Many of you new pro-lifers (or maybe even the seasoned veterans) may be able to relate to this: Becoming pro-life is like coming out of the fog. Visibility starts to clear and the surroundings sometimes are new. "How come I have never seen this before?" "How could my life had been so clouded?" I also translate this to my Christian walk as well. As you delve into knowledge, you discover new insights and new people. Sometimes you discover horrifying things too (a heart-palpitating trip from Modesto, in the fog, had us opening our doors to check to see if we were still on the road). In this case, though, I remember the first time that I discovered that some babies actually survived abortions. I also remember the time I realized that there were many different methods of abortion. The more I learned, the more I looked at my past life and said, "How could my life been so clouded as to not know this?" This ignorance was not bliss at all. As horrifying as it is to find out (and it's horrifying to share this with others), I am glad to know about it now because it has to STOP.
I always considered myself to be somewhat smart (except for those times I considered myself kind of dumb). I don't corner the market on Egghead Status, but I don't consider myself a complete slouch either. Reading has always been a favorite past-time and I love biographies and autobiographies of historical figures. My youthful years were filled with the fiction of Evelyn Waugh, R.H. Delderfield and Somerset Maugham as well as Margaret Mitchell, A. J. Cronin and whatever was offered in my literature class. In addition, books about people's experiences becoming nurses, doctors and coroners were pretty fascinating too....anything medical My parents put quite a few books in my hands as they were huge readers themselves. I give them a lot of credit for fostering the love of reading in me! :)
It's a big world out there so we are apt to miss some really good stories. However, in my fog, I heard passing references to Corrie Ten Boom and William Wilberforce. They were just names connected with a brief blurb "Hid Jews in her home during World War 2" and "Fought slavery in England" (respectively). They were just names of old people who lived long ago. I had no idea they were Christian or the amount of bravery they possessed for what they did. The fog in my world was THICKER than any Modesto fog!!
A few years ago, several things happened. Well, first I became saved which was huge as my life would never be the same again. The other thing was that we homeschooled our son and daughter. This led me to several homeschool conventions. Anyone who has been to a convention of that sort knows of the vending halls full of REALLY cool resources....especially books! Yay! There are mountains of Christian books. My appetite was whetted for learning about missionaries and other Christian historical figures. My own childhood history classes were sorely lacking of such wonderful and interesting accounts.
Around this time, a movie came out called "Amazing Grace". My husband and I were both very eager to support the Christian film industry and/or movies that promoted clean entertainment. Thanks to Vision Forum and Answers in Genesis and Rich Christiano, we were able to provide some God-honoring videos to our children. "Amazing Grace" was well-done in acting, sets, script and message. However, I prefer the biography by Eric Metaxes and there is a short book by John Piper that is also very good. Even better than that would be to read Wilberforce's own books! That also goes for Corrie Ten Boom with The Hideaway and Tramping for the Lord.
In reading these books, I could just feel my heart swell up! Many people understand what it means to say it's visceral. The feelings are so deep within that it permeates the very core of being. In Wilberforce and Ten Boom's imperfections and idiosyncrasies, they were used by Christ. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and lived lives of great courage, conviction and application of their beliefs. They both suffered great losses and yet were indomitable in spirit. Sometimes you hear about certain people and the conviction you realize is "I just have absolutely NO reason to complain about my circumstances". The Christian should be content with everything in his life yet we still act selfishly in some manner. Shamefacedly, I admit to this (God continues to prune me).
These are just two people. There are many more stories of servants who served Christ....and I don't want to leave anyone out. I love the story of Gladys Aylward too. We have so many examples in the Bible and in our historical accounts. Today we had a teaching at Bible study about all our excuses as to why we don't obey God's call. Moses and Jeremiah came up with our same excuses. "I don't know what to say", Maybe no one will believe me", "I'll be rejected", "I am too young" (or maybe it's "I am too old or infirm"), or maybe it's "I am just plain scared" and/or ill-equipped. I can relate. Wilberforce and Ten Boom could have come up with some very good reasons not to follow through with God's call on them. On the contrary, these were people who said in essence, "I MUST". They would not have had a second's peace turning their backs on the slaves and the Jews. They were the Good Samaritans of their ages.
It stings sometimes to know that these fine examples of Christ's servants existed and it took me ages to know about them. There is the nagging notion that there are still many others out there and I am still in the fog (okay, those of you who know me personally.....what was that? Yes, I am in the fog but not for the reason above? Ah, yes, you know me too well).
Please feel free to share about the many examples who inspire you....Biblical to present time. When you came out of the fog.....what did you discover?
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Actually, it's "180" AND another ministry called "And Then There Were None".
As you have seen on my blog in the past, the "180" documentary has been posted for some time now. It's very eye-opening for many who never really throught through the whole pro-life issue. I was one of those kinds of people at one time only I didn't have "180" to point it out to me. Had I seen "180" when I was a lot younger, it would have made a huge impact on my life. Pretty sure of it.
There have been reports that "180" is making some waves on high school and college campuses. Hundreds of thousands of copies have been distributed in many areas of the country. It has actually saved some lives of babies (and when you think about it, maybe this film prevented some deaths of mothers as well. We know that women still die from abortion).
Many different things are going on in the pro-life movement right now. I would recommend checking out some pro-life news websites like www.jillstanek.com
There has been a lawsuit filed claiming Planned Parenthood has committed fraud in the amount of $5.5 billion Now, I am not very sanguine that this will take them down. They get pass after pass and I seriously doubt Cecile Richards will ever see any prison cell, although some of her employees will probably be seen as expendable.
Still, this SHOULD raise some eyebrows but my concern is people are far too jaded to care that citizen's taxes are going to fraud. Actually, I have come to the conclusion that most people are far too jaded to care about Planned Parenthood's willingness to cover up sexual abuse, rape, incest, sex trafficking, statutory rape, domestic violence, willingness to lie about basic prenatal development, their targeting of minorities and their goals to promote promiscuity, especially among youth (the younger the better in their eyes).
It is truly amazing to see the blank, glazed looks of people who are told about these things and there's just no reaction. Sometimes I do get a reaction, but mostly from youths. The people who are stone-faced and uncaring are the ones, the pro-aborts, mostly from my mom's generation. It's like they look at you and say, "but the coathanger icon is what we cling to....don't mess this up for us! We refuse to register any thought contrary to our rosy picture of abortion and our heroine Margaret Sanger. I refuse to look at your evidence." You know you have faced the most hardened heart when the mention of a baby being killed doesn't cause a person to even flinch in the slightest. Sadly, I know and have talked to people who are just like this.
The other ministry that I am happy to share with those of you who have not heard yet is "And Then There Were None". Abby Johnson is a former Planned Parenthood director having been in the industry for 8 years. She left after a series of events took place at the abortion facility that forever changed her mind about abortion. By the way, she just gave birth to her baby boy so congratulations, Johnson Family!
Abby has started the ministry to help abortion workers leave the industry. Oftentimes, there are workers who find themselves wanting to leave but fear they won't find a new job to support their families or they fear they will be ostracized for their past involvement which goes to show you that abortion is not looked favorably by most medical professionals. Abortionists are seen as the bottom feeders in the medical field. Even many doctors who claim a "pro-choice" belief don't really want to do abortions themselves.
The exciting thing about "And Then There Were None" is the possibility that abortion facilities could have great difficulty keeping their doors open if there is a mass departure of their work force. Abortion workers see crimes being committed, fraud perpetrated and of course, the bodies of mutilated babies day in and day out. They see the gross negligence, the callous treatment of the abortionists and their staff and the suffering victims of abortion (including the babies who may even live for a short time after the abortion). The ministry can help the abortion worker safely report criminal activity of their former bosses, reach out to people who know where they have been, and gain some confidence in leaving by getting assistance in finding a new jobs and possible temporary financial help. http://www.attwn.org/
There have been many people who have left the abortion industry. Some of them have become very outspoken pro-life warriors and have fought in many arenas for life. Those are the "dangerous ones" to the abortion industry. They were frontline and are not afraid to tell about the horrors (not exaggerated by any means) of the inside workings. There is credibility and they deliver an impact. I have been most impressed with Carol Everett's account. Her book Blood Money: Getting Rich Off a Woman's Right to Choose has been the most riveting inside look. Carol is pretty much a straight-from-the-hip shooter and she tells of her conversion from a highly ambitious abortion facility owner to a sold-out-for-Jesus Christian and pro-life warrior. If you haven't read it, buy it and read it! Carol could have become hardened and jaded but Christ gave her humility and a love to serve. She is a formidable force to be reckoned with and she does it with a healthy dose of humor too. In addition, Carol has a post-abortion ministry called The Heidi Group.
http://www.squidoo.com/Carol-Everett Much of her story is at this website but I still recommend the book.
So you see, the heart change of people will cause a major tide change for the protection of the defenseless. Whether they see "180" or whether they leave the abortion industry, or whether they read a book......all these will cause people to rethink their ideas on abortion. Really, that's great but none of this matters if they really don't have a personal relationship with Christ. I am happy to hear about people change their views to pro-life. There are pro-life atheists, pro-life secular groups and pro-life Buddhists, etc. Dr. Bernard Nathanson (a former abortionist who died from cancer last year) became pro-life before he became a believer. I was pro-life before I became saved.
It one was of many precipitating factors in becoming saved in my case. Many things contributed in my journey to being born again. God kept putting different truths in my path until I couldn't ignore Him any longer (He has the most amazing patience and perfect timing). I sat in churches a long time in a complacent state of worldliness. God grabbed hold of me through various ways and people. This isn't my full testimony of how He became my Lord and Savior but my emphasis is that one can be pro-life and on a path to Hell. I know I deserved Hell as I was not a good person. I desperately wanted assurance that I was a good enough person for Heaven and I desperately wanted to know what made my place in Heaven sure. There was no peace, just religious activity with a nagging question...."how much activity is enough for God to see that I deserve to be in Heaven?"
None is the answer. And on my very best day of behavior I am still but a filthy rag. I can't do anything for myself, I can't save myself, I can't ever be good enough for Heaven ever. I can try to save babies all day long (possibly quite successfully) and that won't get me into Heaven. So you see, if you are out there and you have become pro-life...I am very happy that you are fighting for the defenseless. I am thrilled that you and I share that belief that no human should be subjected to dismemberment or suffocation or even lack of sustenance based on "wantedness" or "convenience". I hope that you recognize that it's not enough to be pro-life. Why are we pro-life? It is because we recognize that that little baby is a human, unique and individual and precious to Him AND made in HIS image. He created Life and His Son gave HIS life so that we might have eternal life. Every life He brought forth on this earth is precious and beautiful to Him (if you aren't aware of it.....you need to realize that you are precious and beautiful to Him).
I often tell my clients that the Lord opens the womb and closes the womb. No baby, child or person you know exists on earth without His knowledge or permission. He knows each person at a molecular level and their souls intimately. Add up how many people have ever lived from Adam to present time and then think about all the people about to be born. Then add the fact that He knows of all the activity going on at a molecular level in the trees,, animals, oceans, and in the galaxies from the beginning of time to the present. There are still saplings that will sprout and puppies to be born.....and He knows all about those things at the deepest level as well. Even with all this, He knows and loves you and you are a precious gem to Him. And He has all the time in the world to listen to you....He's outside of time. He's omnipotent and omniscient.
This kind of knowledge about God (in His own words) drew me to Him. His love drew me to Him. Truth drew me to Him. I remembered one day that I realized with horror that I was not saved. I remedied that shortly after. There was still a lot I didn't understand but He was still so patient and good to me. To this day, I am in awe that He still wants me to be with Him. :) I am a pretty stiff-necked person and no, I am not proud of that. It's not a trait to be embraced. Chastening is a daily (hourly or secondly) activity that goes on in my day. Thanks to Proverbs, I can put this in perspective. One thing I am working on is a spiritual inventory for a bible study I am doing. Okay..."working" is a loose term as I haven't actually started the spiritual inventory yet.....God will deal with me, to be certain. Maybe this blog will help me get a move-on? :D
The one thing that bothers me is that I don't have a single moment of time where I remember turning my own "180". It's not easy growing older! It seemed like one day I was for abortion and then the next day I was not. I did go through a metamorphosis that many people experience. I was into exceptions first and then one by by one, those exceptions disappeared. Once I realized the horrors of abortion, I went through a very hard stage of disgust for the woman who chose abortion. In my mind, she was only one kind of woman....pretty hard-hearted and calculating. Over time, I learned that there was not just one kind of woman who underwent abortions. You mean there are COERCED abortions? Then, my understanding of how men were involved came into view. Then the effect of abortion on grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, future siblings and friends became prominent. This journey of learning has led me to recognize God's grace, forgiveness, His chastening, His justice, His power and His compassion.
So you see, I became pro-life through mysterious means. However, in short, it was God who was behind that. God started working on me with all those things I mentioned above. The more I learned and the more truth He set before me, the more I was humbled and the more my heart grew and wisdom increased. I have to admit, when I became pro-life, I wasn't seeking Him actively. I was still very enamored by the world's pleasures and empty promises. There was more confusion and doubt than any active search for peace and rest in Him. I was having fun for the most part. I loved Oprah, Rosie, and Hollywood movies. My apathy for world events slowly crumbled and God set many things in motion.
God showed me that I was being lied to through many channels. It set forth a huge domino effect of indignation that I had been duped but also a thirst for more answers. That's a good place to be though---malleability! It boiled down to one question. Do I believe that the Bible IS the SOLE authority or not? That was the turning point for me. After that, everything changed. I had to leave a church based on the fact that they did not really believe in the Bible. They elevated man's understanding above God's. I had to dump my presuppositions that had been inculcated in me for over 30 years. It caused a chain reaction of losing friends, losing a church and an increase in shallow conversations with family members.
But I wouldn't go back to that life before He was Lord and Savior of my life for anything. I was bought, paid for and sanctified. His Word does divide but I have an amazing amount of peace. The wheat and chaff will be separated. The sheep and goats will be separated. I just can't be a Chaffy Goat anymore! :D
My life isn't a "180" movie and I am not an insider to the abortion industry. This blog isn't going to cause a tsunami-level change to the pro-life movement (DISCLAIMER), but maybe there's a pro-lifer out there who can relate to some of the things shared here. Are you still trying to figure things out in where you stand with your pro-life beliefs? Are you still in the world enjoying the trappings? It may just boil down to just a few vital questions. Is Jesus your Savior and LORD of your WHOLE life? Is God's Word sole authority or not? Are you bowing down to the "created" or your CREATOR? Who is your god....you......or Your Father in Heaven who thinks of you as worthy for His Son to pay your penalty?
Romans 1:16-2516 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.