Tag Archives: love

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…

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!

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.

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.)

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!

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