Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Love and Traditions

I started Christmas decorating. That was the hardest part. Just getting started. Before my errands, I dragged the tree from the closet. After the errands, I set it up. Before PT for my frozen shoulder, I dragged out the box of decorations. After PT, I started to decorate the tree. Then I had massage therapy. After massage therapy, I was too relaxed and pooped to do anything more than take a picture of the tree. Tomorrow, I will finish decorating.

In years past, I had two trees. One was the colorful tree for the kids, the other was the elegant white and crystal ornament tree. This week, I gave the colorful tree to one of the moms I work with who chose life over abortion. She had no tree. I had no kids at home. Win/win.

One tree is all I can bear to decorate any more. I love the beauty of Christmas, but not the fuss. Still, I will continue to put up the elegant tree if only for the joyful annual tradition with my daughter. She is coming over Friday and we will go shopping for one perfect crystal ornament to add to the tree. I love that tradition and am glad she is still happy to do that with me. Usually we have to scour several stores before we find the perfect ornament. She thinks I am picky about ornaments. Really, I am just relishing the time spent with her in a mutual endeavor.

One day, she (or one of my boys) will inherit the crystal white tree ornaments if she wants them, just as I inherited them from my mom. She is a bit of a heretic though. She told me I needed a single splash of color dotting my crystal tree or "it is boring." To please her, I bought two blue flowers last year.

I will add some more blue flowers this year too when we go shopping together. I must admit, the splash of blue, while daring, is kind of nice amidst all that white and crystal. Also, it makes my daughter happy, and that makes me happy.


1 Corinthians 13:4-7 

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; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

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.

We love because he first loved us.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"Please Tell Me" : Words of an Open Heart

The "pro-choice" escort at the abortion center decided it was beneficial to go to our Cities4Life pro-life sidewalk counselor's children who were drawing on the sidewalk with chalk and tell them their daddy was "an example of bullying for Jesus."

I was the only one who heard her do that, and went over immediately and told the children, "Your daddy is an example of someone who believes with all his heart in speaking truth and the love of Jesus to help others."

How low do you have to stoop to believe it is in a child's best interest to undermine their parents, and cast doubt on their parent's heartfelt, sincere faith and beliefs?

Fortunately, our battle is NOT flesh and blood, but the spiritual realm of darkness. We have as our vanguard the spiritual forces of good, and evil shall not prevail against them.

Admittedly, sometimes it feels like evil is winning. Three babies were saved from death yesterday, but at least thirty died at that terrible place. The video above is of the baby of one of the mamas who chose life. The mobile ultrasound is provided by another great ministry: HELP Crisis Pregnancy Center in Monroe. Along with our ultrasound nurse, Sherry, I had the extreme pleasure of counseling this mama.

When she came aboard the mobile ultrasound RV parked just outside the clinic, I first spoke with her about her situation, asking what brought her to believe that abortion was an option. After she told me, I talked with her about God. She said she was a Christian. I asked if she was sure she was going to heaven. She was not sure. I asked if she knew what the Bible said about that.
"I think so...but I want you to tell me."

So I did.

When she understood the message that if we understand we are sinners, repent of our sins, accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, and believe He is Lord, we are assured we are going to heaven, she broke into a huge smile. It almost looked as though she were holding her breath until that wondrous truth was proclaimed.

"And when we do all that," I continued,  "the Holy Spirit indwells us, and guides us and helps us. I believe it is His voice that prompted you to leave the abortion center."
She nodded, the smile widening.
"And when you did and came here, what did you feel?"

Yes. I could see that.

We talked more about how faith should lead us to action, that a true faith in God should propel us to abandon the sin we know is in defiance of Him. She instantly volunteered that she needed to stop all sexual activity until marriage. What a soft heart, suddenly eager to follow the God she knows, but had not been listening to.

Several times, she looked at me and Sherry and said, "I am so glad you were here."
"So are we," I said.

Prior to that beautiful encounter, one abortion-minded couple stopped their car and spoke with me for at least half an hour, and then two other counselors spoke with them as they sat in their car. They were torn. They claimed to be Christian, knew abortion was wrong, but still wrestled with the choice to abort or not. To my utter dismay, they entered the abortion center. I was crushed. I had said all I knew to say, as I am sure did both my fellow counselors. Still, they chose death for their child. I felt completely dejected and distraught, even though I know ultimately the choice is theirs, not mine.

My Bible study this morning included these verses from Amos 8: 11-12.
"The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD,
"when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. 

Men will stagger from sea to sea
and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the LORD,
but they will not find it. 

This is a frightful message if you don't know God. There will come a day when God will send a famine, not of food, but of being unwilling and unable to hear God's words. This is not because God doesn't wish us to hear Him, but because we have ignored and defied Him for so long that He will finally give us our desires to close His words from us. Ultimately, the unbelievers will stagger, recognizing they are dying without God, but will not find Him. Closing our ears to God may prevent us from hearing inconvenient truths we don't wish to hear, but in the end, that hardness and defiance will lead to death. God's patience will not last forever. The study reminded me of the mama I counseled on the RV when I asked if she wanted to hear God's words on how to be saved: "Please, I want you to tell me."

An open heart, asking and receiving. Ears listening.
Lord, let me be like that!

To cap the day, another mom I work with sent me photos of her newborn. I have permission to share them. She says the baby is so sweet, and she is so happy.

The sting of the couple that heard all I had to offer and still rejected their baby was not quite as painful as I gazed at the photos of the baby who is now alive, and beloved. Still...nagging thoughts: If I were more perfect, spoke more eloquently, quoted more scripture...would more babies live? I don't know. I can only do the best I can do. That is all anyone can do. If the offering is to God, He will use it ultimately to His glory.

Today is  Giving Tuesday, a day to bless the wonderful charities and ministries that uplift those less fortunate than we are. Last night, very late, I received a text from another mom I work with. One of our wonderful network of Cities4Life supporters donated beds to children who wanted beds and pillows for Christmas. I ordered the sheets and pillows with funds from another donor. The beds arrived last night, along with one set of sheets. (The other set arrives today.) Here is the text from the mom, and a picture she was happy to have me share:

Merry Christmas kids. Remember it is the Love of Christ that sent those sheets and beds your way. As you snuggle in their warmth and joy, remember God, and open your ears to His merciful voice.

Revelation 2:7 

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

Hebrews 4:15 

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

Monday, November 28, 2016

There We'll Meet Our Savior

I took this last photo from Cocoa Beach after a tough run in heavy sand. I could've run on the road, which would have been much easier, but I could not bear to leave the ocean the last morning of our vacation.

My Facebook friend and the husband of my audiobook narrator added the quote to the photo. I love it because it captures just what I was feeling as I looked at the sun rising over the gorgeous ocean.

Looking for a city
where we'll never die.
There the sainted millions,
never say good-by.
There we'll meet our savior,
and our loved ones, too.
Come O Holy Spirit,
all our hopes renew.
-W. Oliver Cooper

After a 3 hour traffic jam and 12 hour drive, we are home again. This morning, I return to the sidewalks of the abortion center, hoping that in the spirit of Thanksgiving and Christmas, the crowd there aborting will be light. However, normally, holiday weeks are big abortion days. I imagine this particular center is having a cyber-Monday sale on abortions. I know they have offered sales in the past.

After my time on the sidewalks where I ask God to bring me the hurting women who just need a little hope, a little encouragement, I have a special treat. One of the moms I work with who chose life just had her baby girl. She asked me to come visit, and hold her sweet child. In her words, the baby, "Is the sweetest thing on earth." She didn't have to ask me twice.

I had a disturbing dream. I was supposed to interview a man and then write the article before a big event...and forgot. So I was scrambling to try to do so while the event was occurring. I didn't even know the man's name! I awoke relieved and grateful it was only a dream as I was doomed to fail!

What did that mean, Lord? 

The one thought that came to me was that I gave too little too late.

Don't let that be the story of my life. Don't let me pass from this life to a new reality, realizing I had missed the boat; I had failed the One who gave me my Great Assignment. Let me live this life victoriously, doing what I was created to do for the Lord with full vigor, delight, optimism, timeliness, and excellence. I do not ever want to stand before Him one day having to admit I gave too little too late.

Pray for us as we minister to the women who carry life and death decisions in their soul today.

James 1:23-25 

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Proverbs 6:6-8 

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.

Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Dwelling Place of God

Awake at 5 a.m. yesterday, I crept out to the beach early enough to see the sunrise. It was spectacular and a fitting way to close our week at Cocoa Beach.

After my  morning walk, my hubby and I went kayaking. He had graciously let my sister use our second kayak all week, but she left Friday. So the hubster and I went meandering through the mangrove tunnels on the Banana River, and then along the quiet inlets hunting for manatee.

We hit the manatee jackpot. We found several, but the most fun one was deliriously getting drunk on fresh water flowing from a spigot at a dock. The video of that is below. I was right next to the manatee as he guzzled the water.

Then, we chanced upon the Cocoa Beach annual chili-fest. We didn't find chili, but we did find Jeannie of I Dream of Jeannie fame. You youngsters won't remember that TV show, but it was placed in Cocoa Beach and was one of my favorite shows as a child.

The arts festival was a lot of fun, with expensive, kitschy art. We loved it. We settled for pork BBQ sandwiches since we couldn't find any chili at the Chili-fest. Right at the end as we were leaving we found one vendor selling chili. Too late.

Hubby rested, while I took off on the last bike ride of our vacation. I am really going to miss this place. I love the ocean so much, and at my age, biking on nice flat beach and ocean-side roads is much to be desired. AND I found a lovely whelk shell which I have never found before.

I am very sad to leave this beautiful place today, but will squeeze in one last run along the ocean before we go. I wonder sometimes why God made beauty fleeting. The sunrise is only spectacular for a few minutes. Flowers fade. Lovely young girls grow wrinkled and bent.

But then I remember that He tells us this world will pass away, and we are to long for a new, and better place. Honestly, sometimes I can't imagine how it could get any more gorgeous...

Imagine what we have to look forward to!


Revelation 21:1-5 

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Saturday, November 26, 2016

God Follows Me

Sister Amy is back home in Arizona, and the hubster and I have one last glorious day in Cocoa Beach. All the mamas I actively work with who chose life over abortion have now been paired with a family buying them Christmas gifts. I cannot believe how perfectly God worked this miracle while I was on our Thanksgiving vacation. It felt like He was reminding me: be anxious for nothing. Just as I have got this, I have got you.

My therapist had given me the green light to kayak while in Florida, but not because she felt my frozen shoulder would benefit from it. She said, "You must enjoy living. We will fix you up when you get back home."

I have been doing my exercises and releasing my 'trigger points' of tight muscles each day. I don't think I have lost any ground in terms of range of motion. More importantly, I have biked and walked miles along the ocean with people I love, kayaked among mother and baby manatee, and even through a mangrove tunnel. It has been a beautiful peaceful respite. God is so gentle and so good.

My Bible study today noted that Psalm 23:6 reveals one of the most wonderful things about God.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

His goodness and love FOLLOW me. He is not static, or uncaring, or passive. His love pursues me! The symbolism of that was manifold in my week here in Cocoa Beach. My sister Amy and I spent hours in our kayaks following the ephemeral trail of elusive manatees. We stuck to them, because we were so entranced by their unique beauty. In the end, we found them, and bobbed on the water, content to be in their presence.

To think God follows me gives me great comfort.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Glorious Lord

Yesterday morning I received a text message from the mama who texted me at the last minute from a city two hours away to tell me she had no food. Cities4Life mobilized, and we got her a full Thanksgiving feast and staple groceries. Here is her text to me:

Wow. I can't tell you how blessed I felt knowing I helped point someone who had lost all hope in God back to God.

Next, a mama I work with texted me. She had chosen life over abortion months ago. We matched her yesterday with a family who will be providing Christmas gifts for her and her children. She asked me how the family knew she needed help. She told me she was broke, and she had warned her children she had no money for Christmas gifts. Then God's people stepped forward. Here is my response, and her text to me.

I quickly told her not me, God, but she was grateful God had used me, and Cities4Life to help her.
With that incredible blessing of having been part of such a wonderful service in the name of Christ, hubby, sister Amy, and I took off on our bikes to celebrate God's wonderful creation on Thanksgiving morning.

After a gorgeous twenty mile beach bike ride, Amy and I returned to the Banana River in our quest to find manatee and dolphin. We trailed several pairs of mama and baby manatees, though were unsuccessful finding any dolphins. It wasn't for lack of trying. We kayaked almost 7 miles!

It was a day filled with thankfulness. Everywhere I looked yesterday, God's light seemed to fill the scene.

Then this early morning, I awoke to a text of another family who would like to buy Christmas gifts for a mama I work with. My cup runneth over.

"The glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams."
Isaiah 33:21

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Grace Upon Grace - A Bountiful Reason for Thanks Giving

Yesterday, I was just about to head out kayaking with my sister Amy when I got a text from the mother of one of the mama's I work with who chose life over abortion. This Grandma lives a couple of hours away from my home, but I send her daily Bible verses, and have helped her daughter quite a bit since meeting her at the abortion center sidewalks.

"Miss Vicky, I am in terrible circumstances. I have no food, and no thanksgiving meal for me and my two kids."

Since they live so far away, it is difficult to help them, but Cities4Life , over the past year, did help get both families in to apartments, donated furniture, clothing, and basic supplies. Then we connected them with a local church in their area knowing we could not meet their needs, but hoped the church would stand in the gap. However, the church was not as willing to help as we had hoped, and now, the mama and her two children were desperate.

I didn't know what to do. First of all, I am on vacation. Second of all, I live two hours from that area, and have no contacts there. I put a plea for someone who lived in their area to help if possible, and contact me if anyone was willing. Then Amy and I went kayaking. Still, despite the joy of being back on my precious kayak with my precious sister with me, my heart was heavy for the mama and children with no Thanksgiving meal.

This was my third time kayaking since arriving here in Cocoa Beach. Each time, I kayaked two hours hunting for manatees, and thus far had not found any. But yesterday, it was a manatee bonanza! Manatees came right up to us, and we even got to see a mama and baby manatee. We kayaked for two and a half hours, enthralled with the plethora of manatees. One was right between my and Amy's boats, inches from us.

That dark bumpy grey blob is a manatee. At one point, he bumped my boat, and we saw his tail fluke as he submerged. One of the most exciting moments of my life.

And then, Amy glided slowly up to a manatee who suddenly submerged under the kayak, tipping her and surprising us both. Here is the video of that:

While we were rejoicing in this wonder of nature, my phone rang. It was my friend Danielle, a fellow Cities4Life counselor. She just happened to be in that city where the mama lives who needed the Thanksgiving dinner! She would be happy to shop and deliver the Thanksgiving feast. I sent her the money (from one of my generous donors) through Paypal, and she did grocery shopping and delivery of the feast along with other staples to the desperate family.

God sent us manatees, and angels of mercy. God is good.

John 1:16 

And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Honoring God by Loving Others

 Two more wonderful families offered to sponsor one of the moms I work with who chose life over abortion. So in between my search for manatee by kayak....

and hunt for dolphin by bicycle....

dragging my willing sister Amy along till she could barely move....

...I have been contacting the moms I work with and getting their Christmas lists. Now most of the moms I am actively working with have been matched with sponsor families. I just have 3 or 4 more who don't live in my area so if anyone is interested in connecting with them and providing gift cards, let me know. (

After our twenty mile bike ride, Amy and I soaked in the hotel hot tub, and were initially dismayed to see two small children in it. There goes our peaceful relaxation.


A grandma was with the two children. The girl immediately told us that this was a special week. It was her birthday Friday and her tiny brother's "gotcha day" today. The small boy was the same age as his sister, but at least 30 pounds lighter. He had been adopted from China from an orphanage. He had 'brittle bone syndrome' and 'failure to thrive.' The delightful missionary family adopted him a year ago. It was clear he was now thriving, though tiny, and the family loved him. The little girl shared with us that her uncle was also proposing to his girlfriend this week, if the ring he'd ordered arrived today. The girlfriend and uncle would be coming to the resort soon. The mother was coming with the older sister any time now! By the time the uncle showed up with the girl's mother, we knew this entire incredible family's story.

When the mother arrived, the little boy who had been very enamored talking with Amy leaped out of the pool, jumping up and down, shouting, "Mama! Mama!"
"Happy Gotcha Day!" she told him, kissing him.

"Did the big event happen?" Amy asked the uncle.
"The Eagle has not landed," he said sadly.

Amy and I were disappointed. We had hoped to see the beloved show up and watch the engagement since we felt we knew these people.

I thought we would be stressed by them when we first came to the hot tub. Instead, we were blessed. God's people doing the work of saints. If I wasn't so jealous, it would have been perfect.

Meanwhile, today I was up at 5 and sucking caffeine down by 6 to hit the shores on the quest for adventure. Now my head is full of visions NOT ONLY of mamas who chose life over abortion, manatees, and dolphins...but also of a little boy left to founder in a lonely orphanage snatched up by a family who loves him and God. I can still see him bouncing out of the hot tub yelling, "Mama! Mama!"

Galatians 6:2 

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Even There Your Hands Shall Lead Me

 EIGHT people have contacted me and asked to sponsor one of the moms I work with who chose life over abortion. They will provide Christmas gifts for the moms and their children. This may be the first real Christmas some of these kids will have. I am blessed beyond belief to be able to be in the midst of this miracle.

So, my vacation to kayak with manatees and to bike on the beach till I drop has been interlaced with organizing the pairing moms with sponsor families. There are few happier ways to have a working vacation. I would write more but I need to get going. The beach and the manatee are calling.

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139: 9-10

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Blessings Wrapped in Tears

One of my friends wrote me yesterday and told me she would like to bless one of the moms I work with who chose life over abortion. She asked if I could let her know which mom, and she would like to buy Christmas gifts for her and her kids.

Wow. I work with about ten moms actively, and am still in touch with  close to thirty. Which one should I choose? None of them had extra money for Christmas gifts. Most of them were just scraping by, struggling to afford bare necessities.

Then my friend told me that she would be happy to send out a Facebook plea, and see how many moms that I work with we could bless with Christmas gifts. By the end of the day, she had found Christmas donors who will 'adopt' four of the moms!

I notified the mama of the baby in the photo to please send me a Christmas list. She was overcome with joy. She sent the picture of her baby and told me I could not imagine how much joy and love the precious baby had brought into her life. She regularly sends texts thanking me for stopping her from aborting, "and making the biggest mistake of my life."

I wrote to the second mom asking for a Christmas list, and she said, "Wow. Since meeting you guys, the blessings just keep growing."

They sure do! I am so blessed by the friends I have. Many of them send me money and gifts to help the moms I work with. If they didn't, I could not do half of what I do.

Then I got a Christmas list from the first mom. Do you know what her 5 and 6 year-olds asked for for Christmas? A bed. With a pillow. And sheets.
Lord, the sorrow.
My husband came home to see me crying at my computer. The thought of a young child asking Santa for a bed and a pillow for Christmas broke my heart.

I wrote the mama back immediately. "Your Christmas list went to a donor family. However, we will find you beds and pillows immediately." Lord, help me.

I put out a plea on Facebook. Within minutes, we had a bunkbed offered but without mattresses, and then a mattress offer. Another friend donated money to buy the pillows. Within an hour, another person I don't know wrote me with the offer of two beautiful twin beds with brass headboards and frames. Another donor that makes sure I always have money to help the moms I work with made it possible for me to finish the bounty with an offer of sheets.

I called the mom. "We have two beds. Go online and let me know what sheets your children want. I will have them and the pillows delivered."
"Oh, my babies will be so excited! Thank you so much!"

We met her just as she became pregnant and realized she could no longer live with the man who was not good to her or her kids. In fact, her desire to abort her new baby was because of that fractured relationship. This is often the reason for mamas contemplating abortion. We shared the Gospel with her, she accepted Jesus and life for her baby, and vowed to change her life. She never told me that the man she left kept the childrens' beds, and since that time, they have yearned for a bed.

I cannot shake the image of those two small children sleeping on the floor. The new baby is in a beautiful crib, supplied by Truth and Mercy Ministries who works in conjunction with Cities4life to provide a lavish baby shower with the first two years of the baby's needs. But the siblings were on the floor. This brave mama would not renounce her decision to follow Christ, and return to the man with the beds. What a blessing that as soon as she voiced the need, her children had beds.
If you want to adopt one of my brave mamas, and give her family Christmas, e-mail me at Gas cards and grocery cards are ALWAYS useful too!

There was one more fantastic blessing yesterday, perfect timing before I leave for a week of vacation. I spent much of the day writing, and completed my first draft of the sequel to Unlikely Friends!!! If you haven't read the first book, you better. I hope to have the sequel out by Christmas.

I may not blog much while on vacation this coming week. Bless all of you. Be thankful. God is so gracious and merciful.

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.

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

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.

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

Saturday, November 19, 2016

They Told Me They Would Help Me....Where were they?

This beautiful mama, L, has been my friend for almost three years. She was one of the first mamas I worked with as a Cities4Life volunteer, and the first one I held a baby shower for with the awesome help of a small group of women from a local church and a fellow counselor. That sweet baby is now two-years old, and this beloved mama is a wonderful mother who is seeking to change her life for that child she loves so dearly. She now owns a car, has a good job, and is about to move into her first apartment. That child was to be aborted when I met L on the sidewalks of the abortion center. The mama admits, "If you all hadn't been there, I would have aborted."

The guy whose biceps are busting in the photo is holding a huge heavy carton of an entire Thanksgiving feast, complete with a near 30-pound turkey. He is Daniel, the director of Cities4Life, the group responsible for training us sidewalk counselors who help people like L. The feast was provided by Common Heart, a fantastic grass-roots ministry with a mission to help the poor. I coordinated the efforts to get the feast for five of the moms we work with to the pick-up spot, and our RV driver, Patrick, picked up the boxes on his way driving the mobile ultrasound RV to the abortion center where the mamas would meet me. (And incidentally, the place where we first met L nearly three years ago, as well as the four other mamas to whom we provided the feast.) Cities4Life utilizes a huge network of people to fulfill our mission: save the lost, be a voice for the voiceless, meet their spiritual and physical needs as best we can, and engage the church to be active in promoting a culture of life through prayer, mentorship, and tangible support.

This mama, S, also was on the verge of aborting when she met another one of our counselors, Chrissy. As she picked up her box filled with the Thanksgiving feast, she told us, "My baby is a miracle. Another one you all saved, and I am so grateful. My whole life changed with this baby, and I would never go back. Thank you for saving my baby!"
"Not us! God! But we were really glad to be used by Him," I told her.

This mama is the one I most recently counseled. She not only chose life for her baby, but accepted Jesus as Lord. Her entire world was transformed by the presence of a few volunteers who love God and believe we are called to speak for the babies who cannot speak for themselves. We are committed to  help the mamas in as many ways as we can for as long as we can.

That's our ultrasound nurse, Sherry, behind Daniel. She co-counseled most of the women who picked up their turkey feast today, as well as provided the ultrasound that showed them their babies. HELP Crisis Pregnancy Center in Monroe provides the Mobile Ultrasound RV and nursing support. Sherry is there several days a week on the sidewalks of the abortion center. The love you see so clearly as she talks with the child is the love she reflects every time I see her, every time she speaks to anyone. A truly beautiful follower of Christ.

In between handing out the boxes, I saw two women walking out of the abortion center and up the road. I raced out to talk with them. At first, they didn't want to talk with me. The mama had had the abortion, and didn't want any of our post-abortive literature. Undeterred, I talked with them at length, and the woman finally took my literature. I told her my name and number were on it, and if she ever needed someone to talk to, call me. She leafed through it as I talked about my own life, not knowing Jesus until young adulthood. We talked about sin, about wanting to do good, but never being able to sustain our good intentions. She told me she didn't know if she was going to heaven. I asked her if she wanted to know for sure. She and her friend said they did.

I know they were listening, and I took my time, thinking I had at least twenty more minutes till we reached their bus stop to share the hope we have in Jesus. And then, the 'pro-choice' escort from the clinic drove up.

"Stop harassing women," she said. "Do you want a ride?" (This to the people I was talking with.)
They nodded and got in the car.

Well, at least they had our literature and my name and number. I was so sad I couldn't finish the full Gospel presentation, but I pray somehow God uses the little they received, and magnifies it.

I think Daniel was tired by the time all the mamas had come and gone. He carried all those heavy turkey feasts to their cars for them. My frozen shoulder got me totally off the hook in that department! Daniel works tirelessly for the unborn, and for the mamas bound for destruction at the abortion centers. That is a burden he carries that is much heavier than those turkey feast boxes.

One of the things the mama said who I'd followed up the hill really stuck with me.
"I have a son. He's twelve now. All those people on the sidewalk told me back then they would help me. No one did. I aborted this one. I had to. I have no help."

Now don't get me wrong. I believe strongly in personal responsibility. Should the unmarried woman have been sexually active when she couldn't afford the child she already had? No. Is it ever wise to go outside God's protective and clear commands regarding sexual purity, abstinence outside of marriage, and providing for the vulnerable and innocent, i.e. the unborn? No. I am not excusing terrible choices. However, the cycle of destruction must be stopped. Who will stop it if not me? If not you? All of us can influence in a positive way.

I aborted this one. I had to. I have no help. 

That is a battle cry in my eyes.

I thought of the team of people and all those ministries who had made those turkey feasts possible. I thought of all the women who have benefited from the baby showers, the housing assistance, the help with food, clothes, medical concerns, cars, etc..... that Cities4Life has been so instrumental in providing. We cannot do enough without the churches rising en masse towards this task, but that woman's words are still with me.

They told me they would help me. No one did.

Many people criticize those who actively speak and work to end abortion. Do not judge, they say. Many people pray for our nation, for the poor, for the culture that would let a child be ripped apart piece by piece and then sucked violently from the womb, that organ perfectly designed as a place of protection. The prayers end, the criticism is levied, and they have done their duty.

I wonder if that phrase, 'do not judge', is an easy way to be uninvolved in the cultural and moral abyss that makes the slaughter of so many unborn children possible? It sounds so holy and righteous. I guess if you are not the unborn child, it's easier to feel that way. Others declare, "I'll pray for you," while the manifold needs go completely unmet. Again, I am not knocking prayer. Prayer is so essential for God's work, but if it doesn't fuel the desire to meet needs, I wonder if it is sometimes a way to rationalize inaction. If you are praying for God to raise someone to meet a need, consider that you might be that someone.

They told me they would help me. No one did.

All the ministries with links provided in this blog are in need of volunteers, resources, and funding. Please consider how you can help.

Luke 6:38 

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

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?

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?’ ...

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