Sunday, September 24, 2017

Charlotte City Council and the Pro Choice Crowd Are At it AGAIN



                                                                     


A beautiful weekend, and I spent much of it in my favorite place: in my kayak on the river.  Before biking along the path with my kayak towed behind me, I spoke with a group of veteran kayakers. They had already kayaked 7 miles, and were resting before continuing 7 more miles downstream.  They knew the river well, so I pestered them with questions. I found out how to know how much water would be released from the dam upstream for one thing. This is critical info. If the release is substantial, it would be near impossible for my inflatable kayak to travel upstream against the current. If there is very little release, I bottom out on the rocks in the shallow water. Without this information, my safety could well be at risk.

Information is important and always helps in decision making, especially if a choice involves life and death.

For this reason, it is important that you know what the latest development is in Charlotte to silence any voice but those that agree with the "pro-choice" agenda. If you have followed my blog, you may remember that several months ago, City Council member Julie Eiselt led an attempt to zone quiet, wide Latrobe Dr. as a no-parking streeet. The abortion clinic, A Preferred Women's Health Center, where Cities4Life offers resources, hope, and help to abortion-minded women is on this street. There has NEVER been a traffic issue or safety issue regarding parking on Latrobe Drive. It was clear the attempt to rezone Latrobe Drive was based on a desire to silence and thwart the pro-life groups that have ministered on that street for over a decade without incident.

A mobile ultrasound unit on the Monroe  HELP Pregnancy Center RV is parked on the curb outside the abortion clinic. Many women use that RV to see their babies on the ultrasound, ask our nurses medical questions, confer with our counselors about available resources, and share the reality of their situations which we are often able to help them overcome. That valuable resource to offer ongoing help to moms in crisis would not be there if Latrobe Dr. was zoned no-parking. Ninety percent of the moms who see their baby on the ultrasound choose life. It seems that is at cross-purposes with the Preferred Women's Health Center, particuarly in light of the fact that many women who leave the center tell us they were not allowed to see their child on the ultrasound inside the building, even when they requested they be allowed to do so.

The zoning attempt was defeated. Then Charlotte officials began misapplying the sign ordinance in order to unjustly seize and destroy Cities4Life signs. Cities4Life's rights in this matter are being legally pursued. Charlotte City officials seized our shade tent, which again we have used for years without incident. Police were required to come twice a morning to check our sound permit, and test our decibel level. Sometimes as many as four to six officers are diverted from fighting the rising violent crime rate in Charlotte so they can perform this task. 

Despite the obvious attempts by the city and Abortion Center to try to silence and frustrate the pro-life groups, there have been on the order of 8-15 women each week that choose life with our help and intervention. We continue to offer resources, mentorship programs, and tangible assistance in whatever obstacles they face, largely without using a single taxpayer funded service. Countless babies have been saved and cherished as a direct result of our presence on the sidewalks.

Does the City applaud our compassion to those innocent unborn children who would otherwise be victims of abortion? Do they thank us for guiding women to life-changing resources to help them better their situations and reduce their reliance on government programs? 

Not exactly.

One of the wonderful Cities4Life volunteers chanced upon a call -to-action to all Charlotte "pro-choice" advocates.  She uncovered a petition to City Council to reopen the zoning NO PARKING status for Latrobe Dr.  The rally, scheduled for Monday night, September 25th,  during the City Council meeting is being proposed with the help of National Organization of Women. We have seen people we suspect are lawyers speaking with the clinic staff and prochoice escorts. We have seen many reporters with cameras, video, and notes....interviewing and chumming with the pro-choice group...but not a word spoken with us. Many articles have been written by Huffington Post, Charlotte Observer, and others without interviewing a single pro-life representative. 

Vi Lyles, mayor pro tem, was at the facility about a month ago. She spoke extensively with the abortion center workers. Not a word to us. In fact, she berated me as I counseled a sobbing woman on the curb who was overcome with the obstacles she faced and then overwhelmed with all the help we were able to offer. (I remain in contact with this woman, who is doing well and so grateful we were there to encourage her to choose life, and then help her.) This woman remembers that incident well. Neither of us could understand the anger and nastiness of someone who is supposed to represent the citizens of her city.

The NOW rally information was pulled down from Facebook very shortly after we discovered it and began circulating the information on Facebook. We do not know if it has been canceled, or just gone undercover so no pro-life voice might be raised to offer an alternative choice to the "pro-choice" agenda.

We have been informed that a group of council members are indeed looking at the zoning issue again, although NOTHING about the street has changed since the zoning issue was last tabled. NOTHING has changed except perhaps an exiting mayor and hopeful Democrat replacement both of whom have not been exactly supportive of the group of constituents who seek to protect and speak on behalf of the  most vulnerable little ones in their city.
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Please be in prayer over the continual attempts to silence Cities4Life volunteers and dissuade us from our mission to build a culture of life in our city. If you are able to attend our prolife prayer time Monday night, many folks will be gathering in front of the Government building, 600 E. 4th Street, at 5:30. If you have one, please wear the blue Love Life shirt...or just wear a blue shirt in solidarity with our pro-life presence.
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Isaiah 55:8-9 


For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Micah 7:7 


But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.

John 14:27 


Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Psalm 46:10 


“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

More Lessons from the River


The gorgeous unseasonably warm week will end, and with it my kayaking season. So every chance I get, I have rushed out to my new favorite kayak spot. I was rewarded yesterday with a bald eagle sighting and the beautiful peace of God's glorious creation. There was a deflating moment however. I have been CRUISING through the rapids feeling like I am really HOT stuff. I am barely nervous at all. I often sit in my kayak and play in front of them, daring them to suck me away into a frothy danger. And these are class 2 rapids folks!

Except they are not.

As I was talking to some veteran kayakers, feeling pretty puffed up and proud of how I tangle with this dangerous river, I casually mentioned the ease with which my inflatable kayak sails over the CLASS 2 rapids.

"They are just Class 1," the veteran kayaker told me kindly.
"All of them?" I asked.
"Yes," he said.

God puts a pin in my inflated ego on a regular basis. I won't say I like it, but it must be necessary or He wouldn't do it. 

Still, I had fun even if they only were Class 1 rapids.

Click here to see class 1 rapids
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2 Corinthians 12:9 


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.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

When He Comes, He's Right on Time

                                  

Five women chose life over abortion yesterday while we were ministering on the sidewalks of the busy Charlotte abortion center. I was really excited to be wearing our new pink Cities4Life shirt. Sometimes it's the little things in life that pick you up. I had not been feeling well. Three days of headaches and vague ickiness were taking a toll. But as soon as I showed up on the sidewalk, Patrick our RV driver, prayed for me and told the headache to go away. Then Daniel, our director, showed up and asked me if I wanted a new pink Cities4Life shirt. Already, the morning was brighter.

                                     

One of the women who chose life pulled out of the abortion center in her car, and parked alongside the curb so we could give her a gift bag and offer our resources. Tears streamed down her face.
"This was an emotional decision for you, wasn't it?" I said.
She nodded, not quite able to speak.
"Do you want to see your baby on the ultrasound?"
She nodded again.

She shared later that she knew God, but was so overwhelmed by her circumstances that she ignored what she knew in her heart to be right and true. When she heard us on the microphone and calling out to the women, she felt God was sending her a clear message. Don't do this. She said He had been sending signs for days, and she had not listened. She was listening now. Her phone rang. While on the RV after choosing life, she received a job offer for a job she had very much wanted.

When I told her about all the resources we had that could help her, the tears flowed anew. All this poor woman needed to make a choice for life was the nudge of the truth she already knew in her soul and the offer of support and resources. As it turned out, she didn't even really need the resources. She just needed someone to say, "What would God have you do?"

The friend who had accompanied this young woman said she'd been praying the whole time her friend would turn from abortion. She gave me a high five and said, "When He comes, He's right on time."
Amen to that! I realized as I drove home, glancing happily in the mirror at my new pink Cities4Life shirt, that my headache was gone.
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Habakkuk 2:3 


For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

Psalm 27:14 


Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Isaiah 40:31 


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.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 


For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:



Friday, September 22, 2017

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, But Keep God First

Ragnar came to visit! He was off to a rocky start, being in the doghouse for pooping in his daddy's car. I think he was probably just so excited about coming to see Grandma. With good reason. Grandma is putty in his paws. For example....look at the surprise he got for dinner.


And then here was the result of his first encounter with unhealthy canned (delicious) hearty chicken chunks in gravy instead of dry little nibbles of cardboard.






Need I say anything more?

And then fun times like this:


Sometimes, enjoying life is more important than what is good for you. At least Ragnar thinks so. Not sure about the spiritual message which I always grope for. 

We are told that we are to enjoy the life God has so graciously granted us.  Ragnar always seems to remind me of that. Be joyful, whatever is in your plate and lick it clean, knowing God has provided you with all things for abundant and joyful LIFE!

However, always keep in mind that none of that is possible without God. Enjoy all God has provided, but never forget God is the author of our lives.  Charles Spurgeon said it beautifully: 
Be glad of heart, O believer, but take care that thy gladness has its spring in the Lord. 

Ecclesiastes 3:13 


Also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.








Thursday, September 21, 2017

If One Path is Impossible, Try the Next

 I learned something I didn’t know while kayaking yesterday. I decided to see how my inflatable kayak would perform going upstream against the current in a section of the river I have not tried before. While people who knew the river had told me there were rapids, they reported they were not as fast as the rapids on the section of the river I had already traversed. They felt I could go upstream against the rapids in this new section.

The reports were correct. That section of the river was not as fast as the lower section I’d already explored. However, the first significant rapids I came to almost did me in. I tried to paddle over what looked like the slowest segment of the rapids and failed. I almost gave up, not ten minutes into my journey!

Instead of giving up, I traveled parallel to the rapids searching for another wide enough break in the rocks with water that was not too raging to tackle. Surprisingly, a perfect break presented itself and I was able to paddle over the froth and managed (with difficulty) to move forward beyond the churning water. However, a second set of whitewater bubbled in front of me now. I was so tired, that I let the swirling water carry me, again figuring I’d just give up. I was befuddled when I moved right in front of a trough of water in front of a large rock to discover my kayak was sucked upstream. The back wash of the wave crashing over the rocks now pulled me towards the rapids. With a quick few paddles, I sailed upstream across the rapids! Yay me!

In this manner, I was able to make my way slowly upstream. I began to learn that if one path against the rapids was too difficult, another path just a few feet away was navigable. Eventually, I even began discerning the most likely pathways. I kayaked upstream for an hour. It was difficult and I did have to wedge myself between rocks to rest at times. However, I was elated! My light and fun inflatable kayak was safe and able to perform the task I had almost decided would be impossible.

I learned an important lesson. When one venture in life seems impossible, perhaps there is another route to the goal that will work. So often, when we hit obstacles, we give up. Maybe, if we had just considered other paths to the same destination, we would have been successful.


I am not sure WHY God was telling me this, but I am sure He WAS.
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Galatians 6:9
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Contrite Heart -- Lessons from the Abortion Center


I saw a woman at the abortion center two days ago who stopped to talk with one of our counselors. She told him she had aborted, “But it’s ok. I will fast and pray today.” She smiled. Not a tear. No suggestion of sorrow, or remorse. If there was any sense of the grief she caused in defying God, it was not evident.

Yesterday, I met another woman who also had aborted her child. As she told us about the abortion, she said all she felt was deep depression and sadness. She longed to have the baby back. I shared the gospel with her, and she told me she had never prayed to commit her life to God. She wanted to do so immediately. As we prayed with her, she began weeping. Her whole body trembled. I lay my hand across her knee as I sat beside her. With cracking voice, she begged God for forgiveness and told Him that she was done with her life of rebellion and sin. She wanted Him to be Lord of her life. She wanted to follow Him as best she could from this point forward.

The first woman showed no sorrow, no remorse, no understanding of the grievous nature of her sin before God. She thought the simple sacrifice of fasting and praying should suffice to remove the stain of the murder of her child.

The second made no excuses, and threw herself upon the mercy and grace of God. She came to Him utterly broken. Later she wrote me, thanking me.
“You all have made my day one to remember, even if things in my life don’t work out. I want to thank you very much.”

Psalm 51 is a lament by David as he comes to God in the despair and horror of his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah. David cries out:

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
    O God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

A broken and contrite heart God will not despise. Of the two women I met the past two days, I suspect healing came to the second alone.
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Psalm 34:18
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

If Anyone Thinks God is NOT Pro-life, Read This....

I don't know why I am flabbergasted when God does something so astonishing that I can hardly speak. It happens so frequently on the sidewalks of the abortion center that you would think I'd be used to His miracles. This one...well this one might be my favorite so far.

I work with some of the kindest people on earth with our Cities4Life teams. I have been on the Monday team for nearly four years now, and Sarah, the woman in the photo above has been with me nearly all that time. Sarah is very gentle, very quiet, and very soft-spoken. She recently completed our training to counsel women who choose life on our mobile ultrasound RV. However, thus far she had not had the opportunity to counsel someone on the RV.

Around 10:30, I asked her, "If we are fortunate enough to have a woman choose life who will go on the RV, would you like to counsel her?"

Sarah paused. I could see she was nervous about the thought.
"I can go on with you if you like, or I can counsel and you watch," I said, "But I really believe you would do just fine."
"Maybe on a day when I have more time," she said, noting that her sister had to leave a little early.
"How about if the woman shows up by 11?" I asked.
She nodded after a brief pause.

At 11:00, a car pulled out from the abortion center parking lot.
"Did you change your mind?" I asked the driver.
"I did," she said, "I was listening in my car to you on the microphone and the people in the abortion center told us you all were mean...but you are not. You all sounded so nice."
"Would you like an ultrasound?" I asked her.
"Oh no...I need to get going," she said.
She pulled over so I could give her a gift. I listed some of the things we could do to help her, and then she said, "You could do an ultrasound...and give me the baby's picture?"
"Sure," I said.
"Let's do it!"
 "I will go on with you to introduce you to our nurse," I told her, "But we have another counselor who I think will be on there with you."
I introduced M to the nurse, Sherry, and then hurried out to Sarah.
"Would you like to counsel?" I asked.
Sarah took a deep breath and nodded.

By the time I usually head home, they were still on the RV. I know Sarah had said she needed to leave, but her sister said it was ok. I had given M my phone number so I could help with immediate needs. I knew Sarah would fill me in later. I went home rejoicing. THREE moms had chosen life! Three babies were alive that might not be if we hadn't been there!

That afternoon, M called me. She told me a most remarkable story. She said she had listened to me on the microphone for the first half hour while she waited in her car for the center doors to open. The words about God convicted her, she told me, "resonating in my soul." She had heard all of us calling out throughout the morning, offering hope and help. Despite the "pro-choice" people warning her that we were "evil", she found us to be kind and gentle.

She went in to the abortion center. M described her experience there:

"Everyone was so glum, so sad. I went back for my required ultrasound. The ultrasound technician was rude and grumpy. And then as she did the ultrasound, something flitted across her face. I knew she'd seen something but she didn't say anything. I told her, 'Show me the ultrasound screen.' But the technician refused. She said, 'NO, we are not allowed to.' "

NOT ALLOWED to show the patient the ultrasound of the baby, which they paid for, even if the mother requested she see it? In my opinion, this HAS to be illegal. But I digress....

"Then I'm done," M said. She dressed and went to the front desk to request her money back.
They would not refund $185, saying that was for the office visit and ultrasound. If she wanted the abortion later on, they would not charge her the $185 again.

Afterwards, M told me about her time on the Monroe HELP Pregnancy Center RV talking with Sarah and our nurse, Sherry. M told me she loved them so much. "They were all so gentle, so kind...nothing like the people in the abortion center." Then she told them about a dream she had the night before. "I dreamed that the ultrasound nurse told me, 'Are you sure you want to abort? There might be more than one in there!' "

Sherry laughed when M told her the dream. "Well, let's go do the ultrasound and see."

I interrupted M's story here. "Did you think God sent you the dream? Do you believe in God?"
"Oh yes! I do believe in God...He is my Lord and savior. I went to the abortion center because so many things in my life were falling apart. I just didn't know what else to do. I didn't feel I had any choice! So I convinced myself I had to do it. Anyway, we went back for the ultrasound. Sherry got very quiet, and then tears started streaming down her face. There were twins! Just like in my dream. We all cried. All of us."

Later Sarah texted me. She told me she loved M and even thanked me for "gently pushing" her to counsel. I LOVE Sarah, and I love how God works. I love Cities4Life, and I love being a part of something so much bigger than I can imagine. And I love that when an ultrasound screen shows two living human babies, we gaze with the mama in awesome wonder rather than turn it away from her lest she change her mind.

Four babies saved yesterday!

Join us? Click HERE.
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1 Timothy 1:17

To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

“Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

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






Monday, September 18, 2017

What God Designed a Man to Be

 I love this photo of me with one of our awesome new Cities4Life volunteers promoting the choice for life at the abortion center. This young man was out there for his first time last week and was already boldly calling out to the men who were bringing women to abort. He was kind but strong in his pleading to consider the precious, sacred nature of the child that woman carried, to be the man that God designed him to be.

Those are the men that I am most impressed by: kind but strong. Contrary to what modern culture might have us believe, men and women are different. Men ARE stronger than women physically and thus throughout history have been the ones to protect women and children.

One of the great tragedies we see played out every day at the abortion center is men not protecting the weak and the vulnerable but walking them to their death. Instead of using their strength to uphold the rights of the defenseless, they are often the ones pushing the mother to abort. It is such a lie to think abortion empowers women. It allows men to prey upon women and then escape the consequences. Over and over again I counsel women who tell me they would keep their baby, but a boyfriend or husband is pushing them to abort.

Praise God that there are good, strong, and kind men volunteering with us to try to persuade those men at the abortion center to stand up and be the man God designed them to be. I guarantee it is NOT a man who stands idly by palling around with the 'pro-choice' escorts while his unborn baby is violently destroyed.

To volunteer, please go HERE, or just join us at 3220 Latrobe, Charlotte. We are there every day but Sunday, when the center is inexplicably closed as though honoring the Lord were somewhere on their agenda.
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Ephesians 4:12-13

To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

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

They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Complacency and Satisfaction...Discerning the Difference


I have a lightweight inflatable kayak that I decided might do a better job than my hard-shell kayak over the rocks of the rapids on the Catawba if it didn't puncture and drop to the bottom of the river. It also is so light, it would be much easier to cart behind my bike to the launch site. So, hubby agreed to accompany me on his bike and he would watch me as I went over the first set of rapids. If I survived, he could bike on and wait for me at the take-out point. He took a video of me going over the rapids. I am the speck in the middle of the screen.

It was a ton of fun. The inflatable kayak glides over the rocks better than my hard shell kayak. It didn't pop. I loved it. I stuffed my camera in my life jacket which I WAS wearing in case my inflatable kayak popped. With a less than ideal angle, I shot the video below as I went over a little rapids section.


It was glorious. Summer is drawing near to its final days which makes me sad. I LOVE kayaking and have been thrilled to discover this new spot and devise a way to independently put my kayak in upstream, shoot the rapids, and have my car waiting downstream. However, today I realized that I am hardly nervous at all anymore. Will I need more challenging rapids one day? Where  will I find them??

I don't easily settle into complacency. That is a good and a bad thing. The good part is I am not satisfied unless I am stretched a little bit. The bad part is I am not satisfied unless I am stretched a little bit.

God talks about complacency. He would rather have us on fire for Him or in utter disdain. What God cannot stomach is lukewarm Christians. He says in Revelation 3: 15-16 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."

That's a pretty chilling statement. If we are not CRAZY for Jesus, doing all things in His name in a radical, exciting manner, stretching always higher and higher...He will SPIT us out. I don't know about you, but I think that calls for looking for ways God can challenge us to follow Him in new, exciting, and maybe even dangerous ways. What does it mean to be "hot" for God?

I thought about that as my inflatable kayak splashed across the rapids.



My morning study by CS Lewis was surprisingly about the same subject, though I wrote the bulk of today’s blog last night. He seems to present a conflicting message. Since I adore CS Lewis, I considered this carefully.

The whole lesson of my life has been that no ‘methods of stimulation’ are of any lasting use. They are indeed like drugs—a stronger dose is needed each time and soon no possible dose is effective. We must not bother about thrills at all. Do the present duty—bear the present pain—enjoy the present pleasure—and leave emotions and ‘experiences’ to look after themselves. C.S. Lewis

Lewis is rightly saying that we should not live each moment wishing it were something else nor let strong emotions be our guide for contentment. As lovers of Christ, we should be satisfied in what He has brought us for the day. Lewis' point is proved by the fact that I was on the Class 2 rapids recognizing one day they would not be a sufficient thrill instead of living completely in the blessing of the moment God had given me. Lewis convicted me that no thrill will ever be enough....

With one exception....

The thrill of living each day longing to grow closer and closer to God and more and more Christlike...that thrill I do believe we are to vigorously pursue. The complacency to stay as we are before God instead of longing to be fully committed to Him in all He desires of us is being lukewarm, in danger of being spit out by God.
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Colossians 1:10
So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Philippians 3:12-14
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.



Saturday, September 16, 2017

Pro-choice advocate: "They're crazy. Don't talk to them."


A woman stopped to talk to us on her way to a doctor appointment. Our Cities4Life team was standing on the sidewalk, providing hope and help other than abortion to the women streaming into the abortion center. I overheard the "pro-choice" worker tell one driver, "Don't stop to talk to them. They're crazy."

The woman who stopped told me she was not going to the abortion center. In fact, her daughter had been to the abortion center just a few weeks ago.
"I'm so sorry," I told her. "I have information I can give her that will help. She can call me anytime."
"She took the abortion pill," the woman told me, "But then changed her mind. She was horrified after hearing and seeing all the screaming and crying in there. She called me and told me she was not going to take the second pill."

The abortion pill is two doses. The first one is given at the abortion center, and the women take the second one home to ingest the next day. This young lady never took the second pill. She was one of many women who have changed their minds, but never told anyone on the sidewalks who had been praying for the lives of the unborn.

"Is the baby....alive?" I asked.
"Yes! The baby is fine. She just found out it is a boy."
Miracle!!!
"Let me give you my name and number," I said, "We would love to have a baby shower, or help in any way we can."
The woman took my info, but assured me she didn't need any help. They were all ecstatic about the little boy who had survived the abortion pill.
Daniel, our director came over then, and stayed to talk and pray with the woman.

Miracle baby and miracle transformation of a heart that had thought abortion was the only choice. So much for the oft repeated lies of the "pro-choice" crowd that women don't regret abortions, and if they show up at an abortion center their minds are made up. Clearly, those assumptions are NOT based on fact.

There's a relieved and grateful mother with a child that survived an abortion attempt who would put that lie to rest. Her story is one of many. Countless women have changed their minds right there at the abortion center and come to us in tears. We pour out our love, God's love, and our resources to better the lives of their new family.

But the pro-choice crowd continued to tell the women that we could have helped, "Don't talk to them. They're crazy."

She's right. We ARE. We are crazy for life, crazy for redemption, crazy for hope, and forgiveness, crazy for the sanctity of human life in or out of the womb, crazy for improving the desperate lives of despairing women, crazy for love and righteousness. We are crazy for Jesus.


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Romans 15:13   

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Psalm 30:5 


For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

1 Peter 1:8 


Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,

Friday, September 15, 2017

No Dead Body....A Good Day


The good news is there were no dead bodies. However, I didn't know that when I spotted a kayak wrapped around a rock in the middle of the class 2 rapids. But that came later in my magical day on the river. I had decided since the river was low and I would scrape a lot of rocks runnng the rapids that instead, I would kayak upstream against the current. I knew I would only be able to make it as far as the class 2 rapids since I cannot go upstream against them.


I was having a great time. The river was empty. That is when you see all the critters, so I love going midweek when no one else is about. I saw kingfishers, herons, and osprey. And then I saw two river otters sunning on a rock! I have never seen otters in the Catawba. They were adorable and I was overjoyed. I saw an eagle too but he was way high above me playing on the updrafts.

I had fun in the rapids that I was able to paddle past. I'd paddle upstream beyond them, then I would swing around and ride the current. It was SOOO much fun.




Then I saw the boat, a blue kayak in the middle of the rapids. I tried to go upstream so I could then kayak back down and get a closer look, but I was not able to paddle against the strong current. So I got as close as I could, but with great trepidation.

"Oh please Lord, don't let there be a dead body there."

I did not see a dead body floating anywhere nearby. The kayak cockpit faced me and appeared to be empty. No one was standing on the rocks calling for help. I kayaked back to my launch site where a park worker flagged me down.

"Did you see a kayak on the rocks?" he asked.
"Yes," I said, "Did you find the kayaker?"
"No. Did you see anyone?"
"No...I looked and I didn't see anyone in the kayak or nearby."
"A rescue team is coming," the park worker said, "Would you wait here to talk with them?"

So I waited and shortly the rescue team showed up. They asked me some questions, and then headed down the bike path beside the river with their emergency equipment. I decided to kayak back to the rapids just in case I could be of use. They managed to wade across the rocks, using an oar to steady themselves and pulled the kayak out of the river. It was pretty mangled. Praise God, the kayak was empty. No kayaker was stuck on the rocks beneath the raging water.

I returned to shore, pulled my bike out of the car and rode up the path. They were securing the kayak to their cart.
"Do you think someone drowned?" I asked.
"No," they told me. "There was moss on the kayak. It has been in the water a while. It was probably drifting in the river sometime and the high waters from the hurricane carried it down here."
"If I had been stuck on the rocks, could I have made it to shore?" I asked.
"Call us and we will rescue you," they said. Gallant men! "But if the dam is letting out water, you would have a hard time walking against the strong flow."
"I never take that route over the rapids," I said. "I always steer far left where it is slower."
"That's what you should do," they agreed.

As I biked onward, I thanked God that when they lifted the kayak from its rocky tomb, there were no dead bodies. I have been reading the book of Mark, and paying close attention to the chapter about the empty tomb. Can you imagine the relief of Jesus' friends when they saw the tomb was empty? No dead body. And then to hear the words, "He is risen."

In a small way, I felt the relief of that moment.
**************

Mark 8:31 


And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Selfishness Disquised as Anti-Discrimination



The Utah Supreme Court is trying to determine if use of the terms mother and father is discriminatory. Yes. This is no joke. A quote from the Salt Lake Tribune: “I can assure you that a lot of other states where this question will arrive will fight it,” Yale Law Professor Douglas LeJamie said, "because in some places, terms like “mother” and “father” have been used specifically to bar gay couples from parenthood."

The two men who want a child born by a surrogate mother (oh sorry...can't use the term mother...how about 'fetal incubator'?) are fighting this case so that any combination of people who want a child will have equality before the law. Please tell me...is anyone looking out for the best interests of the child? Is it only about me, me, me...no matter the consequences? 

People can make any choice they want in life but when an innocent third party who has no choice in the matter is thrust into the mix and must live with the consequences, their best interest MUST be considered. In a well-documented, extensive research study, children of same-sex couples fared worse than children of heterosexual couples in 77 of 80 outcomes measured. At a statistically significant level. Click HERE for article. This article provides specific counter arguments to the few studies that show any other result. Research with comparative studies of randomly chosen participants who have no knowldege of the hypotheses being tested overwhelmingly shows that children thrive far better in intact homes with mothers and fathers. 

It is NOT hateful to state facts. It is not discriminatory to point out a common sense biological truth that children are produced by a mother and a father and that is by design the ideal environment for a child to be raised.

Take the mindset of I want what I want whether it is better for someone else or not and you have millions of babies slaughtered in abortion. In this case, the innocent third party who has no choice in the matter must DIE with the consequences.

When is someone going to yell the emporer has no clothes?
************

2 Peter 2:1-3


But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

Exodus 20:12 


“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Faith Bolstering

Look at this wonderful picture! This is our Tuesday sidewalk team! The sidewalk is bursting with folks speaking LIFE! This isn't even a picture of our full team -- two other team members had not yet arrived, one was absent, and I was taking the photo. LOOK at all these blessed volunteers, eager to speak out for the lives of little unborn people doomed to die at the abortion center unless someone intervened.

The ages ranged from senior citizen grandparents to a thirteen year old. I spoke with the wonderful woman who brings a carload of the young people each week. She told me, "They cannot wait to come. No matter what else is going on, they never want to miss their day out here."




Those young people have a knack for getting cars to stop and take our literature. Maybe it is their fresh young faces and exuberant optimism. Meanwhile, the grandparents in the group speak to the abortion-minded women with gentle wisdom, seasoned by a life of experience loving and following God.

All ages, all different approaches, all used and valued by God. One baby we know of was saved. I hope other women changed their minds after we left. However, as God says in many different ways in His word, The horse is prepared for the day of battle but the victory belongs to the Lord. Proverbs 21:31.

We are called to prepare and to obey God's command to enter the fray, no matter our age, our gender, our desire, our agenda. However, the victory belongs not to us but to God. This is an incredibly freeing truth. It is NOT all about us, our wonderful personalities or charming cleverness, which is a good thing since were that so, it would feed our arrogance or fuel our despair. Instead, it bolsters our faith. The glory and results and praise belong to God.
*******

John 17:20-22 


“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Day of Destruction with a Glimmer of Hope



One of our Cities4Life volunteers had this flag on the back of his truck. In the background of the picture are two of our other volunteers. All these wonderful people stood in the wind and the rain on the sidewalks of the abortion center yesterday to speak for the babies who cannot speak for themselves.

One woman stopped her car and told me her mind was made up. She would abort. She said she believed in God, but didn't know what He had to say about abortion. I told her He uses the same word for born and unborn babies in the Bible, calls Jesus a 'baby' in the womb, and describes John the Baptist leaping for joy in the womb when Mother Mary arrives with the unborn baby Jesus. God says He sets before us life and death, blessings and curses, therefore choose life that you and your offspring will live. He says thou shalt not murder, and that we are to protect the innocent and defend those being led to the slaughter.

The woman was silent for a moment, contemplating.

"Well, but I can't do anything to save anyone else," she said finally, "I have to save me."
"Yes you can. You can save that baby in your womb. Tell me where in the Bible it says saving yourself while taking the life of innocent others is honored by God."

She could not. Nor could she list any real obstacle to having the baby. She just didn't like children. She took my literature, but in the end, I think she went through with the abortion. She knew it was wrong, she knew it disobeyed and dishonored God, she knew she would stand before the judgment throne of God and have to give an accounting of this action, and she knew she would regret it. 

How again is abortion a choice that helps women?

There was one potentially saved baby. The woman left before the abortionist, waved to us, smiled and seemed happy, but she did not stop to confirm her choice. We pray that baby was one less human destroyed on 9/11, a day that has seen far too much destruction.
********

2 Peter 3:3 


Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.

James 4:7 


Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Speaking in the Storm

We are on the far edge of Irma's winds, but it is still supposed to hit 50 mph gusts, with danger from tumbling down trees and power lines. Driving is not encouraged. However, the abortion center is open. I guess I will try my best not to be blown away and will head over to join the rest of my committed and brave Cities4Life team. Maybe the mere sight of people on the sidewalk who care enough to show up in such weather to speak for the babies who cannot speak for themselves will encourage mothers not to abort.

The babies in the womb don't know there is a hurricane wreaking havoc with our world. All they know is the peaceful safety of the womb. For now. Honestly, they have every right to expect safety and peace in their mother's womb. Maybe if we show up, that peace will last beyond the next few hours...

Last night, I read a post on Facebook by someone asking if God is omniscient and powerful, why does He allow or possibly even cause the devastation of the hurricanes? Does that show God is good? I cannot answer that, not fully. I do know God is good. The first part of the question is harder to answer. I know the weather was perfect in Eden before humankind walked away from God in sin. We didn't want God's protection more than we wanted our own will and our own way. God handed us over to it.

I wonder if that person on Facebook poses the same question to his fellow humans. If we, with the power and knowledge of the destructive and fatal effect of abortions where a hurricane force suction dismembers a tiny human in the womb and sucks out her suffering body to her death...are we good?
*****
http://charlotte.cities4life.org/

Isaiah 25:4 


For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Delighting in God Despite Impending Storms


Last hurrah before the hurricane winds and rain hit the Carolinas. The effects were already here. The Catawba river was fast and very high. I had my new "magic stick" installed on my bike to pull my kayak upstream. One man who saw me bike by begged me to let him videotape me. He said I would be famous on instagram.


I loved my new system. It was much easier to haul my kayak the three miles upstream to my launch site. I received lots of admiring remarks from the people I passed. You would think they had never seen someone haul a kayak behind a bicycle.

The river was definitely a challenge. However, I was not TERRIFIED.  I was just scared. That was probably a good thing since it made me keep my life jacket on. 


After making it successfully, gloriously back to the take-out point, I put the kayak in my car, and decided to walk the three miles back to my bike at the launch site. It was a glorious day and the scenery was spectacular. 








Praise God for the beauty and delight of His world. For all of you going through the storm, not only Hurricane Irma but the mental, physical, and spiritual storms that inevitably come in life, may  the beauty I photographed for this post remind you that the storms will pass and sometimes the storms even wash away things we cling to that impede our walk with God.

I discovered that to be true in my own devastating storms. It is painful to endure but in the end if you are left recognizing that you can lose everything EXCEPT God, and find peace in that, you will know a peace that can surpass understanding.
*******

Romans 8:18-23 


For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. ...

John 16:33


I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 3:16 


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


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Default Prayer

I could only move my fingers with pain this morning. I wondered why. Oh yeah. I had spent 3 hours assembling a "simple" tow pole on my bike yesterday. It was a 'magic stick'...I think that is how it was advertised... that attaches "easily" to the bicycle seat post, was cheap, and would pull my kayak using just my kayak cart for the wheeled support under the kayak. This was a superior idea to the my self made cart that included my old bicycle trailer in which I used to use to haul my kids behind my bike. My design was clever, if I can say that without sounding too prideful which I can't but so be it....but it was heavy. I am not getting any younger and decided to give the magic stick a try.

I had come home from the abortion center sidewalk feeling energized. We had a sidewalk filled with volunteers which gives me great joy, and four babies were saved. I am pretty sure there would have been a fifth...except for the forces that oppose us speaking our message of hope and help. Daniel, the Cities4Life director had stopped a conflicted couple. I then approached and the couple flat out told me they didn't want to abort but didn't know what else to do. THEN, the pro-choice folks who have NO jurisdiction or legal right to tell ANYONE to move their car on a public road came rushing over to insist the couple had to park or pull over. The couple was flustered, and as often happens, chose the path of least resistance in their mind and went into the abortion center. That broke my heart. The so-called "pro-choice" crowd had disrupted the discussion with a couple that admitted they had no choice to abort but didn't want to do it. I KNOW we could've helped them. I had to pray HARD not to feel bitter and angry towards the people that claim 'choice' but then eradicate it.

Anyway, I tried to focus on the four babies who still lived, and put my extra energy into tackling the "EASY" magic stick installation. Let's just say that EASY was as about as truthful a moniker as PRO CHOICE. There should be a law against such false labeling.

Now to the point of this long tale of woe. After a few cuts, very sore fingers, nearly dislocated thumb and not a few moments of temptation to sin in my gracious language use...I cried out, "Please help me Jesus." The IMPOSSIBLE screws with the stupidest design known to man finally slipped into place and I got the EASY magic stick installed. I hitched my kayak to the stick, and lo and behold, it was far superior to my makeshift kayak towing cart.

A lovely neighbor came to the abortion center yesterday to donate maternity clothes. I overheard her talking to one of our volunteers who is a new believer. She was telling him how she often prayed, "Lord, let you be my DEFAULT in all situations."

What a great prayer. See God is not my default so often. He certainly was not in my magic stick installation. It was only when I was at the end of my resources that I cried out to God. He should have been the first one to whom I cried out. Why do I so often wait?

So on to kayaking and towing with my new magic stick to the upstream park where I will shoot the rapids again, Lord willing. BEFORE I go, I will pray for God to guide and protect me.
*****

Hebrews 11:6 


And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.