Friday, June 26, 2020

Just a Job

As I stood on the sidewalk in front of the abortion center, a nice car pulled in to the parking lot. A woman dressed in scrubs got out. The man waved as she walked in the side door where the workers enter. I called out to her, offering help from Abby Johnson’s ministry who helps abortion workers find other work as well as healing from what they do and see in assisting with abortions.

The woman ignored me and the man drove slowly back out the driveway. He stopped as I waved and begged him to take my information. He rolled down his window.

“Listen,” he said, “We don’t believe in this. It is just a job.”

Let those words sink in.

In an abortion, a living human baby is either poisoned medically which cuts off nutrition and oxygen, or is surgically dismembered limb by limb without anesthesia. In later term abortions, the child will first receive an excruciatingly painful shot in the heart before the dismemberment and skull crushing. All. While. Alive.

Just a job.

I offered him a card from and urged him to have the woman call Abby Johnson. 
“Her salary is paid by the blood of babies,” I said. “This ministry will help her leave.”

He took the card and drove away.

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Matthew 6:24

Monday, June 8, 2020

How to Escape the Threatening Snare

I was on my kayak when I heard a man from shore desperately calling for help to his wife who was on a kayak just a few feet away from me.

“Help, come quick, come quick! The dog is hooked on a fishing hook!“

The wife frantically paddled to shore.  I called out “I have a scissors in my kayaK If you think that would help!”

The wife told me that whatever I had might be of use and to please come.

The man had the dog cradled against his leg and was panicked, trying to push the hook either through the skin one way or pull it out. He was having no success. The barb had dug into the dog’s skin and would not come out.

The woman tried to help hold the dog and make a suggestion. The man snapped at her.
“Just move away!“ he barked.

Quietly, she stepped back. And then in a gentle voice she said, “I know you’re frustrated but I’m only trying to help. Please don’t snap at me.“

With sweat pouring down his face, the man continued working to dislodge the hook. I told him about my scissors. He said he just didn’t know how they would be of use. He was angry when I spoke again, shushing me, but I knew I had an idea that would be useful, so I soldiered on. 

“Maybe use the scissors just to cut the fishing line away,“ I said, “That might make things easier for you to manipulate the hook.“

I handed the scissors to the wife who tried unsuccessfully to cut the line. Again the frustrated and frazzled man snapped at her and snatched the scissors from her hand.

Once more, in a quiet voice she told him, “I know you’re frustrated, but don’t take it out on me.”

Red-faced but silent, the man cut the line.

The sweet dog was trembling and every so often would groan with pain but never made any attempt to nip at the man or get away. He knew the man was trying to help. He would endure whatever was necessary from his master to be freed from the snare.

 I was silently praying that God would help the situation. Suddenly the man cried out, “Dear Jesus, I can’t do this! Please help!”

Instantly, and miraculously, the hook came out. The dog was freed, and the man yelped with joy. The woman smiled at me, handing back my scissors.

“A miracle!“ I said, “I was praying too!“

The couple smiled at me and said they thought I was.

“As soon as I asked Jesus for help,“ the man said, “did you see how the hook came out?“
“I did,“ I said, “God is so good.“
“All the time,“ the couple said in unison.

The dog swam happily in the water behind their kayaks.  I headed off on my own kayak. I thought about the many reminders and visual images of important truths that God had shown me in that incident.

He showed me that sometimes in frustration we lash out and harm those closest to us because we’re desperate and powerless and we don’t know what to do. However, when we turn to our Master with complete trust and faith as the dog did, we are ultimately freed from the snares that entangle us.

And I was encouraged that when we are helpless and we call out to Jesus, He intercedes.

God is good all the time.                

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A Divine Appointment At the Dentist Office

I went to my dentist appointment with deep anxiety. I have an exposed root and the cleanings are always painful. I hate going. I never know when it is going to happen...but it always does. Sudden stabs of electric pain that make me levitate from the chair. 

Anyway, i took Tylenol and headed there with heart pounding. Resigned to my fate. To top off my anxiety, my regular hygienist who at least knows me and has seen me for years and is as gentle as possible is no longer there. Me and my painful teeth were to be subjected to a new hygienist. 

When I saw her, my spirits drooped even more. She was young...a mere child. How could she have any experience with terrible painful, fearful patients like me???? I settled in the chair, heart palpitations surely en route to a heart attack. 

She asked if there were any new medical issues since my last dental visit.
“Yes,” I said hoarsely, “I have strained vocal cords.”
“Are you a singer?”she asked.
I almost lied to avoid the inevitable discussion. However, God never gives me a pass.
“No...I am a sidewalk counselor in front of an abortion center.”

She paused laying out the tools of torment on the tray.
I get that response often. I soldiered on.

“I call out to women as they enter the abortion center. We offer them the hope of God and tangible resources to help them. I have to speak loudly or they won’t hear. You’d be surprised how many are conflicted and respond to our pleas.”
“How long have you done this?”she asked me.
“Seven years. I feel I am called by God to be a voice for the voiceless...but now I have no voice.”

She wore a mask, as all health care workers do now in this age of Covid-19. However, I could see her eyes, and they were filled with tears.
“What will you do?”she asked, wiping her eyes.
“I train others to call out,” I said, “Sometimes I whisper to them what they should say and they call out for me. I start vocal therapy next week. I am hoping I will get my voice back. It is a great ministry. Almost every day, we see at least one baby saved.”

Now the young lady removed her mask so she could blow her nose in earnest and wipe her tears. She didn’t say much but I knew she loved God. Sometimes you can just tell. I was still terrified as she began scraping at my teeth, but there was a sense of peace on the edge of my panic. What will be, will be. I will get through the pain and in an hour it will be done, I told myself.

I asked a few questions about her life, and soon was completely certain this sweet young lady knew the Lord. Minutes ticked by. I could not believe it when she finished scraping and polishing. 

“All done,” she said, smiling.

I had not experienced even one second of painful twinge.

I thanked her and told her I had never had a dental cleaning without pain.

“I am called by God, too,” she told me, “to this work.”

I had not expected in a million years to see Jesus or to be blessed by a dentist appointment. God is always surprising me.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Resurrection Sunday and Reflections of a Grateful Near Abortive Mom

I was resting my strained vocal cords when I got a call yesterday from a woman who had gone Saturday to abort. She stopped for two of our Cities4Life  counselors and spoke a long time with them. She still went in to the abortion center because she was overwhelmed and being coerced to abort by the baby’s father. 

However, she heard God speaking in her spirit, “Keep your baby! Keep your baby!” She left the abortion center. As she drove home, she called her pastor who lovingly but firmly told her abortion was wrong, and she had chosen the only course someone who claims to love the Lord should choose. He prayed with her and she submitted her life to Jesus. 

She was calling me just to thank us for being there. She wanted nothing more than to express her gratitude for helping her choose what she knew all along she should choose. However,  I shared the vast resources of ministries who partner with us and provide help. In fact, by the time I finished, my strained vocal cords could do no more. My voice was almost gone. 

She was incredulous by the deluge of help offered.
What will this cost me?”she asked.

“It is free. All free. Loving Christians donate their time and money to make this possible. Even if they did not, a mother killing her own child is always wrong, however, we know the obstacles you face feel insurmountable, and we are here to help.”

This is such a beautiful story to dwell upon on Resurrection Sunday. Jesus died to pay the full penalty for sin we deserved. He rose from the grave, securing the victory once and for all over sin and death.

What will this cost me?

It is free. All free. 
If Jesus is Lord, you will follow Him wholeheartedly, doing what He says in gratitude and love for all He has done for you.

Happy Resurrection Sunday.

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

Sunday, April 5, 2020

This is Not My America

Yesterday, 8 people praying and walking while maintaining social distancing were arrested in Charlotte. I was there. I saw a line up of 12 police cars on the street in front of the abortion center. It looked like a mass murder had just gone down. It had, in fact. At least 17 babies were slaughtered in that abortion center. 

However, the police officers were not there to arrest the ones that had murdered those little humans. The police were not there to arrest the women lining up in front of the abortion center, all within inches of each other. The police were not there to arrest the facility personnel  that packed them in like sardines as they entered the front room, with no screening, no temperature taking, none of the CDC precautions designated for “medical facilities.” 

The police were arresting peaceful, praying citizens on the street, walking and maintaining the required social distance.

Police arresting founder of Cities4Life nonprofit charitable ministry helping vulnerable people.

After my time on the sidewalk, legally there as part of an exempt nonprofit charitable organization offering hope and help and resources to vulnerable people, I went on a bike ride on a local greenway. The parking lot was PACKED. Every place taken. I passed well over a hundred people on the greenway, many in clumps, clearly not abiding by social distancing. I did not see a single police officer. Not a single arrest. Not a single citation.

During my time in front of the abortion center, our counselors with the help of the prayer walkers helped two women to come aboard Help Monroe Pregnancy Center mobile ultrasound unit. Using all the CDC recommended precautions, we counseled those women. Both were abortion minded. Both felt hopeless and trapped. Both chose life when the vast array of help and resources were offered and when they saw their precious child’s beating heart. The couple I counseled both submitted their lives to Jesus right there on the RV after hearing the Gospel. They wrote to the prayer walker who had led them to our RV and asked her if she would take them to church when this pandemic restrictions are lifted.

These are the people the police are targeting for arrest.

The basic behavior is the same as those on the Greenway. People out in the fresh air, staying far apart, walking. But in one case, they are pro-life and praying, and deterring women from abortion with offers of hope and help. They were told to go home or face arrest. It is the message of life that is being squelched. And that is the America we will return to when all this is over. It is an America I do not recognize and my heart is broken.

We cannot let this stand. Peacefully, prayerfully, and respectfully, this has to be challenged.

Psalm 43:1

Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation; O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

When Our Nearest of Kin Want to Kill Us

Please pray for our Charlotte Cities4Life teams. The abortion center is open, using medical equipment such as masks that are in short supply. Meanwhile those noble healthcare workers fighting Covid-19 who are treating patients to try to PREVENT death are at risk themselves from mask shortages. 

The abortion centers which provide (at enormous self-profit) elective killing of thousands of babies a day are open in our nation. The rest of us have been told to shelter at home, avoid gatherings, only go out for essential purposes, cancel all non-essential medical interventions/visits. Small businesses are closing their doors per the CDC and state requirements. Many will be closed permanently in the wake of the economic devastation. 

But the multi-million dollar for profit abortion centers are open for business as usual.

I myself have strained vocal cords. I have self-diagnosed with the help of a friend who is a speech therapist and is fairly certain I have nodules on my vocal cords, judging from the symptoms. I won’t go see a doctor until the overwhelmed hospitals and health care workers are no longer dealing with the pandemic.

Nonetheless, at least forty abortion-minded mothers and workers gathered yesterday at the abortion center where our sidewalk counselors minister. This large group collected in a small building. Against the CDC request of no gathering greater than ten, and no non-essential surgeries.

Yesterday in the cold, pouring rain, our team gave out several of our life-saving/Gospel focused literature. We offered help, hope, truth, and resources so they could make a choice other than abortion. We spoke to every woman entering that place. We begged them to turn to faith in God and not to fear. We did not stand aloof from the plight of the babies while their nearest kin plotted their death. 

One woman chose life. We rejoice in her choice, and pray she did not contract coronavirus while in the midst of that tightly packed group inside the building.

Please pray for Cities4Life teams as we are committed to being there as long as that evil place is open. If you are moved to contact your legislators and demand that the non-essential practice of abortion cease in the midst of this pandemic, please do so. Better yet, remind them that the inhumane, barbaric, evil practice of the killing of unborn children should be legally prohibited forever. The last people any of us should fear are our closest of kin...our own parents.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

By God’s Grace People Can Change

God always speaks to the sorrows of my heart. This morning I was reflecting on how hopeless situations can appear, but God promises that He is able to restore anyone to Himself if that person is willing. I wait, as I am sure many of you do, for restoration in situations that seem impossible. If the wait is prolonged, as it often is, the sense of futility can dampen the fire of joy. 

And then the Holy Spirit speaks through the Word of God and hope flames again.

My bible study this morning was about Jacob’s sons in the midst of famine returning to Egypt for grain. Unbeknownst to them, their brother Joseph, whom they had sold into slavery twenty years ago, is now second in command to Pharoah. He is a powerful man who has single-handedly with the spirit of God engineered stockpiling food to save many people during the long famine. If you are unfamiliar with the story, it is an amazing story of God using evil actions to bring about good. That is a powerful and central message of the story but a different side-message gave me enormous comfort today.

Judah, the oldest son who had been responsible for selling Joseph to slave traders out of jealousy and evil selfishness has been entrusted with the safety of the youngest brother Benjamin. Jacob, the father of the sons, had been lied to by his sons all those years ago who claimed his favored son Joseph was dead. He believes that Benjamin is the only remaining child of his late wife Rachel, whom he dearly loved. 

The sons do not recognize Joseph as they follow his orders to return to Egypt with Benjamin if they want more grain. Jacob is bereft, but knows they will die of starvation if he does not do as Pharoah’s right-hand man has asked.  When Joseph sees them return with Benjamin, he tests them and sets up a “sting”operation. He plants his valuable silver in Benjamin’s sack and sends them home with grain. Then he deploys his soldiers to confront the brothers of theft. They find the silver in Benjamin’s sack and return to Egypt. Joseph says they may go on their way home, but Benjamin, the apparent thief, will remain a slave in Egypt.

Judah, the once traitorous brother who had sold Joseph into slavery, now speaks some of the most transformative words of the Bible: “Now, therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers. For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me—for fear that I see the evil that would overtake my father?””
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭44:33-34‬ ‭

Judah has recognized his past evil, repented of it, and shown the complete change of character in now offering his life in place of Benjamin’s. I reread that passage, filled with hope. When God gets a hold of our spirit, miraculous change is possible. Our past does not need to determine who we will become.This is true of me, my family...and you. God meets all of us where we are, but does not intend for us to remain there.

It took twenty years for this transformation to occur in Judah. Joseph was busy following the Lord and living a life dedicated to God during that time. He did not apparently wallow in despair for being sold as a slave nor for being tossed unjustly for a period of time in prison. He seemed to always trust God and thrive in whatever situation he was placed. And in the end, he was rewarded with the relationship with his brothers restored and the joy of seeing his old father again before he died. His family was reunited and saved...after twenty long years of separation.

Sometimes the waiting is very hard, but we know that God’s timing is always perfect and always for the purpose of glorifying Him and expanding His kingdom. At times I am like Joseph, waiting for something for years with no apparent resolution likely. Other times, I am like Judah, slowly being transformed into the likeness of my savior despite the evil choices of my past. Either way, God’s grace and mercy is at work, even when He appears to be silent and distant. That famine in our soul will end if we are in Him. Restoration and healing is possible in the worst situations.