Sunday, January 31, 2016
Saturday, January 30, 2016
YET, when I walk out the door for MY walk, they both gaze at me with hopeful expressions. Will she still take me? Does she still love me?
Frankly, on really cold days, I don't take them. They move very slowly, and I freeze. I also figure the very cold weather is not good for their old bones. But yesterday was a nice day. I came in from MY walk, and they both were at the door, waiting for me.
"Hey pups, wanna go for a walk?"
Honeybun is deaf so just looked blankly at me, but Lucky can still hear. He wagged his tail, and frolicked at my feet like a youngster. Honeybun then understood, and danced about as well as her aching joints allowed. As I snapped on their leashes, they both waggled their whole bodies in expectant delight.
She will take me! She does still love me!
I read a most wonderful quote by CS Lewis today:
Though I do not believe (I wish I did) that my desire for Paradise proves that I shall enjoy it, I think it a pretty good indication that such a thing exists and that some men will. A man may love a woman and not win her; but it would be very odd if the phenomenon called “falling in love” occurred in a sexless world.
CS Lewis makes an excellent point. If we are created, designed beings, and I believe we are, God would not create us with a longing that cannot, at some point, be satisfied. That list of longings includes: eternity, perfection, and a world without pain, injustice, or tears. Like my dogs, I stand at the door of hope, longing....waiting.
The dogs and I went on our slow quarter mile walk. They ambled stiffly along, sniffing every blade of grass with a faraway look in their eyes. Yet, when it was time to turn around, or for sure I would be hauling them home in my arms, they both tugged at the leash. They both gazed at the horizon they could no longer reach.
And then with a sigh, they turned and we ambled slowly home, as the long shadows of the waning day tickled the grass.
Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you. Zechariah 8:23
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.
Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.
The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
“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.
The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
Friday, January 29, 2016
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of Heaven and Earth.
I have been enduring a troubling struggle as an author. I keep being put in Facebook jail for sharing the news of my book release. So I gave up trying to post the book. Instead, I went to my horse groups to share my background, and hear about their stories. I was boggled by the richness of their tales, and how each one I could turn into a novel! Amazing stories with the common theme of doing anything at a very young age to be around the horses they loved. Lo and behold, they asked me about my book and I was able to share without breaking Facebook rules. Check out the photo below. Look whose book is #1 this morning!
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
A wonderful friend I met through my books designed a promo for my Burton's Farm Series. I didn't ask her to. It was completely her own idea and offering. That's the picture above that accompanies this blog. Amazing, isn't she? She has a special sale going on right now for my print books. Check out her web site for those, and other awesome horse/dog items. The e-books for the entire series can be found on Amazon, with the link to the latest in the series: Gidget the Horse that Waited for Me, here.
A special friend I met on the sidewalks of the abortion center, and one of the first moms I ever counseled, accompanied me to lunch yesterday. Her fifteen-month old girl, a big-eyed charmer, was almost aborted, but instead created joyous havoc at the restaurant. It's always a delight to see L, who I meet with regularly. She is a wise young lady, with a deep yearning for God now that she is on a path to follow Him.
She works the night shift. She told me that she knows I text her with a Bible verse each night, but she waits till she gets off her work shift to read it. It has become part of a cherished routine for her the following morning as she leaves work. First, she settles down on the bus ride home, and prays. Then, she reads my Bible verse as the sun rises, and thinks about what God is saying.
Fill my overflowing heart! Such a little connection for me to make each day with such awesome ramifications for eternity!
As we sat at lunch, and L's toddler was ripping apart a styrofoam plate, I asked L for advice on the story line of the crazy novel I am working on. She had some great ideas, and totally engaged in the creative process. The baby chewed on the styrofoam, and L and I could barely contain our excitement as we worked out an amazing plot for my book.
How I love this lady whose path I never would have crossed had I not been standing on the sidewalks of an abortion center that day. How I love the readers I have come to know that I would never have met had I not written books. The center of both those endeavors was following the clear call of God.
And that's the crux of my message today: follow God's call and you will find treasures you never imagined.
On the top right of this blog page is an email sign up link. If you would like to receive emails about my new books or promotions, please take a minute to join my list! Emails are minimal, but an easy way to become my next amazing new friend.
“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.”
Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
One of the abortion center workers tried to run me down in her car yesterday. I jumped out of the way and she steered after me. She swerved away at the last moment, as I scrambled to the sidewalk. When she parked, I gave her an earful about her murderous spirit, and that at least I had lived a good long life, but those poor babies she helped kill each day had not lived barely at all before being snuffed out. I was not scared. I was hopping mad.
One of the other counselors caught my ensuing tirade on video. The following link takes you to the moments after I leaped out of the way of the car, and she parked. The voice over the loudspeaker is a fellow counselor, but the screaming out to the driver is me. https://youtu.be/tTvP93NryGI
Then, I went back to stopping cars and pleading with women to choose life. It was a strange day. Tons of cars stopped for all of us. The picture below is of two cars in a row that pulled over, and I am counseling the ones in front while Daniel spoke to the one behind. We all spoke to many people, and handed out a good bit of our literature. Still, no one went on our free RV ultrasound, and the day stretched on with only one person choosing life.
One couple stopped and talked with me for quite some time, and then stopped again and talked with Chrissy before turning into the abortion center parking lot. Chrissy and I shook our heads in dismay as they entered the center. How could they have listened to all we had to say and still choose death for their baby? It is often heart-breaking to see all the women who choose to abort, but the most heart-breaking are the ones we spend a good bit of time speaking with and it seems to make no difference.
We consoled ourselves (again) with the reminder that we are not called to produce the results. We are only called to be faithful in proclaiming the truth of the Gospel, love others, and point them to God. The rest is God's work, not ours.
Still, it stinks to not see the obvious fruit of our labor. And to be almost killed in the process....
The car with the couple who had talked to me and Chrissy pulled out of the parking lot. They paused, and gave us a thumbs up, smiling.
"Did you change your mind!?" Chrissy and I cried out in tandem.
Chrissy and I fell into each others arms, dancing and swirling at the gates of hell, utterly overcome with joy. In the end, two babies we know of were saved from death, as well one grey-haired lady avoiding a car driven by an abortion worker bent on murdering the elderly as well.
We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous.
Monday, January 25, 2016
My new iPhone 6s was not even a close second.
First she chose to listen to the Cities4Life counselors, pleading with her to choose life not abortion. Then she chose to commit her future to the only One who controls our future. And now, she has chosen to follow God's command to make public the outward sign of her inward conversion in the sacred rite of baptism.
Now those are empowering choices!
Please pray for me and my fellow sidewalk counselors as we head off today to speak life in front of Charlotte's busiest abortion center. May many women, like my friend, choose what empowers, not what destroys.
(Just in case someone thinks I am serious...that iPhone line WAS a joke...I do really like my new iPhone but there are a few other things that bring me more joy than my phone.)
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Since the streets were too icy to drive anywhere, we were stuck home. This gave me lots of time to get in trouble with Facebook again. My major avenue of letting folks who love horses know about my new horse books is to send updates when I publish a new book to all the Facebook horse groups I belong to. About two hundred. The group members are overwhelmingly grateful to hear about my books, and I have had mostly positive responses.
However, Facebook wants me to buy their ads to promote my books. I tried that once and sold very few. Probably didn't even make back the cost of the ad. Facebook doesn't care. Facebook decided I cannot share the news of my book with my horse groups and put me in Face Book time-out (again!). I may not post to any groups at all until Tuesday.
How will anyone find out about my new book? I am counting on you all. Please share this blog and tell them the new book is in two formats and both on Amazon now. The book is already #5 and also the #1 Top Hot New Release. Yay.
ebook: click here.
print book: click here.
The good news is since I couldn't do much on Facebook, my full attention was devoted to working on my next book. It is a CRAZY story and a lot of fun to write. I don't know how anyone will ever know about anything I write since I can't easily advertise, but I am convinced it is what God would have me do.
And so that is the long lead-in to what I was pondering. If God wants me to write, has given me a clear message, and given me the desire and (hopefully) talent....why would He remove the means by which others can learn about what I have written?
I have so many books inside of me itching to come out, practically clawing their way out. But because marketing what I already have written is so impossibly difficult and time consuming, I run out of time to write. And now my major marketing tool has been shut down.
It doesn't make sense to me. Why does God lead...and then place obstacles in the path? Do I plow through, go around, sit down and be still, kick and scream and cry????
There are some truths I can glean.
1. My plans are not His plans
2. My time line is not His timeline
3. My priorities are not His priorities.
4. He created the world. I didn't.
5. Trust He knows what He's doing.
Exodus 15:2 says The Lord is my strength and my song...
and Ephesians 6:10 says Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
We are never advised to rely on our own strength or our own resources. We are told to do all we are able to do, but the results belong to God. And ultimately, it is He that empowers us to complete the tasks He sets before us.
Who needs Facebook when God is for me?
PS- To circumvent this Facebook policy, please sign up for email updates when my new book comes out. There is a link to do so on this blog, upper right side column, or go to my facebook author page, 'like' it, and sign up for email updates on the left hand side. Then, please encourage all your friends to do so.
Also, if I know you from a Facebook group, I cannot post this blog or news of my new book...but YOU can. I would be most grateful if you would do so.
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. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
I think it may be my best book yet. It has a very important message and some pretty deep issues are discussed. I try to lighten the serious situation with lots of humor and optimism. It also debuts Amy Fox as an editor, and I think she does a fantastic job! If you find typos, blame her. (haha.)
I spent the first snow-day in Charlotte this year working on approving the files for the book. With great excitement, they all passed the review process with only one re-upload needed, and the book went live!
So far, no reviews. Just think. A golden opportunity awaits you. You could be the first to review this book! It was just released last night, but is already #4 in horse books. Not bad since no one really knows it's out there yet.
While it is a book about horses, the people in the book face something all of us face whether we love horses or not. When we see injustice and suffering that we feel powerless to confront, how do we respond? That is the essential question the book explores.
My Bible reading was about Joseph, thrown in the well and left to die by his own brothers, and then thrown in prison by Potipher because of lies by Potipher's wife. Throughout all that injustice, Joseph responded by seeking God more fervently. He did not harbor bitterness or resentment. He trusted God was working on the hearts of those who had wronged him. And then he set out to save those he could in his corner of the world.
That is the proper response. Now go buy my book, please. Find out if that is what my protagonists do! It would be SO exciting to send it to #1 today.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ ...
Friday, January 22, 2016
I taught my little art class yesterday. I am amazed at how eager they all are and what complete joy it is to teach children hungry to learn. I think it may be the age group I relate to best: 8 - 12 years old. They are still innocent and joyful children, but advanced enough to have real conversations with me. When they all left, I realized: That was delightful. What blessings those sweet children are; what ALL children are.
These wonderful kids are so grateful for everything I show them. They are earnest and sincere. They look upon what I can show them in art as magical. I almost want to pay them for the privilege of teaching them! (Almost, but not quite. The cart horse deserves the grain he earns.) I watched their joyful enthusiasm, and thought how blessed they were that they had made the choice to be here in my class, and that their parents had honored that choice.
Today is the anniversary of Roe V Wade. I was supposed to speak at the downtown Charlotte memorial rally, but the weather was too nasty and it was cancelled. I worked my TAIL off preparing my speech. So here it is. I know I look old and tired, and had to use my notes. Focus on the content. It is an important story. I know God spoke to me very clearly as the story unfolded. What is God telling you?
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,
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.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
“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.”
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
I have a pro-life book coming out very soon, and I needed an author photo. I asked Anna if she would mind snapping some of me in action. She didn't mind...though to snap photos, she had to take off her mittens in FRIGID cold. I was so consumed by the message I was giving over the mic, that I never saw or even thought about her taking photos.
But sweet Anna, true to her word, was snapping away. When I consider the people who I am blessed to serve our Lord alongside, I am overwhelmed with the goodness of God. I do not deserve them. Not any of them. Certainly not Anna. But I am grateful.
Too often, we forget to notice the gentle and sweet spirits that unassumingly occupy space with us. They don't clamor for attention. They excel, but never demand that anyone notice. I have no great message from God today except to urge all of us to say thank you to the Anna's of the world. They make it a better place.
Thank you, Anna.
But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
This is another picture of joy. Over two hours away, another mother who chose life was receiving a full apartment of furnishings. She had nothing. The two truckloads of furniture and baby supplies were provided by Cities4Life friends and supporters.
The volunteer, who had a truck and had told me he would transport the furniture, called me on the morning of the transport.
"Vicky, we have a problem."
My heart sank.
"We have so many donations that I don't have room in my truck for them. I am happy for the mother, but how will we get it all to her?" (The mother lived over 2 hours away.)
Fortunately, one of our supporters had recently sent me money and told me to use it as God led me.
Well, God was leading me.
"Can you rent a U-Haul and I will reimburse you?" I asked.
I had hoped the money would last me a year of odds and ends helping the mamas I work with...but that would be hoarding God's bounty.
The overflowing truck and U-Haul is a symbol of how God works. He provides just when we need it, and His Love is always lavish, overflowing abundance. We cannot try to hoard some for tomorrow. His mercies...and His provision are sufficient unto today. We should not worry about tomorrow, until tomorrow.
When the driver, Stuart, arrived at the mamas apartment, he said there was a crowd of people from a local church we had contacted waiting to help him unload. He said the mama was completely overwhelmed. Christians, from age 9 to 50 surrounded her, and prayed for her and this new life following Christ.
When I met this mama, she said she had to abort. She and her own mother and siblings were homeless. No one would help them. There were medical issues. There was no hope. She had no choice.
"Trust God," I told her, "Do the right thing and He will bless you."
She chose life for her child. Cities4life sprang into action. Supporters responded immediately to my list of needs. Not only did donations from C4L supporters help secure an apartment for the mama, but her own mother who had been denied an apartment for two years suddenly received one when they heard that C4L supporters were helping the daughter with security deposits. Our financial counselor is actively advising and working with this family now. Our director lined up a church that is mentoring this mama, but also showed up in force to help unload the trucks brimming with supplies.
An entire extended family, on the brink of destruction, now has hope.
The choice for life for that little baby... and everything changed.
When the overflowing truck and trailer were unloaded, Stuart prayed with her. Then he backed up with his now empty trailer, and called me as he headed on the long drive home. "We left her in good hands," he told me, "What a blessing to be a part of this."
Yes. What a blessing to participate in the overflowing abundance of God.
charlotte.cities4life.org : Be a blessing. Volunteer. Donate. Pray.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
Monday, January 18, 2016
I have been asked to speak at the Charlotte Roe V Wade Memorial rally on Jan. 22. If you want to be there, it will be 12-1, downtown Charlotte, at the corner of Trade and Tryon. I am only allowed ten minutes, but it will be a frightening ten minutes. If you know me, you know I hate to speak in public, and it is not my gifting. However, the more you do what you are terrified of, the more God makes you do it. Has anyone else noticed that?
That is not the positive message though. The positive message is the more you do what terrifies you, the less terrified you become. At least in theory. I never thought I could speak on the microphone on the sidewalk of an abortion center. But I can. I do it every Monday, sometimes for hours.
So God is just reminding me once again that He created me NOT to sit under a rock with all the gifts He gave me. He gave me a mouth. Use it to speak the Gospel of Truth. He gave me hands. Use them to grasp others as they sink in the mire of sin and despair. He gave me legs. Use them to run to those who call out in need of a friend. He gave me a heart. Use it to spread love. He gave me a mind. Use it to show how logical and rational is is to follow God.
He gave me so much, but He did NOT give me a spirit of fear. That is from the enemy. So I will be standing on the corner of Trade and Tryon Friday speaking on behalf of the unborn hoping to persuade someone on the fence, or sitting on the sidelines, to challenge the horror of abortion. I probably will be afraid, but I will not let it stop me. Don't let it stop you, either.
Meanwhile, today, Martin Luther King day, I have a dream too. I have a dream that all the moms who flock to the abortion center today will stream out when they hear Truth and listen to God's prompting deep in their souls. Please pray for all us sidewalk counselors to speak without fear, but in truth and love. It is going to be a cold day to be standing at the gates of Hell.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Sunday, January 17, 2016
I have been out nearly every day for the past two weeks with the intense needs of the women Cities4Life is working with lately. When I was home, I worked on the books in snatches, but it doesn't seem I could have accomplished this in the time I had to do it.
I see no other explanation but GOD. But God. My favorite phrase on earth.
It feels good to feel victorious for a change. Even as I was considering the theme of this blog, and drawing the picture, God sent me a symbol validating my thoughts. I was drawing the picture on my computer when all of a sudden my digital pen stopped working. I crumpled in defeat.
Not again! I seem to be having all kinds of struggles lately with technology. My phone, my Surface Pro 3, and now my digital pen! Defeated...doing the work I am certain God has gifted me to do. What is up with that!?? Trial after trial after trial. When do I catch a break???
I sighed, and started to think of all the possible things that could have gone wrong with my pen. And then, like a bolt of lightening, a thought came to me.
Maybe it is not screwed together tightly and the battery is not quite connecting to complete the circuit.
I screwed the two halves of the pen tighter. Guess what? The pen worked again! Snatched from the throes of defeat, rising victorious, powerful and able to do what God has directed me to do!
The pen was the perfect symbol. When we are detached from God, no matter how minimal the cleft, we lose His power in our lives. We must stay as tightly connected to God as possible, every thread of our being aligned with His.
The pen worked perfectly. I finished my drawing.
For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
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.”
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 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. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes.
Saturday, January 16, 2016
This picture above is of the future of humanity. Notice Barbie's baby bump? The little girls who are playing with these Barbie dolls are little midwives/ultrasound nurses in training. They go regularly with their mother to the sidewalks of the abortion center, and try to talk the mamas into choosing life. When they grow up, they want to help those women. This picture is of their Barbie doll viewing an ultrasound of her baby.
For Christmas, they received a Barbie doll RV. The little girls wanted to convert it to a mobile ultrasound unit, just like we have outside the abortion center. As soon as I heard about the heart of these children, I wanted to enter into their dream. I wrote to their mom and told her I thought I could make an exam table for their RV, like the one on the real RV. Would that be ok?
Well, my intentions, as often is the case, were good. Execution....not so much. I intended to make the exam table out of sculpy clay. I spent hours on it...and it didn't work. While lamenting my lack of skill, my husband walked by. One thing led to another, and per my specs, he made an awesome exam table, complete with a retractable foot rest. I contributed a sculpy clay pad for the top, and hand made pillow and exam sheet.
We are blessed with an exceptional nurse on the RV. Not only does she have a heart for the conflicted mamas, but also for little girls with big dreams. Sherry presented the little exam table to the girls, and then spent the morning playing with them, helping them do the ultrasound on their Barbie patients.
In a world where so many kids spend hours and hours absorbed in violent video games, watching TV shows that glamorize casual sex without consequence, or walking the malls buying all sorts of self indulgent goodies whose pleasure passes in an hour....here are two little girls who grew up watching and mirroring their parents as they lovingly and fearlessly confronted the evil of abortion.
Their dream is to grow up to be like them, speaking and working on behalf of the unborn in one of the darkest places on earth. I don't know about you, but this gives me hope.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
I had the miraculous pleasure of watching a baby reveal himself to his mom on an ultrasound. This is a little boy who was slated to die at the abortion center a month ago.This video (click here) will take you to the incredible moment that his heartbeat was first heard by his mama.Since I am the lucky one who counseled her to choose life, I was also the lucky one to meet her for the 3-D ultrasound session paid for by a friend of Cities4Life. Another friend provided gas money for the mama, as she came from out of state.
On the way out to the Sweet Pea 3-D ultrasound in Concord, I stopped for fast food. I am normally very healthy, but I LOVE french fries. And lately, I have been running ragged helping solve some pretty complicated issues with a couple of the moms I work with, so I needed french fries.
As I pulled up to the window to pay, I asked the cashier, "How are you?"
"Grateful to be here," she said.
"What a lovely attitude!"
"Well I am. Grateful."
Think about that. Here was a woman in a minimum wage job which could not be terribly exciting, and all she had to say was she was GRATEFUL. There was something about her wrinkled face, and expression as she said this that told me the gratitude was hard-won. Her life had not been easy, and what she was now given with an income supplying job meant a great deal to her.
It is often not till we are broken that we understand how much God has offered that we rejected and trampled.
On to the ultrasound appointment with a mama who has nothing. She started crying as she saw her baby on the screen, and then heard his heartbeat. She had wanted a girl, but she had a name all picked out and ready when she found out he was a boy.
"For whatever reason, God doesn't let us pick," I told her, "So there must be a good purpose in that."
That same day, she was given the key to her apartment, the first one she had ever had on her own. This miracle was engineered by Cities4Life friends and supporters, as is the truckful of furniture arriving Monday. As is the baby shower providing two years of the baby's needs.
Two churches in the mama's town, galvanized by our C4L director, will be helping gather the last few supplies and helping the move-in on Monday. The mama, so taken with the love she has seen of so many Christians, will be attending church Sunday. She'd fallen away from God, but was completely overwhelmed by how lavishly He blessed her when she brokenly turned back.
It was an exhausting week overseeing all these pieces falling in place. At the end of the day, I chatted with one of my C4L counselor friends pivotal in helping make this all happen.
"A life saved!" I said, "This is how it is supposed to work. If the church would rise up and do this for every girl who considered abortion, we could change the world."
"Amen," my friend said.
Interested in rising up together for God in this life-saving ministry?
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
"Hello ma'am, what brings you here?" the Apple salesman asked me.
"My phone is possessed."
"Ah, then you need the phone exorcist. Follow me."
I love it when salespeople get in the spirit of my world. What I didn't love is it would be two days before I could get an appointment with the phone exorcist.
So I went to my phone carrier, Verizon, hoping they could help. They had dire predictions. The phone did not look good. While it looked like a hardware issue, it could be a software problem and the only way to find out was to do a factory reset. Goodbye all my apps and data. Now, they would all come back...with hours of work.
"And if that doesn't work, and I need a new phone, what would you recommend?"
"Ah, then the world is your oyster."
"But I am not a deep sea diver...and don't know which oyster to choose."
He smiled, and pointed at iPhone 6.
So, I have always been an iPhone girl. Love my iPhone. I have a 5c. I also have the expensive Lifeproof, waterproof case for a 5c. If I get anything but a 5c, I have to replace the case I love. Still, I guess it is best to truly look at this calamity as an opportunity.
Leaving the old means embracing the new.
So today, before I choose any oysters, I will do the factory reset. But first, I will head off to a 3-D ultrasound with a mama who chose life over abortion a few weeks ago. This is one of the blessed perks of my work. I get to see a mama get a clear glimpse for the first time of that little baby boy or girl in her womb. This mama's life had completely imploded. She ran from her abusive husband and was left with nothing...except the baby in her womb which she intended to abort.
And then she met cities4life counselors on the sidewalk of the abortion mill. She left without aborting after her conscience seared her heart, and went to her emergency shelter where she called me. She still saw no way out other than abortion. After a long discussion of God and the purpose of life, she decided her baby should live, and she would try to make a new life. Cities4Life promised to help.
We called in our volunteer financial advisor, and an area church to counsel this mama. I stayed in daily contact, and advised both the Mom and her own homeless mother on what the next step should be. Yesterday, that mama found out for certain that she will be given a very low cost apartment. The list of needs I had put out on Facebook for this mama's new apartment had been nearly filled by dinner time. A volunteer stepped up to collect the items in his truck and drive them to her town 2 hours away. Only one big ticket item remained. I chatted with a neighbor about the mama, and he offered the last big item, a bed.
The mama moves in next week. She can't wait. She met with the church pastor's wife, who is mentoring her. Her heart is filled with a hope she hasn't felt in years. She also has been counting down the days till the 3-D ultrasound of the child she almost aborted. She cannot wait to see her baby. Her old life is passing away, and she is eagerly embracing the new.
"Now aren't you glad you didn't abort?" I asked.
"Yes, very much so! Thank you so much for all you have done for me. GOD SENT YOU."
Yes, He did, as well as all those other cities4life friends and volunteers. I am so glad I listened and went where He told me to go. Seeing that little baby on the ultrasound and watching his mama's joy will probably even take away the pain of the phone debacle.
Oh yeah...the phone.
I need something waterproof, easy to use, not too pricey, great track record...If I go with iPhone 6, I need to sell my 5c waterproof case. Anyone in the market for one? I need input friends. Go!
If God is piercing your heart to help stem the tide of abortion, please consider sidewalk ministry or financial assistance, or helping with the many needs of abortion-minded moms who choose life instead.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Two women chose life Monday while we pleaded on the freezing cold sidewalks outside the abortion center. Despite the bitter cold, I was warm since I was wearing my polar ice cap coat, ski pants, ski mittens, and arctic hat. (My sister always tells me it is never too cold for any outdoor activity, it is just a question of proper attire.)
It was so cold that one man's car battery died while he waited in the abortion center parking lot. Fellow counselor, Gordon, urged the man to push his car from the lot to the sidewalk. We could not help him by crossing into the private property parking lot, but if he could manage to push his car to us, we would help push-start his car. (By 'we,' I mean Gordon. I was of little help push-starting a car but I would be certain to hand the man our literature and tell him to get back in there and get that woman out of the abortion center.)
The man gave us a thumbs up, and then groaning, and moaning, managed to make it to the sidewalk where we waited. I walked alongside the car, literature in hand, waiting for the man to roll down his window. Gordon pushed the car till the battery sparked to life, and the man drove away.
I was sad I hadn't been able to hand the man our literature. The abortive woman he had transported in the balky car was still inside the center. Gordon told me not to worry. God has this. A few minutes later, the man returned, stopped to talk with Gordon, and took our literature to bring in to his sister who was there to abort her child. Love and care of our fellow human beings can open doors. Don't lose hope even when it seems hopeless. God has this.
Another man tried to drown me out as I called out to the women who were entering the abortion center. He parked his truck in front of me, opened his door, and blasted obnoxious and vile music. Our director, Daniel, heard my voice straining futilely to rise above the evil clamor and brought me a portable speaker. My voice trumpeted with the portable speaker. "You can try to drown me out, but you will not drown out the voice of God, and He will speak. In the quiet darkness of night when you are all alone, He will come, and He will require an accounting of what you have done. This does not have to be a fearful encounter. You can repent, choose to follow God now, before it is too late." The man finally closed his door, and drove away.
When I returned home, my computer broke. An entire file of valuable pictures had vanished. The Microsoft technician on the phone took two hours to fix it. She took remote control of my computer, and saw my many book documents, book cover files, and illustrations. Curious, she asked what all these files were for. I told her I was an author. A frustrated writer herself, she said she starts several projects, realizes they are awful, and quits. Her dream is to write a book, but she can never seem to get very far before giving up.
"That's your problem," I told her, "You quit too soon. Just write. Write no matter what, whether you are inspired or not. Then at the end you can revise, and edit, and cut out the bad parts, but like anything, writing takes dedication and hard work, and the will to just DO it."
She fixed my computer, found the lost file, and set everything right. It took all afternoon, but I was grateful. I thanked her, and asked if she would be sure to email me when her book was on the market. She told me she was inspired and would be sure to do so. And, she told me as soon as we got off the phone, she was going to buy my books.
Every one of those vignettes yesterday had a similar theme. When we have a message of hope, do not be afraid to express it. Love and hope can be inspirational, something as simple as a lovely little red dress on a baby that was slated to die can spark renewed vigor to proclaim life in a dark and frigid place. No matter how loudly evil clamors, the message of God's love and hope can rise above it. No matter how many times failure has dogged a dispirited path, the message of love and hope can reignite a dream.
Secondly, when there is a God-given task before you, DO IT. Don't wait for all the pieces to fall perfectly in place in your life before you put your hand to the grindstone. If the need is there, and God has called you, DO IT.
Before the day had ended, I received yet another wonderful text. It was from a woman who chose life a few weeks ago. She had left an abusive situation and had been homeless, but was texting to tell me she had just secured an apartment. Cities4Life has been helping and advising of the basic logistics in making this miracle possible.
When we met this mama, she had told us there was no hope. She could see no way out other than abortion. And now....everything changed. She has no furniture, no earthly goods but a few clothes...but now she has shelter, a church that will be mentoring and walking alongside her in her area, and the joy of the baby she cannot wait to meet.
Do not quit too soon. Follow God, no matter what, whether you understand where He is leading or not. Life is filled with plot revisions, and few of us get it right in every instance, but that should never keep us from writing our story with a message of hope and love. You never know who might be inspired by our example just as they were ready to give up.
Charlotte area friends, we have a wonderful opportunity for you to help meet this brave mama's needs. We need someone with a large van or truck and the time to transport furniture to a location 2 hours from Charlotte probably next week. Please contact me if God is saying DO IT to you.