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Thursday, May 31, 2007


I spoke with a woman today who looked much like Whoopi Goldberg. I really almost felt like asking for her autograph.

(insert imaginary photo here)
(If you don't know what Whoopi looks like, go to: )

The heart of man is wicked and deceiptful, who can know it. If I went with my gut, I would seldom --no, never-- serve God. If I did that which I now call serving, it would be because it somehow satisfies me. Today was all about that.

I felt whoosie. I did not feel like being at Planned Parenthood. I felt afraid and sickly. Glen let me hold a sign with him for a while, and then he told me to go do what I am called to do.

So I put the sign under the back wiper on the van, and went to the alley to read scripture and sing. As I read, a woman with a cane and dreadlocks came toward me. I greeted her and continued to read. She said something like amen, and then, when she was nearly past me, she said almost under her breath, "But I still believe in freedom of choice."

I turned around to face her and said that some choices are simply wrong. She came back to me. (She came back to me!) She had a cane with a brace attaching it to her arm, but she carried the cane now instead of leaning on it. She said that people make mistakes, and that although she was lucky enough to be adopted by a wonderful man; a wonderful family, not everyone is that lucky.

She would not listen to the fact that there are people who would love to care for mother and child. She responded that "He gave us free choice" when I said that the little one ought not have to die for the "mistakes" of others. (Drats, I missed the opportunity for the Gospel!)

This is a conversation that would have been missed had I listened to my lying heart. While I was there, I read this:

 1 I said, "I will watch my ways
       and keep my tongue from sin;
       I will put a muzzle on my mouth
       as long as the wicked are in my presence."

 2 But when I was silent and still,
       not even saying anything good,
       my anguish increased.

 3 My heart grew hot within me,
       and as I meditated, the fire burned;
       then I spoke with my tongue:

 4 "Show me, O LORD, my life's end
       and the number of my days;
       let me know how fleeting is my life.

 5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
       the span of my years is as nothing before you.
       Each man's life is but a breath.

 6 Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
       He bustles about, but only in vain;
       he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.

 7 "But now, Lord, what do I look for?
       My hope is in you.

 8 Save me from all my transgressions;
       do not make me the scorn of fools.

 9 I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
       for you are the one who has done this.

 10 Remove your scourge from me;
       I am overcome by the blow of your hand.

 11 You rebuke and discipline men for their sin;
       you consume their wealth like a moth—
       each man is but a breath.

 12 "Hear my prayer, O LORD,
       listen to my cry for help;
       be not deaf to my weeping.
       For I dwell with you as an alien,
       a stranger, as all my fathers were.

 13 Look away from me, that I may rejoice again
       before I depart and am no more."

Psalm 39

Thank you, Father, for not dealing with me as I deserve. Thank you for calling me, and for making me stand firm on the Solid Rock of your salvation. AMEN!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thinking on my feet

I am really bad at thinking on my feet, but I am not allowed that excuse anymore.

Instead, as a servant of Jesus Christ, I must be ready to give an answer for the faith that lives in me.

Today, at Planned Parenthood, the importance of getting beyond myself and living in Christ was brought to light for me.

A woman and a man pulled up and parked. As they got out of their car, I greeted them and asked the woman if she was there for an appointment. She looked as if she didn't understand the question, and I repeated it, and to clarify, asked if she thought she might be pregnant. She said something and I asked if I could give her some information about unborn children that I didn't think they would give her in there. She said she has two children and knows all about them, and that it was none of my business. I backed down.

(In this process, the couple was diverted from the easy entrance to the facility to the front entrance.) They finished their smokes and went in.

When they came out, as they passed me (again, going oit of their way to pass near me), she said that I need to go home and mind my own business. She had a package of "Plan B" pills. I told her (they were nearly to their car by now) that I was just here, speaking for those who couldn't speak for themselves; they're too little. *She came back accross the parking lot to tell me that if I knew how difficult this was for people (the pregnancy itself) I would go home and stop making people feel guilty for making a difficult decision like this. She said that I need to get a f---ing life.

All I could think of was, "I hope you do too." I didn't say it though, because I knew that it sounded beligerant, and not the way I meant it, that she would find life.

*Here is the change as I see it. This is where the discussion went from abstract to personal. Here is where she exposed her tender underbelly. This is where she showed me her pain. This is a woman at the well.

I didn't see this until I was on my way back to work. Have I become that calloused? In retrospect, I could see that when I mentioned the little ones, she became defensive. That is when she walked away from the protective shell of her car to come back to me. This is where she went out of her way to come face to face and eye to eye to defend herself to a complete stranger whom she will likely never see again.

Jesus would have seen this. Jesus would have taken this discussion right to the issue.

You cannot plan each conversation that you have. This is not a play with a script and a score. This is life and God brings people near and we have something to say.

God, put a guard at our lips and give us these words of life to share with those whom you bring near, and make us faithful to speak them. Give us eyes that can see the pain of others, and their real need. Give us love for You that is all comsuming, and compassion for those who are wandering.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Don't Sweep it Under the Rug

Things to expose:

Those pictures they use at Planned Parenthood are horrible!

Yes, they are!
And it makes you angry.
It makes me angry too, that that happens 10 to 20 times
every Thursday at 421 S. College Avenue in Bloomington!

The war in Iraq makes me mad!

Me too!
It makes me mad that I can't believe what people are saying!
It makes me mad that we are spending money on it
that doesn't acutally exist!
It makes me mad that we don't know that we will have a long-
lasting impact!
It makes me mad that so many are dying, and that so many more
die each day of abortion!

God is not wringing His hands. The hearts of kings and presidents are a river in the Hand of God. Men plan their steps, but God directs their paths.

Every Thursday women who do not acknowledge God arrive at Planned Parenthood because God opened their wombs. Why does God allow this? Is He a sadistic being? No. He is good and just and merciful. We can trust Him with the souls of the little ones that die at the hands of the Abortionist.

Why, then does He allow this? Does He allow it to stir His people to depend on Him; to stand firm in His truth and to be watchmen, warning men of coming judgement?

Does He allow it because, as He said in Romans that He has given them over to every sort of perversion?

His thoughts are higher than my thoughts, and His ways than my ways. I cannot claim to know, unless specifically revealed in Scripture, what His motives are in various world and local events.

I can tell you that women come each week to have abortions, and hear the gospel. There has been the same guard for quite some months, hearing Scripture every week. Escorts hear scripture every week. For these people, it may be the only exposure to God's word, and it is in the enemy camp.

Pray that God will end abortion!

Pray that until He does, His word will go forth in power, and that many will be saved!


17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold.
18 They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires."
19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

 20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
21 Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

 22 Be merciful to those who doubt;
23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—
hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

 24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—
25to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

By Appointment

I was listening to Alistair Begg this morning on my way to work. He told a story about when he was a young preacher and he was assigned to preach three messages to a group of missionaries. He decided to preach on II Peter, and cover one chapter per message. He was young and was speaking before missionaries. He felt intimidated and was bungling it; deferring to the group and saying things like, "What Peter was trying to say..."

An older gentleman was in the front row intently watching him. When it was over, he took Alistair aside, and told him that Peter wasn't trying to say anything, he did say it. Also, Allistair was not there by accident, he was there by appointment.

I can't tell you what a striking message this was to me. It brought me to tears of relief, joy, humility, shame, and sheer realization!

I am appointed to speak to my brother about Jesus.
I must trust the message and the appointment.

I am appointed to talk to my daughters about Jesus.
I must trust the message and the appointment.

I am appointed to talk to my co-workers about Jesus.
I must trust the message and the appointment.

I am appointed to talk to people at Planned Parenthood about Jesus.
I must trust the message and the appointment.

This means not skirting the issue, but tackling things head-on. Not hem-hawing about what God is trying to convey, only exposing my weakness as my own, and exposing God's power for what it is. It means that I can be compassionate with others, because God was compassionate with me. It means that I can empathize with others while fearing God, because God brought me through the same waters that they are wallowing in. It means being up-front with people...



standing only on the Rock...

depending only on true Wisdom...

Here I stand; God help me, I can not do otherwise.

Monday, May 21, 2007


I am really, really open to conversation here...

My brother, Tom and I were having a conversation. He brought something up, and said, "But I already know where you stand on that, so..."

I told him that I wasn't sure he knew where I stood, and I thought I knew where he stood, but that I would like to discuss it further.

I don't think that two people who know they disaggree about something have nothing to say to each other. I have had this shut down response from another person too, so I know that I must be doing something wrong.

If two people know they have identical views on something then they have nothing to say, but if they have different views, then they certainly have a discussion.

There is a man who is a professor at a university in Texas who is a Christian and hosts movie/discussion nights with an agnostic group. They begged him to host this even after their first event. They are aware that their views differ from his, and still they desire the discussion.

I must be doing something wrong. Help me out. This is important.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Why So Downcast, Oh My Soul?

How faithful is God! and how fickle is man!

Even as I know that I am powerless, that my arms are too short to save, I still trust in my plans. I still trust in the emissaries that I send out, and when they fall short, I lament. I think, "Oh, what will happen now! What can I do now!" Thank God that as I became discouraged, my desire, the pull of my heart was to God. "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" (Ps.42) When I went to my room and fell on my knees, I could reveal my discouragement to my Father, and amidst the unexpected tears, this Psalm came to mind:

Psalm 42:
5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and 6 my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"

10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

11 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

And so, I again entrust my soul to God. I again realize that I must in obedience witness to His truth, His holiness, and His judgement and great mercy; while realizing that the result is in His mighty hand. I again realize that God does not punch my timeclock, or strive to reach my quota. I am His handmaiden, His watchman. I am His slave, not He mine.

The hearts of men, women and children are in His hand, not mine. These hearts are out of my reach, and yet, God puts them in my path and commands me to touch them. They are a field I walk among, and, not revealing what lies beneath, He commands me to sow the seed, and sometimes, to walk away. Did the seed grow? Did it rot and fertilize the weeds? Did anything happen at all? I must sow in obedience, knowing that sometimes, I will never, in this flesh, know. God knows that this obedience is for the seasoning of His servant, and He may also use this work to produce His fruit.

His ways are much higher than mine, but His word will not go forth without accomplishing that which He desires.

Sow the seed, servant, because your Master commands it.

Psalm 73
21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,

22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.

24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.

28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

And the Band Plays On...

Today, I had an at the well conversation with my boss.

It stemmed from the terrible situation in which my brother was involved.

I said that I pray that through this, my brother will turn to Christ. (I know that my boss attends his wife's Episcopal church, but found out today that the governing lay people of the church are so flighty that they stopped attending until the dust settled)

He told me about his bishop, who comes around only once a year or two. She preached one of the most memorable sermons to him. She told about a couple whose son was involved in drugs. They were heartbroken and beside themselves with worry and care. She counseled them to hope and pray that the son would get peace with "his god" whoever that is.

I shuddered.

I said that there is no peace except through the one true God, right?

He said that if I picture my god, and he pictures his god, they might not look the same, that's what he is talking about. Then he took a cell phone call.

When he was done, I told him that while he was waiting for the dust to settle, he could visit us at the Church of the Good Shepherd. His wife, though is devoted to that church (denomination and building) but that he really is discouraged about certain things they are doing.

I told him that the Bible should be their base, and if they decided to go their own way on certain issues (we have previously had a discussion about men and women) then they are free to do what they want on any issue. They just need to move the line.

End of conversation.

Answer to prayer or springboard into more prayer? Both.

God has used Ben's situation to bring me to this conversation with this self-made man, and to bring me to my knees, knowing that it is God who holds this man's heart in His hands.

God, make me faithful in prayer, in word, and in deed. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise

On Wednesday, May 9, my brother got shot. He was badly shot up, and the woman in the pick up truck with him was killed.

 Isaiah 45:7
I form the light and create darkness,
       I bring prosperity and create disaster;
       I, the LORD, do all these things.

God has amazing shown mercy according to His good pleasure. My brother has been healing and his prognosis is better than we have reason to hope. A long healing is in store though, thank God.

 Isaiah 45:5
I am the LORD, and there is no other;
       apart from me there is no God.
       I will strengthen you,
       though you have not acknowledged me,

I hope that God will use this calamity to reveal Himself, His power, His glory, His mercy and truth to my brother and my whole family. I hope that this will bring revival to the church that my parents attend. I hope that this will be used by God to accomplish His good and perfect will (tremble) AMEN!

 5 I am the LORD, and there is no other;
       apart from me there is no God.
       I will strengthen you,
       though you have not acknowledged me,

 6 so that from the rising of the sun
       to the place of its setting
       men may know there is none besides me.
       I am the LORD, and there is no other.

 7 I form the light and create darkness,
       I bring prosperity and create disaster;
       I, the LORD, do all these things.

It Hadda Happen

They resurfaced the parking lot at Planned Parenthood.

I think they must have done it this very morning! When I went there, Tim Ellis and three other guys were standing on the sidewalk, talking. They looked like a bunch of Catholics.

I pulled up and watched them. Tim's gestures made me think that they were talking about those annoying protesters. I thought it would be funny if I walked up, abundantly reciting Psalm 68.

I struggled with getting out, and almost decided to get out (I had a handful of words planned). One guy left, so that kind of set me off balance, so I called Glen. I was talking to him when they all split up and left.

Then I got out and inspected the work... It is a new sealcoat, I think, not actually resurfacing. The lines have not been painted on, and the parking (what do you call those large bars of cement which serve as car stoppers at the interior end of a parking space) bars are gone for the time being.

It will be interesting to see the work if it is finished on Thursday.