Wisdom to glean from…

terri-nordoneSeveral months ago I asked the SaveOne chapter coordinator, Terri Nordone, to answer some questions. Terri is a longtime leader at SaveOne and has had continuous success in offering this class at her church. I wanted other chapter leaders to hear of what she is doing, and glean from her incredible wisdom. Terri is a dear friend to me, so get comfortable and hear what she has to say. You won’t be sorry!

Tell us about the church where you hold SaveOne. How long have you been there? Where are you located?, etc.  The Salem Oregon chapter of SaveOne is hosted by Morning Star Community Church.  My husband and I have attended Morning Star since March 25, 1998 when we accepted the Lord as our personal Savior at a memorial service that we attended and have been attending there ever since.

How long have you been a chapter leader with SaveOne? 10 years!  My first class started in September 2006.

Why have you stayed with SaveOne all these years?  At the time that I started SaveOne I was a new Christian.  In experiencing the fullness of God’s grace and forgiveness, I asked Him “What can I do to help other women who need to be set free from the bondage of abortion know this forgiveness?  I will do whatever you ask me to do please show me what I can do”   This truly has been Gods call upon my life.  I have been called “for such a time as this” and I will stay with it as long as He calls me to it.  The incredible blessing that I experience with every SaveOne class is proof that I am right where God wants me to be.  The proof is in the fruit!

What has been the greatest challenge in abortion recovery that God has helped you overcome?  Well, to be perfectly honest, there are a few….

#3 challenge – spiritual warfare.  We are in the middle of an intense spiritual fight.  Satan th-7has had this issue wrapped up on all sides.  But the way I look at it is if there is a spiritual battle going on then that means God and His Angels are at work right beside me and God will always win if I trust Him completely to fight the battle.  One of the sections of scripture that I teach in my SaveOne class is found in 2 Chronicles 20:1-23, which I believe, is an incredibly powerful outline of how NOT TO fight the battle – but rather, let God fight the battle…”for the battle is not yours but God’s…stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf.  Once I handed this battle over to God (I call it “fast from the fight”) peace flowed “Like a spring of water whose waters do not fail” Isa 58:6 -11  This is the fast He chooses!  We are not in control – He is control!

#2 challenge – That I’m going to say the right thing.  God has proven Himself time and time again.  He always comes through!  Have faith that He has equipped you “for such a time as this”.

#1 challenge – Waiting for women and men to come.  When I was waiting for someone to sign up to take my first class in 2006 I was pleading and pleading and pleading with the Lord to bring them, looking for ways to advertise and get the word out, disappointed that SaveOne was not included in our church bulletin yet again, hurt that another new ministry was given much more mention and attention than SaveOne was, on and on and on until God led me to this scripture….”Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”  Psalm 46:10   Ok, deep breath, we hear you God!  Please give us patience.

What did you learn in that process? Trust, Faith, Patience and, of course, that last one is always the hardest for me.

What is one piece of advice you would give to new chapter leaders that you wish you had when you started?  Answer #4 & #5.  Hang in there!  God is at work in ways we don’t see, hear, or know.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you in a SaveOne class, or while you were working with SaveOne? I can’t think of one right off hand.  We are always laughing at ourselves.  After we get past the first night our classes are full of laughter.

What is the greatest moment that has happened to you in a SaveOne class?  There are so many miraculous moments!  Two of our gals have gone on to start chapters at their own churches, one of which held fast to the belief that she made the right choice “I don’t regret my abortion” and “It was the right thing to do in those circumstances and I would probably do it again if the circumstances were the same”.  She believed that up until week 8!  God renewed her by transforming her mind.  She started SaveOne at her church in 2012.

One of the greatest moments happened just recently when I met with a young college student who sent me an email with a cry for help.  Here is an excerpt…

“….I was raised liberal, and I consider myself a Feminist. I know the logic behind the idea of choice. However, I wanted this child even though I was not legally an adult and in spite of the difficulties that would have been involved in raising her.

I feel like I was stripped of something that was my right, and I don’t know how to get it back.

To this day, I feel depressed, sometimes suicidal, angry, isolated, and lonely.

Can you help me?”

I met her for coffee and told her about SaveOne.  She decided to join our class that had started a couple of weeks before so I met with her again to get her caught up before she joined the class that night.  The very first question in the book is, “Describe how you picture God at this moment”.  She said, “I believe everyone views god in their own way, some might see him as an antlered man in the wilderness, or as an old man with white hair and a beard…”  she had investigated Buddism, Hinduism, even Wiccan so she had all these varied ideas. But as we worked through the first chapter her views began to change.  It was at that meeting when I led her to the Lord!  When she heard the truth of the Gospel SHE WAS IN!  That very week she began attending church.  The next week she joined another Bible study and one of the church Community Groups. She truly is all in!!!  She didn’t miss one SaveOne class and we have witnessed an amazing transformation in her!  She is now ready to join us on our speaking team!

Will you write a prayer for the other SaveOne chapter leaders? 

Heavenly Father, Thank you for your amazing grace.  We receive it and stand in it wholeheartedly.  Thank you for being ever trustworthy.  We trust in you to go before us and fight the battle and clear the way for us to go.  Give us strength for today to resist the attempts of the enemy to throw us off track.  May we stand firm, following hard after you.  May we take every opportunity you provide to pray for others, minister to others, serve others, and in doing so bless you.

Thank you, Father, that you have called us to be your beloved daughters and sons, and that you have sent us into the world to be your ministers of healing and messengers of grace and love.  What an honor it is to work for you and beside you under the power and guidance of your awesome Holy Spirit.  May we be good stewards of the gifts you have given each one of us and use them for your glory.

Thank you for all you have given us.  Amen.

The following is a Prayer/Poem that God gave me years ago.  I now recite this as an opening prayer to open our Night Of Honor.

th-6 Breaking Free

You’ve unlocked my heart, Lord

This captive you’ve set free.

It was not my war to wage alone

You won my victory.

When I cried out in brokenness

You drew me to your side.

When confusion fills my soul again

Your peace alone satisfies.

In fear and reverence I approach

To worship before your throne.

Offering you my humble gift

A heart that’s not my own.

My fervent prayer is to know you more,

and to bless your holy name.

What you bestow, I’ll give back

As a living sacrifice and praise.

You are Lord, you are Redeemer,

Your majesty’s untold.

You are Friend, you are Savior,

You are all mine to behold.

Terri Nordone

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Shake off pain…put on thankful

As we wind down this year at SaveOne I can’t help but reflect over 2016 and think about the things, people, and moments I am thankful for. Personally, this has been the hardest year our family has ever faced with the loss of my precious nephew in March. Our whole family is still reeling and grieving from this moment that changed all our lives forever. The only thing that keeps our momentum is knowing he is safe from harm, is happy, is with his beautiful daughter Addison, and we will see him again someday. I thank God for His assurance that He has my sweet Micheal in His arms.  Sometimes the only thing that gets a person through a loss is to be thankful for all he does have in the moment and allow God to heal the wound.

As we have traveled this year with SaveOne to places like Lewisburg, TN; Elkin, NC; Yerevan, Armenia; Vienna, Austria; Saginaw, MI; Oklahoma City, OK, and many more, we have seen and witnessed God completing the grieving process in so many lives. The loss through abortion is a weight hung around men, women, and families’ necks until a Divine interruption occurs and God is allowed to change people’s focus. Once the focus is shifted, those who suffer, stop looking at the pain of the loss and start thanking God for the freedom He offers after abortion.

Seeing people transformed around the world through SaveOne is absolutely overwhelming sometimes. The gratitude I feel for His hand being so heavy upon this ministry is more than I can put in to words. For that, I am thankful.

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I am also thankful for the balloon release photos I received yesterday that took place at a SaveOne Night of Honor. I am thankful that I got to meet a doctor who used to be an abortionist, but after meeting Jesus, has dedicated her life to giving free medical care to pregnant moms. I am thankful for the first SaveOne Europe Summit happening this year that was a smashing success. I am thankful for the man who has donated our office space free of charge for over 10 years. I am thankful for a lady whom I have grown to love and respect so much who has donated her time as our accountant for over 10 years. I am thankful for the numerous churches who have invited us in this year who are helping us stop abortion around the world. I am thankful for every single person who has partnered with us as a monthly donor. I am thankful for the happiness I feel when I see someone wearing our SaveOne t-shirts. I am thankful for the people who have signed up for Kroger Community Rewards and named SaveOne as their charity of choice. I am thankful we started 30 new chapters of SaveOne this year. I am thankful for every encouraging email and phone call we get because each one really makes a difference. I am thankful for my friend who edits these newsletters free of charge and has for many years.

I could continue on for another page. Yes, there is much warfare surrounding this subject. Yes, we fight off all kinds of attacks that you cannot even imagine. And, yes, we get weary. But seeing this list of things for which to be thankful reminds us that our mission is always greater than any battle or pain we might experience.

As we enter in to this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, let us not focus on the pain of the year, but rather focus on what there is to be thankful for.

Thank you for making 2016 one of the greatest years SaveOne has ever experienced.This is how we picture our partners!

Thank you for your financial giving, your prayers, and your encouragement for us. We are grateful beyond words for your involvement! You are all heroes to us!

Remember SaveOne.org is an excellent place to shop for Christmas gifts, giving our books, t-shirts, and bracelets! Your purchases help us reach more people!

 

 

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Why we look like this…

I had the most wonderful time Saturday morning sitting around a table with two awesome ladies as I taught the SaveOne training. We laughed, we cried, and we got angry talking about the abortion issue, but most of all these ladies walked away empowered to do something about it.

Did you know we do not charge the hosting facility anything for our on-site training course? We come just for a reimbursement of travel expenses plus each participant $10 for the cost of the printed packet they will take home with them. We will come to your home, church, meeting hall, etc and teach the training for 1-1000. We want to make the SaveOne abortion recovery program as accessible and easy as possible.

I have listed below some of the reasons people have told us as to why they cannot get their abortion recovery off the ground and running.

  1. I don’t know of anyone who needs this type of help.
  1. I don’t have the support of my pastor or ministry leader.
  1. No one came to my class when I offered it.
  1. I haven’t had time to take on another project.
  1. I don’t feel like I’m good at stuff like this.

I’m sure you could possibly add other hurdles you have had to overcome or are facing. At the end of our training, you will have answers to all of these objections, and you will then realize how easy it is to teach SaveOne.

So, if these hurdles fit you in any way give your chapter coordinator a call. (You can find his/her number on our website under your chapter) Or contact our office through our website www.saveone.org. They can answer questions, pray for you, and get you set up for a training.th-6

We are waiting by our phones and computers to hear from you!

 

Prison…or Platform?

I listened to a podcast this week by a pastor named Carl Lentz. He said these words, “Your pain can be your prison or your platform, it’s your choice.” When he spoke those words I instantly thought of the millions of men and women who have yet to understand their pain can be a thing of the past…their pain can be forgiven…their pain can be dropped like a bad habit. imagesbondageThese men and women do not realize they can walk free from their pain because with human eyes the aftermath of an abortion cannot be fixed. So the enemy ensnares them making their pain their prison.

That’s where you come in. As a chapter leader for SaveOne, you literally hold the keys to unlock their prison and set them free. It’s not anything magical you are doing, you are just taking them by the hand and leading them into truth. And what does God’s Word say about truth? It sets us free!!!

You may not think you are making a huge difference because you only have 1 or 2 who come through your SaveOne classes at a time. But I promise you, the difference you are making will be felt, seen, and lived out for generations to come. You are breaking the chains that bind people because you are being that willing vessel led by God to speak His word, and further His message.

Not everyone is willing to be used in that way. It’s tough and warfare like no other, I know from personal experience. The enemy hates you and hates what you do. All the more reason we have to keep on marching forward until we experience victory!

images-1I am so proud of every one of you for putting up the fight, for not backing down, for standing up for what is right, and for putting yourselves on the line to save babies, to save women from this horrid choice, and to save men from this devastating loss. So if no one has said thank you lately I’m saying it now THANK YOU! You are the catalyst to keep SaveOne going.

Please let us know by getting in touch with your chapter coordinator if you need prayer, have questions, need books, or just however we can help you. We are here for you every step of the way.

Love you all very very much!

Sheila and the entire staff of SaveOne

Promises, Promises

Be careful what you promise!

When I started SaveOne, I remember promising God I would go wherever, speak to whomever, and do whatever it takes to get the job done. That “job” you might ask? Seeing abortion end in my country and around the world. Making a promise like that was easy when it was made at an altar, knelt down on padded carpet floors, in a comfortable climate controlled building. The whole premise of that promise sounds romantic and adventurous. But when push comes to shove, does that promise mean traveling to dangerous places?

Of course it does. When the doors opened to share my heart in the Middle East, I wasn’t as thrilled as I had been for opportunities in Europe, where nice hotels are plentiful and Europeans with a heart like mine reside.

Armenia? I don’t even know where that is on the map! Seriously…I had to Google it. When I saw their borders included Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey, and Russia I was a little less than thrilled about the promise I had made when I started my mission.

Jack and Sheila with Vardan and Naira in Armenia, holding the Armenian translation of the men's and women's SaveOne studies
Jack and Sheila with Vardan and Naira in Armenia, holding the Armenian translation of the men’s and women’s SaveOne studies

My husband and I returned from Armenia just 5 days ago. It was thrilling, and at the same time so incredibly humbling that God even allowed me to go and meet the beautiful people of this nation. Once I arrived and started experiencing the culture and seeing the great need for SaveOne in this country I was ecstatic God made a way for me to live out my promise. We are already planning our return in 2017. So be careful not to carelessly make promises to God—be ready to keep them because He will challenge you.

This trip included the first ever SaveOne Europe Summit. Sonja Horswell (our SaveOne Europe Director) and her team did a fantastic job of bringing together 12 European nations who are all teaching SaveOne. What an awesome moment for our ministry as we saw firsthand the lives being changed, and abortion being stopped around our world. All of this happens because YOU give, YOU pray, YOU encourage us, and YOU are getting people into these classes to hear of God’s truth, grace, and forgiveness after abortion.

Sonja Horswell, the SaveOne Europe Director, kicking off the SaveOne Europe Summit in Vienna, Austria.
Sonja Horswell, the SaveOne Europe Director, kicking off the SaveOne Europe Summit in Vienna, Austria.

I believe the lives of the American team we took over there will be forever changed because of all they saw God is doing through SaveOne. Thank you for making this happen!

We are adding chapters of SaveOne weekly, and we want to add even more! If you or your church wants to teach SaveOne as a small group study, we have information to give you. Please contact us and we will send you a pastor’s packet either electronically, or through snail mail. We have done the homework for you, so starting a chapter of SaveOne is extremely easy!

One of the ways you can support SaveOne without costing you anything is to sign up at Amazon Smiles and name SaveOne as your charity. Be sure to check the one in Hendersonville, TN. Every time you shop on Amazon Smiles a portion of your purchase will go to SaveOne!

Thank you for all you do to help SaveOne. We appreciate you more than you can possibly imagine.

 

How Small is Your Comfort Zone?

imagesEsther: Heroine? Fool? Insane? Psycho? What would be your description? Anyone who has read the book of Esther knows the outcome of the story. *Spoiler alert ahead* She enters an impossible battle, it looks as though she will probably die, but she wins in the end and the enemy is defeated and killed. Reminds me of a scene from “Lord of the Rings” when the character named Gimli says in regards to returning the ring, “Small chance of success, certainty of death, well what are we waiting for?”

Knowing the end of the story we can all proudly say we would call Esther a heroine. If that same scenario were unfolding today say…with your sister, your niece, your husband or wife…would you encourage such action?

Esther wasn’t willing to remain quiet. There were thousands of lives at stake. She drew on the courage that comes only from above and she fasted THREE DAYS with no food or water. Can you imagine? She gathered the Jewish people, plus her assistants, to fast with her. Concentrated shared fasting and praying is effective. You will see how successful this effort was in the end.

More than likely she knew she could die, but she went through the painfully frightening progression of approaching the king, planning and executing the banquets, and well…read the story and you will find out all she went through. (Esther-Holy Bible) thIn the end, because of her unwillingness to remain quiet, a whole generation was saved. Thousands of lives would continue on as families, babies were born, marriages endured, family outings were shared, and holidays were celebrated. Who could believe how Esther and her family were blessed? God blesses good decisions. He also blesses those moments when we step outside our comfort zone on the faith of our fasting and prayers, and trust Him and only Him.

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One of my favorite quotes is by Theodore Roosevelt, “Better to dare mighty things and fail, than to live in a gray twilight where there is neither victory nor defeat.”

How would millions of lives be different today had Esther remained quiet and stayed comfortable in a gray twilight?

What are you keeping quiet about?

Use Esther as an example of what could happen in the end. Don’t avoid the lives of the unborn, or helping to restore hope, healing, and restoration to those who have already made the wrong choice because it may be too controversial, or too dangerous, or too political, or people will think you’re crazy. Staying in a comfort zone is boring. Be counted among the “Esthers” of the world who have risked it all and were blessed beyond belief for it!

Ways to Help SaveOne

Sign up for Community Rewards through Kroger here in Nashville and name SaveOne as your charity.

Use Goodsearch as your search engine and name SaveOne as your charity.

For all your purchases online go through goodshop.com and name SaveOne as your charity.

Give our books, t-shirts, and bracelets as gifts, the proceeds go to SaveOne and help us reach more people with TRUTH. You can purchase on our website at saveone.org

God’s blessings on you and thank you for your help!

Three Questions to Ask Someone Who May be Considering Abortion

No woman in her right mind ever dreams as a little girl, that one day she will grow up and have an abortion.

Not one.

I usually avoid sweeping statements such as this one in my writing, but I can say this statement with confidence. You would be hard-pressed to convince me this would or could ever be a goal in someone’s life. Has anyone ever wondered why? Why is this not a goal? Why is abortion not looked at as the ultimate for a woman being in control of her own body?

If you are reading this article and you are faced with a pregnancy that has rocked your world, or you are trying to help someone who is facing an unplanned pregnancy, please keep the following questions in mind. These questions are important points to ponder before making such a choice. I’m here to show you facts about the future and living with a past abortion….from personal experience and nearly two decades of working with men and women who chose abortion in their pasts.

1. Have you checked your abortion location and it’s last inspection for cleanliness, botched abortions, and fatalities? 
For example, in Illinois there has been a recent crackdown because of a neighboring state’s abortion clinic being discovered and dubbed a “House of Horrors”. When Illinois started looking into its facilities they found some clinics had not been inspected for 15 years. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/20/illinois-abortion-clinic-_n_1219897.html
The “New York Post” reported nail salons in their state were inspected more than abortion clinics. The best record they could find were some of their clinics were being inspected every 4-6 years, the others had not been inspected in more than a decade. Make sure where you intend to go for your abortion has been inspected within the last year and it is a safe place to perform surgery on you. Even if you’re having a chemical abortion and not a surgical one, if they don’t care about the cleanliness of the facility, then it should make you question the standard of care you will receive. Be sure to find out all the details of what is going to happen to you at home (and what you are going to see) if you take a pill to obtain an abortion. While you’re at it, find out also if the doctor has admitting privileges to the nearest hospital. God forbid, but in case something were to go wrong during your surgery he would be able to get you into a hospital.
http://nypost.com/2014/04/07/health-department-fails-to-regularly-inspect-abortion-clinics/
And again in my home state of Tennessee, here is a link to the testimony showing clinics are not licensed or regulated in any way.

In all fairness I looked for an article that shed a positive light or gave me some hope that a state somewhere was touting their abortion clinics as safe and clean. I couldn’t find one. You have plenty of clinics making that claim, but be sure to look further at state reports that are neutral on this subject and see what is said.

2. Have you talked with women who have experienced abortion and women who have had their child under stressful, less than perfect circumstances, and considered which group lives with the most shame and regret?
This is the best way to find out the truth of what the future holds. Here are some questions to consider to help along the way. What have others experienced who have gone before you? How many of these mothers who chose life for their children live with thoughts and feelings of shame and regret? How many of these mothers who chose abortion for their children live in a state of shame and regret? Out of the mothers who chose life, how many of them wish they could go back and make a different decision? Out of the mothers who chose death how many of them wish they could go back and make a different decision? The show, “Sex and the City” had an episode one time that a friend of mine told me I had to watch. I was so glad I did. One of the girls (Miranda) on the show got pregnant and wasn’t married. Another girl (Carrie) told her she had a past abortion and she would go with her to the clinic. Miranda wrestled with the decision and ultimately chose abortion. Carrie accompanied her to the clinic and was answering questions about the surgery to her friend. One of the questions from Miranda was, “Did you ever get over your abortion?” Carrie’s answer was very telling. “Any day now I might”. This last statement is an insight I have seen many times with girls who have past abortions. Now I understand this is just a television show, but it accurately depicts what I have seen in men and women for years. It’s not something you ever “get over”. On the show, Miranda ended up leaving the clinic and choosing life for her child. Another accurate portrayal of what we see every day through abortion recovery. When people learn the truth, they are freed from a future of shame and regret and are thankful they chose life for their child.

3. Have you thought about the future you at 30, 40, and 50 years old? 
I just turned 51 years old. I had an abortion when I was 19. At that age I only thought about the moment I was in, as well as thinking only of myself. I didn’t consider others, not even the father of my child. I quickly learned at 19 that even though I thought I was in a strong, committed relationship, after the abortion it lasted about 2 weeks. By the time I was 30 I had 2 small children and had to tell my husband about my past abortion. It was a grueling night with many tears and fear of losing my family. By 40 I had to tell my children of the abortion and see the pain and disappointment in their eyes. I also had to tell my family for fear they would find out from others. My sisters have grieved their niece for many years and the fact I didn’t come to them for help during that time in my life. Now at 51 my boys are 26 and 28 years old, and I should have a daughter turning 30 in October. My arms literally long to hold grandchildren. I believe there are supposed to be grandchildren in my family this very moment that I am missing out on because I chose abortion. No one ever told me to consider that not only was I ending the one life growing inside me, but I was also ending my future bloodline through that child. Think about it.

These are just 3 points of many to consider when contemplating abortion. I am not here to tell you how bad you are or heap more guilt on you for thinking about this choice. I’m just wanting you to think about more than what is right in front of you; what may seem as the easy way out…isn’t. If you are pregnant and reading this, you are already a mother and what is growing inside you is already a human being. You are literally deciding if you are going to be the mother of a living child or a dead one. I know that sounds harsh, but these are the facts that must be considered. These are the facts no one told me. These are the facts that I and millions of women AND men are living with daily.

If you are someone who works to protect life, please feel free to share this letter on social media, as well as with your friends. Together we can save others from making the same mistake myself and countless men and women have made…and lived to regret.

I would love to hear from you. Please write me in the comments below, or you can send me an email to info@saveone.org. I want to help you any way that I can. You can also check out our website at www.saveone.org.

Ways to Help SaveOne

Sign up for Community Rewards through Kroger here in Nashville and name SaveOne as your charity.

Use Goodsearch as your search engine and name SaveOne as your charity.

For all your purchases online go through goodshop.com and name SaveOne as your charity.

Give our books, t-shirts, and bracelets as gifts, the proceeds go to SaveOne and help us reach more people with TRUTH. You can purchase on our website at saveone.org

God’s blessings on you!

Sheila L. Harper

Founder and President

SaveOne

My interview with a disc jockey…

You guys hear from me all the time, so I wanted to switch things up a little this month. My friend, Mary Fainn was a disc jockey on a local radio station in Guntersville, AL when I first met her. The tables were turned then and she was interviewing me for the station. I traveled to Guntersville for the interview, not knowing I was about to meet a lifelong friend and SaveOne advocate. We have seen each other through incredible transitions in both our lives. We’ve cried together, laughed uncontrollably together, and celebrated great victories together. I cherish this woman. As a chapter leader of SaveOne you are never just left out on your own to fend for yourself and figure things out. We pour into you and forge a relationship that is strong. 

thThat’s the thing about SaveOne. We become family, not just business relationships. When we get down in the mud of life with each other we can’t help but bond and become brothers and sisters. So…see what my disc jockey friend is up to now! 

Sheila: Tell us about the pregnancy center where you hold SaveOne. 

Mary: (Gate Pregnancy Resource Center) We help women who are pregnant until that child is one year old.  We offer everything a new mom will need including maternity clothes and classes.  We offer SaveOne to our clients as well as the community.  I have been in Harrisburg NC for 2 years and before that Albertville AL for 12 years. 

Sheila: How long have you been a chapter leader with SaveOne?

Mary: 14 years I think?

Sheila: Why have you stayed with SaveOne all these years?

Mary: I believe in SaveOne and have had the privilege of watching God heal and restore women and men through this Bible Study.  The support of the SaveOne team is top notch and professional.  I know they pray for all the chapters and are willing to go the extra mile to help leaders. I know the scriptures used in SO are the healing balm God uses to restore people.

Sheila: What has been the greatest challenge in abortion recovery that God has helped you overcome?

Mary: Sharing my story.  I was so terrified to tell my secret sin but once I received healing and God called me to help others, I realized it was not my story to keep secret but that it was God’s story of redemption and love to share.

Sheila: What did you learn in that process?

Mary: I learned that the best way to fight for life is to share my story.  The best way to allow God to use me is to share my story.  The best way to show love and compassion to hurting people is sharing my story.  The best way to honor God is to tell HIS story of healing. Pray and keep “pounding” (sorry I live in NC).  Don’t give up, don’t be afraid to tell your story and share about healing even when people look at you weird. It’s ok to have just one or two in class, God brought them there.  Remember it is HIS ministry and HE will provide all you need and the words to say.  Keep yourself rested and renewed so that God can pour into you. Trust that lil voice that says I know I’m suppose to do this and ignore the but….  Utilize others who have been doing the ministry they are full of encouragement and information.  Pray.  

I just have to take a break right here and say BRAVO MARY!!!!! She gets it. She understands12047132_912408835518773_8345311759857520241_n the power behind her story and she has dedicated her life to making sure others find their story, their voice, that will save babies, save heartaches to moms and dads, and end abortion in its tracks!6. What is one piece of advice you would give to new chapter leaders that you wish you had when you started?

Sheila: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you in a SaveOne class, or while you were working with SaveOne?

Mary: I was going to speak at a church in the pouring rain and my sun roof popped the seal and I was drenched. They were great and I got some participants.  Another time, same car, my horn just went off and got stuck.  I pulled into the parking lot of the church with my horn blaring.  They had a mechanic there and he fixed it for me.  OYE

Sheila: What is the greatest moment that has happened to you in a SaveOne class?

Mary: I love it when someone has the break through and you can see it and hear it.  The best one was a couple who were going to get divorced, I ask him to wait until she finished the class, he agreed.  She had done every bible study, counseling etc… he did not give it much hope.  That was 8 years ago and they now do prison ministry together and she co-leads SaveOne.  God is so good! 

Sheila: Will you write a prayer for the other SaveOne chapter leaders?

Mary: Dear Lord, I ask that you cover each leader with your feathers, keep each one of us under your wing.  Whisper in our ears the words to say to those we encounter.  Bring us the hurting and broken and use us to minister your love and restoration to broken families.  Give us ideas and wisdom to reach out in our communities, state and country.  Guide each class and night of honor.  Use us to end abortion.  Give us boldness to proclaim life and love through Jesus Christ, the truth.  In Christ Name, Amen.    

See now why I cherish this woman? She is a Godsend and making an incredible impact on the men, women, and families in and around the Charlotte, NC area. 

Please don’t ever feel as though you are alone. You are NOT alone. SaveOne is here to help you, train you, and pour into you so you can teach this Bible study in your church or pregnancy center.

Love you guys all the way up to the moon and back! 🙂

 

Why YOU are not helpless this political season

So many of us these days are skeptical about the political process. We are looking at the th-2candidates and freaking out about our choices. I have friends who believe Trump will be the next Ronald Reagan, and I have friends opting out of the process because they are so disgusted. If you’re like me, this constant screaming in my ears is on my last nerve…

This alarming moment in my countries history is why I choose to remember not a Republican, Democrat, The Supreme Court, Donald Trump, nor Hillary Clinton, or any other politician is my source! As a Christian I cannot in good conscience opt out of the process. But there are things I can do to make a difference in the arena where I believe the greatest difference can be made…the local church.

thFor years we have been taught to believe the abortion issue is a political one. This is a myth; a lie that has been repeated so many times our society believes it. Life/Abortion is talked about plainly and very clearly in God’s Word. He hates hands that shed innocent blood (Isaiah 1:15, Proverbs 6:17). He formed and created us in our mother’s womb, knowing every day we would live before we even lived one of them (Psalm 139:13-16). Child sacrifice was considered a detestable act (Deuteronomy 12:31). He considered the life form in a mother’s womb to be a baby (Luke 1:44). I encourage you to do your own study and you will find God placed great emphasis on LIFE and every person created in His image.

With the world in the state it is in, it’s time we take the issues regarding LIFE back from politics and place it squarely where it belongs and that is in the local church. You may feel inadequate to tackle this issue, but I promise you, when you open the doors to help those who are hurting after abortion, or maybe duplicate your local pregnancy center services, you will see great things happen. You will see lives be saved, the stigma of abortion start to weaken, people openly talking of this issue and wanting to get involved, and you will see God at His best doing what He does so beautifully and that is transforming and restoring those who seek Him.

Abortion is a subject close to God’s heart. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, so abortion is everything he is about! God sent us His Son, Jesus for LIFE…for us to live abundantly (John 10:10). When we come alongside in step with what is the very heartbeat of God, we experience a satisfaction and knowing God’s perfect will is being completed. There is no other feeling like it!

Please join us today by bringing SaveOne to your church, pregnancy center, or ministry. We have done all the homework for you. We can send you a pastor’s packet to take to your pastor, or answer any questions you may have. We are here to help every step of the way.

Also, check out our latest video on our YouTube Channel by clicking on youtube.com/saveoneinfo then do us a favor and share it as often as you can. Our message is being heard and we are growing by leaps and bounds and that is because of YOU!

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Ways to help SaveOne…

Sign up for Community Rewards through Kroger here in Nashville and name SaveOne as your charity.

Use Goodsearch as your search engine and name SaveOne as your charity.

For all your purchases online go through goodshop.com and name SaveOne as your charity.

Give our books, t-shirts, and bracelets as gifts, the proceeds go to SaveOne and help us reach more people with TRUTH. You can purchase on our website at saveone.org

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT THROUGH PRAYER AND FINANCIAL GIVING!

Don’t Live with Mediocrity any Longer!

imagesforkGod’s destiny for you never included abortion. When you chose to take a left fork onto the road called Abortion, you veered off into an area that wasn’t part of His plan. He wants to steer you back on the road He created for you whether you are a man, woman, sibling, or loved one who is grieving a past abortion. He wants to take this experience and turn it into something beautiful for Him. Only God can do that, and He will do it if you allow Him to.

God knows your heart. He knows your sorrow. He knows your regret. He knows your shame. He has seen how you have tried to deal with this on your own for so long. He has seen the ways you have worked to keep it a secret. Now that you are dealing with the past, it’s not a shock or a surprise to Him. He is happy that you have chosen this time in your life to lay this burden down.

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37–39, NLT).

I believe this is one of the most beautiful Scriptures in the entire Bible. Nowhere does it say, “But if you have an abortion, God will not take you back, or love you anymore.” No, it says nothing can separate us from His love.

Stop for a minute. Close your eyes, and picture yourself with a heavy, wooden yoke around your neck. Imagine how your body has been damaged, carrying that yoke of abortion. Now picture God reaching down and breaking it, and crushing it. Not one piece is left that you can hold in your fingertips—all that remains is dust. Give this yoke to God right now. Only God can destroy the yoke so it can never resume its previous position.

Don’t accept this bondage from your abortion any longer. Don’t live in mediocrity. Set a imagesbondagenew standard for your life. Take the limits off God and allow Him to take the limits off your life. Step out in faith, and believe God is about to do a great thing!

If you are ready to start this journey contact me personally at sheila@saveone.org. We have an entire staff of people ready, willing, and able to help you. Don’t put this off another day. If you are a friend or loved one who has watched someone in your life implode because of a past abortion then by all means forward this blog or share it on social media. Thanks! The people you reach with this truth will be eternally grateful to you for your help.

5 WORDS THAT CAN CHANGE A LIFE

David and goliathThere are 5 words David (of David and Goliath fame) spoke on the battlefield to remind Israel’s fearless fighting force why they were supposed to be fighting.

“Is There Not a Cause?”

I borrowed these words for a book I wrote. I don’t think David minds…This week’s post is an excerpt from the book. With all the political speak being thrown around these days I wanted to calm it down and just bring revelation for some into the conversation.

You may have never heard this reasoning, but I am hoping my words will give you a new way of looking at this issue. I also hope my words will give you talking points for this debate. It’s time we take the blinders off and stop allowing politics to overshadow what is truly the matter at hand. From the book…”Is There Not a Cause?”

Personal Oppositions

Let’s look at another argument that I hope will appeal to your personal responsibility. The argument is the old saying we’ve heard for years, “Well personally I’m opposed to abortion, but I don’t think it’s right to impose or legislate my morality on others.” The truth is, this is a battle every Christian has been called to fight. You may defend this argument, and maybe that is why you have not engaged in this battle. But let me ask you the question: What law doesn’t impose morality? Laws against robbery and rape impose on thieves and rapists that their actions are wrong. The abortionists in our country have no problem imposing their lack of morality on the unborn, denouncing the life of unwanted babies.

And furthermore, a good question to ask is, why they are personally opposed? If the baby is not a child, then why be more opposed to abortion than say, removing your tonsils? Are they personally opposed to that? The answer, more than likely, is that their personal opposition is in knowing this is a living human being worthy of life. If a person recognizes this fact, they must join the battle or receive judgment from their Creator. Again, we need to reassess if we have lost our fear of the Lord for fear of what the world thinks.

A person who uses this argument wants to have their cake and eat it too. They want to sound morally correct to others by “personally opposing” abortion. They want people to think they are upright, goodhearted citizens of our society. But in reality they are truly whispering, “I know it’s killing, but I’m going to hide behind the excuse that I can’t impose my morality on others. I just want to still be accepted by you without actually having to dirty my hands by joining this battle”.

We could use different scenarios and see if this argument holds water.

“I’m against husbands beating their wives, but I don’t feel as if I can impose my morality on someone else.”

“I’m against rape, but I don’t feel as if I can impose my morality on someone else.”

Why do we allow people to separate abortion from every other vile act? Don’t let yourself be swayed by this thinking. It is undeniably from the pit of hell.

Rare Abortions

I’m sure several of us have heard some declare, “Abortion should be legal, but rare.” My question to that statement is, why? If abortion isn’t wrong, then why should we make it rare? We haven’t heard these same people saying we should make appendectomies rare. This question may be best answered by Dr. Alfred Bongioanni, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania, as he testified to a U.S. Senate Committee regarding when life begins:

“I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception…. I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life….

I am no more prepared to say that these early stages [of development in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty…is not a human being. This is human life at every stage.”

Is this why we should make abortion rare? Because in the recesses of our minds we know it’s a human life we’re taking? If you answer the why question, then you must recognize this choice certainly does not leave untarnished a woman, a man, and most often their entire future.

Please feel free to comment below what you would add to this way of thinking. Others need to hear a collective reasoning, not just all mine. And occasionally we need to be reminded there is a cause worth fighting for…

Where the Deer and the Antelope Play

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My view of the Grand Tetons after leaving Jackson Hole, WY

Being in vast skies, giant mountains, and the crisp Wyoming air does something to a person. Seeing mountain ranges, antelope frolicking, and nature in its untouched state makes the hardest of divas want to abandon the Hilton for hiking boots and a tent. I’m not saying I have to have niceties like the Hilton (ahem) but I am saying I felt heartsick at times to be hiking and camping in that beautiful terrain.

 

 

As many of you know I just returned from a trip to Yellowstone National Park on my way to speak and train in Casper, WY. The trip was absolutely wonderful and since we’ve been back SaveOne has had the privilege of adding 4 new chapters in this great state. All of this happens because our staff member Judy Ellis went to all the trouble and sacrifice to MAKE it happen. She coordinated and gathered the people, designed flyers, organized itineraries, found donors to pay for it all, and in the meantime made me feel like the Queen of England. In fact, the south doesn’t have anything on hospitality compared to Wyomingans (is that a word?) I want you to hear, in Judy’s own words how she feels about SaveOne.

“The healing I received from participating in a post abortion bible study 8 years ago literally changed my life. I knew I wanted to help other men and women experience the same release of that ugly burden many of us carry around for years.

Finally after waiting patiently for 4 years I was approached by a friend who was looking for non-residential adult groups for Teen Challenge and SaveOne happened to be the recommended Bible study. In addition, I worked through SaveOne on my own about a year after participating in a different study.

I LOVE SaveOne for many reasons. I get to share the Word of God with other men and women. SaveOne is a great study for the new believer or one who is unsure of their faith. I love the special bonding my co facilitator and I have with the participants in the class. We have a common issue that many individuals keep secret for the rest of their lives and it’s such a relief to be able to share with those we trust.

I LOVE the founder, Sheila Harper and how she reaches out to us with her love and support. It’s an honor to be a part of her volunteer staff; reaching out to Chapter Leaders to support, love on, and pray for.”

So how about that for a heart of gold and a motivation for no other reason but to “get” to share about how Jesus can change lives. THAT’s the kind of staff SaveOne has. THAT’s the level of men and women God has surrounded us with. THAT’s how we continue on and are so successful.

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Just one of many antelope we saw along the way

Thank you for linking arms with us to make this happen on an even grander scale. Your involvement through financial giving, and prayer is making all the difference in lives literally around the world, and most recently where the deer and the antelope play.

An Army of Truth-Tellers!

I just returned from a marathon travel schedule over the last two weeks to Winston-Salem, NC, Santa Ana, CA, Oklahoma City, OK, and Casper, WY. I tell you that to first of all let you know that SaveOne is on the move! Several of the SaveOne team members got to go too so that was a real treat for me. There are so many great things happening at SaveOne, I am afraid I would run out of room on this blog post if I tried to write it all!

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Secondly I want to let you know of our travels because meeting these incredible people we have met over these last two weeks gives me great hope. To find like-minded individuals who are either thankful to discover SaveOne, or are already doing the work of abortion recovery is phenomenal. These meetings show us our circle we have locked arms with, is growing more and more every day.

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SaveOne is building an army of truth-tellers who are no longer willing to be silent about the devastation abortion brings into a man, woman, or families lives. It’s time…way past time the millions suffering in silence have a place to turn for help. SaveOne being offered in churches and pregnancy centers around the world is just such a place. We are so thankful for the chapter leaders being willing to push this hard subject.

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We met people in these cities I mentioned whose marriages have been restored; who were able to kick an addiction; who saved an unborn life; countless numbers who confessed abortions to us with one woman having held the secret for 40 years. All of these scenarios happened because these people were brave enough to step forward and deal with a past abortion. God then took their circumstances and turned them to good. Only He can do stuff like that!

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Please pray for us as we have meetings, speaking engagements, much more travel, and our first ever SaveOne European Summit, all still happening this year. We cannot do what we do without your financial help as well as your much needed prayers.

Feel free to comment below with any questions you have for us, or if you would like for us to come to your church to share SaveOne. Hope to hear from you soon!

THE HERO IN YOU

Have you ever been shaken out of your complacency? Or maybe you have witnessed something so horrific that you could no longer treat it as a nightmare, as though it never happened?

There have been many heroes who have gone before us who were shaken out of their complacency and drawn into a battle they didn’t necessarily want to fight. They were ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary feats simply because they saw an injustice and refused to sit silently. Following are just a few examples of some real heroes…

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was an African-American civil rights leader who led the resistanceimages1 to segregation using non-violent methods. He could not ignore the injustice being served to blacks, nor could he wait on someone else to step up and fight the battle of the races. God raised him up to be a great man. He was Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” in 1963, and one year later was the youngest man in history to earn the Nobel Peace Prize. God had  a willing vessel in Dr. King and much was accomplished through his courage.

imagesEsther was a young Jewish girl who suddenly found herself queen of Persia. When she discovered a plot to extinguish all the Jewish people living in Persia, she had the courage, at the risk of her own life, to save an entire generation of Jews by confronting the king. Today she is remembered as a powerful instrument in the hands of our mighty God, simply because she refused to remain silent about the killing of innocent people.

Take time to read about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, William Wallace, Harriet Tubman, and William Wilberforce. All heroes who risked their own lives so others could live.

Looking back on these people’s lives, hindsight is 20/20. They are known as heroes today, but undoubtedly numerous people who knew them then, called them “zealots” and “Jesus freaks”. I’m sure they were told on more than one occasion they had “lost it.” Can you hear their family and friends warning, “Okay, now you’ve taken it just a little bit too far. The authorities are involved, so it’s time to back off and save yourself. You can’t go to jail, you can’t lose your life.” And I’m sure they heard, “This is not God’s will for you!”

I imagine they probably contemplated these cries repeatedly in their heads and questioned their own sanity. So many of these people, plus countless others unnamed, were in jeopardy of losing their lives. Some did become martyrs for a cause they refused to ignore.

These people seem larger than life to us. Because of the movies made about their lives, theimgres-1 monuments and memorials erected on their behalf, and stories we’ve read, we have a tendency to capture their images as extraordinary people with some kind of gifting you and I do not possess. In reality, they were ordinary people just like you and me. The only difference is, they understood the battle was theirs to fight. They were the ones willing to pick up the sword and charge into battle.

Thankfully, as Christians we possess the most powerful weapons. We are the ones with the call on our lives to stand up when everyone else is sitting down, gaining our courage from the all-powerful God who has our back.

When will we look at the abortion issue as a cause worthy of our fight? Yes, there are many causes that are worthy, but what cause is more gruesome, more devastating, and more horrific than the legalized killing of our children?

We look at our forefathers who justified slavery with such scorn. We read about our country’s history regarding slavery and then wonder how our forefathers could have ever acted with such horrific behavior. Will our children and grandchildren look back at us with disdain over this issue and wonder how we could have ever let decades of abortion continue?

As a Christian, this is our fight. We own it. We must take a stand for the issue of life! It will be that moment you find the hero that resides in you. When pushed into a battle, your strength, power, wisdom, and stamina will come forth and history will show you to be larger than life. As we look back on your efforts to fight injustice, history will judge you well. So my challenge to you today is to join this fight with us. Refuse to look the other way any longer and you will see the hero arise in you! images-1

Please comment below the injustices you wish to fight, and your dreams of how to accomplish their end. No idea is too crazy!

Crossing the Threshold

17135984132_f694fe1ab0_zShe walks across the threshold – perhaps the hardest thing she has done in years. I see the weight pressing down on her shoulders, like a thick dark cloud, no, it’s like a heavy yoke. The secret she has been carrying is apparent, it is clearly visible on her face and in the curve of her shoulders. I recognize this look, it’s obvious to me. I’ve carried the same weight before. I get up and hug her and welcome her like a long lost friend. We have met before but only briefly, not in person only by phone, however, we’ve already made a connection – we are connected by the sin of our past. I imagine that finally she feels a life-line has been thrown to her. Something, perhaps this class she is walking into, will pull her out from under the dead weight she has carried far too long.

This damaged soul has just walked across the threshold into my SaveOne class. Those heavy laden steps are some of the hardest she has ever taken.  She really doesn’t have a clue about the journey embarked on, but I do. And my soul smiles! Her life is about to change forever and I can’t wait to see it happen!

By the end of the first class, the “Introduction”, we have all shared our deepest, darkest, most shameful secret of abortion. We are all becoming knit together by the similarity of our abortion story and the dissimilarity of the circumstances. Some of the men and women in the class have never told another living soul. It has been a successful unburdening. I am always amazed to see the power of transparency. I begin to perceive the heavy weight lifting off their shoulders! By the end of the first, introductory class, I have already witnessed an amazing transformation take place – the unbearable weight is lifting, the guarded countenance in facial expression is softening, the monotone inflection in the tone of voice is brightening. God is already doing His mighty work of unburdening these men and women who have carried the heavy yoke of slavery to their past. God is doing what He has promised. He is making the great exchange…”Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28 – 30

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And thus begins the 11 week journey to freedom called SaveOne! Over the next 10 weeks these precious children of God will learn how to be set free from the bondage of abortion and how to live in the fullness of victory Jesus Christ provided for them on the Cross of Calvary. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery”. Galatians 5:1

After experiencing healing by taking the SaveOne journey myself, I started the Salem Oregon chapter of SaveOne in September 2006. I have since offered 3 SaveOne classes each year and have seen many people healed and set free from a lifetime of suffering in silence. Now many men and women are empowered to tell their own story of restoration to help save one more person from living a life of guilt, shame, unforgiveness, anger, and depression. We, at SaveOne, believe it is these brave women and men, sharing the word of their testimony, that will bring about change in this culture of death and help to restore commitment to the sanctity of human life.

SaveOne is truly a life-transforming class. I am so blessed to be used of God, and humbled to be placed on the front lines of witnessing Him do His work of restoration in the lives of these precious yet damaged souls. …“This is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!” Peace be to you all who are in Christ.” 1 Peter 5:12, 14

This post was written by the incredible Terri Nordone. She is one of our SaveOne chapter coordinator’s and one of my dear friends. I wanted you to hear her description of that life-changing moment we see so often in our classes. These moments are something we never tire of seeing, and never get used to being a part of because they are truly spectacular.

Please let us know if you would like to learn how to bring the SaveOne class to your church!

Snagging the Pass Through….

Snagging the Pass Through

I was with a pastor’s wife friend of mine the other day and she was describing how she had been going into “pass-through” mode. Of course that phrase is my own terminology that I have coined, but I knew exactly what she was talking about. This post has been one of the most regarded in the years I have had this blog. I thought it appropriate to send it through a second time. Hope you enjoy!

Before I ever experienced jet lag I would hear people talk about it and thought they just meant they were really, really tired. What was the big deal? (insert eye roll here) Then I went to Europe for the first time and came home tired. I didn’t know how tired until I face planted in my lunch the next day. I dragged myself to the car, having to concentrate lifting my foot as high as the curb. I kept my eyes open long enough to crawl in my car, and I slept for 2 hours in a crowded parking lot. I realized jet lag was more than tired. This was beyond my control!

Burnout is much the same. I think of burnout this way. There’s a dark recess of your mind that is the end of you. The bottom of the rope, the last step before the cliff, that moment just before you fall asleep…the end. That place is a different spot for different people. Some people have a deeper reserve and can take much more of what life can throw at them. Others have a shorter fuse and reach their spot of depletion sooner. Either way, burnout takes you to a tired that sleep doesn’t fix.

I found that dark recess in my mind I didn’t know existed until now. Burnout. I feel stupid and weak admitting I was there. The lack of admission was part of the reason I got there. Because I feel stupid and weak admitting I have this breaking point and I let my actions and the actions of others break me.

Being in ministry means being about people. Honestly, I like helping people. I don’t say that to make myself seem all humble and servant like. If you know me you know servanthood does not come naturally to me. Being bossy on the other hand does come naturally to me. I like helping people realize stuff. I am addicted to that moment when a girl sitting in front of me has the realization she can walk in total freedom from the past bad choices she has made. Or that moment when my husband and I are working through marriage problems with another couple, and they realize sticking it out is far more rewarding than being a quitter. There’s no drug, or alcoholic beverage that tops the exhilaration of seeing someone turn around and change their behavior for the better. I’m addicted. I admit it. I love seeing people be happy and work out their problems and I LOVE that I get to lead people to God’s Word and watch their lives unfold.

There is this turning point though, when you are in the business of helping people, that 2often times you start taking in information only to pass it back out. You hear a great sermon, a wonderful song, a cool quote, and you think I could use that in a blog post. I need to tell my pastor wife friend about this podcast. I need to share this book with my friend who needs to hear this. I need to Periscope the sermon so this other person can hear it who is at home with a sick child. And before you know it everything you take in is getting passed right through you to other people. Even your morning devotions become note-taking sessions for others. Nothing is sticking, nothing is getting snagged for YOU!

During this season of burnout and comeback my husband Jack and I went to a different church. We wanted to go someplace we could just go in and sit down and go to church. We haven’t done that in something like 14 years. It was an amazing feeling. I had forgotten how much I love God’s Church and His people. Now keep in mind I was reading the book, “Leadership Pain” by Sam Chand while I was on sabbatical. Guess what the whole sermon was about that morning? You guessed it. Leadership pain.

God definitely had something for me that morning, but instantly I started the pass through. I thought of my friend who needed to hear a certain quote. I thought of all the people I knew who I wanted to hear this sermon. It was an incredible message. But I was in the middle of the pass through thinking of all the people I could minister to from this sermon when God so sweetly showed me…maybe it’s just me who needs the ministry right now. He showed me how it was all right to let these words from Bishop Walker at Mt. Zion resonate with me and only me for that moment. Tears filled my eyes and I allowed myself for the next hour to just sit and soak it all in. I did not want to miss one moment God had for me. I stopped the pass through and I snagged every morsel taking notes as quickly as my thumbs could type.

It truly was a wonderful feeling. So many of us in ministry want to see our church family succeed. We deeply want the best for them, so we get in this state of pass through not retaining any of the wisdom and knowledge we hear from others to teach us, lead us, and help us grow. We eventually become empty; nothing more than a slot machine. Put in a quarter, pull the lever, out comes the advice.

It’s okay to keep the pass-throughs going. But take time to snag some for yourself. Or better yet, snag the whole thing for yourself; let it steep for a while; then continue the pass through. I challenge all my pastor friends, counselor friends, pastor’s wife friends to notice how often you go into pass through mode. The next time you realize it, stop and think about what you’re hearing or reading and how it can apply to YOUR life first, and you will take a step in guarding yourself against burnout.

I also would love to hear from you. Those who have suffered from burnout and recovered. What was your strategy? Comment below and let’s keep this conversation going. As I have seen from my last post on this subject, I am not the only one going through this. Thanks so much for taking time to tell your story!

UP YOURS!

You know those words that are supposed to shut us up, written by a coward sitting alone in his parent’s basement hiding behind a computer screen? At least that’s what I always picture when I get comments meant to spew hate. Here lately these words have been coming in quite regularly on my blog. 

Crazy guyBeing vocal about a social injustice like abortion always attracts its fair share of crazies, but when I received this comment on one of my blog posts it made me chuckle. It simply read, “UP YOURS!” I guess the exclamation point was an extra jab to drive his/her comment home. What do I even do with this comment? What is it supposed to accomplish? Is it designed to make me feel badly about my words? Quash my passion to see abortion end? Was it supposed to make me believe I should be quiet? Did the author hit send and feel better about himself? Did he call up his friends and tell them what a tough guy he is? So many questions…

When someone is too cowardly to talk to you face to face, or have a civil debate about Braindisagreements, don’t give that person any brain space. You have more important things to do with your intellect than fill it trying to understand the motive behind such an unimpressive waste of words. 

You may be thinking I’m completely not taking my own advice because I have devoted an entire blog post to this one person’s comment, but actually I just wanted you to chuckle with me. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to brag on the people who have locked arms with SaveOne. 

There are men and women who have come alongside us who are like nobody else in the world. They see the need and the power behind abortion recovery. The SaveOne faithful support our efforts either through simply reading this blog post and sharing it; joining our efforts through financial giving; being a powerhouse to see these efforts come to pass through prayer; or they are on the front lines of this staff or as a SaveOne chapter leader, leading the charge to end abortion in their communities. Those who have locked arms with SaveOne are truly the catalysts for change in our world. 

Thumbs upWhen someone says UP YOURS to any of us again, let’s wear this insult as a badge of honor. A trophy telling the world, HEY we’re making a difference! People who love the message of death are not liking what we’re doing. Let’s do it more! Let’s do it bigger! Let’s do it louder! Let’s bring more people to the party and save more lives than we ever dreamed. Are you in? 

Thanks for locking arms with us. We love you faithful partners of SaveOne. We couldn’t do this without you. 🙂

Blood money, venom, elections, and hope…

For many politicians, standing on blood money has been their ticket to getting re-elected. They tout themselves as women’s rights advocates and repeat the same venomous lies poisonmindwe’ve been hearing since 1973. Unfortunately, the public’s minds are still being poisoned.

Abortion is an ugly business. Its a gruesome, bone-chilling procedure steadily occurring in our world today. So it’s no surprise the church has tried to keep her hands clean by sidestepping this issue and handing LIFE/ABORTION off to the political world to debate. It’s just easier that way.

Where has this hand-off gotten us? Can we honestly keep our collective heads in the sand and act as though God will not judge us for this? We can no longer vote for a pro-life politician and then pat ourselves on the back for doing our part in helping end abortion. Sure, voting for pro-life candidates is important, but it’s not our answer to ending this war against life. Promotion of meaningful candidates is undeniably a step in the right direction. I have campaigned for candidates too and it’s a wonderful, victorious feeling when your man or woman gets elected. But church…it’s not enough.

Politicians are not our only means to this end. They do not wield the power that holds the key to lock or unlock the answers to this dilemma. WE DO!

Yes, voting in elections is imperative but we can’t get so enraptured in the politics of abortion that we forget who is truly in control. We cannot wait on laws to be changed and overturned. We cannot stand by until the “right” administration is elected, or the “right” justices are appointed. When we rely on politics to save us, then we are giving them all control and power over issues the local church should be controlling. We can do something about the issue of abortion now!

To change laws, we must change minds first. We have to get the church on the right page. We must educate the church first and foremost as to the importance of dealing with the abortion issue. This task starts with you and your church. Courageously make a stand and let people know your church values life and will no longer tolerate what’s going on. Sure, people might leave your church and you will certainly offend some. Most likely people will appreciate your spiritual leadership and stiff backbone.

LocalChurchWhen we avoid tough subjects because we are afraid of offending, and when we hand over spiritual issues for politicians to handle for us, we are giving away power God entrusted to us. We cannot allow the pro-abortion side of this debate to close our mouths about a topic that breaks God’s heart. The local church is the best-equipped entity prepared or knowledgeable enough to do something about this issue.

We can refer to Isaiah 1:15 and Jeremiah 19:4 to see what God thinks about innocent blood shed. When the local church finally takes a stand and reconstitutes the abortion/life issue as our own, then politics will follow us, and we will make abortion unthinkable before it becomes illegal! We don’t have to wait. We can do this now!

Don’t be left on the sidelines of the issue of abortion. King David is a great example of someone who chose not to stay on the sidelines. He could never have become the strong man of God he became by sitting on the sidelines. He entered the battle that was unwinnable and became one of the greatest examples for us to follow of bravery and courage.Lion

The church holds the power to take this issue back from the political arena, but we must wield that power before anything will happen. It will take brave pastors and courageous church leaders to step into an area where the battle for life takes place every single moment. That’s when the wind will be at your back and you will join the ranks of the heroes!

It Takes a Team…

TeamYou expect me to say nice things about SaveOne. It is after all, the non-profit I started 16 years ago. But did you know there is a whole TEAM of people behind me, beside me, and around me who love this organization almost as much as I do? They are creative, funny, smart, committed, loyal, and trusted, dear friends to me. Some of them have been with me all 16 years! I want you to listen in on what one of them has to say, because they inspire me and remind me why we do what we do. Becky states so eloquently…

“I have always been against abortion, but other than speaking out about it I did little to stop it. One day I realized I needed to do something…anything to make a difference. I knew my friend Sheila had this ministry called SaveOne, but I didn’t really know much about it. So, I decided to look into it and see if God wanted me to get involved. As I read the book, God did something pretty amazing. He showed me areas of my life where I was needing forgiveness and grace to move in and change me. I wept through much of the book. I was moved. I have never had an abortion, yet God used this book to change me. I had to get involved. I wanted other people to realize just how amazing God’s grace truly is.”

For years I have had people tell me if you have not had an abortion you cannot possibly help someone who has. Nothing could be further from the truth. The author here, Becky Gould, becky-gouldhas been a tremendous catalyst for countless individuals to experience healing after abortion. Read on…

“SaveOne is not about an agenda or a ‘do these things and you will cope’ type of help. SaveOne is a heartfelt, loving, grace-filled study that will truly dig deep and shine God’s love into a person’s life. It is so loving, yet so truthful. I found I simply could not argue with the logic and truth it shared. The first class I held I was blown away at how different my student was in the few short weeks of our class. God had touched her just like He touched me. I was hooked!”

I tell people all the time, the seat they sit in as a SaveOne chapter leader is addictive. You are literally sitting on the front row of God’s miracles. It’s easy to get hooked just like Becky did when God allows you to be a part, up close and personal, to a life transformed.

“But there is one more truly wonderful thing about SaveOne. We don’t only care about women. We care about men too. God’s healing and forgiveness are available to everyone. Men have been pushed to the side on the abortion issue. They have had to suffer in silence and isolation in a way we just cannot fathom. SaveOne empowers men to be who God created them to be. It has helped to heal many families as men found forgiveness and/or healing and began to walk in the knowledge they gained.”

How cool is it when the people around you buy into your vision? When I first started talking about including men in abortion recovery some people thought I was crazy. Now, helping men, women, and the entire family is not just what we do, it’s who we are. Families finding restoration through Jesus Christ is an every day occurrence at SaveOne. I love Becky speaking out about how unfairly men are being treated in this situation. The more Beckys, and healed fathers we empower to talk about this issue the bigger the army, the louder the voice!

“This study is powerful and I am so thankful I get to share it with others. I got involved because I want to make a difference. I want to help men and women find their voice and understand their testimony. We need to hear the stories of those hurt by this industry so we can keep others from making the same mistake. Through SaveOne and the power of God’s word we are able to help people find freedom and forgiveness, and help save babies.”

And that is exactly what Becky has accomplished through her years at SaveOne. She has saved many babies by helping those who know the truth of abortion get to the healing only Jesus Christ can bring. Those men and women in turn tell others the truth behind abortion instead of sitting in shameful silence. It’s a beautiful process and I couldn’t be happier that Becky is a valued and needed member of the SaveOne team. Thank you Becky for taking time to talk about the value of SaveOne in your life!

Thank you

Becky Gould is a regional chapter coordinator with SaveOne. She cares for every chapter we have across the great state of Tennessee. Her loving and passionate way about her lets the chapter leaders who are under her care know they are not alone, but rather greatly supported, cared for, and prayed over.

Becky would love to answer any questions you have about her job, so please comment below and she will be sure to get in touch with you.

 

Hellerstadt…and why you need to know that name…

Imagine with me for a moment. You are having a minor surgery, like your appendix is being taken out. You have the opportunity to go to a clinic down the street from your house but you find out the surgeon is not allowed to admit his patients to your hospital that’s 30 minutes away. That doesn’t mean he can’t get you in to a hospital, but it does mean if something happens during surgery and you need a hospital he has to go through a lot of red tape and permissions before you would be admitted. You also find out with a little bit of research that this clinic is not up to the standard that a surgical care center needs to be. What would you decide? Would you rather have the surgery where you know the doctor is competent, qualified, and committed to your care? In a place you know has been inspected and is clean? It’s a no-brainer, right?

Today…March 2…right now…while you are reading this article, the most important Supreme Court case since Roe vs. Wade is being argued. This case had to go all the way to SCOTUS to force abortionists at abortion mills to have admitting privileges to the nearest hospital as well as raise their clinics to a standard required by law for a surgical center. The name of this case is Hellerstadt vs. Whole Woman’s Health. If this case stands, the abortion clinics across Texas will dwindle to about 9 or 10. That means there are about a dozen currently operating in sub-par conditions.

The pro-abortion advocates insist these requirements would place an undue burden on women to drive farther or wait longer for their abortion.  Why should women be subjected to doctors who may not be competent, and have surgeries in clinics less standardized than vet clinics and tattoo parlors? There are actually people fighting to make sure women get this atrocious treatment.

If you are reading this article on Wednesday, March 2, could you please take a moment and pray right now for this case? It’s time abortion clinics are held to the same standard, giving women the care they deserve!

Top 3 Causes of Burnout…or at least they were my top 3

I have been amazed how much the subject of burnout has resonated with so many pastors, their wives, and people in general. I’m very happy my transparency made others stop and reassess where they were. I have people who have scheduled vacations, sabbaticals, and are releasing some things from their lives. But this is my last post on burnout. I got REALLY transparent in this one. I may revisit this subject again at a later date, but I feel it’s time to move on…Enjoy!

17135984132_f694fe1ab0_zThe Christian/Church world is really no different in many ways than the world outside the church. I know we all want to believe it’s different, but it’s really not. We are just providing a central location for people who are screwed up to come and try to get themselves figured out. The difference that makes the church world really cool in my opinion is you get to do this “figuring” with others who are on the same road, going in the same direction.

I just came off a 3-week sabbatical where I removed myself from everything and everybody. Many people much smarter than myself told me 3 weeks was not long enough and I believed them. So I made the most of every moment being very intentional in my thoughts and actions. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish with no phone, no social media, no work, and no appointments. I was living in this temporary utopia and I was determined to make the most of it. I realized I needed this adult “time out” to process some things that have happened over the last 8 years since we planted a church.

Before we started the church Jack and I had experienced great success at the church before us, at the same time as building a very prosperous, successful business. I was building SaveOne and every year had been better than the last. I went into this church plant thinking it would be more of the same. Success, growth, new friends, great people, locking arms, and marching forward into this new area of success! Everything golden, everything lovely. Before we planted we talked to some dear friends of ours who had started a church about a year before us. We asked them to tell us what we didn’t know. I will never forget my friend saying these words to me, “You’ll make more enemies than you ever dreamed.”

Fast forward 8 years later and I was in a place of believing we had more people who hated us than loved us. I could have never dreamed of the amount of people we would tick off, sometimes just by our very presence. I could lay out for you story after story of the lies, the betrayal, the rejection, the anger, from people that we considered friends and would stickUntitled design by us through thick or thin. I became very disillusioned through this process to the point of fantasizing about moving to a foreign country, going off the grid, or moving to a remote cabin in Montana, growing all our own food and learning how to sew. You know it’s bad if I was thinking about domesticating.

So here I was, 8 years later. I felt finished. Depleted. Done. I had tried everything I knew to do to fix myself and nothing was working. I had watched my husband over the last year head up the construction of our new church building. It was so stressful on him I literally laid awake at night sometimes, worrying if he was going to die. Being a part of this process did not help me and where I was headed. We were both a mess and needed a break, so I had the idea of a sabbatical. The church was completely understanding and even recognized we looked tired. 🙂

Off we went into the land of burner phones and empty calendars. Even now as I write this I’m sitting in a cabin in the woods (not in Montana) soaking in the sun squeezing every last minute out of my time. And I’m seeing more clearly as to the cause of my distress. Here are the top 3 reasons my life led to burnout.

1. Stuffing. As a pastor’s wife it’s kind of an unwritten rule that we don’t step in and get in the middle of church conflicts unless they involve us. It’s hard though to sit by quietly and be the good little wife when someone is railing on the hubs unjustly. I believed I needed to be quiet, and in most cases I still should! But one thing I failed to do is deal with those unresolved feelings of anger, resentment, and betrayal I felt from these people. Many times we have made friends with people in our church. We have loved on them, visited them in the hospital, helped them out financially, loved their children, and did everything I know a church should do/could do and then the people left and talked badly about my husband, me, or my church family. I stuffed those emotions thinking I was being the good wife. Instead of pulling out how I felt and dealing with the pain before the Lord, I allowed these people into my mind and my heart to fester and become an unresolved wound. The way I have always handled conflict is, we talk and we get it worked out and we love each other again. But when the conflict isn’t with me, but rather with the church that I love, or my husband, who I love even more, I’m unable to do that. I have to find another way to deal with this pain and it is through releasing it to God. The people who leave us are not our enemies even though they may act like it. They may treat us and think of us as an enemy,  but they only become my enemy if I decide they are. The real enemy is the power behind their actions; a very real devil who wants to upset us and keep us in turmoil and distracted from the ministry He has called us to complete. Years of stuffing this type of pain led to many, many layers of hurt that finally toppled into an ugly mess. Now at the same time, not everyone who leaves does so in a negative way. There’s a way to leave a church and remain friends, confidantes, brothers and sisters, and there’s a ways to leave a church that doesn’t cause hurt, division, gossip, and betrayal. When someone you love walks out of your life, do not stuff those feelings down any longer. Pull them out, grieve the loss, forgive them, and move on to the people who God has put before you.

2. Guarding. In my mind I knew I needed to love people. But loving people, letting them into my life, getting into their lives, and working through the muck and mire together was what led to the pain I was feeling. Several of these people left me and I felt myself backing away, guarding my heart, guarding my actions, guarding my words, feeling suspicious of every move, and it led to me being guarded with God. If God called us to start this church, then why was so much pain involved in the process? The process was what I could not back away from. I had to stay engaged and love people regardless of how they love me back. Men and women have been brought into our lives for a season. If someone is standing in front of me who needs my help, I need to give it. I cannot expect their loyalty, their friendship, their commitment or anything else in return. I need to give of myself and allow God to do the rest. If God has brought them before me for this time then He trusts me to help them. He believes there is something I can give that will better their life. So instead of backing away to avoid pain and thinking only of myself, I have to dive into the process and embrace the friendship, and everything that comes along with it. Guarding myself leads to isolation and that is all the devil needs to strike; an isolated heart and mind.

3. People-pleasing. Don’t pass by this paragraph thinking this does not pertain to you. It does. Or it will. I have a tendency to remember the negative. You know that moment when I can have 999 people I just spoke to tell me what a great job I did and 1 say something negative and I go home and obsess about the negative. It’s the same with the church. People say some of the most unbelievable things to pastor’s wives and pastor’s. I mean stuff you just can’t even possibly imagine. I don’t know why the public thinks the wife is the dumping ground. The place to come and complain about the pastor, a problem they perceive with the church, critique her clothes, her weight, her money, her car, her children’s actions, well you get the gist. Remembering these hurtful words led to me altering my behavior, my clothes, my actions to please different people who had said different things. I never saw that as people-pleasing, I started out thinking I was helping the church and being a good pastor’s wife. But in the process somehow I lost myself. I ended up being this person I didn’t like very much because I was just bland, gray, non-adventurous, saintly Sheila. I allowed others to set the rules and I bent over backwards to follow everyone else’s rules for me. I’m recognizing this and I’m trying to work out of it. I’m still discovering the areas in which I have allowed others expectations to rule.

These three areas are what I have pinpointed as my demise a few months ago. I don’t like sounding so negative like being a pastor’s wife is all this and nothing else. The positive moments equal no other. Like when someone has been through a harrowing circumstance and they call for help because they trust you more than anyone else. That is a privilege that still to this day brings tears to my eyes. That moment never grows old. There are people who left a good, secure, church (the right way) and came with us to the unknown to plant a new church, and are still with us today. These people are our lifeline. They hold up our arms, they pray for us, they are trusted friends. I could write a novel on the moments over the last 8 years that I will treasure forever. What I know for sure is there will always be people I have to keep my mouth quiet about…there will always be people the Holy Spirit warns me to guard myself around…and there will be times I need to get over myself and please other people. This is life, and it’s not all bad.

Recognizing these things in my life, and their out of control state, has helped me pinpoint my turnaround spot. While on this 3-week adventure I read 2 books, “Leadership Pain” by Sam Chand and “When Words Hurt” by Warren Bullock. I would recommend both books, but Sam Chand says, “You’ll grow only to the threshold of your pain”. Those are incredible words of wisdom. Time after time there have been examples all through God’s Word of people who went through an incredibly hard, painful time that led to an incredible victory. Well, I know Victory is coming! I can’t say I am completely out of burnout. I don’t feel 100% myself again, but I know I’m going to get there. I’m working diligently about being in the moment. That’s just a freebie. One of the things I recognized is that I was constantly thinking about what I needed to do next, where I needed to go next, how much time I had at this stop, determining ahead of time how much time I would give a problem, etc. Right now this moment is pretty cool and I want to bask in it. It’s freezing on this porch where I’m writing, but the cold mixed with the bright sunshine feels too good on my skin to give it up. My dog is sitting at my feet, I smell the fire in the fireplace waiting for me, and as far as I can see in front of me are mountains yet to be hiked.

Daleidon for President

ShockReagan conservatives like me are standing around with our hands up in the air wondering what the heck happened to our country??? It’s the greatest disgrace of my generation; the worst travesty of our time; the biggest pock mark on our society since segregation…

We can no longer sit by and allow this horrific crime against humanity to happen and think we will not answer to God for it. It’s time to stand with the righteous or be counted with the weak. As Christians we have marching orders and we can either sit in the four walls of our churches, or we can get outside and do something about the problem of abortion.

The fact our country has said abortion is okay and part of our population is even fighting to make sure it continues to happen to men and women and families is unconscionable. The fact that one man, David Daleidon, had enough backbone to investigate the selling of human body parts by Planned Parenthood (the largest abortion provider in our country) is a bravery that is rare these days. I cannot imagine what his investigators witnessed, heard, and had to take part in. Their actions should be applauded that they exposed this crime against humanity, but instead this man is being vilified. How did we get here? How are we so deceived and wrapped up in our own lives that we are not anguished by this outcome? Why is this injustice not keeping us up at night?

It’s terrifying to think the next generation will look at us with such disdain. The same way we look at the holocaust…down our noses. How could the defenders of Hitler look the other way? How could they participate? It’s the same way our great grandchildren are going to look at us. shockIt’s time to stand with the righteous or be counted with the weak. The weak are defending and/or doing nothing about this statement from the very first video uncovering the sale of unborn children’s body parts. “Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on baby-crushing: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”

There are millions of men, women, and families devastated by the trauma of this choice. Those needing to recover from abortion are a captive audience waiting on someone to understand their plight. These are people like me, and countless other individuals who have gone through the SaveOne program. These men, women, and family members are a waiting audience of aching hearts who have chosen abortion or lost someone close to them through abortion. Once the hurting are healed they are no longer willing to sit in silence. This brave army of men and women then speak out and speak up to tell of the healing and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. When people know the truth and have been forgiven much they alert our society to the problem of taking the lives of our own children. This choice is much different than the lie being sold to us. It’s a trauma that should never be experienced by another person.

It’s game on! As a pastor if you lose every single person out of your church because you started defending life, and God bends down and smiles at your stiffened spine, then you have gained the world and lost what doesn’t matter. God restores what we lose!!  It’s time to take off the gloves and stop worrying about rocking the boat. We need to capsize the boat shaking us out of complacency, the decent into getting their hands dirty, and the people who think this should be left to politicians realizing that doesn’t work!SaveOneLogoBe counted with the righteous, don’t stand with the weak. Let’s expose every facet of the abortion industry for what it is. Let’s take our country back, so when a man like David Daleidon comes along, we will recognize him for what he is…a true hero!

Sabbatical…YES PLEASE!

1“Almost everything works again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.” Words by Anne Lamott

If you have kept up with my blog at all, you know my husband and I took a sabbatical this year. First. One. Ever. It was wonderful, and I’m here right now to show you why you need to take one too. Sabbaticals are not just for pastors. They’re not just for people who are stressed out. A sabbatical is for YOU reading these words and let me tell you why…

Have you ever completed a “cleanse”? There are liver cleanses, colon cleanses, etc. We know we need these cleanses when stuff starts getting backed up. Don’t make me go into detail, but you know what I mean. It can get really gross, yucky, stinky, and clogged inside. It makes us feel bad and affects other parts of our bodies. Having a dirty inside can cause everything from bad breath, to acne, to hair falling out. One of the greatest cleanses you can ever do for yourself is go on an extended fast. It releases everything inside you. WATCH OUT! It’s the ultimate cleanse! 3

Often times we go on these cleanses, or fasts because of pain. We want the pain to go away, so we take necessary steps to rid us of pain. It’s the same with a sabbatical. When a person is in leadership, whether they are leading a church of thousands, or a corporation of hundreds, or a family of 2, there is pain involved. This pain may be mental, spiritual, or emotional. Sometimes we allow this pain to pile up and we become clogged. If you’re like me you start self-medicating. This “medication” can be watching TV, spending way too much time on social media, eating comfort foods, avoiding people, or (insert your 2“medication” of choice here). Escape becomes the means in which we try to deal with this pain.

If you can relate to anything I’m saying you may just be ripe for a sabbatical. You may be thinking everything will fall apart, I have too much to do, and all the other excuses we come up with. But God needs you to be the best you can possibly be. He needs you to cleanse/detox occasionally, and we do that by shutting ourselves off from the world.

Turn off the TV.

Get rid of the junk food.

Put your phone on airplane mode.

Take yourself to the corner in time out.

What God has called you to do is way too important to complete halfway, less than excellent. When you don’t have much time, (I know a month long sabbatical is unreasonable for some) then you must be intentional. Spend every day with progress. Grab hold of God and don’t let go until He blesses you, each and every day. Feed yourself good food or fast. Don’t lie to yourself and say you will not pay attention to your phone. Back away from your phone and all social media. Airplane mode is your friend. Get a little burner phone and only give that number to a couple of people. Let your mind rest, let your soul rest, let your emotions rest, let your heart rest. You will be amazed what is released when you stop putting junk in.

You may not be able to rid yourself of all pain during a sabbatical, but you will be able to see it from a different perspective. I read a book titled, “Leadership Pain” by Sam Chand while I was away and it showed me how pain will always be in my life as long as I’m dealing with people. I have to make friends with the pain. Pain is necessary for growth. When God allows me to experience pain He is breaking me out of a plateau, readying me for victory, stretching me to live more, love more, experience more. When I try to avoid this pain, self-medicate this pain, or end the pain then I end growth. God can only take me as far and as high as the pain I can endure.

Let’s look at a sabbatical as a cleanse, or a detox. You’re cleansing your emotions, your spirit, and your mind by removing all the junk and only putting good stuff in for an extended period of time. I promise you won’t regret the results.4

 

Please let me know if you decide to go on sabbatical and I will be praying for you during the time you are away. I cannot encourage people enough to do this for themselves, their families, and the ones they lead. The world will continue to spin without you. At the same time the world will spin better if you are the best you, fully rested and ready for your task at hand.

You can defeat our modern day Goliath

You Can Defeat our Modern Day Goliath

What started as a little two-room makeshift clinic in Brooklyn ran by untrained volunteers has now grown to a multi-billion-dollar international corporation. It is actively present in more than 130 nations and on six continents. It has manipulated its way into almost every facet of our lives. It plays an active role in our health and human services community, our private and public school educational system, programming in the mass media, and it holds political clout through lobbying, legislation, and campaigning. You may have guessed by now I am talking about Planned Parenthood. Don’t stop reading. In fact, hang on to your hat because I’m about to blow your mind!

In 1939 the founder of PP, Margaret Sanger, instigated “The Negro Project”. This project was touted to African-Americans as a way for them to get a so-called ‘step up” in society by giving them access to birth control. Sanger recruited prominent black leaders and convinced them to infiltrate the communities of African-Americans under the guise of help. But in a letter to Clarence Gamble (president of the American Eugenics Research Association) that Sanger wrote in December, 1939, she stated: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

This entire operation was and still is a ruse, getting African-Americans to participate in their own extermination. The first experimental clinic was opened in Harlem and I was shocked to learn the second was in my town, Nashville, TN. It was strategically located near Fisk University and Meharry Medical College. Both are known for higher education of African-Americans. She especially disliked southern blacks, and thought them to be more inferior than northern blacks. Soon, these birth control clinics were popping up all over the south, and Sanger’s dream of ending “the defective and diseased elements of humanity from their reckless and irresponsible swarming and spawning” (HER WORDS) was at last coming true. To this day there is still an operating PP clinic within a mile of Fisk and Meharry.

We cannot dismiss this information as being, “That was then, this is now.” Margaret Sanger’s ideas are alive and well in today’s PP. Alan Guttmacher, the former president of PP in the 1960’s and 1970’s was listed as a member of the American Eugenics Society, as well as served as their vice-president. From 1978-1992 Faye Wattleton, ironically an African-American, served as PP president. Ms. Wattleton accepted with pride PP’s highest honor, the Margaret Sanger Award. This award is given to those who exemplify the ideals of Margaret Sanger. The proud owner of this award in 2009? HILARY CLINTON.

You may be thinking you would NEVER support such an organization, especially knowing they participate in the trafficking of baby body parts. But rest assured plenty of your tax dollars every day go toward funding abortion. The 2012-2013 annual report of PP revealed the abortion giant had a total income of 1.02 billion with a reported profit of over $58 million. The taxpayer’s portion is more than $540 million worth of government grants and contracts at both the state and federal levels. That doesn’t even begin to include the organizations to which we contribute that we would never dream are associated with PP. A few examples are, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Girl Scouts of America, and United Way. (If your company pressures you to give to United Way did you know you could designate your gift to SaveOne? Just an idea.) You can look for yourself by going to their websites and spending a few minutes researching.

Our government has allowed this monstrosity of a non-profit to infiltrate our lives at a rate no other entity in American history has been allowed. It’s obvious we cannot rely on our government to stop this insanity. So if not them, then who? Until the Church rises up against this injustice, then organizations like PP will continue to flourish with the help of our tax dollars.

There comes a time when we have to come out of our prayer closets and physically join the battle. We can no longer allow politicians and others to fight this battle for us. As a pastor, leader, pastor’s wife, layperson, or christian, we can no longer think our elected officials are going to take care of this. They’re not. If we do not end this, who will?

This is the reality of the battle we face. PP is our modern day Goliath that continues to mock, challenge, threaten, and kill the very lives God has knit together. Who will stand against the giant and say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” I challenge you to join us today! Bring SaveOne into your church and open your doors to the healing only Jesus can provide for those in your community who are hurting after abortion. Help us raise an army of men and women who are no longer willing to sit in silence. Be the hero they need.

Snagging the Pass Through- guarding yourself against burnout

Snagging the Pass Through

Before I ever experienced jet lag I would hear people talk about it and thought they just meant they were really, really tired. What was the big deal? (insert eye roll here) Then I went to Europe for the first time and came home tired. I didn’t know how tired until I face planted in my lunch the next day. I dragged myself to the car, having to concentrate lifting my foot as high as the curb. I kept my eyes open long enough to crawl in my car, and I slept for 2 hours in a crowded parking lot. I realized jet lag was more than tired. This was beyond my control!

Burnout is much the same. I think of burnout this way. There’s a dark recess of your mind that is the end of you. The bottom of the rope, the last step before the cliff, that moment just before you fall asleep…the end. That place is a different spot for different people. Some people have a deeper reserve and can take much more of what life can throw at them. Others have a shorter fuse and reach their spot of depletion sooner. Either way, burnout takes you to a tired that sleep doesn’t fix.

I found that dark recess in my mind I didn’t know existed until now. Burnout. I feel stupid and weak admitting I was there. The lack of admission was part of the reason I got there. Because I feel stupid and weak admitting I have this breaking point and I let my actions and the actions of others break me.

Being in ministry means being about people. Honestly, I like helping people. I don’t say that to make myself seem all humble and servant like. If you know me you know servanthood does not come naturally to me. Being bossy on the other hand does come naturally to me. I like helping people realize stuff. I am addicted to that moment when a girl sitting in front of me has the realization she can walk in total freedom from the past bad choices she has made. Or that moment when my husband and I are working through marriage problems with another couple, and they realize sticking it out is far more rewarding than being a quitter. There’s no drug, or alcoholic beverage that tops the exhilaration of seeing someone turn around and change their behavior for the better. I’m addicted. I admit it. I love seeing people be happy and work out their problems and I LOVE that I get to lead people to God’s Word and watch their lives unfold.

There is this turning point though, when you are in the business of helping people, that often times you start taking in information only to pass it back out. You hear a great sermon, a wonderful song, a cool quote, and you think I could use that in a blog post. I need to tell my pastor wife friend about this podcast. I need to share this book with my friend who needs to hear this. I need to Periscope the sermon so this other person can hear it who is at home with a sick child. And before you know it everything you take in is getting passed right through you to other people. Even your morning devotions become note-taking sessions for others. Nothing is sticking, nothing is getting snagged for YOU!

During this season of burnout and comeback my husband Jack and I went to a different church. We wanted to go someplace we could just go in and sit down and go to church. We haven’t done that in something like 14 years. It was an amazing feeling. I had forgotten how much I love God’s Church and His people. Now keep in mind I was reading the book, “Leadership Pain” by Sam Chand while I was on sabbatical. Guess what the whole sermon was about that morning? You guessed it. Leadership pain.

God definitely had something for me that morning, but instantly I started the pass through. I thought of my friend who needed to hear a certain quote. I thought of all the people I knew who I wanted to hear this sermon. It was an incredible message. But I was in the middle of the pass through thinking of all the people I could minister to from this sermon when God so sweetly showed me…maybe it’s just me who needs the ministry right now. He showed me how it was all right to let these words from Bishop Walker at Mt. Zion resonate with me and only me for that moment. Tears filled my eyes and I allowed myself for the next hour to just sit and soak it all in. I did not want to miss one moment God had for me. I stopped the pass through and I snagged every morsel taking notes as quickly as my thumbs could type.

It truly was a wonderful feeling. So many of us in ministry want to see our church family succeed. We deeply want the best for them, so we get in this state of pass through not retaining any of the wisdom and knowledge we hear from others to teach us, lead us, and help us grow. We eventually become empty; nothing more than a slot machine. Put in a quarter, pull the lever, out comes the advice.

It’s okay to keep the pass-throughs going. But take time to snag some for yourself. Or better yet, snag the whole thing for yourself; let it steep for a while; then continue the pass through. I challenge all my pastor friends, counselor friends, pastor’s wife friends to notice how often you go into pass through mode. The next time you realize it, stop and think about what you’re hearing or reading and how it can apply to YOUR life first, and you will take a step in guarding yourself against burnout.

I also would love to hear from you. Those who have suffered from burnout and recovered. What was your strategy? Comment below and let’s keep this conversation going. As I have seen from my last post on this subject, I am not the only one going through this. Thanks so much for taking time to tell your story!

Who’s Got Your Back?

David and goliathJust like small David facing monstrous Goliath on a massive battlefield, we can rest assured we have the armies of the Lord going before and behind us to pave the way.

One of the most pressing battles we face in our generation is the battle for life. Our foes are formidable, but this is a fight we can no longer shirk from. It’s time for the local church to delve into the depths of the abortion issue and rescue those who are hurting from this choice.

Our answer to ending this war on life is unlocked through the lives of people who have made the choice of abortion and are sitting in our churches every week. When these mothers, fathers, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents of the aborted are given a place to grieve, talk about their loss and heal, then they are no longer willing to be silent and allow others to suffer the pain they have. We cannot wait on politicians to end abortion for us. They’ve had forty-plus years to end legalized abortion and it hasn’t stopped yet. YOU ARE THE ONLY HOPE.

God’s Word says when we call upon God, pray to Him, and seek Him with all our hearts, we will find Him and He will bring us back from our captivity. (Jeremiah 29) But do we have the courage to fight against the giant abortion industry to bring our people out of captivity?

A pastor I know used to say, “Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” Are we willing to let go of the familiar place of quietness? Are we willing to enter the battle not knowing if we are going to win? Are we willing to draw a line in the sand and finally stand against the enemy? Are we willing to no longer signify compliance by our silence? Are we willing to speak out, reach out, take a stand, and never back down? Where are our Davids of today? Where are our warriors willing to fight in the battle to save lives and entire generations? When will we possess the fear of God’s judgment for our inactivity, and shake the fear of the world?

Courage is a requirement for any leader. A great leader who knows the Source of Courage knows he or she cannot sacrifice their future and the future of others for the immediate. We must decide between what is temporary and what is eternal and have the courage to choose the eternal every time no matter what the cost.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

As another year of legalized abortion is commemorated this Friday, I challenge you to enter this battle. If you need direction, connections, or have questions, we are here to help get you started. We are raising an army of truth-tellers who are no longer willing to live status quo, but rather joining the ranks of the warriors fighting for life!

GOD HAS YOUR BACK—LET’S GO!

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HOW TO TELL IF YOU ARE ON THE BRINK OF BURNOUT

My pastor husband and I were walking down the familiar halls of the hospital. We were visiting a lady from our church who had a non life-threatening illness and had to be put in for a couple of days. As I stood by her bed I felt an old friend surface. I was aware of what I felt, but it made no sense to me. Why in the world would I feel…jealous?

I went back to my office that day wondering what the heck was going on? Why would I feel jealousy toward a lady in the hospital? As I picked apart these feelings trying to get to the root, I realized how odd this was. Most women are jealous of Victoria’s Secret supermodels, but no, I’m jealous of a woman laying in the hospital. Suddenly it hit me why! She was stopped. She had an excuse to stop. No one expected anything from her. She didn’t have to answer as to why she wasn’t at work, why she couldn’t make an appointment, why her house wasn’t clean, why she couldn’t pick the kids up at school, why she didn’t get the newsletter written in time, why she didn’t make that bank deposit. The why’s stopped and I felt jealous of her, and a little embarrassed at myself. Okay, a lot embarrassed.

At that moment I looked at my life and wondered where my mind was. I was healthy, and instead of thanking God for my health I felt jealousy toward someone wishing for theirs.

I can’t imagine even one of you reading this blog relating to what I am saying, and that’s all right. I’m just being totally transparent here and allowing you in to the far out way my mind thinks sometimes. After telling myself I needed to slow down, get some stuff off my plate, live in the moment more, blah, blah, blah. I promised myself I would and I did for about a nano second.

Fast forward two years and my husband has me hauled into the car and on our way to the emergency room thinking I’m having a heart attack. I’m scared, he’s scared, I’m wondering if I’m really having a freakin heart attack at 48 years old! I go through a battery of tests, and as I’m laying under one of the machines I hear God clearly speak into my mind these words,

“Is this what you want?”

My tests came back great. I had a healthy heart! But I knew God was trying to get my attention. I needed to slow down. I needed to get some things off my plate. I needed to work through some of the hurts and betrayals suffered at the hands of “friends”. I needed to be more present in the moments of my life and not constantly thinking about the next meeting, the next plane to catch, the next whatever was thrown at me. I desperately needed to make some changes to get some of the stress out of my life, but what? Will the world fall apart without me? Will people be lost and wondering in the wilderness if I’m not there to lead the way? Will the world stop spinning? I was afraid to find out. I went back into my life and made a couple of changes. Those changes relieved a little pressure, but only for about a minute this time.

Those of you who know me know I’m wound pretty tightly. I’m easily excitable, I have a flair for the dramatic, and everything is larger than life. I started noticing months after the ER scare that I didn’t “feel” things like I used to. I know that sounds a little cheesy, but when you’re used to feeling things big, when you don’t, it’s noticeable. I wasn’t excited about great news. I didn’t get teary-eyed at what used to make me cry. I didn’t feel love for people I hadn’t seen in a long time. I wasn’t sad when someone was no longer in my life. I didn’t care when I saw certain injustices. I noticed that my anger level was quicker and louder than it used to be. My tears now came at moments that made no sense. I didn’t know what was happening to me. It was like someone turned the light off and I was groping in the darkness trying to find the switch to turn it back on.

I started making sure I took a day off, I started trying to get rid of stressors in my life, I started praying a whole lot more, but nothing was working. I was completely numb…scrambling. I kept trying to make the changes I had made before but this time nothing was changing. I knew it was probably just menopause. Isn’t everything menopause’s fault? I knew I would snap back eventually, but I wasn’t, and I didn’t.

Fantasizing about moving to another country, going off the grid, or retreating to a mountain hideaway in Montana seemed like a nice option. I’ve never even been to Montana, but if it was good enough for Gus and Caw it’s good enough for me.

I finally confessed to my husband through tears that I wasn’t sure ministry was for me anymore. I didn’t feel tough enough, and I was experiencing flight mode. Burnout is ugly. Trying to explain burnout to someone who has never experienced it, is like trying to explain the level of tired associated with jetlag. You think you understand it, but then when it hits it’s like a 2X4 between the eyes and you just know, yep that’s jetlag. Well burnout is the same way. I knew that’s where I was, and I needed to get healthy. I felt myself retreating. I knew I was headed in the opposite direction I was supposed to be going but I couldn’t get myself turned around. I always thought burnout was for those people who never rested. I arrogantly believed I was immune because I took a Sabbath. Burnout was for “other people”. I realized I was those other people.

There’s a line in a movie spoken when the main character, Michael, is upset because bad people had done bad things to him. Another character, Hyman, looks at Michael pointing his 80-year-old crooked finger in his face and chokes out angrily, “THIS…IS THE BUSINESS WE’VE CHOSEN!” I think of that line now as I realize ministry is not pretty, it’s not easy, and it’s not for the weak. It’s a place where bad people, myself included, rid themselves of bad things. Others get caught in the crosshairs at times and have to learn to deal with the shots taken. Yes, this is the business we’ve chosen and will continue to choose as long as God will have us.

Over the next few weeks I am going to be writing about burnout and the symptoms, causes, and solutions I experienced and am still working through. I hope you will bear with me, as me and God work through this openly. I know what I am learning is not just for me. There are others reading this blog, I believe, that will see themselves in these symptoms and hopefully be able to stop burnout in its tracks.

Have you ever suffered through burnout? What was your response? What did you learn in the process? Please leave your comments below. Your response may just be what I and others are looking for. Thanks!

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Your Child’s Crisis, 3 Ways to NEVER Respond

I had a very wise man say to me one time,

“When your child comes to you in crisis, they will always remember the first words you speak.”

I have never forgotten those words. My husband and I have both been very cognizant of the moment when our boys have had to tell us bad news, or a mistake they made. We want to always err on the side of love when it comes to our kids. When we don’t know what to say we just speak love until we find an answer together. Words are very important. They can speak life into a situation or they can speak death.

My friend who spoke those words to me was explaining the moment his unmarried daughter came to him with the news of her pregnancy. He knew whatever words spoken first would be what she always remembered. He could have completely broken down the relationship with harsh words, or he could become her hero, all in those first few seconds. He easily became her hero, and she turned to him throughout her pregnancy. He loved her during that difficult time in her life, assuring her life was going to work out just fine. Because of that love and acceptance he may have easily saved his own grandchild’s life.

Becoming the hero is not always the goal in some households. Take my friend for instance who got pregnant at 22, was unmarried, and making some pretty bad choices for her life in those days. When she told her father of the pregnancy he said three things to her that she will never forget…we can learn many things from this father’s response.

1. “You are an embarrassment to me.”
Now I don’t know about you, but even on my best day I would not want anyone saying these hurtful words to me, much less a parent! At the moment she needed to feel loved and accepted by the one person who was supposed to be her hero; he turned against her for the mistake she had made. I’m not glossing over her actions, but there she was, trying to make a good decision finally after years of poor choices, and it wasn’t recognized. She may have very well been an embarrassment to him, but how much of a difference could he have made in her life with a positive remark instead of further degrading her?

2. “I don’t want you at my church because I’m so embarrassed.”
If you are like me, your mouth is hanging open. I can’t believe a parent would say these words either. My friend wasn’t breaking down the doors of any church in those days, but at this point she sure wasn’t going to now. To hear her tell the story, she felt so dirty and it backed up the lie in her head that even God didn’t want her. At a point in her life when the doors of the church, and back to God, could have been flung open for her return to Him, they were sealed tighter than ever by these painful words. Don’t ever send the message that your child has to “straighten up” before he or she is welcome in God’s house.

3. “You are no longer my daughter.”
There is never a time in a child’s life when they should hear these words. Our kids deal with so many mixed messages in society, their family should be the one place they can always turn to no matter what. Our kids have to know that as parents they hurt us with their mistakes at times, but not one action they ever take can make us love them less. My friend was shown conditional love. That statement told her as long as she stayed in step, met her father’s expectations, then she will still be able to receive love from him. What message did these words send this young girl about God’s love? A father has a great responsibility to model God’s unconditional love to his children.

These 3 statements may never cross your lips. Your heart may be hurting for this young girl too, thinking about what kind of parent would speak these words. Allow your mind to think about where you may be showing conditional love to your child; or wanting him/her to hurt like they hurt you; or saying those things that hurt instead of heal your child’s perceptions of God.

We have to lay the groundwork before the crisis to make sure our child turns to us at that moment. In the case of an unplanned pregnancy, how many of our sons and daughters have had abortions because they know, “my dad would kill me” or “it would crush my mother to know I did this”. So our children are continuing on in the mistake by choosing abortion, instead of knowing they can turn to a parent who will be their hero in that moment of crisis.

Don’t wait for your child’s crisis and respond out of hurt and anger like this father did. Start today being the hero in your child’s life. You just may be saving the life of a future grandchild in the process.

Do you have an example of the first words spoken to you in crisis; good or bad? Are they words you have always remembered? Comment below with your example and how you responded to it. You just may help others along the way.

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SaveOne- The Ripple Effect

It’s always exciting and a little scary when I have a new book published. There’s a part of me that still cannot believe God is allowing me to work for Him, using such an ugly part of my past to help others. Then, if I’m completely honest, there is a part of me that beats myself up, believing I will receive criticism, and no one will like it. I don’t say those words to make you think I’m fishing for a compliment…I’m just being transparent about the voices in my head.

But then you run across a blog like the one I have copied below. I first saw it on my friend Susi’s blog, who is a fantastic writer. Check her out at www.survivingsibling.wordpress.com. I knew this was the perfect way to kickoff and announce my latest book.

What you read below may be the first time you have ever thought about the abortion issue from this point of view; but I can promise you, the SaveOne staff and myself have been dealing with this for many years. We continually have grandmothers of aborted children, siblings of aborted children, aunts, uncles, friends of aborted children come through our SaveOne classes. We have even had people come through our class to deal with the fact they drove a person to the abortion clinic and for two decades regretted that decision, feeling as though they were an accessory.

Abortion has a ripple effect.

We can no longer focus primarily on the woman and think we are getting the situation worked out. We MUST deal with the entire scope of the family to make sure they are whole, healthy, and intact as they move forward as a unified whole. Please read what I have posted below from an anonymous writer and let your mind open to a different realm of the abortion debate.

From Susi’s blog…

When I was a kid, my mom was very involved with the Right To Life movement. She volunteered with fundraisers, helped lead educational groups in our area, attended rallies, manned an educational booth at the county fair, and did other things I am unaware of because she didn’t really talk much about that work. What she did talk about was the value of human life, and the importance of protecting unborn babies, and I took her very seriously because she seemed to have a lot of knowledge through her work with Right To Life.

At the age of 12, my vision of my mom shattered. As she was driving me to a Bible club at our church, she brought up in conversation that she’d had an abortion at the age of 18 (before she was with my dad.) She gave me a brief bit of info on the abortion, including the fact that she had been told the gender (a boy) by a nurse, after he was born. I sat silent in the car, and had no idea how to respond to her.

I spent the rest of my teen years feeling incredibly angry at my mom. I felt like she had betrayed me. It seemed like she was trying to white-wash her abortion history by getting involved with the Pro-life movement, only to later reveal that she had done the very thing she was speaking out against. I hated my mom for taking my brother away from me. I blamed her for the fact that I’d always longed for an older brother and felt a close bond with my cousins who would have been similar in age to my brother. I became obsessed with thinking about my brother. I wrote him letters, wrote poems about him, tried to draw out what I imagined he would look like, kept careful track (as best I could) of how old he would be, named him, and deeply grieved over all the things in my family that my brother hadn’t gotten to witness or be a part of. It was an intense grief process that took me years to walk through, and a very silent pain that no one, not even my own family knew about.

This writer goes on to say later in the blog…

Last year, I went through training to become a volunteer with a pregnancy center. The information they went over in training was just incredible! I suddenly felt like, for the first time, my mom made sense. All the quirky things she did, like suddenly shutting down, not responding to things in emotionally appropriate ways, rejecting affection from myself and my dad and siblings, and many other things sounded like symptoms of PTSD from her abortion. I realized that she was like many other post-abortive women (and men) who tried to push the abortion aside and move on with life, and bore some incredible wounds as a result. That training prompted me to talk with my mom, for the first time since middle school, about her abortion. I learned some shocking details about what she experienced, and understood a little better why she was so quiet about it (to this day, even her siblings don’t all know that she aborted.)

A wound carried through decades of this writer’s life, finally made sense and began to heal when she learned more about the symptoms of Post Abortion Syndrome. She was able to finally understand her mother and begin to forgive her. Education into this subject opened the doors for them to talk and come to grips with the mother’s choice. This is what we see happen every day in our SaveOne classes. We shine the light on grief, symptoms, reasons, and God’s forgiveness, bringing families back together with great restoration! Read on…

I wish that people realized how much my mother’s decision to abort at age 18 affected my whole family, how every Mother’s Day was a day when my mom cried and cried and felt completely unworthy of affection, how the gentle touch of myself or any other family member would make her jump or even feel excruciating pain, and how my mom’s secret about her abortion became the secret my whole family was forced to carry. The abortion industry tells women that abortion will remove the embarrassment, shame, and worry of telling people that they are pregnant, and then having to go through the birth process and the process of raising a child. The reality is, abortion creates a world of hurt and pain, anxiety, shame, guilt, intimacy issues, and host of other difficulties. Those emotions don’t just belong to the woman who goes through the abortion, but her family as well.

That last paragraph has incredible insight into what happens to the future family of each abortion survivor. Read on, this next paragraph is extremely important….

My mother is still a loving mom, despite the fact that she aborted. My heart hurts to see, however, that a piece of my mom died with my brother. She is not like other moms. She’s broken. And she will never get the piece back that left her on that fateful day. But my mom’s story can prevent others from enduring that heartache. Her story can echo through the ages as a reminder that abortion is a terribly tragic act, and something that can never be undone. And there are whole families like mine, quietly protecting these wounded women, while we grieve the loss of a family member as well. My prayer is that one day, I will be able to speak openly about my family’s abortion journey, and validate those who feel voiceless in this boat. Until then, I will speak privately or anonymously, with this important story. When we speak up, there is power there!

I feel this blog from an anonymous writer speaks volumes as to why, “SaveOne- The Ripple Effect” needed to be written. This book mirrors the SaveOne Men’s and Women’s Studies, so it will be very easy for a loved one to go through the class with others. Please contact our office for more information, or go on the site at www.saveone.org to order your copy today.

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Big Shoes to Fill…Part 2

I felt it only appropriate to pull out this post from August 2014. Ms. Dot finished her race well, leaving a legacy behind her that we all can aspire to. So happy to have known her, so proud of the grace which flowed through her husband of 61 years yesterday at her funeral, and her daughter who has cared for her these last many months. I hope Ms. Dot knows what a profound effect her life has had on me and countless others. I hope you enjoy once again…

The text I received went something like this, “Hey I’m cleaning out my mom’s shoe closet and I was wondering if you knew of any ladies who might wear a 9 or 9 ½.” What I heard was, “Is there a lady you know who could possibly have a foot this large?” I contemplated for a moment wondering, “Do I tell her I wear that size? Will she think of me as freakishly huge? I’m 5’10” for heaven’s sake a size 6 would look strange on me. But still it’s never fun to whisper in the middle of Macy’s—could I just try a 10 in this boot? These must run small.” But my mind goes back to the text, there might possibly be really cute shoes at stake here. So I swallow my pride and reply, “YES! I wear that size.”

As I drove to her house later that day, I began to contemplate these shoes. You see, these were not just anybody’s shoes. They belonged to a woman who in 1958 boarded a cargo ship (A CARGO SHIP!!!) with her husband, said good-bye to her family, her home, and her life, and devoted the next forty years to loving, reaching, teaching, and mentoring the wonderful people of Africa. She sometimes lived in conditions too painful for us to imagine. She was pressured to put her children in boarding school hundreds of miles away. She lived a selfless life, totally and completely counter-cultural to what women are taught today. She did it all because God asked her to and she was obedient. She chose things like staying in her marriage and not ever considering divorce an option even when things got hard, and all marriages at one time or another get hard. She chose things like sacrificial service instead of promoting herself. Today she is reaping the benefits of her Godly choices.

At 87 years old, her body is reacting naturally to nearly nine decades on this earth, but her mind is intact, her marriage is happy and intact, she has a beautiful home, two children who adore her, love her, and both serve the Lord, and an army of people who seek her out for wisdom, great stories, and genuine love. Her obedience, although hard at times, has brought great blessing into her life. Her selfless love has transformed countless individuals and families not only here in America, but in Africa too through a ripple effect still going on as I write.

As I had these thoughts on the way to my friend’s house, I was getting the privilege of filling these very large shoes both figuratively and literally! To be honest I didn’t have my hopes up really high that I would walk away with any chic or trendy styles. But when I saw the Steve Madden and Sam & Libby labels I knew I had hit the jackpot, so I took four pair of the coolest shoes from this 87-year-old shoe connoisseur.

When I got home I pulled the shoes out and have them sitting in my closet. I have yet to put them on, as I feel a certain gravity about them. Call me dramatic or say I’m over-thinking but when I look at these shoes I can’t help but hope that I too can live selflessly. I pray that I may walk out my days in service to others, that I may see my boys love and serve the Lord deep into an old age. That my marriage will remain blessed and intact because of Godly choices I make, and that I may never hesitate to be obedient even when obedience is hard. This is a prayer I pray for all of us. May we strive to fill the shoes of the giants of faith who have walked before us and may we forever endeavor to fill the shoes of greatness like my 87-yr-old shoe fashionista friend, Dot Webb.

You can get the full story of Dot’s memoirs by going to Amazon.com and typing in, “A Harvest of Joy” authored by her daughter, Tammy Webb-Witholt. You will be glad you got this book and learned from this incredible woman!

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A method to turn “moments” into life changes!

You’ve paid your $100 registration fee for the 3-day conference, and around $300 for your modest hotel room. You’ve walked all over the conference hall, sitting through seminar after seminar. You’re exhausted, but yet you have one more speaker to squeeze in. Maybe THIS one will show you finally how to put into practice words like “outreach”, “maximize”, and “branding.” You tell yourself, THIS one will be life-changing; THIS one will give me the answers. You exit the hall with no more than you came in with, drive home trying to gain incredible insight from what you heard (if you remember), take one last glance thorough the notes, and then….stuff everything on your top closet shelf. You promise yourself you will study them again….sometime.

We’ve all been there. You know, the conferences you spend so much money on and put so much hope in to enlighten you, but by the time you get home, you’re yawning.
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Those actually sound better than the women’s conference I attended over a decade ago: we had to put on the armor of God, visualizing each piece as a different part of our underclothing. First the bra…then the girdle…WHAT????? [insert sound of fingernails down a chalkboard] I shudder at the thought…

A couple of years ago I had the opposite experience. For many months I had heard of a particular conference I had been wanting to attend, and was so excited to finally have the opportunity go when it came to Atlanta. Some “big names” were speaking, and I knew of the reputation behind this conference. It met my expectations, not disappointing me one bit. But you know what I remembered most about it?

Moments.

Individual moments.

I have to think for several minutes to remember who spoke, but it was the moments I remember most. Moments when brazen, audacious claims were thrown out to the audience. Moments when scripture was revealed in specific clarity, coaxing me to apply it to my life at THAT moment. Moments when over-the-top charity was given to a person in need that defied all odds. It was in those moments that I knew SaveOne could do the same thing!

SaveOne can give the same bold claims, bring the same scriptural clarity to people’s minds, and give of ourselves on a level we never knew we could before. With God going before us, beside us, and behind us, He’s got us! He is bringing those moments to life and making clear the audacious claim of knowing we CAN stop abortion in our communities, in our country, and around our world. This is not a pipe dream, but rather a specific claim that has been revealed in scripture, along with how to make this happen.

These moments we want to share with you! Consider this your personal invitation to the SaveOne Summit 2015. You will walk away encouraged, refreshed, pumped up, and armed with knowledge you did not have before.

We want to honor you, teach you, hang out with you, and pour into your life the best way we know how. We will show you exactly what we do and why we do it.

(And, due to the Planned Parenthood videos, we are realizing many are having the scab ripped off old wounds. We will equip you as to how to deal with this scandal with love, not condemnation; biblical knowledge, not politics.)

September 24-26, 2015 (that’s a Thursday through Saturday)

We are inviting you, your staff, your pastor, and all who want to attend to SAVEONE SUMMIT 2015! We will be right here in Nashville, TN. The cost is $20.15! Casual, laid back, no big speakers, no huge budget. Just me…you…the awesome SaveOne staff, and a room full of like-minded people who want to learn more about how we can end abortion.

You can register by going to www.saveone.org

All festivities will be at:
CrossRoads Church
540 Collins Park Dr
Antioch, TN 37013

SPECIAL INVITATION FOR ALL PASTORS: A lunch break in your honor will be held Thursday the 24th from 11:30-1:30, before the Summit starts. The staff of SaveOne will be in attendance to answer questions and serve you.

Please comment below with any questions you have or email us at info@saveone.org

We want to see you at the Summit! Come and celebrate your moments with us!

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Finding your Elaine

When I get bad news I usually let my emotions out and then I go straight to my journal. Writing is my outlet when I’m in shock and in pain and this is one of those times.

We got a call last Thursday that my friend Elaine had been given a really crappy prognosis. 4-6 weeks they told her. I was in Dallas but immediately knew as soon as the plane landed back in Nashville I wanted to lay my eyes on her. When I did, all I could do was cry. She ended up consoling ME instead of me going in being the comforting pastor’s wife I had planned on being.

I started making plans to visit every day with her, and my heart soared when the family allowed us to keep seeing her. We felt extremely honored and was so thankful for their generosity. I had it all pictured. I was going to show up everyday, laptop in hand, and write a letter in her own words to her husband Mike, each of her three daughters, and each of her grandkids. I wanted them all to hear her wisdom which was great, and her love for them which was vast.

I know about this wisdom and unending love for her family because I made a decision a couple of years ago that afforded me precious time with Elaine. This decision stemmed from being at churches and working in offices and being told no to things I wanted to do because, “If we do it for one, then we have to do it for all.” We’ve all heard that saying and many of us have lived our lives thinking it was true. But when my friend Elaine was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago, I wanted to help her any way that I could. I found out she was sitting, sometimes for 4-5 hours, in her chemo appointments. I wanted to go to those with her, but I thought as a pastor’s wife if I spend that kind of time with her then others will expect me to do that for them and it could cause conflict. In other words, what I did for one I would have to do for all, and I couldn’t do that. As I was thinking through that saying I felt yucky and knew that idea was flawed. The thought came to my mind of a quote I heard years before from Andy Stanley which went,

“What I want to do for everybody, do for one.”

BOOM! That revelation made so much more sense, and totally obliterated the excuse for non-action I had been taught before. So I set out to do just that. I did for Elaine what I wanted to do for everybody. I started going to as many of those appointments as I could. And if you know me, you know I work constantly because I love my jobs. My mind rarely slows, and my phone is constantly buzzing. Those appointments became a treasured time. My phone would be put away for hours and my focus was totally on my friend Elaine. She would take me around and introduce me to people as though she was proud of me being her friend. She would send me over to other chairs of people she knew were “really suffering” and ask me to pray for them. If someone came in that looked particularly sickly I could always tell when she felt pity for them. But the minute I would try to pity her and what she was going through she would cut me off immediately. There was no time for pity in Elaine’s world. Life was too short and she was “just fine”. I can still hear her voice saying, “Just fine!”

We spent those hours talking about everything from our love of 70’s rock, to her level of Candy Crush she was on. I heard about her touring all over the world with a singing group she was in earlier, and we would end up on deep theological debates. I would usually have to act out some crazy event that had just happened to me, and more than once we got in trouble from the nurses for being too loud. We laughed a lot together.

These appointments quickly turned into not me helping her, but her helping me through the problem of the day, her helping me slow down long enough to just enjoy a few hours of talking face to face with a friend, her listening to me ramble on and on about my life, my family, my work, my travels. Elaine had that effect on people. Even though there wasn’t that much difference in our ages (she called me a young pup! haha) she just had that calming quality that seemed older, wiser, more graceful, and far more in control of things than I have ever been. I was drawn to that demeanor, that friendship, that sisterhood.

Elaine was a trusted, loyal, friend that is walking with Jesus and has been for 3 days now. I keep hearing her voice in my head remembering things she told me that actually was helping me prepare for this day, this time, of not having her anymore. Things like, “Remember now, I want a celebration when its my time. I’m going HOME!”

So yeah…I thought I had a lot more time with her and would get to live out my plan…but God knew better. I will forever be grateful I spent this time with her instead of succumbing to the old adage. My advice to you reading this blog is not to ever rob yourself because you believe what you do for one you might have to do for all. Maybe your actions won’t be fair to everyone, but life isn’t fair. Take the time to do for ONE what you want to do for ALL and you just may find your own Elaine.

I am a better person for having known her.

(The featured image on this blog is a picture of Elaine I took in January of this year. This moment was in the middle of a women’s conference I was hosting and I was sitting at the head table with all the speakers, worship leader, etc. This table was reserved for the people who were “important” to have easy access to the stage. I couldn’t think of anyone more important than her right then so I asked her to sit with me at that table. She just giggled and said, “ok!” and enjoyed her bird’s eye view. I was overwhelmed with how much I enjoyed her friendship and getting to see the conference unfold through her eyes, so I snapped this picture.)

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The Answer to Ending Abortion

Ernest Hemingway once said writing was nothing more than opening up a vein and bleeding on the page. Well that’s what I’m about to do.

Everyone has been posting the Planned Parenthood (PP) video showing the abortionist, over wine and salad………talking about how she moves the baby around in a mother’s womb as to not crush body parts she will later sell for profit. She discusses the demands for liver, (unborn babies livers) as cavalierly as my friends and I discuss nail polish. She tosses around facts about how she and her colleagues will turn the baby into breech position and crush the body parts to remove him or her from the womb but yet still keep the head intact. And I have to admit, I don’t even have words to form an opinion. On Tuesday when this video came out I started getting inbox messages, texts, people putting the video on my facebook wall, phone calls, etc wanting to know if I had watched the video. I saw the headline on it and I avoided it for the first few hours and then curiosity got the best of me. I felt I owed it to myself, the babies and the mothers to watch it. We cannot turn a blind eye to this. Yes, it feels better to keep our head in the sand and stay focused on our busy lives, our social media, our appointments, but at the same time like a black cloud following us, at some point we have to realize something is horribly wrong here.

How long can we ignore it?

How long can we look the other way and think voting for a pro-life candidate every 4 years fulfills our obligation to God to care for “the least of these”?

How long do we think God is going to hold back His wrath from our country, and our church, when this is happening on our watch?

How long are we going to continue to spin our wheels with politics when politics has done nothing but give us over a million dead babies every year for 40 plus years.

How long?

We don’t have the political clout we thought we did anyway, look at the recent SCOTUS decision on marriage equality to learn that!

Those of us who work in the area of life issues are not surprised by this video. Yes, we’re disgusted, we’ve cried, we’ve prayed, it’s gotten our attention. But we’re talking about the largest abortion provider in our country. PP makes a living from killing unborn babies for profit. Do you realize what I’m saying here? THEY MAKE A LIVING, MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, OFF THE KILLING OF UNBORN BABIES! So while this is happening at the rate of thousands per day in our country, why are we so surprised they would take it a step further and profit doubly off these children’s remains?

There is really nothing, not one thing I am saying that is making me feel better. I really can’t even put into words the disdain, the disgust, the heart full of hurt I feel for my country, for families, for children, for my future grandchildren, that we have allowed this to happen on our watch. ON OUR WATCH! God placed us, you..me, us, here for this time for this purpose. He has us here to make a difference, to change the world for the better, to tell people of His love, how HE can transform lives, break addictions, restore marriages, take care of unplanned pregnancies. What are we doing with this vapor of a life? How have we slipped so far from the moral compass that we are justifying the selling of killed, unborn babies body parts? Read that last sentence again. How? Why? I’m just at a real loss here.

The church is the only entity in mankind that has withstood the test of time for thousands of years. If Jesus doesn’t come back soon, it will be the only entity still standing strong thousands of years from now. The church, the local church, yes YOUR CHURCH that may only have 15 people in it. It’s time for the church to arise and stop treating symptoms and get to the root of the problem; the devalue of life. Why do we think pornography has gotten out of hand? Because we devalued life. Why do we think human trafficking is now a booming business? Because we devalued life. Why do we think murders and suicide rates are at an all time high? Because we devalued life. I could keep going. You get the picture. When we bring value back to life; and we declare everyone worthy of love and life whether they are born or unborn, then we will be getting somewhere. The church is where this starts.

Abortion recovery is the key to ending abortion in our country and around our world. We have millions of wounded mothers and fathers walking around thinking the church, God, will never accept them back after their horrific act. Or even worse, they’re sitting on our church pews every week with this secret believing they can’t tell anyone at their church for fear of judgment. When a mother or father who have chosen abortion come back to the One place they can be restored, God’s Word, then first of all they more than likely never choose abortion again. BOOM! The cycle of death is stopped in that family. Secondly, when a person is let out of a prison like abortion puts you in, they can’t be quiet about it. They become a walking billboard telling others of the greatness of our God. Again, not only has a person become restored to their Creator, but then they become a spokesperson for truth, keeping others from choosing abortion. The more voices we have who know the truth, the sooner this thing is going to end. And don’t tell me this is a pipe dream. Sit in my office with me for just one day and hear the stories, see the tears, watch as marriages are put back together, and families heal all because one mother or father took the necessary steps toward healing after abortion.

So, as Hemingway suggested I have opened a vein here and have bled on the page. I am literally nauseated at some of the things I have written here. But as pastors, as pastor’s wives, as Christ followers, as leaders in our communities, we cannot be silent about this issue. We cannot keep doing what we’ve been doing and think things are going to change. We just can’t.

Please contact our office, share this blog, comment below. You never know who in your circle of influence wants to join us as well, or needs help after abortion. Let us know how we can contact you. I’m not looking to get your money, I’m not trying to sell you anything. I’m trying to get you to join me in ending abortion in your community. Period.

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3 Questions to Answer when Considering Abortion

No woman in her right mind ever dreams as a little girl, that one day she will grow up and have an abortion.

Not one.

I usually avoid sweeping statements such as this one in my writing, but I can say this statement with confidence. You would be hard-pressed to convince me this would or could ever be a goal in someone’s life. Has anyone ever wondered why? Why is this not a goal? Why is abortion not looked at as the ultimate for a woman being in control of her own body?

If you are reading this article and you are faced with a pregnancy that has rocked your world, please keep the following questions in mind. I’m not here to judge you, condemn you, or whatever you may be pondering in your mind about this post. I’m here to show you facts about the future and living with a past abortion….from personal experience and nearly two decades of working with men and women who chose abortion in their pasts.

1. Have you checked your abortion location and it’s last inspection for cleanliness, botched abortions, and fatalities?
For example, in Illinois there has been a recent crackdown because of a neighboring state’s abortion clinic being discovered and dubbed a “House of Horrors”. When Illinois started looking into it’s facilities they found that some clinics had not been inspected for 15 years. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/20/illinois-abortion-clinic-_n_1219897.html
The “New York Post” reported nail salons in their state were inspected more than abortion clinics. The best record they could find were some of their clinics were being inspected every 4-6 years, the others had not been inspected in more than a decade. Make sure where you intend to go for your abortion has been inspected within the last year and it is a safe place to perform surgery on you. Even if you’re having a chemical abortion and not a surgical one, if they don’t care about the cleanliness of the facility, then it should make you question the standard of care you will receive. Be sure to find out all the details of what is going to happen to you at home (and what you are going to see) if you take a pill to obtain an abortion. While you’re at it, find out also if the doctor has admitting privileges to the nearest hospital. God forbid, but in case something were to go wrong during your surgery he would be able to get you into a hospital.
http://nypost.com/2014/04/07/health-department-fails-to-regularly-inspect-abortion-clinics/
And again in my home state of Tennessee, here is a link to the testimony showing clinics are not licensed or regulated in any way.

In all fairness I looked for an article that shed a positive light or gave me some hope that a state somewhere was touting their abortion clinics as safe and clean. I couldn’t find one. You have plenty of clinics making that claim, but be sure to look further at state reports that are neutral on this subject and see what is said.

2. Have you talked with women who have experienced abortion and women who have had their child under stressful, less than perfect circumstances, and considered which group lives with the most shame and regret?
This is the best way to find out the truth of what the future holds. Here are some questions to consider to help you along the way. What have others experienced who have gone before you? How many of these mothers who chose life for their children live with thoughts and feelings of shame and regret? How many of these mothers who chose abortion for their children live in a state of shame and regret? Out of the mothers who chose life, how many of them wish they could go back and make a different decision? Out of the mothers who chose death how many of them wish they could go back and make a different decision? The show, “Sex and the City” had an episode one time that a friend of mine told me I had to watch. I was so glad I did. One of the girls (Miranda) on the show got pregnant and wasn’t married. Another girl (Carrie) told her that she had a past abortion and that she would go with her to the clinic. Miranda wrestled with the decision and ultimately chose abortion. Carrie accompanied her to the clinic and was answering questions about the surgery to her friend. One of the questions from Miranda was, “Did you ever get over your abortion?” Carrie’s answer was very telling. “Any day now I might”. This last statement is an insight I have seen many times with girls who have past abortions. Now I understand this is just a TV show, but it accurately depicts what I have seen in men and women for years. It’s not something you ever “get over”. On the show, Miranda ended up leaving the clinic and choosing life for her child. Another accurate portrayal of what we see every day through abortion recovery. When people learn the truth, they are freed from a future of shame and regret and are thankful they chose life for their child.

3. Have you thought about the future you at 30, 40, and 50 years old?
I am reaching a milestone in my life this year. I’m turning 50. I had an abortion when I was 19. At that age I only thought about the moment I was in, as well as thinking only of myself. I didn’t consider others, not even the father of my child. I quickly learned at 19 that even though I thought I was in a strong, committed relationship, after the abortion it lasted about 2 weeks. By the time I was 30 I had 2 small children and had to tell my husband about my past abortion. It was a grueling night with many tears and fear of losing my family. By 40 I had to tell my children of the abortion and see the pain in their eyes. I also had to tell my family for fear they would find out from others. My sisters have grieved their niece for many years and the fact I didn’t come to them for help during that time of my life. Now at 50 my boys are 25 and 27 years old, and I should have a daughter turning 30 in October. My arms literally long to hold grandchildren. I believe there are supposed to be grandchildren in my family this very moment that I am missing out on because I chose abortion. No one ever told me to consider that not only was I ending the one life growing inside me, but I was also ending my future bloodline through that child. Think about it.

These are just 3 points of many to consider when contemplating abortion. I am not here to tell you how bad you are or heap more guilt on you for thinking about this choice. I’m just wanting you to think about more than what is right in front of you; what may seem as the easy way out…isn’t. If you are pregnant and reading this, you are already a mother and what is growing inside you is already a human being. You are literally deciding if you are going to be the mother of a living child or a dead one. I know that sounds harsh, but these are the facts that must be considered. These are the facts no one told me. These are the facts that I and millions of women AND men are living with daily.

I would love to hear from you. Please write me in the comments below, or you can send me an email to info@saveone.org. I want to help you any way that I can. You can also check out our website at www.saveone.org. If you are simply reading this blog post and are not considering abortion, would you share this? There might possibly be someone in your social media circles who is in desperate need of direction.

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I can’t believe we’re here!

I didn’t tell very many people where I was going, simply because I wasn’t sure about security issues and what we were facing as a team. My family and close friends knew, as well as my church family. I love my church family so much, they had decided collectively that if I got arrested and thrown into prison they would start a “Go Fund Me” account and name it FREE SHEILA! They have my back! 🙂

We had no idea what to expect while we were there, as neither me nor my husband, had experienced communism up close and personal. We were fortunate in that we had incredible guides who had lived there and were able to show us all the sites, sounds, smells, and tastes of this awesome country.

The reason why I was invited on this trip was because of the need for abortion recovery in a place where forced abortion and a one-child policy are very real. We heard many stories regarding this subject that broke our hearts. We visited orphanages with special needs children whose lives were not valued. But I thank God for these orphanages and the people who were willing to sacrifice everything to care for these precious souls. I have been around orphans for many years (check out www.project1418.com) and have a heart for these children, but never have I been touched to my core like I was while I was there.

Can I just say…every life is precious.

Every.

Single.

One.

Throughout the trip I cannot count how many times I looked at my husband and said, “I can’t believe we’re here!” as if he didn’t know this. My mind was still wrapping around the fact we were literally on the opposite side of the world from our kids.

But the time came to get down to the reason why I was there, and I sensed the weight of what I was doing. I had the awesome privilege of participating in two different women’s retreats leading up to the Sunday I was speaking. The message of Jesus Christ healing after abortion weighed heavily on me. I don’t mean to sound so dramatic but the gravity of the need for our hope-filled message was nearly tangible. I felt as though I was in a wrestling match when I walked onto each stage and opened my mouth to speak. The tears threatened to spill out each time, as I thought about the faces of men and women who have sat silently for years with no hope. It was in the deepest part of me I desperately longed to convey just how Jesus could set them free. I hoped they saw me, saw SaveOne, as a lifeline and they realized their confidence was in Christ and Christ alone.

I was allowed to hold a 90-minute seminar for anyone who wanted to attend after the church service on Sunday. It was truly a privilege for me. About 50 people came and I was thrilled with that turnout. There was much enthusiasm, passion, tears, and grief shared that day with my husband and myself. Not just from women either, but one of the men shared of how he had advised someone at one point to get an abortion and it still bothered him deeply today. He had to fight back tears telling the story and it had been years earlier. Abortion truly does have a ripple effect on those around this choice.

Check out a portion of an email we received after the seminar…

“They basically fully identified themselves with the physical, emotional, spiritual,
relational aftermath related to abortions. We ended our meeting with prayer and trusted
God’s healing power in their lives. In short, I believe there is tremendous need for SAVEONE ministry.”

I’m thankful for those words and will treasure my time in this beautiful country. I am still working through some of the things we experienced and will probably write about those things at a later date. Just know, the harvest is ripe and workers are needed in every area. Please take time to pray for these beautiful people and their country today, and that our message of hope after abortion is resonating in the hearts and minds of those we encountered. We are believing for many chapters of SaveOne to start because of this trip!

I would love to discuss with you in the comments below your thoughts on closed countries, forced abortion, etc. or answer any questions you might have. Let me hear from you!

“…saves the world entire.”

We walked the streets of Furth, Germany for 3 hours and to tell you the truth I was a little tired. No, I take that back I was exhausted. I had been traveling and speaking every day, and I was looking so forward to going back to my friend’s office and just relaxing with a cup of coffee.

When the time came, and I finally landed in a comfy chair with coffee in hand was when it happened.

The group of people I was with were all talking, sharing cookies, and having a good time when our quiet, unassuming city tour guide slowly removed 8 gold bands from his case. First he was only talking to me and my husband Jack. He was trying to explain over the laughing, coffee-drinking crowd, about a scene from the movie, “Schindler’s List”. Many of you may have seen the part he was trying to explain. I wasn’t all the way focused on what he was saying, so I couldn’t remember although I was trying to picture it in my mind. I didn’t understand why I was having to focus my mind on a movie when I was so tired and I just wanted to relax.

As he explained his motive behind bringing the gold bands, his eyes filled with tears and his chin began to quiver. One by one my laughing and coffee-drinking friends began to take notice. One of them took a seat nearby, then another, then another, until he had our complete, undivided attention.

I realized with his emotion this was extremely important to him so I forced my mind to zero in on his words and what he was saying. Our tour guide, Tom, brought it all home when he said the words from the movie that were inscribed on the gold band the Jewish survivors had fashioned for Oskar Schindler.
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“He who saves a single soul, saves the world entire.”

This man whom I had just met 3 hours prior then handed me and every one standing there a replica of the ring fashioned for Oskar Schindler, complete with inscription. He continued on to tell us the work we were doing through SaveOne was having the same lasting effects on generations to come.

My heart flooded, my eyes spilled over, and I was completely engulfed in a moment I knew would last for many years in my memory. I had never been told words so profound. I had never felt so unworthy of the comparison, but yet so honored to think of the multiplied-thousands of lives God has saved through SaveOne.

There is much more to abortion recovery than what we see with our eyes. This issue, this choice, its after effects run deep. So deeply, oftentimes it takes a process to heal the gaping wound a person is left with. I saw how our work moved this man to tears as he thanked us for making a difference. And I felt so honored to be a part of an organization that God has used mightily to prevent abortion and end abortion on a grand scale.

If you or someone you know is suffering after an abortion do not wait one more day. Contact us, we can help you. We would also love to hear from you. In the comments below, please let us know your story, and please share this post to help others who may be suffering after abortion to not suffer any longer.

Stand with us because “He who saves a single soul, saves the world entire.”

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I hated you when you walked through that door…

I know you’re going to love hearing Timothy’s story as much as I have been privileged to watch it unfold!

From Timothy…
Talk about being put on the spot! Actually I love sharing my story now. First man to go through a SaveOne class, hmmmmm.

Should he be here?

That inquiry is what I saw on the faces of those around the circle. If it wasn’t for the unanswered questions I was desperate to get answered, I would have turned around in the parking lot.

There were a million unknowns. What kind of interrogation were the ladies in the class going to put me through? Would they accept me, my story, my answers? Would they be shocked that I felt grief and love for my child? Sheila had no idea what I would say, how the other ladies would react, etc. But God knew the end result before the beginning. Thank God everyone accepted my answers and my story unconditionally. It turned out to be extraordinary.

Misconceptions were shattered.

I heard their regret and they heard mine.

Our sharing melted hardened hearts in that room over the course of the SaveOne class. One of the ladies confessed to me at the end of the 12 weeks, “I hated you when you walked through that door just because you were a man, but now I’m glad to call you a brother in Christ.” I will cherish those words forever.

Finishing the class was one of the best things I’ve ever done for my life, my marriage, and my family. When I finished SaveOne I knew I would share my story and hoped God would use it for His glory. I’m an average, normal guy, so if this affected me so strongly, I was sure it would affect other men.

Sheila asked me what it feels like to be the inspiration behind the men’s study. The tears well up knowing there are men everywhere looking for answers, trying to put words to their feelings and needing to know they are not struggling alone. Seeing the men’s study book really motivated me to share even more. But I had no idea this idea/movement/help would spread throughout continents.

As I’m writing this I’m reminded that women need to hear my story as much as the guys. Ladies, we may not express our feelings as eloquently, but deep down we need healing too. Our struggles are different and the same. And more guys than you realize wish we could turn back time and be a better man than we were. I miss my daughter and I can’t wait to meet her.

Men, we can’t change how we reacted or what we did/didn’t do to complicate the circumstances. But today we can allow God to heal our souls and be a healing agent to others.

To everyone, follow me as I follow Christ. Spread the light of God’s love and forgiveness. Inspire those that I can’t. Hug those out of my reach. I love every one of you. My heart rejoices at the thought of you.

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Need comfort? I got your comfort

Have you ever helped someone with a problem, then realized the aid you gave was from a place of learning in a dark stormy part of your life? Or what about the times we seek help for our own problem from someone we know has walked this path before us? Either way, we gave or received comfort.

It’s such a satisfying moment when we understand a difficulty we faced, and what we learned in that difficulty we could later transfer to someone else. I have to be honest that’s a pretty good feeling. It makes you think about your problem differently, like you didn’t go through it just for yourself. Maybe you had to travel that path to help the person sitting right beside you. When you’re able to give the help needed, you feel somewhat like the person out front hacking down the weeds first so everyone behind you will know the way.

I have been the one to benefit from such help on more than one occasion. But the time this kind of help changed my life so drastically was a deep, dark, secretive, and emotional time for me. I had lived seven years with the secret of my abortion. I was now married and had two children. My family was taken on my emotional roller-coaster daily. I heard a local group was offering help for those who had chosen abortion. I knew I needed the benefit of their wisdom, so I struck out on this path, taking a chance these people I did not know, had forged a path I could walk on.

Many of you who know me, know this was the start of a lifelong journey I would walk helping others along the way. On this path hundreds have struck out on their own forging new paths, helping men and women who have chosen abortion. It has been a beautiful thing to watch those who needed help and comfort, receive help and comfort, then turn around and offer that same help and comfort to others.

At the end of 2014 I was sitting in a church service when my pastor (also my husband) read a scripture. I’m sure I had read it before but this time it was a beacon of light for me. 2 Corinthians 1:4 which says, “He comforts us in all our troubles so we can comfort others. When they are troubled we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” I knew…THAT’S IT! That describes perfectly what we do at SaveOne.

Our chapter leaders and staff members have allowed God to heal and comfort those places that were most hurt after abortion. They in turn took that knowledge they learned from this process and are now helping others who are troubled and in need of comfort. It’s a beautiful progression as we walk forward on this path God has laid out for us. I loved this verse so much I made it our theme verse for 2015! I want everyone reminded of why SaveOne exists and what we do.

Can you take time to comment on this blog and tell us how God used you to comfort others, or how comfort was given to you? Maybe you know someone who has had an abortion and needs comfort. Share this blog with them, point them to SaveOne, and let’s reach more people than we ever have in 2015! Let’s show how these words can come to life in our friends and families’ circumstance!

The picture attached to this post is a great example of how comfort flows from Jesus through individuals and out to others. The ladies in this picture are just one of many examples of why SaveOne is successful. It’s because they have enacted 2 Corinthians 1:4.

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2015!

It is this week between Christmas and New Years that I find very stressful. I don’t mean to be negative, but I’m just telling you it is stressful to me. I wonder how many of you feel the same way?

Christmas is behind you; you ate too much, spent too much, but had an awesome time with family. You have great expectations for the new year, but wait! The new year isn’t here yet. So you linger through each day, slowly taking down decorations, mulling over all the things you’re going to change in 2015, but you can’t get started on any of it yet because…well…it’s still 2014. Does anyone else have these thoughts? I feel like I’m waiting at the starting gate and no one will open the gate!

I’m writing this letter to you a few days before you’re actually going to receive it in your inbox, so rest assured by the time you are reading this someone opened the gate and I’m off and running!

One of the things I am excited about for the new year is our theme. Never in the history of SaveOne have we had a themed year. You will be hearing about this in every newsletter, in our posts on facebook and twitter, and from your coordinator. Our theme is a scripture I repeatedly keep hearing. (My husband says that is God speaking in surround sound). It’s 2 Corinthians 1:4 and it goes like this…

“He comforts us in all our troubles so we can comfort others. When
they are troubled we will be able to give them the same comfort
God has given us.”

That screams of Chapter 10 in the SaveOne book. It’s what we’re all about. God has comforted us in our affliction after abortion and we can take that same comfort and comfort others in that same affliction.

The only way we are going to end abortion in our country and around our world is by enacting this scripture right here. It’s simply taking what God has done for us and sharing it with others.

Don’t let chapter 10 be the end for your SaveOne class members. Have them read this scripture and then go out and enact it. Let this scripture action be the last homework they complete. Find the person they know that needs the same comfort God has given them and then give it. Lead them to the next SaveOne class and introduce them to a loving, forgiving, merciful Father who has all the comfort we need.

Please let us know how we can help you. Log on and update your web page within the SaveOne website, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter, if you live in or around the Nashville area please sign up for Kroger rewards and name SaveOne as your sponsored charity, then we make a percentage of everything you spend at Kroger!

We have much travel coming up that will take us around the world and we need to raise some serious money for that. God has given us this opportunity that is bigger than any we have ever received to take HIS message to the ends of the earth. Please consider becoming a monthly partner with SaveOne for $25. You will receive our new t-shirt and will be appreciated more than you could ever know.

I love each and every one of you to pieces!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!

Deception vs Faith

The art of deception is this…to make someone believe things are other than they are, so a person will do something he or she would never otherwise do. I read this sentence from an incredible book entitled, “The Enemy Within” by Kurt Lungaard. The chapter discussed how our sin nature can deceive us sometimes by making us believe things that are not true. When I read the above definition the words jumped off the page and hit me square between the eyes.

If we look at this definition from the viewpoint of deception it makes sense. But now reread the words above with the viewpoint of faith. The two could share the same definition.

The enemy rarely tempts us with the exact opposite of God’s Word. No. He brings us similarities…with a twist. Those similarities can deceive us into thinking things are other than they are so we do things we would never otherwise do.

Faith is the same. There are all kinds of examples in the Bible I could insert here, but let me tell you about a few of my friends. Shana was diagnosed with one of the top five worst cases of meningitis the doctor had ever seen. I know this because I was standing in the room when he told me and her husband, Larry. I saw this husband fall to the floor on his knees immediately and pray healing like I’ve never heard before. Larry knew at that moment things were other than they were and was doing something he would never otherwise do. I can guarantee you Larry didn’t know he had that amount of faith in him until faced with this life or death situation. He was not deceived into thinking she was defeated and sickness had won. He KNEW Jesus stripes had already taken care of his wife’s healing so he was activating a faith he didn’t know existed. He was able to do that because he had cultivated that faith long before the negative circumstance came. Within two weeks Shana was home; healed and healthy.

We could also talk about my friend YvRose who was a successful teacher in North Carolina. That is until God called her to go back to her homeland of Haiti. So she and her husband, with nothing but a call from God, quit her job and moved back to Haiti. She knew there was purpose in this decision. I’m sure leaving the confines of a good salary, an honorable job, and an easy country, to go to a place many are too frightened to even visit, did not make sense to her family and friends. But she knew the voice of faith over deception. She believed things were other than they were and the faith in that knowing made her do something she would never otherwise do. Today she and her husband Pierre run a home with 28 of the most beautiful kids you have ever seen. She also runs a school with more than 200 children who come every day for a Christian education they would have never received had Pierre and YvRose believed deception over faith. (insert big cheesy smile here!)

How about my friend Tracy, (name used with permission) who had an abortion more than two decades ago. Through the years she allowed the abortion regret and pain to make her believe things were other than they were. After living with this deception she found herself in her 40’s with a shell of a marriage, battling depression, having suicidal thoughts, and many problems in her family. She contacted SaveOne and came clean about the past. She wanted to voice her regret and seek a better future. She worked through the SaveOne study and began to see the reality of what happened to her when she opened the door of death in her life through abortion. She had been greatly deceived, but now realized the truth of the past. She began to believe things were other than they were. She began to believe God could salvage her marriage. She began to believe God could heal the relationships with her family. She began to believe she could be brave enough to tell others about her past so they would never make the same mistake. And after years of believing nothing but rejection would come her way if she ever told of her abortion, she began to believe things were other than they were, and it made her do something she would never otherwise do. Not only has God restored her marriage to better-than-it-has-ever-been status, but she told her family of the abortion and the truth healed the relationships. To top it off, I sat in a living room the other night and watched her tell her entire abortion story to a room packed with her closest friends.

You see, faith brings about much greater outcomes than deception. Where we come in, is the moment when we have to decide if we have deception or faith talking to us, and in which we are going to listen and put our trust.

That’s what David had to do long ago. He had to face the giant believing the situation was something other than it was, and by doing this he performed an act he would never otherwise do. There was no way he should have won that battle. But his faith told him something entirely different. Because of his great faith in the Lord he experienced great victory…and because of your great faith in the Lord you can experience great victory.

Faith for some reason is controversial. People want to make it something it’s not. I’ve been criticized for believing this way by people who want to shout that I’m preaching a prosperity gospel, or that I’m believing in some kind of humanistic, new age religion. But there are many, many scriptures, as well as examples from Jesus which teach us that what we believe we will receive. If we believe deception then we will receive the death and destruction that comes along with that type of deception. If we believe in faith that God has our back, has our life under control, will guide us in all things, will make every problem work for our good, and has already taken care of our healing, then our problems have purpose, and we will receive the victory in every circumstance. If you don’t believe me then read these; Mark 11:24, Matthew 8:13, Romans 8:28, 1 Samuel 17, Hebrews 11:1, actually, read the entire chapter of Hebrews 11 because it shows a list of brave men and women who believed something was other than it was and completed incredible feats they would have never otherwise completed.

Take some time today to do a self-check. Are you cultivating your faith? Are you ready for when, not if, destruction hits your life? Are you equipping yourself and your family to stand in the face of deception and act in faith? Be honest with yourself and then take the necessary steps to start on the path of cultivating that faith today. This process is imperative to being able to distinguish between the two.

Don’t get caught in a battle you are not equipped to fight!

1

Greatness!

What an incredible time to be part of the abortion recovery movement! I know I have said this before, but I so wish every single one of you could sit in my office with me and read the multitude of emails we receive from men and women who are grateful for our SaveOne chapter leaders! People who have been through our classes contact us on a regular basis and let us know how their lives have changed.

I can’t say enough about the greatness of our chapter leaders. I am grateful for their sacrifice. They take their time, training, and sometimes travel and are away from their families, spending their own resources and much more, to see God’s truth be implanted into a broken life after abortion. I know every great move of God requires great risk and sacrifice. If you look back over time in modern day as well as in Bible times we find that to be true over and over. Greatness comes with a cost.

This day is no different. We are seeing miracle restorations occur in people once thought too far-gone. Because of this the enemy hates our leaders and hates what they’re doing. He would rather see them dead than be a part of someone’s awesome turnaround for God. He wants to keep them busy, and make them think what they’re doing doesn’t matter. He wants them to think abortion recovery is not that powerful, and be overwhelmed with the abortion issue. Those who do not fall prey to this nonsense are the ones experiencing the greatness I’m talking about.

It’s no different for you in your respective ministry. I just had coffee with a girl who wants to join SaveOne here in Nashville. She asked if people got attacked by the enemy when they start working with abortion recovery, because it felt like that was happening to her. Don’t be surprised by this! The enemy has nothing new, and is very predictable. Keep yourself covered with God’s protection (Psalm 91 is a great chapter to pray over yourself and your family) and keep going, keep moving, keep rescuing those who think there is no hope after abortion.

YOU know, when the Son sets you free you are free indeed, no turning back, no picking up that guilt and shame anymore. You are helping people finally be ready to be used as a great tool in the hands of our great God!

So I tell you all of this to say, what you’re doing matters, because YOU matter and God has called you to this place for this time. I thank you, our SaveOne chapter leaders, for having the guts to be part of a ministry that is forging a path in areas, oftentimes, where no one has gone before.

Please be praying for us as we shift some things around, have some fundraisers, and ready SaveOne to go to the next level.

Draconian- and finally…

This will be my last blog post on this subject. As of this writing, we have less than one week before we will know the outcome of whether or not Amendment 1 will pass, changing our TN Constitution. There has been much deception and mis-truth circulated from the opposing side. I hope my blog posts have helped some, or at least a few, see through the muck and mire clarifying the reasons behind this Amendment.

Back in the late 70’s TN passed four laws protecting women and their right to choose. Here are the four…1) Informed Consent, (which I covered in “Draconian- Part 2) 2) 48 hour waiting period, (Draconian- Part 3) 3) late-term abortions had to be performed in a hospital, (Draconian- Part 4) and 4) abortion mills had to be regulated and inspected. Planned Parenthood came in and sued our state in the case, Planned Parenthood vs. Sundquist. They accused TN of interfering with a woman’s right to choose. TN lost the lawsuit and because of this we now have to have a constitutional amendment to bring our state back to a neutral position on the issue of abortion. This Amendment is the one I spoke of earlier. Vote Yes on 1.

I decided to dissect each of these laws after I was called (indirectly, but still) an “anti-choicer wanting to place draconian laws on women” in regards to abortion. In this blog I want you to think about abortion mills being regulated and inspected and whether or not you think it is a draconian law against women.

Tattoo parlors in TN have regulations and requirements, veterinarian clinics in TN have regulations and requirements and are held to certain standards in order to maintain an operational license. Any and all of these facilities in TN are inspected in order to insure cleanliness, and that procedures for maintaining these facilities are in compliance. Yet the TN Health Department acknowledges that when it comes to abortion clinics there are no regulations or inspections required. We can get tatted up in clean and safely regulated facilities, we can take our animals and have a peace of mind that the veterinarian clinic will be held to a standard of excellence; but when it comes to the operations performed on women who are having an abortion, the state of TN has no care or concern for the health of the women who come for the procedure, because they have no care or concern for the cleanliness of the facility.

Give me a break! Do we really want this for our state? We’re allowing our mothers, daughters, wives, and sisters to have surgery performed on them in a facility that is left to its own devices in regards to cleanliness, licensed workers, doctors with hospital admitting privileges, and buildings up to par for a surgical facility. Why are we allowing this to happen on our watch? It seems the very people who are calling for abortion to NOT be a back alley procedure are indeed MAKING abortion a back alley procedure.

Now please know, voting YES on Amendment 1 will not bring required licensing, or regular inspections of these mills. All this amendment provides is a chance for our state to be neutral on the issue of abortion, instead of the most liberal Constitution in our land. Very few people know that because our constitution is so liberal, if Roe vs. Wade were overturned tomorrow, one could still travel to TN and get a legal abortion.

THAT’s why we need this amendment. THAT’s why we need to vote YES ON 1. THAT’s why we need to bring our state up to par with the 8 surrounding states and keep TN from being an abortion destination any longer.

We have this one moment in time to make a difference, use your voice to be the one that speaks to the future and our families.

Protect our mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and our state. Vote YES ON 1.

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Draconian- Part 4

Driving down the road one day I encountered what seemed to me, to be something out of place. You know those pictures we were shown as a child and were asked to pick out what didn’t belong? That’s what I was reminded of at the moment. It was an odd addition of a business nestled between the Food Lion, car wash, and Kmart that caught my attention. This business was located in a small strip with three store fronts. At the top of one door was a HUGE sign that read “PLASTIC SURGERY”.

At first I thought they surely could not be serious. Someone would actually go have plastic surgery there??? It became a source of curiosity to me wondering if people would show up. Now maybe there is something more to this than meets the eye, but let me tell you, if I ever choose to have a tummy tuck or nose job, I’ll be headed to my local hospital, and not a store front by the car wash.

This scenario still applies in Nashville, TN. Fast forward to today. The TN voters have an amendment to our constitution coming up on the ballot this November. I’m writing this short series of blogs to talk about what this amendment means to us and why we should VOTE YES ON 1.

Back in the late 70’s TN passed four laws protecting women and their right to choose. Here are the four…1) Informed Consent, (which I covered in “Draconian- Part 2) 2) 48 hour waiting period, (which I covered in “Draconian- Part 3) 3) late-term abortions had to be performed in a hospital, and 4) abortion mills had to be regulated and inspected. Planned Parenthood came in and sued our state in the case, Planned Parenthood vs. Sundquist. They accused TN of interfering with a woman’s right to choose by passing those four laws. TN lost the lawsuit and became one of the most liberal states in regards to abortion. Few people know that if abortion were outlawed tomorrow in America, one could still travel to TN and obtain a legal abortion… So now because of these results we have to pass a constitutional amendment to bring our state back to a neutral position on the issue of abortion; in line with all eight surrounding states. This Amendment is the one I spoke of earlier. Vote Yes on 1.

I decided to dissect each of these laws that were stripped from us and the women seeking abortion, after I was called (indirectly, but still) an “anti-choicer wanting to place draconian laws on women” in regards to abortion. In this blog I want you to think about requiring late-term abortions being performed in a hospital and whether or not you think it is a draconian law against women.

Most people do not know that America is one of only four countries that allows late-term abortions. Yeah, let that one sink in a minute. As you can imagine, a late-term abortion is a horrific procedure performed against a child. I will not go into what is involved in this gruesome act against humanity, you can find this information for yourself with one look on any internet search engine. Due to the fact we have no state laws regulating late-term abortions we have “doctors” performing this procedure in these abortion mills without a second thought in regards to the health of the mother. In other words, they’re performing serious surgery nestled in between the Food Lion, car wash, and Kmart. If the abortionists were concerned about her health more than her money they would encourage her to go where she could get the best care.

When Planned Parenthood sued the state of TN and stripped us of this requirement, we began to have women at risk who go into this procedure with no knowledge up front (remember they took away informed consent too) into these places that are not equipped for such a major surgery. Picture PLASTIC SURGERY above the door of a store front, miles away from the nearest hospital.

Voting YES ON 1 will not bring this law back. I want you as a voter, a reader, an informed citizen to get FIRED UP and angry that Planned Parenthood has this kind of power over our state. It is common knowledge they have an agenda and that agenda is money. They are not concerned for women, our health, or the well-being of our state.

In the last few weeks I have seen and heard that the “no on 1” folks have said this amendment will regulate birth control, interfere with child-rearing, ban abortion, keep women who have suffered rape or incest from having abortions, and even have something to do with gay marriage!! These claims are completely laughable! I have been called names, and some pretty cruddy stuff has been written about me since I started this series of blogs. Not one has challenged the truth I’m espousing. Name-calling is the extent of their attacks. People are angry that I’m telling the truth. People are angry that others are telling the truth. They’re grasping at anything they can pluck out of the air to try to make fear and doubt come into the minds of TN voters. Don’t let it.

In fact, I challenge you to find the truth for yourself. Look at the actual amendment and think about the words written there. I had one woman saying this amendment would allow the government to make health decisions for women when the amendment clearly states, “the people retain the right”. Look at honest, reputable sites and ask honest, reputable people what the truth of the matter is. Check what I’m saying and educate yourself about this subject. This Amendment is too important, and there are too many people telling lies about this subject to keep the abortion agenda alive in our state. It’s time we took our state back and allowed the voters to decide what they want!

Protect our mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and our state. Vote YES ON 1.

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Draconian- Part 3

I got the call from a local high school guidance counselor. The conversation went something like this…

GC: I heard you help girls after they have abortions
Me: Yes that’s what we try to do
GC: Well I have a girl I don’t know what to do with. You are my last hope.

I traveled to the high school a few days later ready to meet this young girl the counselor didn’t know what to do with. I found myself riveted to the chair for the next hour listening to this young girl’s harrowing story.

She was 15 and pregnant. Her mother was adamant she would NOT have a baby. She made an appointment at the local abortion mill and took her daughter on the appointed day. This young girl begged and pleaded with her mother to not take her, and not force her to have an abortion.

When they arrived the young girl promptly told the workers she did NOT want the abortion, naively thinking they would help her. In true fashion…they didn’t help her. In fact, the young girl filled out her paperwork wrong, didn’t sign her name, told everyone she came in contact with she was being forced, all to no avail. She worked so hard to try to save the life of her child and no one would listen.

Her number was called and she walked to the room and was told to lay down on the table. That was just too much for this young girl. She tried to run and they stopped her. Then the workers proceeded to forcibly lay her on the table as she kicked and screamed and pleaded for her child. They sedated her and took the life of her child very much against her will.

This scenario didn’t happen in Russia or China, but right here in Nashville, TN. Upon hearing this horrific story, I spent the next 3 months meeting with this girl weekly, walking her through the grieving process, as well as the forgiveness process for those workers and her mother. She worked diligently through the study bringing her Bible each week to her guidance counselor’s room and allowing Jesus to heal the gaping wound abortion had left with her. This young girl was remarkably brave and will forever stand out in my mind. She has since given me permission to share her story in hopes it will help others.

Fast forward to today. The TN voters have an amendment to our constitution coming up on the ballot this November. I’m writing this short series of blogs to talk about what this amendment means to us and why we should VOTE YES ON 1.

Back in the late 70’s TN passed four laws protecting women and their right to choose. Here are the four…1) Informed Consent, (which I covered in “Draconian- Part 2) 2) 48 hour waiting period, 3) late-term abortions had to be performed in a hospital, and 4) abortion mills had to be regulated and inspected. Planned Parenthood came in and sued our state in the case, Planned Parenthood vs. Sundquist. They accused TN of interfering with a woman’s right to choose. TN lost the lawsuit and because of this we now have to have a constitutional amendment to bring our state back to a neutral position on the issue of abortion. This Amendment is the one I spoke of earlier. Vote Yes on 1.

I decided to dissect each of these laws after I was called (indirectly, but still) an “anti-choicer wanting to place draconian laws on women” in regards to abortion. In this blog I want you to think about a 48-hour waiting period and whether or not you think it is a draconian law against women.

Take my young high school friend for example. How differently would her story be today if there had been a waiting period? She would have seen the reality of where she was going and could have taken further steps during that 48 hours to protect her life and the life of her child.

Or what about the plaque at the “National Memorial for the Unborn” in Chattanooga, TN that I read every time I visit that simply states, “To my ten children, incest was cruel to all of us”. How different would this mother’s life be if there had been a waiting period for the first abortion? I have to ponder the question if the other nine would have occurred. We are guaranteeing further abuse in these incest victims lives by making abortion easy and accessible. The predators actions are never brought to light, and there is no accountability for his crime.

I can continue to tell story after story after story after story of women I have sat in SaveOne classes with, who describe the shocking and disturbing detail of a forced abortion. Sometimes these stories are more than I can bear. Knowing this is going on every day all across our land and right here in the state of TN. If not for the grace that flows so freely from Jesus I could not continue doing what I do.

Amendment 1 is not placing draconian laws on women, in fact it’s not bringing back any laws whatsoever! This amendment is simply making the TN Constitution neutral on the issue of abortion, putting the control of our state back in the voter’s hands. So, the next time you see someone pushing the Vote No agenda, remember this blog, remember my high school friend, and let them know what they are doing to girls and women all across our state.

Protect our wives, daughters, mothers, sisters, and our state. VOTE YES ON 1!

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Draconian- Part 2

Do you like being called names? Well…I don’t either, that’s why I started this short series of blogs after I was called (indirectly, but still) an “anti-choicer wanting to place draconian laws on women” in regards to abortion. These people doing the name-calling seriously concern me. Let me tell you why you should be concerned too…

Back in the late 70’s TN passed four laws protecting women and their right to choose. Here are the four…1) Informed Consent, 2) 48 hour waiting period, 3) late-term abortions had to be performed in a hospital, and 4) abortion mills had to be regulated and inspected. Planned Parenthood came in and sued our state in the case, Planned Parenthood vs. Sundquist. They accused TN of interfering with a woman’s right to choose. TN lost the lawsuit and because of this we now have to have a constitutional amendment to bring our state back to a neutral position on the issue of abortion. This Amendment will be on our ballot in November. Vote Yes on 1.

Let’s look at each of these laws and what purpose they served. You decide for yourself if you think they are draconian, or if they were helping women. In this blog we’ll dissect #1–informed consent.

The other day I was at the hospital with a friend who was having foot surgery. While there, the nurse came in and explained exactly what the surgeon was going to do to my friend’s foot, even pulling back the sheet to show my friend her foot had a big black X on it to assure her they were working on the correct foot! Then my friend had to sign a piece of paper giving her stamp of approval that yes indeed she wanted this surgery performed. That, my friends, is informed consent. And THAT is what was taken away, by Planned Parenthood, from women seeking abortion.

We have teenage girls going in to abortion mills in the state of TN and allowing these “doctors” to perform surgery without ever having full knowledge of the procedure or its risks. Why would any person want young girls and women to walk blindly into an abortion without being informed? Why would anyone fight so hard to take that away from wives, sisters, mothers, and daughters all across our state?

Could it be because Planned Parenthood knows if the violence of this procedure were told to this young girl she would be horrified?

Could it be if she knew she was risking a higher chance of breast cancer, infertility, depression, and suicide she might change her mind?

Could it be if this young girl knew what happened to the child during the abortion process she might change her mind?

If abortion is my right to choose, if abortion is good for me, if taking away abortion would put us back in the stone age, then why the secrecy? Why must the pro-aborts cloak their actions behind dark politics, and lawsuits? Why not come completely out of the closet and fully inform women and THEN let the women give their consent. Women deserve to be informed.

VOTE YES ON 1

Draconian- Part 1

Draconian…such a harsh sounding word. (insert shudder and scary music here) I kind of knew what this word meant, but I looked it up on my handy dictionary app to make sure. The word draconian is used to describe something that is unusually severe or cruel. I searched the clear definition of this word because I had just read an article describing ME as wanting to place draconian laws on women if an amendment is passed to our TN constitution this November. They did not say my name, but they placed me in a category of “anti-choicers wanting to pass Amendment 1”. I’ll take that category, it’s actually better than some of the categories others have placed me in!

This unfair labeling prompted me to write a series of blogs to explain this amendment (Amendment 1) and its origin. If you live in TN, if you know people who live in TN, if you have ever been to TN, or heard of TN, I implore you to continue reading. The following information is too important to look the other way.

When abortion was legalized in the early 70s, TN passed four laws that protected women and their right to choose. Here are the four…1) Informed Consent, 2) 48 hour waiting period, 3) late-term abortions had to be performed in a hospital, and 4) abortion mills had to be regulated and inspected. Do these laws seem draconian to you? Seriously!

Planned Parenthood (PP) saw these laws and came after our state with a lawsuit Planned Parenthood vs Sundquist. I encourage you to look up the details of this case for yourself. Planned Parenthood vs. Sundquist went all the way to the TN Supreme Court and PP won. We had to erase all four of those laws. Do you get the feeling like I do that PP are the creepy, unusually cruel ones here?

Very few people know this, but because the TN Constitution is so liberal, if abortion became illegal on a national level, a woman would still be able to get a legal abortion in the state of TN. Did you know that? Is that crazy or what? All eight states bordering TN have some type of laws in place which protect women’s health regarding abortion, and since we do not, then our state has become an abortion destination. Think about that one for a minute. An Abortion….Destination…

I don’t know about you, but I love my state. I love the rich heritage of barbecue, Beale St, and baseball. I love how people flock to Nashville to experience the music, football, 2nd Ave, and big dreams. And I love that we are known for the Big Orange, and Great Smoky Mountains. But now we can add to the list, an abortion destination. What a gruesome, horrific addition to our rich heritage.

It sickens me to think that right now we have eight abortion mills in our state and four of those are unlicensed; that 16 year old girls are submitting themselves to an abortion with little to no information up front regarding what is actually being performed on them; that these girls are going into a “clinic” thinking naively this clinic is clean and inspected, having no idea vet clinics are more regulated than where she is about to have surgery; it breaks my heart to think a woman who is being forced to have an abortion (this happens more than you want to know) has no waiting period for her safety. What is happening every day amidst our hustle and bustle is barbaric. Draconian like wouldn’t you say?

Amendment 1, which will be on the ballot in November, is simply a measure taken to bring our constitution back to a neutral position on the issue of abortion. It will make us equal with the federal law and replaces none of the four laws I mentioned earlier.

Go and check what I have said and see for yourself. We have to do something about this and the time is now. Vote Yes on Amendment 1 and check back in a few days for my next installment into this draconian way!

YES ON 1

Facts lie

I was speaking at a local church one Sunday morning, so I asked my assistant
Sarah sarah-vaughn to meet me and help work the SaveOne table after the services. As I pulled into the parking lot, she yelled at me from down the row of empty handicapped spaces. She had parked at the end of the row in the first regular spot not reserved for the handicapped.

As I stood at the front door and waited on her, she slowly made her way down the long sidewalk. An onslaught of thoughts came to my mind as I watched this beautiful girl walk toward me. Sarah was born 22 years earlier with Cerebral Palsy. When I first met her as a teenager, she was unable to walk unassisted. She had crutches that were never far from her hands. As a baby the doctors labeled her as handicapped. There was no denying the fact Sarah had CP…but handicapped?

Months earlier I had sat in the audience and cheered as I watched her walk across the stage unassisted to receive her college diploma. I knew then the word “handicapped” had never defined Sarah. The long embrace she received from her professor let me know the professor knew, just as the audience did, this girl is not handicapped. I thought about all the excuses I had given myself for not going on to get my Master’s degree. The next week I enrolled and now I am six months in to graduate school. Sarah motivated me to overcome what I believed as fact and realize that fact was lying and keeping me from furthering my much needed education.

Sarah works full-time for Mercy Ministries since she graduated college, she loves the Lord with all her heart, she volunteers her time for SaveOne just because she believes in our cause, she sponsors an orphan in Haiti, she drove herself in her own car that morning refusing to park in the handicapped spaces, and she ran my table like a boss that Sunday. What sets her apart is that she didn’t allow her challenges to define her life. She realized facts lie and this was a fact that was lying.

Watching this young girl has made me question the facts in my own life. Where and what am I accepting as truth just because I was stamped with a label early on. What do I see in others lives that I am accepting as fact in my own? What “facts” have gone unchallenged around me just because science says so, or the status quo has allowed them to remain? We should dig and find these areas in our lives and root them out. These so called “facts” could be exactly what is holding us back from our God-given destiny.

Sarah is actually in the company of some pretty cool people. It was a fact all Hebrew male babies were to be killed, but Moses mother didn’t believe it. It was a fact anyone who approached the King would be put to death, But Esther didn’t believe it. It was a fact Saul imprisoned and killed any Christians he could find, but Ananias didn’t believe it. It was a fact the prodigal was lost to the world, but his dad didn’t believe it. It was a fact David and his army were on their way to destroy Nabal and his land, but Abigail didn’t believe it. It was a fact the army couldn’t defeat Goliath, but David didn’t believe it. It was a fact Lazarus was dead, but Jesus didn’t believe it.

Have I made my point? Start today to challenge these “facts” that hold you back, release your faith in Him and see God open the doors of heaven to your actions and your faith just like He did for Moses, Esther, Ananias, and my dear friend Sarah! These people would not, could not, live in defeat accepting labels and laws as truth. They stepped out in faith and knew the God of heaven’s armies had their back!

Big Shoes to Fill

The text I received went something like this, “Hey I’m cleaning out my mom’s shoe closet and I was wondering if you knew of any ladies who might wear a 9 or 9 ½.” What I heard was, “Is there a lady you know who could possibly have a foot this large?” I contemplated for a moment wondering, “Do I tell her I wear that size? Will she think of me as freakishly huge? I’m 5’10” for heaven’s sake a size 6 would look strange on me. But still it’s never fun to whisper in the middle of Macy’s—could I just try a 10 in this boot? These must run small.” But my mind goes back to the text, there might possibly be really cute shoes at stake here. So I swallow my pride and reply, “YES! I wear that size.”

As I drove to her house later that day, I began to contemplate these shoes. You see, these were not just anybody’s shoes. They belonged to a woman who in 1958 boarded a cargo ship (A CARGO SHIP!!!) with her husband, said good-bye to her family, her home, and her life, and devoted the next forty years to loving, reaching, teaching, and mentoring the wonderful people of Africa. She sometimes lived in conditions too painful for us to imagine. She was pressured to put her children in boarding school hundreds of miles away. She lived a selfless life, totally and completely counter-cultural to what women are taught today. She did it all because God asked her to and she was obedient. She chose things like staying in her marriage and not ever considering divorce an option even when things got hard, and all marriages at one time or another get hard. She chose things like sacrificial service instead of promoting herself. Today she is reaping the benefits of her Godly choices.

At 87 years old, her body is reacting naturally to nearly nine decades on this earth, but her mind is intact, her marriage is happy and intact, she has a beautiful home, two children who adore her, love her, and both serve the Lord, and an army of people who seek her out for wisdom, great stories, and genuine love. Her obedience, although hard at times, has brought great blessing into her life. Her selfless love has transformed countless individuals and families not only here in America, but in Africa too through a ripple effect still going on as I write.

As I had these thoughts on the way to my friend’s house, I was getting the privilege of filling these very large shoes both figuratively and literally! To be honest I didn’t have my hopes up really high that I would walk away with any chic or trendy styles. But when I saw the Steve Madden and Sam & Libby labels I knew I had hit the jackpot, so I took four pair of the coolest shoes from this 87-year-old shoe connoisseur.

When I got home I pulled the shoes out and have them sitting in my closet. I have yet to put them on, as I feel a certain gravity about them. Call me dramatic or say I’m over-thinking but when I look at these shoes I can’t help but hope that I too can live selflessly. I pray that I may walk out my days in service to others, that I may see my boys love and serve the Lord deep into an old age. That my marriage will remain blessed and intact because of Godly choices I make, and that I may never hesitate to be obedient even when obedience is hard. This is a prayer I pray for all of us. May we strive to fill the shoes of the giants of faith who have walked before us and may we forever endeavor to fill the shoes of greatness like my 87-yr-old shoe fashionista friend, Dot Webb.

You can get the full story of Dot’s memoirs by going to Amazon.com and typing in, “A Harvest of Joy” authored by her daughter, Tammy Webb-Witholt. You will be glad you got this book and learned from this incredible woman!

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LOCKING ARMS

As we move toward the fall, I know many of our chapters (churches and pregnancy centers) will be starting new SaveOne classes. This thrills us and we are so thankful for your continued participation in abortion recovery. We know this is the greatest way to save babies, transform lives, restore marriages, break the bondage of substance abuse, end pornography addictions, and deal with anger issues. Furthermore, the lives that were wrecked by the sin of abortion are put on the path back to Jesus. Holding a SaveOne class, even after 14 years, never gets old. Seeing these transformations take place right before my eyes is nothing less than a miracle. So thank you for those who are starting their fall classes!

If you are reading this and you have had an abortion or know someone who has (man or woman), and you have never been through a SaveOne class, I urge you to not postpone this commitment. Join a local chapter today! If there is not one near you, we can hook you up with a SaveOne staff member who can travel this journey with you online. Don’t wait¬−I promise facing this is worth the tears and hard spots you will go through.

Also, have you checked out our store recently? Go to www.saveone.org and click on “store”. Our books are available there, PLUS we have a few additions that we are most proud of. The first one is my latest book entitled, “Is There Not a Cause?” You will want to read one, and also get a copy for your pastor. The second one is our new custom SaveOne bracelets. If you have lost a child to abortion or miscarriage, these bracelets are a beautiful reminder of your child(ren) in heaven. You can get pink or blue beads for the gender of your child. Mine means a lot to me as I wear it, for I remember my daughter, Megan. Plus, when you purchase our products, you help us reach more people! Thank you in advance.

Please say hello to our newest chapters…

*Pulaski, TN

*Pulaski, TN (yes we have 2 new chapters in this town!)

*Kircham, Austria

*Ashland City, TN

*Murfreesboro, TN

*Davenport, IA

*Berkeley, CA

*White Pigeon, MI

We are thrilled when a church or pregnancy center comes alongside us and locks arms in this battle against abortion that we face. We love seeing churches become a healing place for those in their community (1 out of every 3 women and 1 out of every 3 men) who have suffered the aftermath of abortion.

Please feel free to contact our office with any questions or comments. We like hearing from you. And please feel free to share these blog posts and sign up to follow this blog. You help us greatly by being interested in what we’re doing!

Blessings,
Sheila

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Welcome to the Big Time!

I received the following letter from our SaveOne Europe Director, Sonja Horswell from a girl she took through the SaveOne course. It was too great not to share. When God shows up BIG TIME in your life, it’s very difficult to stay quiet about it. This young lady shared her story and I want to scream it out to the entire world. THIS is the truth of what abortion does to a person. THIS is the truth of God’s Word applied to that gaping wound of regret, shame, humiliation, guilt, and remorse abortion leaves one with!

The Big Time is where the hardest work, the greatest realizations, and the most wonderful love encompasses us in our most vulnerable moments. Please read the words below and know that you too can be free from the bondage of abortion.

I would have never imagined, dreamt or wished.

Paralyzed by desperation and shame, the emptiness was so excavating and present, the pain so indescribably crushing, the fear so breath-taking. Fear of every second and minute of the present, of every hour and every day of the future. The abortion tore something apart in me which I did not realize immediately. Staggering in shock, for a time of my life functioning outwardly. But it was there, this invisible wall between me and reality. The sense of me and my body was gone, giving way to a deep inner emptiness.

In the (SaveOne) course, we carefully removed the wall brick by brick. In an environment where I had room with all my thoughts and feelings which were heard but never judged or evaluated. It was so freeing to finally put into words the disappointments, self-reproaches, and hurts that had walled me in. Everything was allowed to be and be said. Continually, in a speed that was adjusted to me, until I came to the surface. And now I can look closely, accept the past, enjoy the present and look forward to the future. More than words can say has happened inside of me in the weeks and months of the course. But this one thing is the greatest miracle: I smile again. And for the first time in years it comes from the inside, from the heart. (because I know and sense in my heart that God has forgiven me and therefore I also can forgive myself.)

Everyone senses pain in a different way and deals differently with grief. But no one desires to have an abortion one day, to give up one’s own child. The emotional consequences are crushing, barely endurable. Therefore I ask you, almost beg you: do not let this time of your life be taken away from you, dare to take a look at it, to give yourself space, for the tumbling of the walls, the letting go of the reproaches is worth the labor. Every day can be worth living it again. I know it takes courage but trust that you will not have to walk it alone, not one step of it.

When we take the time to draw near to God, He draws near to us BIG TIME and mighty change occurs. Come and enjoy life again in the BIG TIME. We can show you how! www.saveone.org

Who are your people?

My husband and I just drove in late last night from Louisville, KY. The National Right to Life Convention is going on right now so we went (just 2.5 hours from Nashville) to meet some of my pro-life friends for dinner. We met at 6:00 and so I figured my husband and I would be back on the road headed home around 8:30. Well…after meeting in the hotel lobby, talking, then configuring vehicles, talking, driving to the restaurant, talking, waiting on our reservations, then sitting at a round table for 12 and talking, we did not get back on the road to head home until 11:00. I tell you all of this not to complain but because today although I am really tired, I am still on a kind of “high” because the night and the dinner were so enjoyable. Some of these folks I haven’t seen in years so that was nice to get caught up, but the real reason behind the joy of the dinner is because all 12 of us were completely like-minded. There was one topic at the table and that topic was abortion. These people included the ex-president of the NRLC and her husband, political activists, abortion counselors, abortion recovery leaders, etc. These were my people! We talked about everything under the sun regarding healing, condemnation, the state of mind of men and women suffering after abortion, the role of the church, the forward momentum of the pro-life movement, politics, etc. It was some of the greatest conversation I have had in many years. I could have stayed another four hours and talked with these people as they were interested in what I had to say as much as my interest in what they had to say. I left there “full” not just on a delicious dinner but saturated in love and support and the knowledge of being reminded how not alone I am in this fight. I wanted to share my evening with you to remind all of you of a very important factor. Although it is vital to be around others who we can influence, bring to Christ, change opinions regarding life, it is just as important to be around those who are like-minded at times. We need encouragement, we need to be reminded of the vast resources we have at our fingertips in this movement. With so much spiritual warfare surrounding this subject sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves and just remove ourselves from the battle at times to get filled back up. I need this, you need this. It’s okay to just rest at times so you can recharge your batteries and keep going. So I encourage you today to find “your people”. Get with them, vent to them, talk with them about your vision, your focus, your needs, your wants, and your prayers about your ministry. If you are currently teaching SaveOne or are interested in knowing more about how to teach SaveOne at your church or pregnancy center, then we are here for you. We want to encourage you. We want to know how to pray for you. We want to help you every step of the way to be as successful as possible because together we are so much more powerful than each of us on an island by ourselves doing our own thing. Please write info@saveone.org and let us know you saw this blog post and we’ll get you hooked up immediately. Don’t put this off. We all need friends, and especially with this subject, we need each other! Love you all to pieces and hope you have a happy Fourth of July here in America! And for those of you outside America will you please say a prayer for our country to return to the One who can set us back on the right path? Blessings to you!

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Lots of great stuff going on!

I wish so desperately each and every one of you could come and sit in our SaveOne office and read some of the emails we receive….

“I believed the abortion had to consume my life, that I had to feel guilty and forever punish myself for this sin and it’s just not true. I can live a life to be proud of, going forward as a good daughter to my mom, and a loving wife to my husband.”

“I can’t believe I used to think that God would not forgive me and that I could never talk about my abortion. But He has forgiven me and He wants me to talk about my abortion with others so that they can get the same help I did. And receive the same love and forgiveness I did from my heavenly father.”

“I don’t have a lot of anger anymore. I feel like when I exposed this, I have just become a new person. I think your secrets make you sick and angry!”

These are just recent ones. We have year’s worth of dialogue with courageous men and women who have found healing through Jesus Christ using the SaveOne study. It’s so phenomenal to be a part of what God is doing here. I’m amazed every day when I see the powerful hand of our sovereign God move. Thank you for making this possible through your financial gifts, prayers, love, and support. There are men and women eternally grateful for your sacrifice because they were one reached and restored.

RECENT TRAVELS

            We just returned from a glorious trip to Hamburg, Germany. We trained new leaders, encouraged current leaders, and educated pastors on the horrors of abortion in the lives of men and women. I am believing there will be much accomplished as chapters start in Germany.

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Before going to Europe, our team had speaking opportunities in Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Texas, Oregon, and Slovenia. We are working hard to make sure our message of forgiveness, grace, and restoration after abortion is being spoken loudly and clearly, overcoming the evil one through the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimonies. (Revelation 12:11)

WHAT’S HAPPENING

            SaveOne has upcoming speaking engagements in Tennessee, Arkansas, Switzerland, Austria, and many places in between. Please be in prayer for our team to go boldly forward as we continue to start chapters in churches all over the world.

We would like to welcome these new chapters to the SaveOne family!

Terre Haute, IN

Cape Coral, FL

Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada

            I hope by now you have heard of my latest book, “Is There Not a Cause?”  I’m very proud of it, as it is a culmination of many years of observation on how the local church can have a profound impact on the ending of abortion. You can order your copy today at www.saveone.org.

WAYS YOU CAN HELP SAVEONE

  • Donating financially to be able to reach more people (looking for 200 people to sponsor us monthly at $25 per month)
  • Like our SaveOne facebook page
  • Use Goodsearch as your search engine (www.goodsearch.com) and list SaveOne as your charity of choice
  • Do all your online shopping on Goodshop (a division of Goodsearch; be sure to name SaveOne as your charity of choice first)
  • Buy our books from the SaveOne store at www.saveone.org and give them as presents
  • Follow and promote my blog: sheilaharperblog.com (I know it sounds self-serving, but the more followers, the more our message gets out)
  • Deep, anointed, spiritual prayer to fight the incredible warfare that comes against our staff and chapter leaders

Thank you guys for all you do!

Sheila Harper and the entire SaveOne staff (check them out at www.saveone.org and click on “About Us”. THEY ROCK!)

 

 

My response to Emily Letts

I feel heartsick for a girl named Emily Letts. Emily posted a video of her own abortion to let people hear a “positive abortion story”. I would love to talk to Emily; I would like to tell her that we love her and want to be there for her. I would love to establish a relationship with her now, because I know in my heart of hearts that she is going to need an understanding ear in the not so distant future.

Many thoughts go through my head when I think about what she did. The first of which is the fact she wanted others to hear a positive abortion story. That can only be because the stories of the millions of women and men who know the truth about the horrors of abortion are having an effect. Her desire to push a “positive abortion story” is an indicator that the truth of the horrors of the aftermath of abortion is reaching our world. Her goal to spread a positive message is in response to the truth of men and women who have courageously told their stories and are spreading the real message of the death of a child and an aftermath that never matches the promise of freedom from pregnancy. These testimonies are working in concert with a powerful scripture in God’s Word where He tells us that we will overcome evil by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Rev 12:11). There is POWER in our words, especially when our words are telling of the goodness of Jesus and that  life is precious. Our words bring hope, forgiveness, healing and restoration to those who have made the wrong choice of abortion. Our words can only come through Christ Jesus.

Her video of the procedure itself is not realistic at all. The video looks like she went to a hospital for an abortion, or at least a very modern abortion clinic. That is not typical, nor the reality for the majority of women seeking abortion. I’ve heard countless horror stories of things having happened in these clinics that are not positive in the least for these women. At the clinic where I went, we sat on old, dingy, dirty, used furniture until there was not another space in the room for one more girl. There were girls on arms of couches, standing against the walls, and sitting on the floor. After my abortion I had to stand up and walk to another room where the walls were lined with bean bag chairs. That was my recovery room…a bean bag chair.

Emily’s hospital cap and gown and all the nice, warm squeezes and pats of assurance are NOT reality. No hospital cap and gown, no hugs, no pats of assurance for any of the people we have helped through SaveOne. Not one single person I have ever talked to in the 14 years of helping men and women who are suffering from the effects of abortion have had an experience like the one depicted on this video. For one of my friends, she was held down at 15 years of age and forced to undergo an abortion in which she did not want. Right here in Nashville, TN. Abortion is not typical, normal, nice, or positive.

I am heartsick for Emily. Maybe in her heart she truly believes she is doing the right thing by being an abortion counselor at her clinic. She has been taught to believe counseling women in this way is just and fair. Prior to this video, she had never had an abortion, had never been a mom. We have to remember she is around death and dying every day from working at this clinic. Up until this video, she has been fairly detached from the whole abortion process. Based on her choice, she has now moved from a voice to a victim of her voice. She has moved from counselor for choice to one who has chosen to take a life. For Emily, it is no longer about other people.

Emily is now a mom. Emily chose to take her child’s life. There are a whole new set of circumstances, a whole new set of consequences she will have to deal with. First of all, we become a mother or a father at the moment our child is conceived. This honor is not miraculously bestowed on us 9 months later. We choose whether we parent a live baby or a dead one. Believe me, it’s much easier to parent live children. So Emily Letts is a mom right now and was deceived into thinking she saved herself from premature motherhood. She did not.

We were never created to choose life or death for another human being. That is an act that was supposed to only be determined by a sovereign God. So when we insert ourselves into God’s role, we bring into our lives circumstances we do not have the human capacity in which to deal. That’s why abortion’s aftermath is so horrific. It doesn’t fit anywhere, and we do not have the human reasoning to figure our way out. This aftermath takes a supernatural God, with a never ending love, a history of patience, and a truckload of grace to get us out of this mess.

Just because a person may not believe God’s Word doesn’t make it not true. Now, I do not know whether Emily is a Jesus follower or not, that is not for me to figure out nor for me to give an opinion on. I knew Jesus when I had my abortion, so to just assume she does not believe in Christ Jesus would be to wrongly assume. But God’s Word is true, and He has made it clear how He feels about those who shed innocent blood, or those who mistreat innocent children. We cannot go against God’s Word without suffering consequences. That is true for the believer and non-believer. Although she may feel great now (I felt nothing but relief for about the first two weeks after my abortion) I know that will not always be true for Emily. Knowing the hurt and anguish that is coming is why my heart breaks for her. To make this choice in such a public way, to say the things she did on the video, to be as young as she is, the list of reasons I am praying for her just goes on and on. She said at the end that she was amazed she could create life.

She knows that was human life.

She recognizes that she took a human life. 

Emily’s 40-year-old self will not be so proud of that fact. I write this blog for the men and women who have come to the realization that abortion was wrong. I write this blog and I do what I do for the preservation of life and the restoration of the hurting. My prayer is that one day I will cross paths with Emily Letts. I would love to let her know she is deeply loved, and Jesus awaits her when she is ready to give all of this to Him.

www.saveone.org

YOU ROCK!

Every month I send out a newsletter to our SaveOne chapter leaders to just encourage them, give them the latest news, that sort of thing. It helps us stay connected and keeps us focused on what’s really important.

Our chapter leaders face lots of struggles that many do not realize. Often times they are on an island by themselves at their churches, feeling like they are the only ones who really “get” the importance of abortion recovery and its power to end abortion around our world.

This month we salute you chapter leaders! Always remember you are in our prayers, and the staff stands firmly beside you with locked arms!

May Letter: I can’t tell you how much you mean to me. As I travel around and I get to meet you, spend time with you, speak at your churches, and get to know your families it makes me appreciate all you do so much more. I love seeing your heart for those who are broken and hurting after abortion. Kindred spirits is what I always think of and I thank God for you on a regular basis.

I write to you from just coming off trips to Lewisburg, TN, Jackson, TN, Terre Haute, IN, Dallas, TX, and Three Rivers, MI. I’m loving all that I get to do for you and alongside you. Keep up the great work you’re doing!

I say all of that to encourage those of you who may be feeling discouraged, who may  have not had anyone sign up for your class yet, who may be feeling isolated because you are the only one at your church who “gets” the importance of abortion recovery. I want you to know there is hope and I DON’T want you to give up or lose your passion.

God has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11); He has a purpose (Ephesians 2:10); and He has created this heart in you for such a time as this! (Esther 4:14) So don’t lose heart, keep going and above all else preach the good news of Jesus wherever you go. He is here to save, transform, and restore lives seemingly lost to the despair of abortion.

Please be sure to update your pages within the SaveOne website. If you can’t remember your username and password then please email sarah@saveone.org for that information. If you look like you are busy and your page is up to date, then people will see they can find help through you, right there in your city! Please make yourself at home to the chapter tools as well. There are several new documents that might prove helpful, so please check them out. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

I live with it every day

I recently had the privilege of speaking at the  Wisconsin Right to Life annual conference. These are men, women, and teenagers who are working for the cause of life. They gathered from across their great state to learn, network, and be rallied to do more for the families being destroyed by choice.

After my talk that evening I had many come over to my booth and ask me to sign their newly bought books. There was one man in particular who I want to tell you about. He didn’t buy a book, didn’t ask me to sign anything, didn’t tell me I did a good job, nothing. He simply wanted to tell me a story. His tale goes like this…

In 1975 he was a really good attorney by his own admission. He rarely lost any case he defended. One day a man called the attorney’s office and said his wife had left him. He didn’t want a divorce and especially not now because his wife had just told him she was pregnant…and getting an abortion. The caller asked the attorney if there was anything he could do to keep his child. This attorney told him there was no problem, that they would get an injunction against his wife to stop the abortion and there was nothing to worry about. I could tell by the way this man was speaking to me he was very confident at the time that by his actions this child was safe.

The day of court came and again my new friend the attorney had assured his client that all was well. As the judge began to look at the case he asked the attorney to give him one law he could reference to uphold the injunction. And of course we all know now, there is not one.

Not.

One.

Not one single law this attorney could find to save the life of this child for his client. His client was looking to him and the attorney could do nothing. The pregnant wife’s lawyer was there and when she saw they could not uphold the injunction, called the wife as she waited at the abortion clinic. She immediately went through with the abortion.

As this attorney who was standing in front of me got to this part of the story he broke down in tears telling me how there was nothing he could do for his client and nothing he could do to save the life of this child. He said, “I live with it every day.”

Never, ever, ever fall for the lie that abortion doesn’t have a ripple effect on many lives. 39 years later and this man is unable to tell the story without breaking down in tears. Abortion is a tragedy on many levels, created to divide, destroy, and bring death to millions. The tragic circumstance men face when trying to fight for the lives of their children is unconscionable and must be corrected.

I don’t have the answer, but what I do have is a Truth that sets people free, that will change the course of our nation once our churches stand up and defend LIFE. When our local churches take back this issue from politics and realize this is an issue God cares deeply about, then men like this attorney and the devastated father, will not have to live the rest of their lives thinking of this tragedy daily.

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David’s Cause

I want to share with you a short portion of my latest book, “Is There Not a Cause?” This book has been a long time coming through years of seeing churches not understanding the power they hold to fight this cause. This book is a literal rally cry for the local church to join this fight in a very tangible way. I hope you enjoy this portion of the first chapter and will order the book either for yourself or your pastor by going to www.saveone.org and clicking on “store”.

Chapter 1: David’s Cause

And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?” 1 Samuel 17:29

These words rang across a bloody battlefield as the evil side taunted and the righteous side trembled. The least likely among them, not even a warrior, asked this question and reminded them all why they were fighting.

David was a small man. Not in presence, but in stature. When he first comes on the scene (1 Samuel 16:13) he is estimated to be around the age of fourteen to sixteen. He was the youngest of nine kids, undoubtedly introduced as “the baby” on many occasions. He was a quiet, unassuming sheepherder.

You probably know the story about him slaying Goliath, but let’s look at it from a different perspective. Walk with me through these next few chapters and allow God to open your mind to ideas you may have never considered.

You can find the story of Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. The men of Israel were gathered together fighting the Philistine soldiers. There were thousands of men representing each army. Scripture says the Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side with a valley between them.

A giant named Goliath went out from among the Philistines. Bible scholars have debated how large this man really was, but the estimates have him to be around nine feet tall. He was fully dressed in one hundred twenty five pounds of armor, holding a fifteen-pound sword. For forty days this man taunted Israel, calling them “servants of Saul” and bellowing whoever wins the battle would become the others’ slaves. He wanted a man from the army to challenge him. When King Saul and all his men heard this day after day they were “dismayed and greatly afraid”. (Vs 11, NLT)

Now let’s consider this situation. When Goliath marched out taunting, why do you think he was fully clothed for battle? He was intimidating to see, but then when he proclaimed that whomever lost would be the other’s servant, of course it struck fear in the heart of Saul and his army. Goliath had already won half the battle by fear and intimidation alone.

If your opponent can strike fear in the battle first, they’re already closer to winning. Your opponent is hoping one of two things will happen. You won’t even show up to fight, or, if you do show up, fear will have you so askew that your irrationality puts you at a great disadvantage before the battle even begins.

On the same note, when you’re armed for war, Satan has a great interest in making you “dismayed and greatly afraid”. Anything he can do to arouse your fear is a huge victory for him.

A great example of this fear and inaction is Saul. He was described as being head and shoulders above the men of Israel, as well as a mighty warrior. But when against an opponent larger than him, he shrank back and became a coward. Saul, instead of having the courage to fight Goliath, tries to entice one of his men by offering different material possessions. He even offered his daughter’s hand in marriage to anyone who would fight the giant. But he had no volunteers. The entire Israelite army was afraid. Not one man was brave enough to stand up against Goliath.

I don’t believe there were any takers simply because all courage had been drained from these men. Their leader, Saul, wasn’t defending his own nation due to fear, and his inactivity affected the morale of the entire army.

These soldiers we’re talking about had seen many battles. You would never be able to convince me there wasn’t one single man of courage on that battlefield. Instead, I believe they were looking at the situation with human eyes. They had been struck with fear at the circumstances and the usual questions were probably whirling through their minds. What kind of hurt would they have to endure if they fight? How could they possibly win against this enormous, brutal man? Without the Spirit of God involved, there was no way the outcome would have been victory for the Israelites. They didn’t realize a spiritual battle was in motion, not a physical one. They believed what they saw, not what they knew to be true. Circumstances trumped faith.

Then the man of courage steps onto the battlefield. What a contrast he was to Saul’s army. David had the right approach. He was so offended that a man who had no place attacking the Israelite army had struck such trembling in these men’s hearts. Goliath was a direct affront to God. The challenge the giant had presented before the Israelites only aroused David’s rage. I love David’s words in the second part of 1 Samuel 17:26,

“For who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” NLT

I can almost hear him saying these words as if he’s spitting them out, probably leaving Saul speechless. Not only was he unafraid to provoke Goliath’s anger, but I love the fact he referred to armies as plural. There was only one Israelite army on that battlefield. But David knew there were a host of armies of the living God surrounding him, giving him unmatchable strength. Thus, he realized the spiritual battle going on and he believed victory would be his.

David saw things from an eternal perspective–he knew he had to remove the reproach of Israel. But then the next part of the story is so predictable. What happens when you’re about to do something great for God? You guessed it…attack comes. And most of the time, the criticism is from the people you think would love and support you without hesitation. David’s brother, Eliab, tried to belittle David and became angry with him. He asked him why he was there and not tending those few sheep he had. Eliab accused David of just wanting to see the battle. He wanted David to remain in his rightful place of tending sheep. Eliab didn’t want to be inferior to his youngest brother. I know from raising two boys, the older brother’s opinion of the younger is extremely important to the younger one. So I can imagine these words cut David to the core. David at that time could have thought, “Eliab is right. I have no business out here on the battlefield when I really just need to be tending sheep. That’s all I’m capable of anyway”. David had every right to believe this about himself.

David had a decision to make. Should he believe Eliab and just crawl home? Or does he perceive himself as God sees him, as a mighty warrior, worthy of this fight? By asking one question, he reminded the army why they were there. Just because the circumstances had changed didn’t mean the fight ended and they were defeated. No, it meant they should step up the battle, press on, and refuse to lay down their weapons. So he jolted the army with just one question, “Is there not a cause?” He’s asking this army who is supposed to be Israel’s fearless fighting force, is there not a cause greater than you for which you are fighting? The Lord was just as real to David as Goliath was to the army.

WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST CHAPTERS

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 Thank you for having the courage to fight alongside us!

                                                                   WAYS YOU CAN HELP SAVEONE

  •  Of course we need financial donations to be able to reach more people
  • You can like our SaveOne facebook page
  • You can use Goodsearch as your search engine (www.goodsearch.com) and list SaveOne as your charity of choice
  • You can do all your online shopping on Goodshop (a division of Goodsearch, be sure to name SaveOne as your charity of choice first)
  • Buy our books from the SaveOne store at www.saveone.org and give them as presents
  • Follow and promote this blog (I know it sounds self-serving, but the more followers, the more our message gets out)
  • Deep, anointed, spiritual prayer to fight the incredible warfare that comes against our staff and chapter leaders

Please at any time feel free to contact our office with questions or how we can partner with your church to reach those who are suffering in silence after abortion.

 

 

Are you missing the wedding?

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Yes. That’s me at three years old. Do you see the look of complete devastation on my face? There’s a reason for that; let me explain…

My aunt and uncle who were marrying (and I’m happy to report they are celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary this year) had asked my two older sisters to be flower girls for the wedding. I saw what was happening to my sisters and got completely swept away in the lace, flowers, ruffles, tulle, dress fittings, excitement and pageantry of this day. I knew at any moment MY new dress for the wedding would arrive. I got so swept away I believed I was actually asked to be in the wedding as well. I readied myself, I dreamed of walking the aisle, I pictured dropping every rose petal at just the precise and perfect location and everyone in attendance would swoon at my expert flower girl skills.

But then the day arrived. I had my plans in order as I ran from one room to the next at my grandmothers house watching as my mother and my aunts put on make-up, took down curlers from hair, and lifted dresses overhead, and when I asked when it would be my turn the harsh cold hand of reality reached out and punched me right in the gut. “What do you mean I’m not in the wedding???” My plans ruined. My three years of life as I knew it was over. I walked through the entire day crying and in a complete state of despondency.

It has been a running joke in our family for these entire 45 years now as I like to tell everyone my aunt asked me to be in the wedding and then that day rescinded the invitation. We all know the truth, but I like to make everyone laugh and my aunt and uncle feign guilt over what they did to me that day. Well, a relative posted the picture above just days ago on facebook and my aunt wrote me and said, “SEE you WERE in the wedding!” I laughed and looked at this picture many times that day but later on it hit me…isn’t this exactly what we do with sin? Go with me on this…

We have a plan, we know how everything is supposed to play out. In our minds there is no other way something should happen. We get focused, unbending, and inflexible because why should we, everything is pointing directly toward one outcome and one outcome only. Then the rug gets yanked out from under us. Someone wrongs us or betrays us, or our own bad choices cause detrimental circumstances in our lives. So we carry around that betrayal, we carry around the guilt of our sin, sometimes for 45 years or more. We make everyone feel guilty, we tell the story repeatedly, we are constantly the victim, and in the meantime we miss out on a large portion of life because we are so focused on the wrong perpetrated against us, or that we chose.  And we live our lives looking like the little girl in the picture above. How is that abundant life?

John 10:10 says Jesus came to give us abundant life. Yes people are people and often times there is a giant set of snarling teeth behind that christian smile. People perform legitimate wrongful acts that hurt us.  And yes we are human too. We make bad mistakes, we make choices we look back on and are ashamed of. But if God is love (1 John 4), and Jesus came to give us abundant life then how are we being loving and living abundantly by dragging that old, dead carcass of offense everywhere we go?

Sometimes the most loving thing you can do for yourself and those around you is forgive. Don’t think I’m just talking about others either, often times we need desperately to forgive ourselves. Forgiving ourselves is simply letting God’s forgiveness be enough. There is no amount of work, no amount of good deeds,  no limit on how many times you can tell the story, or number of ways you can keep it secret, to ever make you feel okay about it. Jesus is the lover of your soul and wishes you would let it go so you can get on with life.

So think about what you’ve read here today. Don’t miss out on the incredible wedding because it didn’t unfold the way you thought it should. Ask God today for forgiveness for carrying whatever this is around and get on with the abundant life that awaits you!

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M.A.N.

As many of you know I am a strong proponent of reaching men as strongly as we do women with the issue of abortion recovery. I’m also proud to say I’m a founding member of a group called M.A.N. (Men and Abortion Network) that consists of a handful of men and women who work together to bring awareness to this issue.

This month’s newsletter I wanted to dedicate to this subject only. Two of the members of MAN, Dr. Catherine Coyle and Dr. Vincent Rue have developed a model for pregnancy resource centers interested in reaching men. Churches can certainly apply some of these principles to it’s abortion recovery efforts as well. Below is just a sampling of it’s content, please feel free to read the entire paper at our website, www.menandabortion.net

Building a Men’s Ministry: A Guide for Pregnancy Resource Centers

(Catherine T. Coyle, RN, PhD & Vincent M. Rue, PhD)

Introduction

Men play critical roles in crisis pregnancy and parenting.  They may do so actively by accepting responsibility and offering help to their partners or passively by deferring all decisions to their partners.  Some men coerce their partners into terminating pregnancy while others vigorously seek to protect the lives of their unborn children.  In any case, men may exert significant influence that affects the outcome of pregnancy as well as the quality of their relationships.

As an increasing number of men are accompanying their female partners to crisis pregnancy centers, it has become apparent that centers need to minister to men as well as to women.  While this need presents many challenges, it also offers tremendous opportunities for both individual and organizational growth.  Given the small budgets of pregnancy resource centers and their dependence on individual donors, funding may be a major challenge to building a men’s ministry.  Another challenge may be resistance from staff or volunteers.   Nonetheless, those centers that have successfully developed men’s ministries have met such challenges and experienced growth in the form of increased appreciation of men’s roles, the acquisition of new skills, and the procurement of expanded resources.

Areas of Change

The establishment of a men’s ministry within your pregnancy resource center will involve three primary areas of change.  These areas are: environment, staff, and resources.

Environment

Many, if not most, pregnancy resource centers, have a very feminine décor and atmosphere suggesting that they exist exclusively for female clients.  Seeming to confirm that view is the fact that the vast majority of staff and volunteers are women.   Small changes to the environment can go a long way to alter the perception that these centers are solely women’s clinics.   For example, having men’s magazines available in the waiting room is achievable even for centers with very limited budgets.  When affordable, gender neutral artwork and a flat screen television are great additions to waiting areas.  Specific items may be sought through donors who prefer giving something tangible to your ministry.  There are several useful men’s brochures related to pregnancy, parenting, relationships, and abortion and these should be visible and freely accessible.  (See attached Resource List.)   In addition, individual centers usually produce their own brochures which include a list of services offered and those services should acknowledge men as well as women.  From the moment a man enters your center, he should be getting three basic messages: 1) he is welcome at the center and it is a place for men and fathers as well as for women and mothers, 2) he is important and not merely an afterthought, and 3) his participation  in the counseling process is both welcome and important.

Staff

Changes involving your staff will also be required for building a successful men’s ministry.  There may be some resistance among staff, volunteers, or board members toward changing the status quo and reaching out to men.   Resistance may be due to concerns about limited resources and/or to concerns that there will be a negative effect on public relations with a decrease in donors.  Still another source of resistance may be related to a staff member’s past abortion.  For example, there may be lingering resentment toward a male partner that has become generalized toward all men involved in a crisis pregnancy.  Many of those individuals who staff or volunteer at crisis pregnancy centers have a personal abortion history; it is critical that they have processed, resolved, and found healing from their abortion experience prior to working with female or male clients.

Still another source of resistance is the nature of change.  Change involves giving up the familiar, learning new skills, and vulnerability.  Some people seem to thrive on change while others are averse to change. Yet, change is inevitable in life and the changes inherent in ministry expansion provide opportunities for positive growth among both clients and staff.  For some men, a visit to your center may be their first exposure to an individual or organization which espouses a supportive and inclusive life perspective.  This provides an opportunity to challenge and impact the biases and beliefs that clients and staff hold and, most importantly, offers what may be truly life-changing moments for your clients.

Resources

There is no question that new resources will have to be identified and acquired to build a ministry.  Some resources, such as print materials, are more easily attainable while others, such as new staff, may not be realistic given budget limitations.

To begin, it will be necessary to form a ministry development committee which would ideally include men who are interested in being a direct part of the ministry as well as a member of the center’s staff.  The latter can serve as a liaison between the development committee and the rest of the staff and the center’s board.  This committee would be responsible for deciding what aspects of a men’s ministry will be developed, recruiting male volunteers, and securing initial funds.

After determining which aspects of ministry will be their focus, committee members will need to work on both the recruitment of volunteers and the details of delivering new services.  Male volunteers may be recruited through men’s community groups and through local churches, particularly those churches that have supported your center in the past.   Simply having male volunteers present and visible sends a powerful message to male clients, that their presence is an acceptable, normal part of the routine at the center.  In addition to recruiting male volunteers, the development committee will also have to plan for training those volunteers and create a ‘walk-through’ process to guide them in their interactions with male clients.  Training may be nearly identical to that for female volunteers but with additional information concerning male communication styles and specific needs of male clients or a distinct training program may be developed solely for male volunteers.

Recruiting and retaining male volunteers is a challenging task.  Male volunteers will be more readily available if they can schedule their visits to your center to coincide with a couple’s appointment.   This allows the volunteers to contribute to the ministry without compromising their paid work obligations.   Male volunteers will be more committed if they know that they are contributing their time and experience to a ministry in which they have influence.  Your male volunteers should have the opportunity to provide ideas and feedback that are incorporated into your ministry as it evolves.  Some volunteers may choose to meet with clients who are coming in for a first appointment while others may be comfortable serving as longer-term mentors to younger men adjusting to fatherhood.

Initial funding for your men’s ministry may be small and come from a board decision to allocate a fixed sum to be used toward ministry development.   Funds for a specific endeavor may be sought via formal grant applications.  As your ministry expands and awareness grows,  new donors may be acquired and regular donors may choose to increase their donations.   Of course, awareness depends on clearly advertising both your services and your needs.  Assuming your center has a mission statement, it may need to be amended to include men and fathers.  If your center has a website, the addition of information pertaining to your men’s ministry and volunteer opportunities should be easy and cost-effective.  Your board might also consider highlighting the men’s ministry at fundraisers such as annual banquets, golf outings, or in other campaigns.

The most important resources gained will be your male clients.  Given the goal of crisis pregnancy centers to support life, the male partners of women who come in for pregnancy tests are influential in terms of ultimate pregnancy outcome.  However, men should not be viewed simply as a means to better serve your female clients.  They are human beings and that fact demands an acknowledgment of their rights, responsibilities, needs, and expectations.   Like women, they are going to experience insecurity and anxiety when faced with a crisis pregnancy.  If we fail to recognize and respect men’s legitimate rights and roles, we become part of the problem rather than the solution.  If we don’t minister to fathers as well as to mothers, our ministry may be tragically inadequate.

Please feel free to contact the SaveOne office with any questions you might have. We’re here to serve you!

 

UNSHACKLED

I recently received a copy of this article written by my friend John Kennedy about my friend Mark Morrow. I asked his permission to share it on my blog since it has already been published in “Pentecostal Evangel”. The pain of lost fatherhood has to be addressed; this is not just a woman’s issue, but rather a family crisis! This is just a sampling of the wonderful healing moments we enjoy at SaveOne.

Unshackled
By John W. Kennedy
Feb. 16, 2014

Mark Bradley Morrow’s faith sustained him when his 45-year-old father died of a cerebral aneurysm in 1980. Ten weeks earlier, the 19-year-old college student had accepted Jesus as his Savior.

The weekly Bible studies, prayer meetings, and fellowship at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania likewise buoyed Morrow when his two favorite uncles, both in their mid-40s, committed suicide in 1981 and 1982.

But after college, away from his Christian friends, Morrow began to drift from his spiritual moorings. While his wildest activities during college had been bowling and pinball, by his late 20s Morrow embarked on a string of brief relationships with women.

In 1987, Morrow impregnated his girlfriend. Upon learning the shattering news, Morrow expressed no interest in marriage; he suggested his girlfriend give the baby up for adoption. Instead, she scheduled an appointment with an abortionist. Morrow sat anxiously in the waiting room and after the procedure drove his sobbing girlfriend home.

The experience didn’t reset Morrow’s moral compass. His next short-term girlfriend told him she had aborted their baby — two months after they had broken up.

In the meantime, Morrow lived a duplicitous life. He led the youth group and worship ministry at his church, and even filled the pulpit on occasion. The young women he dated were involved in church as well.

A few months later, yet a third girlfriend wrote a letter to Morrow. No longer together, the girlfriend explained that she had an abortion.

Despite prodding from the Holy Spirit, Morrow didn’t alter his irresponsible behavior. He hooked up again with his first girlfriend, with the same result: an unwanted pregnancy. Although he agreed to support the baby financially, Morrow rejected the notion of marriage once more. This time the girlfriend visited an abortionist without consulting Morrow.

In a 20-month span during 1987-89, Morrow played a role in four abortions.

In retrospect, Morrow believes the unexpected rapid-fire deaths of the three most influential mentors in his life left him with unresolved emotional and spiritual wounds that made him more vulnerable to temptation. But he bears full culpability for his selfish sexual conduct.

“If I had been the man God created me to be, I wouldn’t have chosen to have premarital sex,” Morrow says. “I wouldn’t have put these women in a position where they even thought about having an abortion.”

In 1992, Morrow rededicated his life to Christ. Without mentioning the abortions, Morrow admitted his sullied sexual past to his then-girlfriend and said they needed to stop having intercourse. The confessional made such an impact that the girlfriend, whom Morrow met in graduate school, accepted Jesus as her Savior.

Three months later, Morrow proposed to the girlfriend, on the condition they never would have children. Jeannie agreed, and the couple wed — after Morrow had undergone a vasectomy.

But the marriage came with a child already. Jeannie had a 4-year-old daughter, Ricque, from a previous relationship. Mark adopted Ricque after marrying Jeannie. In time, Morrow grew to understand the blessedness of fatherhood.

Moreover, Morrow thought raising more children might not be such an awful idea after all. After Mark’s successful vasectomy reversal operation, Jeannie gave birth to a daughter, Faith Maddison, in 2002, and a son, Ross Bradley, in 2004. The children attend Erie First Christian Academy, a school operated by Erie (Pa.) First Assembly of God.

Even before they had children together, Mark and Jeannie established themselves as licensed professional Christian counselors. Ironically, as Morrow listened to others pour out their troubles, he continued to harbor the guilt and disgrace from secrets he had stifled for 18 years.

In 2006, he could no longer keep the pent-up burden to himself. Morrow specialized in treating teenagers. As he examined client intake sheets, he kept noticing birth years corresponding to the time his own babies had been aborted. One day he cried out to God to take his shame and pain away.

In mournful wailing, Morrow divulged specifics of his sinful past to a close male friend. In loving compassion, the friend assured Morrow God had forgiven his acknowledged sins.

“Pride is a big reason we keep secrets,” Morrow says. “Satan is the father of lies, and he had convinced me if I told anyone, nobody would come to me for counseling, everyone would hate me, they would think I was the scum of the earth.”

The next night Morrow revealed the whole truth to his wife. It didn’t go well.

“She was rightfully upset,” Morrow recalls. “I had lied to her through omission and kept extremely important details of my life hidden.”

With the help of their pastor and Christian friends, the Morrows worked through their difficulties over a 1 1/2-year span. Mark found healing through a 12-week abortion recovery Bible study for men written by Sheila Harper, founder of the Assemblies of God ministry SaveOne.

“Abortion is not just a female issue, because that child belongs as much to the man as it does to the woman,” says Harper, whose husband, Jack, is pastor of CrossRoads of Antioch, an AG church in Tennessee. “Regardless of whether a man begs a woman not to have the abortion, or if he drives her to the clinic and pays for it, when he realizes what he has done, the consequences are devastating. We don’t have it in us to deal with the aftermath of making the choices of life and death for a human being.”

Subsequently, Harper says, men suffer as much trauma as women from abortion, dealing with issues such as outbursts of anger and mistrust of the opposite sex. Harper says too few men take the step of honestly reflecting about their responsibility for an abortion, confessing their sin, and receiving God’s forgiveness.

“By telling his story, Mark is not only continuing to heal, he allows God to take his most regrettable mistakes and turn them into something good,” says Harper, whose organization has 150 chapters in 30 states and 14 nations. “Because he has allowed God’s grace to cover his sins, Mark is no longer suffering.”

The opposite of what Morrow initially dreaded — that people would revile him for revealing his secret — turned out to be the common reaction. Telling others about his past is therapeutic to him, and influential with others who are keeping secrets.

“Whether you’ve had an abortion, you are looking at pornography, or you’ve had an affair, you need to make the bold move and get it out,” says Morrow, 53.

These days Morrow isn’t reluctant to talk about his past because he knows the Lord has forgiven him. He speaks frequently at pregnancy care center events, describing how abortion impacts men.

“When you are living in secret, you really are bound and shackled in chains,” Morrow says. “Once you can release that secret to God, Satan doesn’t have a hold on you anymore.”

JOHN W. KENNEDY is news editor of the Pentecostal Evangel.

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A Tin Bowl & Black Beans

My head was aching, my heart was racing, I was filthy dirty, and my whole body screamed with exhaustion, yet I couldn’t stop. My body was reacting to need but my mind was detached. Being thrown in to the mix of things immediately created a chasm between what my body was doing and what my mind was grasping. It was at the moment my mind finally ended the chase that sticks in my head.

I was sitting on the dirt with the biggest tin bowl I’ve ever seen in front of me. It easily held a 100 pound bag of black beans. As the beans were dumped, my friend and I started scooping as fast as we could. 1, 2, 3, 4 scoops into the brown paper bag, hand off to Tamara, she folded, then handed the bag further down the line to add to the growing pile. There were at least a dozen people all moving around, handing, folding, carrying, scooping, all working with a definite mission in mind. I could see through the legs all around me and caught glimpses of the growing crowd of people who were hungry…no starving. It was 3 weeks after the deadly earthquake in Haiti that killed hundreds of thousands of their fellow countrymen, and now food was hard to come by.

The sea of legs briefly opened and not 10 feet away from me was a woman with charcoal skin looking right at me and the beans. We caught each others eyes and stared for what seemed 10 minutes but was probably more like 5 seconds. Oddly, I wondered if her mouth was watering like mine does when I have a succulent piece of chocolate cake before me.

This moment in time is what I want to bottle up, keep forever, take out and visit occasionally. Because that was when I felt like my life had never had more meaning. I knew God was using me for a purpose to give sustenance to another human being. Now, I know this woman in front of me would have been fed with those same black beans had I been present or not. But God allowed ME the privilege of scooping her beans. Such a menial task, but yet so incredibly vital to this woman and her family.

The sea of legs closed and we continued to scoop 600 pounds of black beans that day. When it came time to actually hand out the food I never saw that woman again. I had to place myself between the children and the adults and hold one group off the other. I found myself pushing and screaming at people because they were close to rioting they were all so desperate for food. I never once felt threatened but instead felt as though I had to save them from themselves and make sure the food got in to each person’s hands. I’ve never been in the middle of something so intense, nor seen a more desperate situation that closely. I also can’t say I wouldn’t have reacted the same way had it been me in the crowd needing food for my children.

I’m home now, back in my nice house, in my comfortable bed, eating all the food I want. But I’ll never forget looking at that woman and realizing the privilege God had afforded me and my friends to be on Haitian soil helping any way we knew how.

Just missing Haiti today…

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