on sunny days. Rain brings a whole new level of despair. It doesn't seem to slow the people coming in to kill their babies, however. The parking lot has been full on Mondays, rain or shine.

There is always one small delight with the rain. Since I now have such well-made awesome rain boots, I walk in the puddles and stomp. I always loved doing that as a kid. I also loved stomping in slush when the snow began to melt. It was very satisfying to see the solid clump explode in a thousand directions under my feet.

That is my image of what I hope will happen today at the abortion center. I pray that our words of life, and hope, and God will explode in the hearts of the women contemplating snuffing the life of their own child. I pray God's message sprays across every molecule of their being in a thousand different pieces, and permeates their soul. I pray in response, they will lift their face to the heavens, with the joy of a child who discovers even puddles made my God can be danced in.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Multiplying the Glory of God

This is me and "V", a woman I met about a year or so ago at this very place, the busiest abortion mill in Charlotte. Back then, V was inside that abortion center, ready to end her baby's life. She heard us on the microphone, pleading for the women inside to listen to God who would never abandon them.  Instead of abortion, V chose life for that precious child in my arms. It has been a privilege to walk with her on this journey of faith, and trusting in God. It has not always been easy, but she has never regretted her choice.

She returned Saturday to stand on the sidewalks of the abortion mill, and plead with the women walking in. "Don't go in those doors! Come talk to me. I know what you are going through. You don't have to do this!" She called out boldly, and many paused to listen to her. The sincerity in her voice was unmistakable.

I don't normally go on Saturday, but I wanted to be there. It took a lot of courage for V to return to that place, and I wanted to support her. At one point, she turned to me, crying, and said, "I can't believe I ever thought about doing that (abortion.)" I handed her a relatively clean tissue from my pocket.
"But you didn't do it. And now you have a powerful message for those women to hear," I told her, hugging her.

During part of the morning, I ducked into the RV with the mobile ultrasound unit to help counsel a Hispanic woman who spoke no English. I used the Google Translator app on my phone and we found out what we needed to know to help her. We were able to get her the ultrasound and information she needed. She was not abortion-minded, but was in hard circumstances, and our follow-up counseling with a Spanish-speaking counselor will be critical.

Then I hurried back out to V, thinking she would need my help. She didn't. Her words reflected a heart bathed by God's mercy, and spoke loudly and clearly. The baby in her arms silently and powerfully gave her own testimony. I was privileged to step back and watch the Glory of God multiplying.

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40

1 Peter 3:15-16 

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, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ