Monday, October 31, 2016

Flexing Spiritual, and (sore) Physical Muscles To Overcome Adversity and Heal

In the spirit of full disclosure, I defied my massage therapist and went kayaking. She's a Facebook friend, so my crime is now outed as soon as this posts on Facebook. I decided that in all the years I had kayaked, I had not had a frozen shoulder. In the eight weeks since I stopped kayaking (because of a broken rib), I developed a frozen shoulder. It seemed to me the missing ingredient in my life was kayaking.

Besides, frozen shoulders can take one to two YEARS to heal. By then, my kayak will be dust, and my kayak muscles melted away.  Maybe gentle kayaking would loosen the tight muscles and stretch the scar tissue.

I was very careful not to use the aching arm to pull the kayak out of my van. Then, I paddled with very shallow, slow strokes. I went very slowly, and stopped frequently to rock on the waves and rest my weak muscles. It did not hurt, but the muscles were definitely weak. My shoulder felt looser when I was all done, and the pain was even a little diminished. During my many times resting, I thanked God. I have missed kayaking so much.

This conclusive study is clear. I should continue kayaking...but very slowly and not for very long each outing. (Praying my massage therapist agrees. I see her today. Tuesday I start Physiotherapy...wonder what torture she will recommend instead of kayaking?)

But first, I will go to the sidewalks of the abortion center like I do every Monday to flex some spiritual muscles. It is a sad place there, but I go with joy because I believe with all my heart that God has called me to be there, just as loudly as He called me to the lake yesterday.

Spiritual muscles can freeze just like physical muscles from misuse or disuse. If God calls us to do something and we don't do it, our spiritual muscles will atrophy. If God calls us to do something, and we do the opposite or defy and distort His call, spiritual muscles will sprain and even tear. Neither course of action will bring us into a spiritually healthy relationship with God...or others. I know because I have been there. If you are honest, I bet you would have to admit so have you. And FYI, healing is much harder than staying healthy.

I have a new statistic to shout out to the abortion-minded moms. New research shows a baby's heart begins beating 16 days after conception! I have been saying it was 17 days. For many moms, the beating heart is pivotal in their choice for life. Most don't even know they are pregnant only 16 days post-conception! 

This morning, I saw a video made by a pro-life group in which fetal monitors were strapped to the bellies of a line of pregnant moms and then their babies' heart beats were amplified. Can you imagine what an impact that must have on the argument that the 'fetus' is not human, or is just a blob of tissue with no right to exist if his mother doesn't want him to?

Did you know that every single day, more than 3,000 babies are aborted in America? Approximately 11,000 babies are born each day. That means more than a fourth of the babies that should be born are instead killed. This is a nation where equal right to life is the supreme and guiding principle of our society! Yet we abort one fourth of all our babies in the womb! What a mockery, a travesty of what we claim to stand for as a people. How can we claim equality for any rights if the basis of all of them, the right to life, is devalued in the most vulnerable and innocent among us?

Praise God that I have an opportunity to call out to some of those women who think abortion is the answer and try to convince them they are wrong. Jesus is the answer. And Jesus was once a baby in the womb of an unwed, impoverished young woman, engaged to a man who was not the baby's father. She chose life, and all of History pivoted on that decision.

That image makes my mission even more precious to me. The pain in my shoulder does not begin to match the pain in my heart as those mamas swarm into that terrible place.

Proverbs 6:16-19 

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

Isaiah 49:15

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

Isaiah 49:1 

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

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,

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