Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Blessings Just Keep Flowing: Confronting Giants



Miracles just kept flowing. Amazing day yesterday.
I was recuperating from my surgery of a couple of days ago, and on my daily walk around the block when the director of Cities4Life, Daniel, texted me. He was at the abortion center sidewalks, speaking on behalf of the unborn as he does several days a week.
"Can you be on call just in case a mama goes on the RV? All our counselors called in sick."
"Sure," I wrote back.
I am half an hour from the center, and the wonderful nurse who provides the free ultrasound on the Monroe HELP Crisis Pregnancy Center RV is required to have a counselor with her. A half hour is a long time for an abortion-minded mama in crisis to wait...
"How about if I come now...just in case?" I texted to Daniel. "All I am doing is walking around the block. I can pace near the RV as easily as I can walk around the block."
"Sure, if you want to," he said.
I felt I should.

As soon as I arrived, the RV driver, Patrick, met me at my car.
"There's a mama waiting for you on the RV," he said smiling.
Miracle #1: God had prompted me to leave as soon as Daniel called me, before he knew a mama would waver and decide she wanted an ultrasound.

I hurried on board where Sherry sat talking with "T". While Sherry then prepared the forms and equipment for the ultrasound, I sat down to counsel the mama. I asked her what brought her to the abortion center. As we hear so many times, the baby's father didn't want the baby, and even her mother was angry with her for the pregnancy and felt abortion was the best answer.

"So I went in the abortion clinic. I didn't know what else to do...but I felt overwhelming guilt."
"Why?" I asked.
"I guess maybe God was speaking to me."

I love it when the mama opens the door for me to talk about God. One thing led to another, and I asked her if she was going to heaven. She wasn't sure. I asked if she wanted to know how to be sure. She did.

 I told her the Bible tells us exactly how we can be certain we will go to Heaven. So, I began to lay out the truth of salvation, the glorious good news of the Gospel. First we talked about understanding we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Then that the penalty of sin is death. Then that a holy righteous God must punish sin, but He loves us and would have none of us perish. Then how He solved that dilemma by offering the substitution of Jesus to pay the penalty we deserved. Then how we must repent of our sin which put Jesus in such terrible agony on our behalf. Then how we must believe that He died and rose again for us, and accept His gift of eternal life by His incredible redemptive sacrifice.

"So in summary, these are the four steps to know you are going to heaven..." I said.
"Wait. Can I have your pen?"
I handed the pen to her and as I spoke, she wrote each step down.
"1. Admit you're a sinner
2. Repent of your sin
3. Believe that Jesus died and rose again to pay the penalty for your sin
4. Accept what He did on your behalf and declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord."

No one I have counseled has EVER taken notes before.

When she wrote the last step, I explained that she could do that at any time. Even now.
"Would you like to ask Jesus to be Lord of your life now?"
"Yes," she said.

When Sherry and I began praying with her, she began crying. She was overcome by guilt over what she had almost done. She prayed to ask Jesus into her life, in halting, sob-choked words. Later, she told us her heart's desire is that she would be able to guide her children to know and love God.

As we learned more about her situation, we offered tangible help. She had no home, and was living in a shelter at times, and other times with friends. She did have a full time job and a car, and her children were in a good daycare. We gave her a list of places that help moms in her situation, circling the three or four housing ministries that we felt she should try first.

As I continued discussing her needs, Sherry slipped out, telling us she would be back soon. T had nothing for the baby, so I offered our lavish baby shower which would provide the first full two years of the baby's needs.
"Would you like that?"
"Yes," she said, her eyes wide.
"Do you have Christmas gifts for your kids?"
She shook her head sadly. "I haven't really had the money...or the time."
"We have families that will help you with that as part of our Cities4Life network," I said.
Her eyes grew wider.
"Do you need clothes for your other children?"
She nodded.
"We have a storage unit filled with clothes. Tell me their sizes."
Then I glanced at the thin sweatshirt she wore. No coat in sight. It was a frigid day for this area. 20 degrees.
"Do you have a winter coat?"
"No...just this."
"We can go out this afternoon and get you a winter coat." (I said that with assurance because of our generous donors who have given me a petty cash fund for emergency needs.)

Then Sherry reappeared. After consulting with Daniel she said they might have a family willing to take T and her children into their home. Would she be interested? She could barely speak, so nodded instead, and whispered, "Yes."

Daniel has worked tirelessly behind the scenes connecting our ministry with church communities and other resources. One of those wonderful resources is Love Life Charlotte, an organization of churches and Christians who gather to pray to end abortion. It has ballooned into a huge ministry, and they are now training and equipping members to mentor and minister to the needs of the abortion-minded women who choose life. A few of the families of Love Life offered to take in the mamas we counsel.

Within minutes, Daniel came on the RV. A family had committed to take T into their home immediately. Then Daniel reached in his pocket and handed T a gas card, funded by donations to Cities4Life.

"They don't live super close to where you work so you will need this," he told her.
She took the card, and her face contorted. Then she began weeping, covering her face.

"If I were you,  I would hang out here all day," I said, patting her back, "The blessings just keep flowing."

Folks, this is how you fight abortion. First, you go to the place where those desperate women are flocking to destruction, and you tell them they are not alone, there is help, and there is a God who loves them and would not have them harm the blessed innocent life He created. Then, you recognize the terrible needs that drive so many women to believe it is the only choice, and you combat them one by one. If committed Christians gather together and share the multiple roles needed to bring a women through the crisis, then mentor her and guide her in the ways of the Lord, our society is transformed.

When David faced Goliath, a GIANT problem, he didn't cower, hide, or run away. He ran TOWARDS his trouble, determined to slay the oppressive evil that threatened his people. He faced evil head on, knowing God was with him and God would strengthen him for the impossible battle.

“David took off the armor and picked up his shepherd's stick. He went out to a stream and picked up five smooth rocks and put them in his leather bag. Then with his sling in his hand, he went straight toward Goliath.”1 Samuel 17:40

How many of us do that, run to face the Enemy?  We all face giants at one time or another in our life. Do we hide, do we compound sin to try to avoid the giant, or do we anesthetize our fear with addictions, food, illicit sex, or other transient comforts?

David was far from perfect; a murderer and an adulterer. However, he was not a coward. He always confronted his own sin, repented, and was used mightily by God. I want to be like David - running towards the giant in the power of God and confronting evil directly.

Oh, by the way, we did get to see the little baby on the ultrasound. One more miracle to cap a day of miracles.

Right now, a generous donor to Cities4life has offered to match donations until the end of the year. This is the best time ever to give to this life-affirming ministry that has helped hundreds of women each year choose life for their babies. Click HERE to be a part of the solution that is creating a culture of life and directly facing the giant evil of abortion.
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James 5:19-20 

My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

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

Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,

2 comments:

  1. Amazing, Amazing, Amazing God we serve...and His helpers who listen and do His work. "Let me come now just in case..."

    Run towards out troubles...with God by our sides.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we can Not run from God anyway. may as well run with Him

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