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Thursday, July 26, 2007

For the Love of God!

Why do I write about these things? Just so I don't forget:

Today was a very interactive day at Planned Parenthood. Intense conversations.

A couple of women left Planned Parenthood and headed down the alley toward Walnut on foot. I greeted them and asked if I could give them some information. I was too far away to casually intersect their path, so they would either have to stop, or I would have to run if there was to be eye to eye. One continued on. One stopped. She took my paper, looked at it, folded it up and put it in her pocket while asking me if I had ever adopted a baby. I haven't, but...she scoffed. There you go..we have free choice. I asked her if she thought that wasn't a baby. She said that she knew it was a baby. I asked her if she thought then, that the woman's perogative superceeded the helpless one's right to live. She said that we have free choice, and I have never adopted a baby.

Later, when they returned and were talking to the guard and escort, I called to her that there are no unwanted children. (there are truely people who want these children) She came right over to me (all the time telling me that I am casting judgement on these people and don't know their struggles) and stood and talked to me about poverty, down-trodden women and babies who have nothing. She said that she and her mother were there, in poverty, have I ever been? I told her that I am ready to help, and others like me. I asked her if she knew of any who need help now? She said no. I offered her my phone number so she could call me when she found one who needed help. As she walked away, she said that she will be too busy helping them herself.

I told her that is why I am here. .. to help those who are helpless, and dying. (This is where I went and cried in my husband's arms while he prayed for me. God gives strength.)

A man and woman arrived and got out of their car. As I approached, he raised his hand and said that they were not here to kill a baby today. (peace, peace) When they came back out, I asked if they were there for an appointment, or just to check out the place (this cut off the joke about liking babies fried). I gave the man a flyer as we talked, and the woman said that it was really none of my business and that I will leave her alone. She looked sad, and as she waited for her man to unlock her door from the inside, I noticed her brown paper bag and paperwork. I probably gave them the wrong flyer. They needed information about the morning after pill.

Right after I told the guard and escort that I hoped that God would grant them a guilty conscience, to hear the cries of their helpless victems, repentance and faith, I gave an escort a flyer. I told her I hadn't seen her there for a while and offered to buy her a cup of coffee (I've been listening to John Piper sermons on the do you love a woman at the well?). I offered her my phone number. She refused, saying that she would just see me here (Lord willing).

Another woman with van with a Florida license plate took my flyer, told me she would read it, and that she would leave it with them (Planned Parenthood). She was older (although probably younger than me) and she was with a youngish looking man; nineteen or twenty. I did not see the woman she presumably brought for an abortion (she made a noncommitally affirmative gesture when I asked if that was what she was there for).

Another couple came out, ignoring me, and started to leave with their windows rolled tightly up. I held out a flyer in a lame attempt to communicate with them, knowing that they would just drive by. They stopped, though, rolled down their windows, and took my flyer.

Why do I write about these things? I wonder if I write them because I think I'm cool, fast on my feet, or clever. I wonder if I write them to get some sort of positive feedback from my friends. Sometimes I am a most rediculous woman.

As I am writing, I see what I did, and re-hear what I said, and it makes me sick to my stomach. What a poor excuse for a watchman. What a rediculous woman!

What a Glorious God!
Why did the one woman stop and the other go on?
Why is it that she now has our flyer in her pocket?
Why did that woman from Florida go out of her way to take my flyer, make eye contact with me and exchange words?
Why did she threaten to give it to the people in Planned Parenthood, and probably carry through with that?
Why, then, did J Lewis, the manager, come out? He seldom comes out, and only when he feels like things are intense, I think.
Why on earth would that couple, safely encased in their car, stop, hold up the car behind them, open their window, and take my flyer?

 1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD;
       he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

 2 All a man's ways seem right to him,
       but the LORD weighs the heart.

 3 To do what is right and just
       is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

 4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
       the lamp of the wicked, are sin! (Proverbs 21)

 9 In his heart a man plans his course,
       but the LORD determines his steps. (Proverbs 16)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Birth Control

Marriage, Singleness, and Birth control: Hot Topics.

I read today something that I hope to always remember. Pyromaniacs started a series entitled "Hello Out There." In it, the author intends to speak culturally to cultural people about important things, leaving behind the shibboleths of Christianity. I think this is a good idea. I think that I myself have nothing to say to the world, my neighbors, others. God does, though, and I keep hearing people say that you have to give it to them in their own language. You have to be relevant. So, I'm glad the Pyros have started this. I am looking forward to learning how to be as wise as serpants, and as gentle as doves.

In the first installment, on truth, the author says:

The Christian agrees with his non-Christian neighbors on one point: no mere mortal has the authority to create and impose truth on another. It is the Christian position that we are all finite: "we are but of yesterday and know nothing, for our days on earth are a shadow" (Job 8:9). Even the smartest man is limited in his grasp of the facts. Further, none of us has the infinite perspective necessary to assign the right meaning to those facts we do possess. We are bound into our own context, and lack a transcendent vantage point.

I think it is also important to remember to keep the content scriptural. How do you find that balance? I don't know, but I will try. I'm not sure that it is a balance so much because, how can you possibly balance anything with Scripture. When men try, Scripture gets diluted. On the other hand, I get in trouble, and err, when I think I am God's interpreter, His lawyer, His partner, His beautician, His public relations coordinator.

Church of the Good Shepherd had a very compelling sermon called Fruit of the Spirit (2/26/06). The springboard for this sermon was Galatians 5:22-26. While the sermon was excellent, I question the premise (although, God may use children to grow the fruit of the spirit in His children). If I were discussing godly seed, the blessing of children, or full quivers, I would not use Galatians 5 to back me up.

Pastor Bayly, however, used an unexpected springboard for this sermon, quite possibly for the very purpose of calling us from our selfishness, greed, fear and pride. I will also approach this discussion from probably an unexpected direction to shine God's light, I hope, on other ways that we may fail, calling God's discipline on us.

HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER This may seem a little backward, but bear with me for a moment, and I'll see if I can't get to a point.

I grew up in a family of ten children. As a child, my plan was also to have as many children. When my eldest brother stopped having children after two, I promised my Mom that I would have 18. My parents were jars of clay. They did their best, and that was a mighty fine job.

When I was thirteen, my Mom was expecting her eleventh child. My oldest brother, who was thirteen when I was born, had a son. The pregnancy was, I'm sure, not an easy one for my forty-six year old mother, but she bore this burden joyfully, even while defending the child's very existance. She sewed diapers, burp cloths, nighties and quilts. She was glowing.

My little red-headed sister, Dinah Ruth, did not live more than thirteen hours out of the womb. She was born too early, and her lungs were not ready. Her death was a greater burden to my mother than her life had been. Her smile and joy were packed away with the unused nighties and the unsoiled diapers.

The next few years were very dark, and to my shame, I was not a help to my mother in her pain, or a comfort in her time of sorrow. Instead I distanced myself from her need. The odd thing is that distance tends to create callouses, where as closeness creates softness in hearts. Here is where I began to despise my mother.

For many years, I continued in this sin, and God did not strike me down. I began to see all of my mother's faults, and to disagree with her lifestyle. I remember telling people as an adult that I thought my mother should have stopped having children after four, because the world would have been a sadder place without my oldest sister. So I despised the goodness of God, and loved the things of the world.

As an adult the concept of birth control was not even an issue. Yes, you control births. Relationships, education, career, and self esteem were my highest goals. My first marriage was to a barren man, and I cried myself to sleep at the thought of never having children, but I did not still recognize my sin, or repent of it.

After that one failed, I married a man (Glen) who had two children already, and he longed to have children with a wife (me) together. So we "decided" to have children, and did have two of them. (Praise be to God for His inexpressible mercy to us, opening my undeserving and rebelious womb, and granting us children to teach us our sin.) Then the decision was made for me not to have any more.

Is this command to honor your father and mother tied up in the blessings of God? I think so. God has used His birth control, to discipline me, and convict me of this sin, and teach me His way.

I have worn myself out with this first point, and cannot complete the next two points, but leave them here to feed our thoughts. I am happy to engage in this discussion personally or by blog or email.


Serve the Lord now. I see and experience so much discontentment with where we are, always hoping for the next blessing. I want to be married. I want to have children. I want to have more room for hospitality. I want to serve the Lord in Africa. I want to do this, I want to have that.

We need to be looking daily, and asking daily for the tasks and relationships that God has for us today, while it is today. We need to be faithful in the small things.


Would you receive "good" only from the Father's hand and not evil too?