Come, Read the Bible with Me!

Showing posts with label Culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Culture. Show all posts

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Middle-aged White Guys


Once a month, we try to get to the IU campus to talk to people about abortion, protecting unborn children, life, death, sin, salvation, etc.

In March, because of the whole discussion about being mindful of purpose, I was a little short with some people. I was disappointed in myself, frankly.

I am trying to figure things out, all the time. One of the hardest for me, is relational. How to talk to people. Small-talk for me deteriorates into empty jokes, or worse it becomes not worthwhile, and just evaporates along with whatever relationship and future opportunity for meaningful conversations that might have been.

Conversations about meaningful things turn into lectures, with me doing the lecturing, which has a tendancy to boil away most relationships and future opportunities for meaningful conversations that might have been.

God is good, though, and through my faltering attempts to keep my conversations that meaningful, He let me meet a young woman who is going into the army soon. I wish I could see her again. I will definitely keep her in my prayers. I hope to see her again, soon.

Two quotes of the day for this month:


1. "Yah, but if it is illegal, only criminals will get abortions!" This is true, and what an interesting way to put it! It just calls to mind for me some lyrics. I think they (didn't) go something like this:
Imagine no injustice
It's not so hard to do:
Someone kills a child,
They get arrested too.
Imagine all the babies
Being born in peace!

You-woo-who-o-o You may say I'm a dreamer
But I love the Only One
Who can save you from all these lies!
The Truth of Christ can set you free!

Imagine all the people
Born and unborn
The strong protecting the weak
A brother-hood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world.

You-woo-who-o-o You may say I'm a dreamer
But I offer hope to you.
Turn to Jesus now
Our Lord is quick to save!

Imagine all the women
Treated with respect
With her husband there with her
Not giving in to fear
Imagine all the people
Supported through tough times

You-woo-who-o-o You may say I'm a dreamer
But that how it should be
Those in need aren't enmies
But they are blessing indeed!


2. (A car full of young angry women) "I just love to see middle-aged white guys holding those signs! @P#^&@!"
(to the left you will see our middle-aged white guys holding signs...ya gotta lov'm)

Scott, the young white man with the sign, showing abortion statistics, wrote about this encounter at his blog. (In a more recent post, he defended scripture against attacks...very level-headed; highly recommended for it's quiet calm.)

While we were out, someone who claimed to be from the IDS came along and asked if he could ask us questions. (I finally figured out who he reminded me of. You can see in the pic to the right.) I thought that was fine, until he lead me away to a table and chair down the sidewalk. I think this is one of those distractions, those things that take us away from why we are there. I learned from this to remain where sent, and he is more than welcome to talk to me just like anyone else there. (I haven't found the alleged article in the IDS)

Afterward, we had everyone involved, except that young white man holding a sign, and the character from the IDS, over for food and fellowship. Both were invited. It was a good, good time.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Open Mind: Is it a door we should walk through?


I am going to think this through. Feel free to voice your thoughts, because I haven't got it all figured out. Let's think biblically.

For some time, the CGS Pro-life group has been going on campus (actually, just across the street from on-campus, where free speech by non-student entities is still allowed) with a pro-life outreach. Some people hold signs, some hand out brochures or flyers, and some are able to engage people in conversations regarding dangers to and protection of the unborn, the characteristics and needs and rights of the unborn, etc.

This is an area of outreach that Glen and I at first avoided. Various "reasons" held us back. We are old; they are young. They won't listen to us. That is for the younger people. They are sophisticated and swimming in wisdom, and we are ordinary and have fumbling tongues. Eventually, all these things got shook out, and we are convinced that this is where we need to be from time to time.

The very things that previously held us back, now spur us on. We are old, and must share our wisdom and experience with the young. They won't listen to us, unless we have something to say. Very often, it is one's contemporaries that are the hardest to talk to, or to listen to, even though everyone struts about stating the opposite, together. Most importantly, the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God (I Corinthians 1).

Jeremiah 8:9
The wise will be put to shame;
they will be dismayed and trapped.
Since they have rejected the word of the LORD,
what kind of wisdom do they have?

On February 16, we went on campus, and Glen and I were not alone, but we had the Clint&Ginger family, and Carole, who introduced me to the idea of standing in defense of the unborn.

It's good to have others involved. Among many reasons is because through them I am able to see more clearly. I can see that what I had previously thought was great might be some distraction; but I am not sure, and this is what I am trying to think out here...
A man named Stephen came along, and when I first approached him, he refused my brochure. I asked more direct questions, attempting to engage him in conversation. He said that he undertands my point of view, but also understands the pro-choice view. I encouraged him to speak openly to me and to read my brochure, since a child is a person from conception, and ought to deserve, and certainly needs our protection.

He took the brochure and saw the panel that tells about sin and judgement and mercy. "Ah," he said, "you see, I have a problem with organized religion." ...and away we went. This man had read so many things, and accepted so many conflicting ideas as possibilities, that he frankly was at a loss for words at times to express the profoundly inexpressible. The only thing that he seemed opposed to considering was the God of the Bible, especially as revealed as a masculine entity. At this point, a friend of his inturrupted our encounter, and I slipped away. I was surprised that he reapproached me after his friend moved on.

He again asserted that he was too open minded to go for the old god-bible-religion thing. Since his basis for truth seemed so nebulous and broad-based, I told him that we really need to have a solid foundation of truth on which to bounce all these ideas, whether foolish or wise, off of to determine which to keep and which to discard. He talked, starry-eyed, about love for everyone as a basis of truth. I told him that he is right about that. The Bible tells us that true religion is caring for the orphan and widow, and loving our enemy and our neighbor as ourselves. So I told him that I, for instance would be in sin to leave this encounter if I didn't love him enough to tell him that he was dying in his sin, and that he would die and go to hell unless he submitted to God's Word in repentance, and embraced His Son in humility (I can't remember how I said it, certainly not so eloquently). He was visibly taken aback by this. I was certain he would walk away, but he continued.

He regained his composure, and said that even Jesus said that people would do things even greater than the things that he did, so he was admitting that he wasn't "all that." Praise be to God, who by His Holy Spirit is able to give us all that we need to do His good will, I was able to tell this man that Jesus said:
John 14:11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Eventually, I encouraged him to call or email me to continue the conversation, and we parted with a handshake and a friendly smile. I walked away, and moments later looked to where I had left him, and he was still there, looking at the brochure, and he waved at me again.

Another thing that happened that made me think, was that we saw a the woman that I have mentioned before, who is pregnant and will be keeping her baby. I had been unable to reach her for such a long time, and I was overcome with joy to see her. I spent quite a few minutes talking to her, both me and Ginger.

I am just not sure if I let myself get tied up with these people, or if they were valuable conversations. Can I be brief and caring? Do I cling to people because they will talk to me? Do I want nothing more than to win an arguement, for the sake of winning? How can I tell if this is a conversation that God wants me to engage in or a distraction sent by satan to prevent someone else from hearing a word from God's servant?

Talk to me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Open-Minded Guy

Just a warning:

I was going to look for a picture to illustrate my upcoming post on our Campus Outreach for Life and Christ last night, so I googled, "Open-minded guy." Don't do it. You will find a bunch of people so comsumed by "the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another" that they "become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity." (From Romans 1:24-29)

Who knew that "open-minded" now means bi- or homosexual?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Inter-Active

Last Thursday was a highly interactive day at Planned Parenthood in Bloomington. God was busy, pruning those He loves.

Pray:
On the previous Thursday, Ginger spent a great deal of time and words and care on a couple who seemed to be there for an abortion. The woman called her mother, who prayed on the phone with her. Ginger gave her her phone number, which she took. She said that if she didn't do this, she would need a ride, because he would leave her there. Finally, they came out. It seemed that they had changed their mind, although they did not stop to tell Ginger that they had as they left together. This Thursday they cae back. Their resolve was locked, and their coutenence unshakable. They killed their baby.

From time to time during the week, I thought of them, and prayed. I prayed little prayers like sticky notes left on the bathroom mirror or refrigerater door for God to see when He happened across them. This was not a pleading for the life of a child, or the soul of a friend. There was no pounding on His door in the middle of the night.

Be No Respecter of Persons:
A couple showed up in a car that was held together by bungy cords. The guy had a huge knitted hat that was filled with his dreadlocks. The girl was bouncy and giddy, and there was an awkward silence about the length of a stick of butter before anyone said anything to them. Most people have words before they shut their car door.


On the other hand:
A large white bearded man drove up in a white hot rod with two young black women. He parked and the two girls went in together. After a while, I noticed that his car window was wide open, so I stood behind his car on the adjacent property and talked to him. I frankly told him what this looked like, what they were doing at Planned Parenthood that day. I offered him information, phone numbers, and help. I offered to talk to him about what was going on.
Once, he turned around in his seat to look at me, but otherwise, he remained unmoved.
Then, the younger of the two women came out. I asked her if she was here for an appointment. She said she was not here for an abortion. I told her that that is what they were doing there that day. She said she knew that, and that she just couldn't wait for her sister any longer, because she did not believe in abortion. She said she was a Christian.

Suddenly that large man, who drove her there, and sat in the car while the women take care of their business, got out of his car and finds his tongue, behind the skirts of this young black woman. He's suddenly telling me that he didn't appreciate me standing there trying to lay a guilt trip on him. They were not ther for an abortion but to "prevent pregnancy" and if I wanted to talk about the Bible, he would be happy to engage in that because he is a deacon in a church. (About that time, my deacon - and hero Glen - can be seen heading over in our direction and this fellow ducks back into his car and tells the girl to get in as well.

I don't know all that he said, because I was giving the girl a brochure, and telling her that I would like to talk to her, if she needs to talk, and her sister too. She did take the brochure, and when the man told her to get in the car, she did.


A deacon? Well, shet ma mouth! I should be coming to him for guidance. I waved at the girl in the back seat when they left. She smiled and waved back.

Right is wrong; good is bad; those who shun evil have become prey:
A red car arrived, parked near us, and a woman, and two men fot out. The woman flipped her finger over her shoulder, as one of the men escorted her quickly to the door.

One of the men hung back. He seemed to get all caught up in what people were saying to him. When he said that the baby is not a baby yet, I showed him my brochure and told him about what's going on with his baby right now. He tore it in half and threw it on the ground. Then he went to the guard and asked if it was illegal for us to do this.

That just is so ironic, and may come to be: That it will be legal to kill a child, and illegal to speak against it.

Clint, Ginger, everyone spent a great deal of time with this man. He was a puzzle for me. Sometimes I thought he must be pulling our chains. Sometimes, I thought he was just a simple man who believed that if it was a child, it would be illegale to kill it, therefore, it must not be a child.


I don't know how this last on turned out.

Pray:

For the couple who killed there child, and for the woman's mother, that she will be a convicting and restoring agent in her life. May they come to Christ.

For the two men and a woman in the red car. God, help them. Holy Spirit, take my prayers to the Father, and make them righteous.

For the deacon and the two black women. For this deacon's church.

God, teach us to pray. Teach us to love. Teach us Your way, and lead us in the path everlasting! In Christ name I pray, Amen

Monday, November 17, 2008

Polycarp on the N Train

Once again, from long ago on the Bayly Blog, my favorite story:

Christmas, 1988, N Train

A young woman we know writes: It was the gilt-edged pages that gave him away. Most people who read the Bible on the subway have a small pocket edition and keep it to themselves. This young man looked as if he had come away with the family King James. Otherwise, he was ordinary-looking; gray jacket, plaid scarf, blue jeans, white sneakers, bristly brown hair; a gold wedding band. He waited until the N train had pulled out of the Queensboro Plaza station and was under the East River, and then he read aloud, "In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus…" A groan went out from my fellow-passengers.

Talk about a captive audience. The train was too crowded for people to switch cars. And New Yorkers will put up with all sorts of things rather than give up their seats on the subway. I couldn’t help thinking that the young man was lucky there were no maniacs aboard and no piles of stones at hand. But no matter how you feel about being force-fed the gospel under the East River it holds up better than the Times or the Post or the subway ads for Dr. Zizmor, dermatologist. Anyway, no one moved. No one said, "Oh, shut up." No one wanted to be identified as an irreligious loner at Christmastime.

I found myself criticizing the young man’s intonation. He had a good strong voice, but the words rocked up and back unvaryingly: "…to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child." When he was done, and the shepherds had rejoiced, he changed--thank goodness--his rhythm. He started singing "Joy to the World." He sang two full verses of it, again in a good, strong voice. But no one joined in. I was tempted, partly because I felt sorry for him--singing in the face of so much hostility--and also because I’m a sucker for actual human voices raised in song, as opposed to canned carols such as one hears in Doubleday (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum) and in Barnes & Noble (gloh-o-o-o-o-oh-o-o-o-o-oh-o-o-o-o-oh-ria). But I was sitting next to a man rigid with pain and fury at having his subway meditations interrupted, and I felt sorry for him, too. Especially when the young man finished singing and began to preach, reminding us that we were all God’s creatures on the N train and that for each of us He had a plan. God’s creature next to me was probably thinking that he didn’t take the subway to fall in with God’s plan--he took the subway to get to Fifty-ninth and Lexington.

(“The Talk of the Town” in The New Yorker, Dec. 26, 1988.)



So go out and light yourself on fire! What have you got to lose?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Barak Obama Promises to Sign FOCA Sound Bite

Sorry, for some reason, I could not get that video to load. Click on Barak Obama Promises to sign FOCA for the sound bite version. The video below is something like 24 minutes. This one is less than two.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Ha en god reise, Glen!

Thursday evening my husband and I went to the corner of Kirkwood avenue and Indiana to reach out to the IU campus community on behalf of the unborn, as servents of Christ.


I always start out with simply offering a brochure and asking if I can give them some information. I have decided, though, that being vague is a huge waste of time, if I can be ignored, then conversations will not happen.

I almost right away started asking for responses from people about the issue of abortion or human beings at their most helpless stage of development, and so on. Few people were able to pass that corner without either despising me further, or thinking about the issue at some level.

Most people on that corner are common. Same same same. Glen began to think that it may have been unwise of us to send our daughters off to college, just so they could begin to think they know everything, like the people we met there.




Three things happened that night to impress themselves on my heart:

  1. A swarm of conference attendees hit us in two waves. Of probably 50 or so people, not a single one took a pamphlet, and few even took the trouble to acknowledge my presense. They were so full of the knowledge that they had packed in that day, that they could not entertain even a smidgeon more.
  2. A young man refused my brochure, saying something about being pro-choice. He was
    half way across the street when I said that on that basis we have something to talk about, and I started telling him about unborn children and so on. Instead of going obliviously along his way, he stood on the other side of the street and listened to me. He thought about what I said, and responded or pondered, depending on what the point was. He was in the middle of a ponderence when I came across the street and engaged him in an extended conversation about the issue.


  3. When I finished, I came back to find Glen in a conversation with two guys (what do you call those guys who wear mostly black, are covered with tatoos, and have metal studs in various parts of their faces?) He finished talking to them and invited them to church. I hope they come.

I love God. I love Glen. I was glad they were both there with me. I hope that we see some of those people at church tomorrow.


One more thing: Glen is on his way to Norway! A lady from Norway was so delighted to see the Americans standing on the corner exercising their rights, that she took his picture and is going to show all her friends in Norway!


Ha en god reise, Glen!

She Touched my Heart

Thursday, a young woman parked in the back row of the parking lot at Planned Parenthood, and approached the entrance. She was alone, and it was past the time when most arrive for abortions. I asked her if she was here for an appointment, no. I asked her what she was there for. She shrugged her shoulders and threw up her hands, and said she just was looking for some information. I invited her to come talk to me, and she came. She seemed shocked when I told her that they were aborting children there.

"Isn't that creepy?" she asked me later.

Yah, it is.

Here's another thing that, although I would not call it creepy, it is definitely out of the ordinary: You, young lady, are standing in the middle of a parking lot in Bloomington, talking to an older woman, who is holding a Bible open, about some of the most personal things in your life; things you haven't told any one else. This, was truly an honor. Thank you.

I think she was uninformed, and simply hadn’t thought this through. If this is the case, she was in a very vulnerable position. She was looking for information, and she knew, like we know to breath when our bodies need oxygen, that Planned Parenthood had the information she needed. As it turned out, she thinks she might be pregnant, and everything else, it seems is unstable.


Thank God! Thank Him for bringing her to me to talk to her. Thank Him! for the times I have spoken His words to people who wouldn't listen so that I would be ready for this appointment! Thank Him! for the turmoil in her life that may be used by God for her salvation! Thank Him! for CPC, and pray for them in their work.


I gave her phone numbers (mine, CPC’s, and CGS’s) and directions to CPC. Please pray for her, and her boyfriend. Pray that she will come to church, and that God's people will love her, and her baby. Pray for her parents also.


God is gracious and good, and very powerful! He is able to do more than we could ask or imagine!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Thursday's Obedience

For some time, I stayed away from Planned Parenthood.

Physically, for a short time, various things prevented me from standing for truth and in defense of the helpless, and calling for justice. After that, I was hesitant to go. I felt out of place. I felt helpless, speechless, meaningless.

When I started going again, I kept myself silent. I didn't love the babies enough to call for mercy. I didn't love the women, the escorts, the guards, the manager of Planned Parenthood, the staff enough to warn them of the danger to their souls. I didn't love God enough to proclaim His just judgements; His great mercy and magnificent salvation; His truth. I found myself confused by the friendly conversations between guards, staff, and protesters. I found myself jealous (this is ugly) of those who could speak, sing, and read Scripture there; of those who seemed to belong there.

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. Selah
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. Selah
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


Yesterday, God returned to me. It may be that I needed to sort out the pearls, the swine, the way of the wicked, love for my enemies, and hatred for those who hate God. Yesterday, God removed the restraint on my tongue, and gave me words to speak and desire to speak them.


Last night, alone, Glen and I, without a sign, no camara, no one else with us, went to the IU campus and passed out about 80 black and white flyers. I looked for the girl (Peobe?) whom I met last month on campus, and who was going to email me her sources to back up her statement that child abuse rates have decreased since abortion has been legalized. I did not see her. (sigh) I hope that as she is packing up to go home for the summer, she runs across my email address and remembers her promise to email me.

I asked God to be glorified in our presence. I asked God to increase our faith.

I did talk to a young woman, Jaymie, for quite some time. She would not personally get an abortion, but is pro-choice. She was not going to take my flyer, but I asked her to read it, and think deeply about it again. So she checked it out to see what organization I am with, and was repulsed to find that I am with the Church of the Good Shepherd. So we talked about her experience with this church, which lead to talk about God, and truth, and women and men, and the Holy Spirit's role of guiding us in truth, and much more. I hugged her and asked her to call me. I hope she does.

She brought up this post from my pastor's blog. She knows the young man who posed the question. It is an excellent question, and well worth thinking deeply about.

I'm glad I had a talk with Jaymie, and I hope that God will compell her to think deeply of these things that we talked about, and that He will graciously draw her to Him. But if He hardens her heart, He will be just in doing so.

Jaymie, turn to God, while He is near.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Examination of the Good Wife

I intend to examine the 1955 article, "The Good Wife's Guide." I will probably start on Monday. First, though, I want to knock out a few expectations, and then establish some:

1) I am speaking from the position of failure. I can tell from experience what does not work. However, whether I fail or succeed, I find out what works and what is right from God's revealed word: The Bible.

2) Since I have always drifted along on the waves of feminism, without really staking a claim on it, I am not an expert, and I welcome any one's comments or expertise. I have not studied it or fought for or against it. I have seen some of the devastating effects on women and culture, but I am not positive that they are the direct result of feminism, or if they are the result of other influences in our society. I do think that they are very closely tied to it, though.

3) Since I am, relative to my age, a novice on Biblical womanhood, I am not an expert, and I welcome any one's comments or expertise.

4) I am going to take the points out of order. I will start with "A good wife always knows her place." It is a highly volatile statement, and, I think, highly misunderstood. It is a good place to start, and it will serve to lay the foundation for the remaining points.

5) After that, I may group some things together, because they are points of advice that represent a principle; like examples of or exceptions to a rule.

I am pleased to already have a discussion going on this subject. Please feel absolutely free to discuss, rebuke, refute, or debate. I hope that everyone will be respectful. I have lived on both sides now. I, and my Saviour will love you.

I will stand on nothing but Scripture. All other ground is sinking sand.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A wife of noble character who can find?



I have recently, again, received the above graphic forwarded to me by email. (click on the picture for easier reading)

In the following weeks, I will commit to examining each point from the biblical perspective.

Make no mistake, I was raised in a feminist America. Feminism is the air we breathe. It is very much like trying to think like a tree to see things in another way. However, just because I am a woman of unclean lips, and everyone around me also has unclean lips, doesn't make unclean lips alright. This is not like wearing a kilt in Iowa, or jeans in the Buckingham Palace. These are things that have far-reaching, and commonly denied effects.

The funny thing is how simple little steps to make the home a pleasant place to gather have become, not only a lost art, but a laughing stock. The main reason is that we are a culture that teaches us to live for ourselves, for the most part. Even philanthropy is based on what's in it for me (WIFM) with tax breaks and incentives.

Some of the suggestions in this 1955 advice can simply be tossed, but we should not have thrown out the baby with the bath water. Reading these, makes my natural self, cry out, "Why?" or "But what about me?"

Mere nostalgia is not a hill I will die on, but this is really more than nostalgia. There are lessons to be learned from what we learned in '60s and '70s. "You've come a long way, baby!" Can we even see where it has gotten us? Women do not hold the place of honor that we used to. We have given up sacrificing ourselves for our children in order to grow old alone. We have given up serving our husbands, in order to raise our children without the strength of the father.

We have become all we need, to become all we have.

We have come a long way, baby!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Love for and Distractions of the Enemy

The Enemy

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:19-24)


There is a woman who works at Planned Parenthood, who used to get a ride to work. She arrives after I get there, and for months I kind of disregarded her. One day, I realized that I never talked to her. Why? Maybe because she is black.Am I a racist? I never thought so, but there is a blonde white woman working there, who leaves after the black woman arrives, and I call her to account; so I can only think that I let this woman slide because she is black. Of course it may have been because she got a ride to work, and I could imagine the conversations around the dinner table about me that night (racism or fear of man: which is the greater sin?) I repented of this silence to God and to her, and began to talk to her each time she arrived.

A month or so ago, she got her own vehicle. It's a van.
Soon after she got it, she started parking it across the alley. This means she has to cross my path to get to work. I have noticed that she does this even when there are plenty of parking places at Planned Parenthood. Just yesterday, I realized how delightful this is, and that it must be because God directs her in this. If God puts her in my path, who am I to keep silent?

I have talked to her about sin, guilt, innocent blood. I have talked to her about income and jobs, and responsibilities.


43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)

Yesterday, I told her that I would like to sit down with her and help her find a bloodless job. She turned around and faced me, and shouted at me to not harass her when she comes to work. I told her that I want to help her, and that a woman with her skills and compassion ought to have a job where she can help people and not help to kill people.

She spent more time there with me than was necessary. I totally expected the guard or escorts to surround her, but they left her out in the open and vulnerable. It seemed like a very long time, and afterward, I was shaken.

11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. (I John 3:11-24; emphasis added)


What have I done? I have been thinking about this ever since! Even after a war protester came and diverted our attention from the imminent death of helpless children, who cannot hide, fight back or even cry out, to the war in Iraq, where thousands of humans, made in God's image have died in the past years of the war.





(Can we compare the two? Four thousand children yesterday in America alone compared to how many thousands of men, women and children over the past 6 years. Besides, why must it be assumed that just because a person does not want to kill unborn children, that they are blood-thirsty war mongers? This was a distraction, but I did not know how to diffuse it. I regret my behaviour.)


The black woman who works at Planned Parenthood is an enemy of God. Therefore, according to Psalm 139, she is my enemy as well. How did Jesus command me to treat my enemy? With love. What did I John say about love? It is more than words, but action and truth. I hope that she will take me up on the offer. I hope to sit down with her over coffee or a bowl of chili, and search with her for a job... and share the gospel with her.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Look Around

Yesterday, I while I was at Planned Parenthood, a young Asian woman was moving out of the apartment above the used furniture store across the street. Actually she was talking on her cell phone while standing on the side walk as her mother lugged the bed frame down the stairs by herself. She got cut off as her mother stopped for breath and waited for the young woman to put her phone away and help. In exasperation, she redialed, speaking sharply to her mother for expecting help. The mother's face got deeper red in the over 90 degree heat as dragged a mattress down the narrow stairs and leaned it against the building alone.

As I watched this, I was reminded about the commentary on the Stand True website regarding the Everyday ProLife Life (Go to the Stand True Website, Click on Commentaries, then click on Everyday Pro Life in the first column). Am I Pro-life just just because I contend for the life of the unborn? I don't think so. I contend for the life of the unborn because I am a Christian.

I struggled with standing across the street or going over and helping. Finally, I put my stuff back in the van and crossed the street. As I approached the older woman, without even breaking up her cell phone conversation, the younger woman placed herself between me and the mother and asked how she can help me.

I told her that the woman looked like she was moving and needed help. She said, "No, I'm moving, she's fine." After trying to convince her of my good intentions, and her insisting that I am not needed, I went back across the street.

I thought she would be motivated to help then, but she continued to talk and the mother continued to work alone and aggravated. Then an young Asian man came alone from the south and the young woman ran to meet him. They all gathered at the entrance to the apartment and talked. Then the young couple began to walk toward Second Street quickly. The older woman gathered three bottles of water and tried to follow, but they were too far along. She called to them, but they kept going. When they got to the parking lot at Kroger, they got in a car and drove away.

The old woman was left with two mattresses and a bed frame that she was unable to load into a van by herself, and three bottles of water. I don't know if there was more furniture upstairs that was still to come down.

When I left to go back to work, she was still there, alone.

This was so poignant.

1. Why does it take me so long to act? Why did I give up so easily? Why didn't I go help after the young woman was gone?
2. How did that young woman become so incredibly selfish? Did her parents inadvertently teach her selfishness?
3. I am speechless with questions! How? Why? How...?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Perspective

There was a letter to the editor in our paper a week or so ago. It was from a woman who passed a turtle on the road. She just knew that turtle wouldn't survive the onslaught of traffic, and went back to rescue the it. When she got there, she found a young man already moving the turtle off the road.

He told her that eight other people had stopped for the same purpose.

She thought this was wonderfully encouraging.




On my way back to work from Planned Parenthood yesterday, having finally talked to the two people that God brought to me, Lindsay and her man, I saw a young robin just near the curb on Second Street. Cars whizzed by it, one right after the other. It sat very still, with its beak pointed to the sky. It made me think about that turtle and its 10 rescuers. Then it made me think of how few people attempt to rescue the 10 or 20 babies who are killed every week at Planned Parenthood.

Lindsay was just there, she said to "purchase something." She seemed quite concerned that Planned Parenthood kills babies on Thursday. She looked at her stone-faced companion and then at me.

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 subject...how 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 YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, ALL YOUR HEART AND ALL YOUR MIND

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.

RECEIVE WITH JOY FROM YOUR FATHER'S HAND

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

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Women at the Well

It has been a while since I have posted....

Last week at Planned Parenthood:

I asked God Wednesday night what on earth He wants me to do there. What, of Jesus' life and love could I take to the women there? Why are they there? Why am I there? Why?

Jesus met a woman at the well. She was a Samaritan woman and was living with a man out of wedlock. She came to the well for water. He offered her the living water.

Have I been her? Yes. Did Jesus love me? Yes. Do I ever meet any one like that? Yes, yes, yes.

Women come to Planned Parenthood looking for what? A solution to a "problem." The problem looks different to them than to God, and the solution is misunderstood as well. They think the problem is the pregnancy. I could take it back a step and say that it is their understanding of sexuality or relationships, freedom and love. God, though understands perfectly their problem: they are sinners. I have been given the solution to their problem; it is the same as mine. It is Jesus Christ and a correct undertanding of our sin and His holiness.

God, help me to remember this!

Last Thursday was cold and windy. It was a cold that stayed with me all afternoon too. It was just a yucky day, and the wind shoved the cold deep under the skin.

In the morning, Glen and I stopped by on my way to work. When we prayed, I didn't mean to be the only one to pray. I shouldn't have prayed. I should have left it for the men there to pray. I don't want to offend God or any man. I don't think my words are so important that I must say them.

Later when Glen and I were there, no one would approach me; but a man who was there with a woman came out with her and sat in their truck for a long period of time. We talked to them, but they wouldn't talk to us. We offered them hope in Jesus, and he offered us his finger.

I didn't get arrested, but I was tempted once. Two women arrived in a large vehicle. One (dark haired) got out on the driver's side and made eye contact with us. The other (blonde) got out on the passenger side (closer to us). She started moving around the vehicle and toward the entrance. She wasn't moving smoothly. She stopped and looked at us and asked us to repeat what we said. She looked as if she considered coming over to us, but walking seemed very difficult and she turned and went in. What would a hug and a softly-spoken word done? Flesh touching flesh and eyes meeting... ? We prayed for them. Yesterday, Kim (who returned for a second time that day, to stand with Annie) said that she saw her come out later and that she looked broken and was crying.

Lane came. Next week he is planning to join Jeff M. at noon.

Josh said that Steve M. preached. Did you get to hear him?

I wonder what the sherriff's name is. I believe that God calls us there and that His Word goes out and accomplishes that for which He sends it. As many Thursdays as I have talked to that guard, I have never heard his voice directed at me. Last Thursday, I asked him how many, how many today? How many children, just today has he assisted to kill? Finally, he turned to me and said something, and got something out of his car. No one understood what he said, so when he turned around, I asked him what he said. He said, "I don't know." You know, it's not much, but it's something.

Pray for the staff, the doctor, the escorts, the guard, and the protesters. God, touch our hearts!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Stick out like a Sore Thumb

AKA: Set yourself on fire.

A friend told a story about a guy who used to be at CGS who used to laugh about how effective Pastor Bayly would be with his short hair and bow tie at Peoples Park.

Tim of course would be ineffective, and so would this guy with his pony tail and ear rings. I would be ineffective at RECP or Planned Parenthood. The lady in her hair-dresser's chair would be ineffective, getting her hair dyed. It is not us, but God!

The work does not get done in the air between our vocal chords and their eardrums. It gets done in the heart.

If God has called you to People's Park, having taken you through the paths He has, and brought you to this moment, maybe it is because in your weakness, and "foolishness" His strength is made perfect.

We don't all have to go get a tattoo or dye our hair to be culturally relevant, but sometimes God has saved a person who has been down a thorney path and picked up a tattoo, or a divorce, or an illegitimate child, or any number of experiences that He has used to humble us.

It might be that if you looked just like everybody else at People's Park, all the people would ignore you!