Thursday, March 22, 2018

Day 37 of 40! Home stretch!

The second campaign in Centralia will be wrapping up this Sunday. Another 40 days of faithful witness in snow, cold and rain. . . and some sun (thank you Jesus!)  40 days of prayers ascending to the throne of grace for the rescue of His little ones, their mommies and daddies, the workers at PP and for Lewis County. I can't thank you all enough for answering the call to be a voice for the voiceless.

There has not - yet anyway - been any confirmed saves here in Centralia, but we know that God hears our prayers, and that He is at work. We will likely learn of saved lives and changed hearts in future years, but will, without doubt, know the full truth in eternity. We have been blessed however with many positive encounters and conversations, and we can trust our consistent, faithful public witness is changing minds about the protection of the unborn. So I want to say THANK YOU for all that you do!

As an international effort 40 days has now seen 440 lives saved, 2 abortion businesses shut down in Ohio and Mexico and 2 abortion workers who have quit and found help from vigil volunteers. . . all in just 37 days. Praise the Lord!! 

Earlier this week Pastor John at Open Bible church shared with me the story of Kathi Aultman, a former Planned Parenthood director and abortion doctor and her incredible story of transformation and healing as she left the abortion industry. It was very eye-opening to hear her story and how she began to recognize the reality of her work - to go from sifting through body parts and being fascinated by the science of it, to slowly feeling the weight of sin, repenting and experiencing God's forgiveness and eventually the ability to forgive herself.  When thinking of/praying for the employees at PP I sometimes wonder how they can work there without recognizing the reality of their work. . . but I realize it's the same for all of us. Until the Holy Spirit opens our eyes and convicts our hearts of sin (John 16:8) we are as good as blind. Or in other words we're as good as dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1)  We CAN'T see sin, non-the-less save ourselves. I'm so grateful for His work in our hearts to convict us and lead us to repentance, so that we can then experience His measureless mercy that is far greater than all sin. It is my hope and prayer, and I know it is yours too, to see each worker at Centralia PP come alive in Christ and experience His amazing mercy and love that I/we have so undeservedly received. He is able! To see the interview and article of Kathi Aultman click HERE

A couple updates from the sidewalk. . . 
Yesterday, Wednesday, my dad was out in the evening. Dad has such a heart for people and loves having conversations with folks, so he was praying specifically for the chance to speak to someone. The answer to his prayer came in the form of a middle aged man in a VERY nice, refurbished old truck. Dad commented on how beautiful it was and exchanged some small talk with him. But the man then went into PP. Upon coming out, as the man walked to his truck he said something to the effect of, "Planned Parenthood offers so many other services, why don't you go protest wars?" 
Dad responded graciously that he understood PP offered other services, and that if PP stopped offering abortions there wouldn't be anyone out on the sidewalk. (Centralia PP does chemical abortion up to 10 weeks). 

Daddy then thanked him for asking and asked the man if he had just 5 minutes to talk more, the man agreed. This led into a great conversation which dad says was the best conversation he's ever had on the sidewalk! They went through nearly every possible reason the world gives to justify abortion, and dad was able to expose the fallacy of each claim while maintaining a respectful conversation with him. Although the man did not acknowledge a change of heart, I'm sure he has a lot on his mind to think about, and I know seeds were planted that God can grow! I love seeing this answer to Daddy's prayer and how God gave my dad the words and wisdom to speak with him!

Sometime before or after that conversation dad was standing on Yew up by the intersection, and a VERY snazzy, fancy-banancy car pulled up and stopped right in front of dad. The window came down and dad bent down to see the driver - an early 20's hispanic young man dressed very nicely. The young man promptly pulled out all the cash he had in his wallet and began offering it to Daddy. Dad was a little surprised and didn't take it right away but tried to clarify what the money was for. Apparently, the man couldn't speak any English, or was tongue tied - but he kept offering the $20 cash. Dad said he sensed in his demeanor something was bothering him, either guilt or regret or perhaps just embarrassment that he couldn't talk. God knows his story and why he felt he needed to give something to the cause/ministry of 40 DFL. I pray that God will work in his heart and lead him to the hope and healing in Christ if he is hurting because of a past decision. 

The other day I was messaging with one of the most Godly and beautiful ladies I know, and her heart and words encouraged me so much. I asked if I could share this story to encourage others . . . and she let me! Love you Amy! 

"Well, this whole movement has been a work in progress in my own heart. I went from thinking "absolutely NOT", with the thought of raucous protest and graphic picketing signs in my mind, to understanding what it really means to be a part of 40 DFL, and the powerful effective work of bold, loving prayer. So, I've been praying as I am headed in each Friday for God to let me speak with His words and react with His love if the situation arises. Annnnddd.....quietly hoping He won't actually ask me to do any of that! 🙂 Mostly, people just honk approval, which is encouraging. If anyone is gesturing, I don't see it. I just bow my head and pray. So, this past Friday I parked over by the vacant lot, like I always do and I start walking to PP. I keep hearing a jingling sound, so I look around like a crazy person wondering if there is something in my jacket making the sound. It turns out it's one of the residents of the homes along that road. I didn't even see him standing on his front porch. He asks me "Are you one of those picketers?" I quietly pray, "Oh me out". So I tell him that I am one of the people who come and pray, but we aren't picketing, we are simply holding a peaceful prayer vigil on behalf of unborn babies, potential moms and dad, the PP workers, and over Lewis County." He asked why I parked over across the street, so I told him we didn't want to clog up the local business parking lots, annoy the home owners along the street, or be a nuisance in anyone's way. He squints at me for a moment, then asks if we ever get threatened. I tell him I haven't, but I just close my eyes and pray. I tell him people mostly honk, which I take as a good sign. Some people have had difficult interactions, but mostly people either give support, truly want to engage in conversation, or they just want to argue. But, our purpose is to pray and offer support and alternatives to abortion. He lets that sink in, then says, "I just can't imagine threatening anyone". I told him I agreed and that I was just there to pray over this county and speak up for those who have no voice. He nodded in agreement and gives a tiny grin. At that point, I told him to have a good day and went to pray on the sidewalk. I thought it was a good interaction to clarify our presence there...and maybe plant a seed. I know God is good and working all of these things together for our good and His glory. Oh, and I prayed for that man too. :-)

Wow. . . I can identify with her heart! I do pray for the chance to speak with someone. . . but deep down I hope I won't actually have to. I'm always afraid I won't have the answers, or that I'll say something that comes across the wrong way. But, He continues to show me over and over that He is ALWAYS faithful to help us and give us the words and wisdom in each conversation. It's such an awesome feeling afterwards when God sets up a divine appointment like that, and you realize, "whoa I just did what I'm so deathly afraid of?! I just talked to someone?!  Did you really use ME God? Insignificant, clumsy little me?" There's nothing like relying on Him and watching him work in and through our weaknesses!!  I want to have more boldness and courage to rely on Him and be His ambassador no matter how inadequate I may feel.

Just 3 more days folks. Lets finish strong!  And as we get close to wrapping up 40 days, don't stop praying! Don't stop showing up! 4 abortion appointments are available every day PP is open. . . if all are filled that means. . .  4 babies die, 4 mommies are hurt and scarred for life and 4 daddies may one day regret lost fatherhood. This happens every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Let's not stop petitioning our loving Father for their rescue, and let's continue to stand in the gap for them. Stopping in for a few minutes of prayer as we drive to the bank, or work is truly the least we can do for the least of these who have no voice, no protection and no friend. Prayer and presence is powerful, and it's needed. It does save lives and change hearts - so let's keep showing up as often as possible throughout the year until PP shuts down. And I have faith it WILL. Let this be so Father God! 

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Day 30 of 40 - Update . .

 Time flies! Can't believe we are already 3/4 of the way through. Just wanted to share some updates from folks so far, and some encouragement as we head into the last quarter of 40 days! 

First the updates: 

I got this from Pastor Josh and Pastor Bill from Jackson Prairie Assembly of God who go out on Tuesday mornings! 

"For the first time we actually had someone throw something at us! It was a small chocolate pastry. You can see it in the pics where John is squatting down by the road. Aside from the flying bar of calories, we had a lot of positive response this morning. As of the time I’m writing this to you we still have a group out there pray’n."

Pastor Bill said they were blessed to have some good interactions with folks too! Praise the Lord!  

Too bad they didn't throw it out with the wrapper still on it. :-) 

On Sunday when my family and I were out there, my brother Kyle was blessed to speak to someone about abortion and the Lord! He says:
"So please pray for my new friend S.! I saw him several times over the course of 40 Days for Life. He walks on our patch of sidewalk to buy some snacks at the corner market across the street, and I have always tried to be friendly when he walks by in hopes that he'll engage in a conversation. Well, this time I commented on how his M n M's were a great snack choice, and he chuckled and said thank you. . . but kept walking. Well, about fifteen minutes later I see him coming back down the sidewalk, and he made eye contact and started talking with me!! S. calls himself a Christian and anti-abortion, but he is definitely very post-modern in his thinking and doesn't believe much of anything about God's Word. However, we talked a lot about moral absolutes, when life begins, the choice of saving sex for marriage, the authority of God's Word on morality and the truth, and a rabbit trail on video games that was rather random and unfortunate. I feel like God gave me just the words to say and the scripture to quote right when I needed them!  I know some seeds were planted, and I sure hope to get to talk to him more before the campaign ends! One thing I regret is that I didn't get to share the gospel completely with him! I want to fix that!! Please, please pray that God would give S. a hunger for learning more about him, and that God would draw him to Himself. . . maybe even through me!"

Kyle has been faithfully fasting and praying for this chance to speak to someone on the sidewalk. He has a real heart for people. . . just like my dad, and he was SO excited to be given this opportunity!

". . . and whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith." Mtt 21:22 "Therefore I tell you whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24

I had a couple opportunities to speak with folks recently and I'll just briefly share a few that stick out to me. 

Last Friday I was standing near the entrance/exit of PP again. The parking lot had filled up, so a woman had to park across the street at the Auto Parts store and had to walk right by me to get to PP. "Hello there, are you doing ok?" I asked her. She responded, "Oh hi. Yes, I'm fine - I'm just getting birth control." She then proceeded to say she is personally against abortion, but believes it should be allowed in the case of rape. I'm still learning the best way to respond to this objection. A way that communicates compassion for rape victim, the desire for justice to be done, and yet the defense of the innocent life who is also a victim of rape. The book Love Unleashes Life by Stephanie Gray has been an invaluable resource for me, and so I responded much the same way she encourages us to do in her book. 
"I understand ma'am. I agree, rape is a horrible injustice and trauma to the woman and I think she deserves the best healthcare, and the utmost love and compassion from her friends, family and community to help her heal. And I believe the rapist must be held to the fullest extent of the law for his crimes." 

She nods. 

I ask, "Can I ask you a question?"   

Then gently, "Do you think the tragic violence of rape justifies the tragic violence of abortion?" 

Immediately she responds,  "NO. That doesn't justify it. . . nothing does." 

(I think, wow this question works! Second time I've had a conversation and this question immediately brings it home and changes minds. Thanks to Mike Spencer from Life Training Institute who trained us to answer with this question!) 

She responds again: "There isn't any justice anymore though. Even drug addicts get more time in jail than rapists." 

She walked away at that point, and so I wasn't able to converse more with her. 

Although,  I can't even pretend to understand the horrible trauma of rape, I know that abortion only makes the trauma much, much worse. And when you watch stories like this Jennifer's Story, and this Abortion for the Hard Cases - Testimonies - you see the mothers healing and experiencing joy and hope through raising their child. 

Jackie Evans, a mother from incest shares her story in that second video and I'll just quote her words. “My child was conceived in rape, but that doesn’t make her less than human. My daughter has been a huge blessing in my life. She is the light of my life and she’s been the reason that I’ve become the human being that I am. Had I had an abortion, I would have remained in the situation that I was in. And my pregnancy and my daughter gave me purpose. It gave me something to strive for and it gave me hope for a better life. The idea that a woman who was raped has a right to kill her child, is completely negative. It doesn’t help the woman and it doesn’t help the baby. A woman is stronger than that. A woman does not need to be told she should kill a child in order to feel better about what happened. It’s not going to make the rape go away it just means, that now I’ve been raped and now I’m the mother of a dead baby. It just heaps insult upon injury.  Woman are stronger than this. . . producing life and producing something very positive from a rape is very healing.” 

Generally it is not the woman who has been raped who wants to destroy her baby, it's society that does. As Jennifer says, it's a false compassion from society for rape victims, and it's become the top objection to justify abortion. Let's keep on praying for the chance to spread these truths in defense of BOTH victims of rape - the mommy and the baby. 

There was another time I was out with a few others, and a homeless man asked for directions to the hospital as he was experiencing some alcohol withdrawals. :-(  I pointed him in the right direction and then asked if it would be alright to pray with him before he left. He agreed. After my brief prayer for him he had tears in his eyes, and thanked me genuinely, saying that was a huge blessing to him. I share this not to toot my own horn as if my prayer was something special. Frankly, I remember being unsure what to pray for and managed a very simple and short prayer. Apparently, God knew what this man needed to hear and gave me the words to say that meant something to him. It's such a blessing to be used by the Lord - especially when we feel inadequate or unworthy to be his voice, hands and feet. 

"Now then go, and I, even I will be with your mouth, and teach you what to say." Ex. 4:12 

My dad had a conversation with a young man the other day as well who has been riding around town on his bike. I'm not sure exactly what all went down, but eventually that young man whipped out his Bible from his back-pack and there they stood reading God's word on the sidewalk. Dad asked him where he went to church, and after hearing he didn't attend a church, invited him to attend some of the local churches participating in 40 days who would be glad to have him! 

Just a heads up to folks who are continuing to go out, you may have visitors from the opposing camp now. On Saturday and Monday two men have come to exercise their first amendment right beside us, along with their own signs, loud music and shouts to folks driving by. Pray for them! Apparently one of our Monday prayer volunteers from St. Mary's tried to talk to them, and the man she tried to speak with only wanted to say, "I like chicken" to her questions. Not much of a conversation! :-)  I'm assuming once the rain resumes they won't come out much, but if they do, pray for them. If you feel the Lord leading you to talk with and get to know them and why they came out,  I would encourage you to allow the Lord to use you to plant seeds. He can and will teach you what to say, as He did for Moses, and it may impact their lives more than you know. I can't help but think God can set up divine appointments by bringing folks out who oppose us. 

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7 

One of my favorite things I see out on the sidewalk are so many believers from different churches coming together for one mission and praying side by side. The first Friday I went out I saw someone from Mt. View Baptist and someone from SVCC praying side by side together. I don't know if they had met before or just met that day. . . but I love seeing how the family of Christ comes together out there! Last Friday I counted 49 folks from 3 different churches who came out in one day! Praise the Lord! 

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

 I wanted to share some things that have stuck out to me from the book Love Unleashes Life. This book is AMAZING, and so helpful! If you have time, feel free to click this next blog post and read some of the book that has stuck out to me! But I would highly encourage all of you to get your own copy! 

Some thoughts from the book Love Unleashes Life

Here are some quotes from the book Love Unleashes Life. Chapter 2 The Disposition of a Good Arguer - pg. 17 

"Love makes demands upon us. To love someone means that from time to time you will be required by that love to tell someone something that they would rather not hear. 

Likewise, when sharing uncomfortable truths with people about abortion, we should remember those words. Of course, any way we can soften the hard things we have to say, we should. One way to do that is by narrating what you are about to do, saying things such as,
  • "Because I care about you, I want to be honest with you. . . "
  • "What I want to share with you is hard to say, but I believe you deserve to know. . . " 
  • "I want what's best for you, and if I don't tell you something I know, that you don't know, but would want to know, I would feel I've failed you as a friend. . . " 
When imparting difficult truths if can be helpful to think of this analogy: 

Imagine you wake up in a pitch-black dark room - so dark you cannot see your hand in front of your face.  You start to move around but you bump into things You don't know what's in the room as you don't know how you got there. What you need is some light. 

Now imagine all of a sudden the lights are flicked on. BUt these aren't ordinary lights - they are high-beam movie studio quality spot lights. What would your first reaction be? 

"Ouch!! That hurts! Turn them off!" 

All that time you wanted - needed - the light, but when you got it you cried for it to go away. 

John 3:20 tells us, "For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light lest his deeds should be exposed." In a world where millions of the youngest of our kind are killed through abortion annually, these are times of death and darkness. It is our job to bring forth a way of living that embraces life and light - but because that is so different from what our culture is currently used to , the "intensity" and "pain" of this light may cause some in the darkness to cry, "Go away!",. Although people may seem to reject the light they actually don't.  What they reject is the transition to the light. It's not our job to avoid the transition - that can't be helped, is is our job to journey with them through the transition, knowing is is the loving thing to do." 

Love is about wanting the other's good, not about wanting them to feel good. So if we truly care about people that means we will share truths with them that are for their good, even if those truths don't necessarily make one feel good.

 - - - 

The Power of Questions - Pg. 13, 14a 
Asking questions has an effect on the minds that do the asking - but also on the minds that do the answering. It's often only when we're asked to explain something that we realize whether we have answers and whether those answers make sense. 

Questions have power. They can set us on a journey looking for answers we preciously didn't know. Or, they can draw out of us answers that, deep down, we did know but hadn't acknowledged until the opportunity arose from a questions. 

If this tactic of questions is so transformational, it shouldn't surprise people of faith that Jesus embraced it too. 

In Luke 10:25, Jesus is approached by a lawyer, a scholar of the law who asks Him, "teacher what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus wisely asks questions. "what is written in the law? How do you read it?" 

Instead of getting onto a soap box and pushing information into the lawyer, Jesus asks questions and draws information out of the lawyer. In doing so, if the lawyer has any objections, he'll ultimately be arguing with himself. 

This was a communication strategy Jesus began well before His thirties. Luke's Gospel recounts the story of 12-year-old Jesus being accidentally left behind by Joseph and Mary in Jerusalem during Passover. 

"After there days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions" (Luke 2:46.) 

What was Jesus doing? Listening and asking questions. And when Jesus employed this strategy, the Scriptures tell us, "all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers" (Luke 47). 

Questions lead the questioner to information. Questions lead the answerer to clarity. Questions create an atmosphere of respect where people listen to one another, and that leads to understanding.

Seek to Understand 

In order to understand, we need to listen deeply to what the other person says. If people see that we have a strong mind and a soft heart, they'll be more likely to dialogue with us and consider what we have to say. It is imperative that pro-life conviction not override pro-life compassion because is is not so much about winning the debate as it is about winning hearts"

- - - 

Whose power? Page Page 17 

"When we enter into conversations, a vital question for each of us to consider is this: "have I invited God along. Am I running on human strength or Divine? Have I prayed that I would decrease so that God may increase? Have  taken time for God to work in me before I take time to do His work? 

We encounter people for such a brief moment compared to a lifetime, and in some cases, never see them again. This fact should serve to remind us of our littleness in comparison to God's greatness. Further, it should be a sobering reminder to us of our influence to do great good or great evil- as someone once sad to me, " even the tiniest drop of food color can change the color of water." Since even our brief encounters can have a permeating effect on people, we should ground them in prayer to have the most positive impact." 
- - - 
If you don't have your own copy yet, I would encourage you to get one! These are all thoughts to help us improve the manner in which we communicate. But it continues with very practical tips for asking questions, communicating through stories, and responding to tough objections. I'll try to share more periodically when I have time! 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Day 23 - Some Interactions!

Now that the weather is warming up, we're starting to see some more interaction with folks! These little glimpses we get to see of the work God is doing in the hearts of those driving by encourage me, and I pray that He will see fit to set up more divine appointments. 

Pastor Josh from Mt View Baptist shared this experience he had while praying last week . . . 

Last Friday, a large pickup with a man driving pulled out of the Planned Parenthood parking lot, to my left.  He drove close to the curb, where I was, the window went down.  My first thought was, "Uh oh...."        
     Immediately, I saw that the man's face was not full of animosity, but pinched in pain.  He looked like he could have been 30, and was extremely fit. He leaned toward the passenger window and said, "I fully support your sign..."  
     Not expecting that and not sure I heard it right, I replied, "What?"  
     "I support your sign," he repeated.  "My girlfriend has been cheating on me.  She's had three abortions.  I just got tested.  I agree with your sign."  At that point, he had to drive on. I was left thinking of all I would like to say.  That wasn't God's plan.  Our presence and the signs had said enough.  
     Ponder the pain that man was going through.  It brought him to a point where he felt it necessary to confess his agreement with our message.  I don't know if the three lives now in heaven were his.  God knows.  My prayer for this man is that his pain--the betrayal, the fear of STD's, the regret of the abortions--will  lead him to call out as he did on the curbside.  I pray that his calling out will go from, "I agree with your sign," to "I agree with God--I need Jesus."  There is forgiveness and healing at the foot of the cross.
     How many different ways will God use the presence of prayer warriors and sign holders?  Most of what God is doing we don't see, but I thank God for the young man who needed to share his pain with me last week.  It is the tip of the iceberg--a glimpse of the large work God silently does in the hearts of each person who passes.

Denny and Connie T. are my faithful church contacts at Napavine AG and I'm so grateful for their efforts in inspiring many folks to participate for the first time this year! To know Denny and Connie is to love them. Their love for the Lord and compassion for others is evidenced in every interaction I have with them!  Here are some updates from them . .  . 

Yesterday, (March 2nd) was a real positive day on the corner.  I was tracking supportive
responses to negative ones for a while but lost track at 80+ and 10-.  At one
point a young lady named Beverly with a babe in stroller came from an 
appointment at Possibilities and chatted with us.  She said she had some 
time and could she hold a sign for a while - which she did.

Another time a car pulled up, window down and the lady offered me an 
apple and said she appreciated us being there and praying - she had three
children whom she dearly loved and thanked us for standing to defend life.

This update, was from Denny Feb. 16th, a few days after the start of 40 Days. . . 

One young lady showed up on the Baxter Auto Parts 
corner with a sign about "Responsible Healthcare
Reduces Abortions". I waited a bit then went over to
speak with her to hear her story.  I told her (Sarah)
that I agreed with her sign completely (who wouldn't).
She said she supports PP and gets all her healthcare 
from them.  I listened and she shared some more until
she got exasperated (with herself?) and said, I don't 
have time for I excused myself and thanked 
her for talking to me.  She left after about 20 minutes.

Dana C. has been my contact for her church family for prayer at PP on Thursday afternoon, and last Thursday they were blessed to meet a client couple from Possibilities Pregnancy Resource Center who had gone over there for an appointment. When the couple finished at Possibilities they walked across the street, said they had extra time and asked to join the vigil for awhile - which they did! (Love it!) This couple then left, but then ran into one of the vigil volunteers (Mr Denton) a Home Depot, four hours after meeting on the sidewalk at PP (I like to call this a 'Divine Convergence!")  Mr Denton chatted a little more with the couple, and then the man said he had a desire to read God's word more and asked where they worshiped. Mr Denton informed them and invited them to come to worship last Sunday. I love these miraculous divine appointments! I couldn't say it any better than Dana C. who said, "It's so awesome to see the Lord at work. Even though we know He's always working, it's such a blessing when He allows us to actually see GLIMPSES!" 


Juliana S. is one of our faithful prayer warriors from New Beginnings Church, and she was there to experience a conversation we had with a young man visiting the area from Las Angeles, CA. This young man had some questions, particularly the question of rape/incest. We shared our concern for women who have experienced the horrible tragedy and injustice of rape/incest and shared that we both know friends who have been hurt terribly by these horrible circumstances. I then asked, "Do you think the tragic violence of rape, justifies the tragic violence of abortion?" He replied, "Oh, no I didn't say that at all!' After those words came out of his mouth, he realized what he said and back-pedaled with other objections that he thought would justify abortion. After 20 minutes of conversation with my dad, myself and Juliana, it was obvious he was not ready to change his mind on abortion yet, at least not in front of us. But, we're praying he will consider what he said, and that he will have a change of heart later on! 

Just yesterday, Wednesday the 7th, I was standing on the sidewalk in front of PP's parking lot, when a young lady with a little boy in the back of her car pulled up. I positioned the sign (Pregnant/Need Help? With the 24/7 hotline pregnancy help number) to where she could easily see it. She had a troubled expression on her face and immediately started looking at her phone. My dad and I began praying fervently for her. She never got out of the car, but after 20 minutes of sitting there backed up and pulled away!!!
 If she had come for anything other than an abortion would she have left without getting it? I can't help but think that a little life might have been saved. That is my hope and prayer at least - but I know He knows and so I entrust this situation to Him! 
 Pray for her that the situations that caused her to consider abortion will be resolved and that she will find the help and support she needs at Possibilities. 

Kind of a funny thing that happened yesterday as well. . . a young man pulled up into PP's parking lot and walked in. After coming out, his car would not even turn over. I noticed and asked if he could use some help. He said he dealt with it all the time and promptly pulled a battery with jumper cables attached to it out of his trunk. We laughed about it, and he joked about the condition of his car - starting it with a screwdriver,
the beat up condition of the metal, the stripped tires etc.
 Turns out even that battery AND using my car to try to jump it did not work.  So my dad and another vigil volunteer gave it a push out of the parking spot, and sure enough it started ok once it got some momentum. 
Dad does such a great job making folks feel loved and cared about, and I know that happened for a reason. I was grateful my dad was able to have that brief time to talk with him, and let him know we cared about him! 

Well, those are some of the stories I've heard about. There have been more interactions  but you'll just have to come to the closing rally on the 25th to hear more of them!! Mark your calendar for that. EVERYONE is welcome to attend this and you won't want to miss it. We all gather for 1 hr of prayer on the sidewalk outside Planned Parenthood from 5-6PM, and then head over to Mt. View Baptist Church for a pizza party, sharing testimonies of  God's goodness to work in and through us through 40 days, AND we will also have a SUPER SPECIAL visit from Tibor Baksy who is flying in to visit us from Pennsylvania as a "thank-you" to us and at no cost to us! Wow! 
Tibor is on the board of 40 Days for Life and has an encouraging story to share, as well as news of what God is doing in the nation and around the world through 40 Days for Life! Can't wait!! So mark your calendars now for the closing rally Sunday, March 25th, from 5-8 PM starting at PP and then heading over to Mt. View Baptist Church. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Day 20 of 40 Days for Life - Update

Well, faithful prayer warriors - we've reached the halfway point.  As I look forward to what God will continue to do in the next 20 days, I'm thankful for what He has done in the past 20! 
For all those who who are faithfully praying, whether you've come out to the sidewalk or are praying at home and as you drive by - whether this is your first year participating or second - I'm grateful for you and your prayers are powerful!

"This is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him."
1 John 5:14 

As I was praying for the Lord's direction on how to encourage you all at this mid-point mark - a sweet Thursday afternoon vigil participant messaged a word of encouragement that touched me. She was sharing about some neat opportunities her church family has had to reach out to two families who randomly joined them in vigil on the sidewalk at PP. Being the hospitable, kind folks that they are they extended invitations to these families to join them in worship on Sunday. Praise the Lord, a few family members of one of these families did join them this Sunday! She then wrote, "It's so awesome to see the Lord at work. Even though we know He's always working, its such a blessing when He allows us to actually see GLIMPSES!" 

Her words encouraged me so much! Honestly, I'm a sucker for results. I want to KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that our efforts are making a difference, changing hearts and saving lives. But ultimately that is not in my hands! And we can trust HE IS WORKING - whether He allows us the privilege of seeing it or not!  Psalm 34 tells us His eyes are toward us, and His ears are open to our cries and I know He is mighty and faithful to accomplish great things when we pray according to His Word and will. "For strong is He who carries out His Word." (Joel 2:11)
 As my pastors says, "we will continue to be faithful to do what God calls us to do and leave the results up to Him."  

One amazing "glimpse" is that in 20 days 196 tiny people have been saved at the last moment from abortion, because of the prayers and peaceful witness of believers outside abortion mills around the world!  Even if just 1 little boy or girl was saved, it would make it all worth it, right? But 196?! Wow. Praise God for these miracles, and let's keep these courageous pregnant mommies in our prayers for His protection, health, encouragement and provision.  

Please continue to keep a PP worker who we call M. in your prayers that she will experience a change of heart, quit her job, and find hope, healing and redemption in Him. And also please keep a very young pregnant mommy we will call A. in your prayers for safety through her pregnancy and that God will provide for her needs, particularly a safe place to stay. Our Father knows their names and their stories - so please simply pray for them as often as they come to mind! (names/details will remain confidential to protect safety and privacy - thank you for understanding) 

I've been reading the 40 Days for Life book, as I hope many of you have been able to do as well! I wanted to share a little of it - I'm a little behind, but the chapter I just read shared a story from a vigil participant in Reno, Nevada named Laura. Laura had been praying one day in Reno when a woman who had gone in for an abortion appointment drove out of the parking lot. She rolled down her window and asked Laura for her cell phone number. A few moments later she received this long text.

I just wanted to send you guys a text to let you know that what you do out there does make a difference.  When I went to that abortion clinic last week to drop off my money to terminate my pregnancy, I saw people standing out there with signs. I didn't expect to see that and part of me felt ashamed. I drove through the gates anyway and went inside, gave them my money and made an appointment for 2:30 PM today. As I was driving away I couldn't help but think that maybe there was another way. All this week I thought and prayed about it and I realized in my heart what the right thing to do was. I can't help but think that had you guys not been there that day to remind me that I had another choice, that maybe one more baby would have died today. Don't stop what you're doing. It matters. It did to me. From the blonde lady in the white SUV who came to pick up her money instead of aborting her baby today. 

Tears of joy and amazement filled my eyes when I read this, and even now as I write this blog, the screen is a little blurry!! Even though ultimately it is our loving Father God who does the work to change hearts and minds, in many cases it starts with us. This woman's change of heart started with a prick of the conscience as she drove in and saw people standing on the sidewalk with signs, and that opened the door for her to think through her decision and choose life. As she so eloquently said - don't stop doing what you are doing friends! It matters. As one of our faithful local pastors said to me recently, "It's a powerful thing what we are doing on the corner of Yew and Main!"  And I'm thankful for your involvement!

I'm reading a short book by Russel Moore entitled The Gospel and Abortion and I'd like to quote a paragraph from it. He writes,"We (the church) must get involved. Involvement isn't all you think it is. When all is said and done involvement must not shake it's fist at the darkness, but be like light in the darkness. To call abortion murder is calling it what it is, but it doesn't fix the problem. The church and its people must become a beacon of hope and light for women in difficult circumstances." (pg.41 The Gospel and Abortion)

Amen. When we stand on the corner of one of the darkest places in our community, may we be a beacon of hope and light for women in difficult circumstances. 

So, let's continue on in faith, hope and love in the next 20 days, trusting that He is working to save lives and change hearts. And let's pray for women who have experienced the tragedy of abortion personally and for men who regret paying for one- that they will find healing and hope in the measureless mercy, love and redemption of Christ. "There is no sin with more power than the gospel of Jesus Christ, not even abortion. If abortion had more power than the gospel, we would not be talking about it. If it were able to define a person, we wouldn't be talking about it, Christ's forgiveness defines us. Newness of life is made available to all who repent and seek His face." (Pg.38 The Gospel and Abortion)  

Is God calling you to take a stand for the preborn? I invite you to come join us in prayer on the sidewalk at 1020 W Main, Centralia. We have need for volunteers on Saturdays and Sundays to keep a solid 40-day prayer presence at PP from 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM. ( You never know what God will do in and through your obedience and love in this way. Or perhaps he is calling you to another area of pro-life ministry? Can you help support the ministry of Possibilities PRC by donating baby items or volunteering? Check out their monthly needs here:

"The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever, he does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." 

Psalm 103:8-12 

Say hello to this week's winner of the CUTEST vigil participant award! :-) 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Day 13 of 40 - Update

It is now the 13th day since so many faithful believers began this 40-day journey of fasting and fervently praying for the lives, safety, health and well-being of the unborn and their mothers in Centralia, the US and the world. Despite the freezing cold and snow that began on the first day and has continued until now (gotta love it!) ya'll have been so faithful to show up and sacrifice your warmth and comfort on behalf of others. Thank you!! You've probably heard the quote from C.T. Studd, "If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice I make can be too great for Him." Amen!!

Although, there has been sacrifice, I trust you all have also experienced much blessing and spiritual growth as well. As my pastor says, "when we step our of our comfort zones to do what God calls us to do, that's when we get to experience the joy of seeing God work in and through us." So many prayer volunteers say the vigil is a time of personal spiritual growth. And I've found this to be so true. Taking a stand for the unborn in prayer on the sidewalk, even while uncomfortable, gives us a chance to rely on and experience His presence more. When we are afraid - He promises to be with us (Joshua 1:9)  When we don't know what to say - the same God who gave Moses words and confidence to speak will be with us also and will teach us what to say (Exodus 3). When we are weak - His power is made perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9).  And best of all when we are obedient to do what He commands us to do which in this instance means being a voice for the voiceless (Prov. 31:8) - He is glorified! (2 Corinthians 9:13)  So even if you feel inadequate - I invite you to come on out even just for 30 minutes to 1020 W Main Street, Centralia and take a peaceful stand for the unborn. He takes care of everything else! Mike Spencer said something that has stuck with me, "When the church is silent on abortion, it says one or both of two things. Either abortion must not be that bad - or the gospel must not be that good."  So thank you all for allowing the truths of the gospel - of loving and defending others and caring for their needs because Jesus did this for us - to transform each of your lives and our community outside of our church services!

In the past 13 days 40 Days for Life as an international effort has seen 103 babies saved from abortion! 103 mothers who will experience the joy and blessing of motherhood, instead of the hurt and regret of abortion. I'm sure this is so encouraging to you all - as it is to me!! As we petition our loving Father for more lives saved and hearts changed, let's remember to continually praise Him for these incredible miracles!!

Locally here in Centralia, we've been blessed with a few conversations with people in our community. I'm praying and trusting for more as the weather warms up and folks become more willing to share their stories/concerns with us. I've witnessed and heard of 5 fairly lengthy conversations so far (and there are countless little interactions and quick questions with passersby and drivers) I love when God sets up these longer conversations! They have been wonderful opportunities to listen to the hearts/concerns of others who may or may not agree with us, and to graciously make the case for the value and dignity of every human life. In one conversation I had, and also another conversation a local pastor had, the conversations steered toward God and we were able to share scripture and pray with them. I'm very thankful for these opportunities and perhaps seeds were planted that will one day spring up to eternal life in Christ.  Pray the Lord will work in the hearts of these 5 people (2 women, 3 men) to change their minds on abortion and lead them to salvation! (Names and details will be kept confidential - thank you for understanding!)  

Also, please keep one Planned Parenthood worker in particular in your prayers - we will call her M. The Lord knows who she is and her story, so please be praying for His work in her heart and that she will come to know Him. 

I'm sure those of you who have spent time in prayer on the sidewalk have seen there are some folks who express their anger while driving by. (And also many who signal their prayers, gratitude and encouragement!) From experiences and conversations last year, I've learned that in most cases their anger stems from a place of deep hurt and guilt over personal abortion experiences, or from a family member/friend's abortion. :-( For me, when I'm ridiculed, it's hard to immediately want to respond with love and compassion! My first reactions are often ignorance or self-defense. It's important for me to keep in mind as folks drive by with a hand gesture/or shout that they are hurting, confused, lost and in need of compassion and prayer. I'm thankful for these opportunities to put a face to a prayer, and pray specifically for each person who signals their hurt to us. This is powerful! 

And last but not least of the mention-able things - I LOVE the generosity and kindness of our community! While praying Sunday some kind strangers brought us a whole box full of doughnuts, then an hour later another sweet young lady brought us all coffee. Our Thursday afternoon volunteers had a generous stranger buy them a big fried chicken dinner from KFC with sides and desserts and all. One nice man stopped and gave volunteers 3 gift cards to Fiddlers Coffee. A very kind business owner that works a few blocks down donated 12 packages of chocolate chip cookies to keep the volunteers blood sugar and strength up! I love this part of 40 Days for Life - God is always faithful to take care of us through the kindness of total strangers! 

So with all that said - keep up the faithful prayers, fasting and peaceful vigil friends! I look so forward to seeing what God will continue to do through your efforts! 

"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." Isaiah 1:17

Love all these little faces!! They're such troopers! 

Umbrellas - what would we do without them?! :-) 
Winner of the CUTEST vigil participant award - sorry I'm biased! She is pretty cute though huh?! 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

An inspiring quote. . .

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little." 
- Edmund Burke

This quote struck me, as my mind went immediately to the issue of abortion and the seemingly impossible giant to defeat that it is. Little people with little actions we may be, but when God orchestrates and uses each one of us - there is no limit to the impact He can make. A little prayer is never in vain. A little donation to your local pregnancy center is never useless. I little sacrifice of comfort and warmth while praying on the sidewalk is never worthless. 
Whenever I pass by Planned Parenthood on my trip to the bank, I always feel led to stop and pray on the sidewalk. I always fight it, I'm always uncomfortable, but in the end the Lord has His way and I follow. It's usually only 10 minutes at best, and then I'll leave. I have not seen any impact yet, but I trust that no prayer is ever in vain, and perhaps one day I may see the fruit!
Whatever God is calling you to do for Him, no matter how small it may be - You never know how He might multiply your efforts. Just as the boy gave his little lunch to Jesus; He multiplied it to feed thousands. HE is ABLE!

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain"
1 Corinthians 15:58