Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Convicted to Remember

Someone challenged me more than year ago to write a novel during the NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month - Challenge. At the time I was dismissive, but I kept the idea filed away in my mind. This summer I remembered the challenge and decided to jump in with both feet.

I knew from the beginning what story I wanted to tell. All fiction is rooted in some truth. The story I wanted to share was part of my own testimony, part of the testimony of someone I love, but mostly parts of many stories I have known and heard. (For more on my personal Testimony, click: HERE.)

When I came to Christ, I came broken, destroyed even. Abortion had left a huge scar on my heart and my soul. In reality, God was gracious to me. I suffered that pain for only a few years, compared to women who God later brought into my life who suffered much longer, decades even, I was extremely fortunate. But God did not grant me that grace without a purpose.

For many years I had an online ministry to other women who suffered from post-abortion syndrome. It is like a form of PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and it is much more common than one might think, or want to acknowledge. I was fortunate to be placed in the lives of hundreds of women through the anonymity of the internet in the early 90s. I had a ministry called Saving Grace Ministries, and we ran a group called PAWSE - Post Abortion Women, Support & Encouragement. Through this group God helped me to help dozens of women reach out for help in their own churches and communities. I had a front line view of the devastation abortion causes among women, and had the privilege of helping them find healing and wholeness in Christ the way I did, through other supportive women, and most of all through Christ's love and His Word.

In the late 90s I had the privilege to serve in a national ministry called Healing Hearts and was trained to lead a Bible study very much like the one I went through that led me to a recommitted life to Christ, and the healing and wholeness that can only be found in Him. I had the privilege also of facilitating one session of that study, and helping 5 other women find healing in Christ.

I knew the truth, and I did what I could to make an impact for Christ and help women find hope and redemption the way I had. But in 2001 I both adopted and gave birth to a baby in the same year. Two babies born (not quite) ten months apart had a huge impact on my world. The fact that my son's adoption was a nightmare did not help matters at all. For the next three and a half years till we finalized his adoption, it was all I could to to be a wife and mom and juggle life at home. I'm not making excuses, life is seasonal, and God is gracious, but in the process of working on this novel, I have realized how much I have forgotten.

In the 90s when I came to Christ, taking a stand against abortion was fashionable. The fact is, the last 10 or more years in the church, that's no longer the case. Abortion is the issue Christians may vote against, or even make a moral statement against, but fewer and fewer are actually doing anything to take a stand against. The frightening thing about that is that statistically, nothing has changed, the abortion situation is getting no better. The fact is, statistically speaking, in the ten minutes it takes you to read this blog, 23 babies will have been aborted, that's if you imagine abortion happening every minute of every day of the year. Over 2 unborn babies a minute, and not only is their life destroyed, the life of their mother is impacted as well.

As research I watched a 9 week ultrasound on YouTube. That's how far along I was when I had my abortion. Go to YouTube for yourself and see, watch a video from any first trimester ultrasound. These babies are aborted in droves. For every 3 children born in the US, 1 is aborted. As a mother of 3 living children, the irony of that is not lost on me.

The Lord has convicted me greatly these past few months, and especially the past few weeks as I have been writing my novel, that as Christians, we cannot turn a blind eye to the devastation of abortion. The fact is that statistically the percentages are exactly the same both in and out of the church. We need to take a stand for the unborn, but we also need to reach out to the hurting women who are siting in the pews of our churches feeling shame and fearing judgment. And I will tell you, it is not that the church is bringing the shame on women. As a woman who has had an abortion, I can tell you in all honesty, God has created in us an awareness of how unnatural it is to destroy life. Shame comes from the act, not its observation. But it is not God's will that these women continue in pain and shame, it is His will to bring the freedom and wholeness that can only be found in Christ.

Please take a moment to watch this video:

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live...
Deuteronomy 30:19

Sunday, November 13, 2011

100 Verse Challenge - Week 10!

Amazing! We've made it to week 10! Double digits seem like a bit of a milestone to me, and I would like to congratulate anyone who is still here and still working at the challenge. If you're on track and have memorized all the verses up to now, you are on either your 19th & 20th verses, or your 20th & 21st if you included the "bonus verse" that completed the Roman Road. Either way that's quite an accomplishment! And even if you have only learned some of them, that's still something to be proud of. If by chance you have just stumbled upon us, I encourage you, we have a lot more road before us than we do road behind. We are still going to learn around another 80 verses between now and the end of the Challenge. If you would like to join in, you can click here to RSVP on Facebook for the rest of the first leg of the Challenge, or you can subscribe to the blog on the upper left hand corner of the page.

I don't know about you, but we found Week 9 to be a little difficult around here. The passage from last week was a bit of a tongue twister. We were still working on it even this morning. I'm happy to report that our verses for this week look a little less difficult, and so I'm hoping we'll get both passages down pat by the end of this week.

Interestingly enough, the two verses Robert J. Morgan chose for this week are just a couple verses in the bible before the ones we studied last week. Like last week, our two verses are consecutive and forming a single passage. The math therefore is 1+1=1, so before it gets confusing, it is technically TWO verses, but they are written, and best memorized, together as one passage.

In his book 100 Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart, Morgan lists this weeks verses as the first two under the section he has labeled, "ASSURANCE: Inner Peace and Security." He tells a story abot how when he was in college an older classmate told him to memorize these scriptures. His encouragement to Morgan was that as long as he knew these verses, he would never doubt his salvation. Morgan shares how through the years he has referred back to them many times.

So here we go, ready? Week 10's verses:

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life,
and this life is in His Son. The one who has the Son has life.
The one who doesn't have the Son of God does not have life.

1 John 5:11-12

Morgan points out that it is important to note what is NOT in this passage, he says, "there is no maybe, if, might or hope so..." It is a done deal, "irrevocably accomplished," and this is a promise to hold on to.

God has done it, and if you have accepted Christ, you have received with Him life, and life eternal. Because He lives, you live too! What a thrilling truth to hold to!


Leg one of our Challenge on Facebook (September 11-December 31)to RSVP Click Here

Leg two of our Challenge begins January 1, 2012, to RSVP Click Here

And finally, if you'd like more info on the book that we are basing our Challenge on and its author, you can Click Here. The book is also available on Amazon, Click Here.