Monthly Archives: December 2013

Light Bulb Moment

I love all things military. My father is retired Army and served in the Gulf War. I’ve always been proud of that fact. My heart swells and I get a lump in my throat as I walk through an airport and pass a man or woman in uniform. I ponder the sacrifice they’ve made so I can live my life safely within our borders. I always try to shake their hand or thank them for their service, but even then it never seems like enough.

My husband and I raised our boys to love and respect our military as well. One time we took them to tour the Battleship U.S.S. Alabama in Mobile, AL. We had a wonderful time, that is until we walked in to the attached hangar. Inside were different types of old war planes. The boys loved looking at those, but my husband and I were drawn to the wall with dozens of mens pictures and their stories. As our boys crawled in and out of the planes, we stood and read about these brave men who sacrificed their lives so their comrades could live. One man fought his crashing plane all the way down keeping it in the air just long enough for the last man to safely jump to freedom. Another crashed his plane in to an enemy ship to keep them from firing on his fellow soldiers, allowing them to escape.

Picture after picture we studied the men’s faces, story after story we read with tears streaming. What great courage, what phenomenal fortitude. But I couldn’t help but think of those who lived. What must they feel? Do they feel a sense of incredible responsibility? Do they feel they must do something awe-inspiring with their lives in the service of others? They have lived their lives knowing someone sacrificed theirs. I walked away that day not only grateful to read such tales of courage, but also thinking about how the men who were given the opportunity to live, truly lived. Did they appreciate every moment, every hour? Did they approach life differently from the rest of us? What must that be like?

Fast forward years later, I’m in a hotel room scanning channels. I saw Jim Carrey’s face and immediately stopped because, well, I just think he’s hilarious. The scene I happened up on was an older man walking Jim Carrey through a cemetery. (from the movie, “The Majestic”) If I remember correctly, they stopped at a grave and the older man explained how this man gave his life in combat so others could live. Immediately I remembered the stories on the hangar wall, and those who got to keep their lives because of the sacrifice of another brave man. I thought again about the sense of duty one must feel in that situation. Then suddenly, BAM! Jesus spoke to me and said, “That’s what I did for you.”

To be honest, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I had never related the two. I had never seen Jesus sacrifice in the same light as I pictured these brave men’s stories. Jesus sacrificed His life, so that I could live. Not just squeak out a life, but so that I could abundantly live a life beyond my wildest imagination. What a sense of duty, obligation, responsibility, not just to get by, but to do something awe-inspiring and wonderful with these decades I’ve lived, and that I have left to live. The sacrifice wasn’t for me to be selfish with my time, my money, my knowledge, my love. But rather for me to use these things He has given me in the service to others. It’s the only way I’ve ever found true satisfaction. It’s when I’m being selfish with what I’ve been given that I feel empty and drained.

Look at your life today in light of His sacrifice. Christmas is the perfect time to start. It’s the beginning of everything. It’s the beginning of his 33-year sacrifice that led to His death on a cross for you, for me, for our world to know God. Will you spend some time today and for the next nine days leading up to Christmas, thinking about how you can live your life differently in light of His sacrifice? If you need some motivation, just look up Sgt. Rafael Peralta, Spec. Ross McGinnis, 1st Lieutenant John Fox, and PFC John Reese to name a few. Or by all means just read the book of John in the Bible.

And don’t forget to take time to read The Christmas Story out of Luke during these next nine days. Let it sink in as you think about this day being only the beginning of a 33 year sacrifice of love just for you.

Salute!

What a wild ride we’ve had this year at SaveOne. God has taken us to places we could have never dreamed, has asked us to do things that were drastic “firsts” for this ministry, and has had us on stages and behind pulpits only He could have orchestrated. God is good, all the time.

He has opened doors and shown us favor beyond belief. I think these things happen because we’ve never forgotten whose ministry this is…God’s. No one on our staff is trying to promote him or herself, asking for credit, or pushing their agenda. They are simply incredibly courageous people who are willing to lay down their reputations and their fear of what people think, to see others healed. We know with every person set free through His truth is another person becoming a voice to set others free.

Bondage is ugly folks−very, very ugly. But when the Son sets people free, they are free indeed from the ugly bondage abortion brings. They are brought into the light and God begins a new work. I’m always awed at the men and women who step out of the darkness and into the light. It’s easy to stay in the darkness. People arrive at a place where they manage the pain abortion brings. They live with this pain, thinking that it is the finish line, the best place they can be under the circumstances. To step into the light means you have to leave your place of comfort for the unknown. Unanswered questions loom over them until they have exposed this very deep part of themselves. That’s why I’m amazed with these men and women. It takes great courage to seek the unfamiliar.

So with that, I dedicate this post to the brave men and women who have finished the SaveOne study this year. I know there are thousands of you around the world, and we salute you. It is for your healing we exist. God placed all the pieces of the puzzle together to make SaveOne here simply for you! We desire to share the good news of Jesus Christ and His forgiveness and healing. It is because of you, others become courageous enough to step out and find the same healing. All because you took that first step, we are seeing more and more people and unborn children saved from death and despair.

Thank you. From deep within our hearts we say thank you for trusting us, for believing in us; thank you for encouraging your friends to complete the next class that’s offered at your church or pregnancy center; thank you for applying what I’ve written in books, for your victory letters you send to us, and for turning around and starting chapters of SaveOne. Most of all, thank you for knowing Jesus is all you need to apply to the gaping wound abortion leaves. He needs no supplement, He needs no help. Jesus is it folks, everything else is a Band-Aid.

GOOD NEWS

I would like to take a few minutes to tell you about our two newest staff members. Sonja Horswell is our SaveOne Europe Director. She has had great success in starting chapters of SaveOne and promoting abortion recovery in various parts of the continent. She has been with us for several years, but has just recently started watching over all our European chapters. She successfully collaborated with Mila Todorovich from the Pro-Baby Centre in Belgrade, Serbia to hold the first ever SaveOne international conference. Nine countries were represented, as well as men and women from all walks of life. It was a fantastic experience being with Sonja, Mila, and their teams. God is doing something amazing in Europe and I love being a part of it.

I would also like to tell you about Rachel Joseph. Rachel and I have been friends for more than a decade. She has watched silently as I started SaveOne, traveled, and got busier with its growth. It was just in the last year she came forward and confessed her abortion to me. I was blown away. Her admission made me remember that people are watching and waiting for the right time, or the right amount of courage, or just for God to push them. Don’t be discouraged when people don’t come forward immediately. They are all around us every day and sometimes they are the people you least likely expect. After finishing SaveOne, she wanted to be more involved in the organization. We talked, she and her husband prayed, and in the mean time they moved their family to South Carolina. She has joined us now as a chapter coordinator and is a welcome addition to the team.

You can read Sonja and Rachel’s stories at www.saveone.org. You can also contact them with any questions or to say welcome. I know they would love to hear from you. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have them on my team because these are two quality ladies who love the Lord, and hate what abortion does to men, women, and families. They have said, “Yes we will sacrifice our time, our money, our effort to do what we can in this fight.” Thank you Sonja and Rachel!

NEW CHAPTERS ADDED TO THE TEAM

  • Austin, TX
  • Austin, TX (yes two new chapters in Austin!)
  • Red Oak, IA

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 Christmas 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 Christmas presents
  • Follow us on Twitter @saveone1
  • 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

Please know that anything you can do to help is appreciated. One of the things that is great about SaveOne is that no one, not even myself, takes a salary. We put 100% of donations back into the ministry. Our office space is donated and we have no debt, either. Did I say God is good? He truly is, to give us all these wonderful blessings. So please pick one or all of these items listed and help us out this month, and how about all next year, too? We would be forever grateful, and so would the men and women who we will be able to reach because of your help.

I hope you have the most Jesus-filled, miraculous Christmas. We love you and appreciate you and will be saying prayers for all of you during the month of December as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.