How do I answer the hard questions?? My friend wants an abortion…

There is no disputing the scientific fact that a new, distinct human organism comes into existence during fertilization. Here are the facts.

Scientific literature states the following:

• “The fusion of sperm and egg membranes initiates the life of a sexually reproducing organism.”[2]

• “The life cycle of mammals begins when a sperm enters an egg.”[3]

• “Fertilization is the process by which male and female haploid gametes (sperm and egg) unite to produce a genetically distinct individual.”[4]

• “The oviduct or Fallopian tube is the anatomical region where every new life begins in mammalian species. After a long journey, the spermatozoa meet the oocyte in the specific site of the oviduct named ampulla, and fertilization takes place.”[5]

• “Fertilization – the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism – is the culmination of a multitude of intricately regulated cellular processes.”[6]

A new human organism is created before the developing embryo implants in the uterus – i.e., before that time at which some people consider a woman “pregnant.”  These facts have been debated by advocates for abortion since before Roe v Wade/Doe v Bolton made abortion legal throughout all 9 months of pregnancy on January 22, 1973.  It seems of late that there is no argument as to whether or not the baby is human:  ABORTION ADVOCATES NO LONGER CARE!  The justification today is that the life of the mother is more valuable than the life of the child.  So it is safe to say that their argument is that most women are having abortions to “save their own lives”, which is entirely untrue.  Here are the latest statistics on reasons women have abortions in the United States:

  • 74% felt “having a baby would dramatically change my life” (which includes interrupting education, interfering with job and career, and/or concern over other children or dependents)
  • 73% felt they “can’t afford a baby now” (due to various reasons such as being unmarried, being a student, inability to afford childcare or basic needs of life, etc.)
  • 48% “don’t want to be a single mother or [were] having relationship problem[s]”
  • 38% “have completed [their] childbearing”
  • 32% were “not ready for a(nother) child”
  • 25% “don’t want people to know I had sex or got pregnant”
  • 22% “don’t feel mature enough to raise a(nother) child”
  • 14% felt their “husband or partner wants me to have an abortion”
  • 13% said there were “possible problems affecting the health of the fetus”
  • 12% said there were “physical problems with my health”
  • 6% felt their “parents want me to have an abortion”
  • 1% said they were “a victim of rape”
  • <0.5% “became pregnant as a result of incest”

(Source: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/psrh/full/3711005.pdf)

Now we that we know the reason women are CHOOSING to have abortions, let us look at a way to reduce the fear of having a baby and empower women to make better choices.  We can offer women MUCH BETTER than abortion. This is NOT the best we can do.

“I’m pregnant, and I want an abortion.”

How should one react when a friend says those words?

My ministry partners and I encounter many women who are considering abortion.  We are also often asked by friends and associates  “What should I do?” “What should I say?” when they encounter someone considering abortion.

Their concern is the well-being of the mother and her pre-born child; they don’t want her to go ahead with the abortion, but they come to us because they recognize a noble desire, while necessary, is not sufficient to save a life.  How do they actually achieve their mind-changing goal?  They follow these four steps:

  1. Seek to Understand
  2. Support Her
  3. Inform Her
  4. Be Unwavering

Let’s look at each in more detail, with practical tools to get the message out:

  1. Seek to Understand

Think through your past to a time when you felt utterly overwhelmed and afraid.  Think about an experience of despair where you felt helpless.  Think about what it’s like to feel panic—to feel trapped—and how that affects your decisions.

A woman facing an unplanned pregnancy may feel any number of emotions like the above, and anything you say or do is seen through the lens of what she’s feeling.  Rather than start your exchange by jumping onto a soap box, instead, grab a Kleenex box and ask questions that give her a chance to express herself.

Truly and deeply listen to her—what are her concerns?  People not only need to be heard, they need to feel heard.  This is achieved through affirming truth she’s expressed, and communicating compassion:

  • “There is no denying that is a really difficult situation…” or,
  • “That is really tough; I’m sorry for your suffering…” or,
  • “If I’m hearing you correctly it sounds like the crisis is overwhelming, and I can imagine it would be…” 

Notice what you’re not doing here—you’re not saying something false (“I know what it’s like” when you, in fact, don’t know what it’s like); rather, you’re formulating words that acknowledge you understand her feelings are consistent with her crisis.  Even if you HAVE experienced this crisis, she doesn’t need to hear that at THIS moment.

From this expression of compassion, you seek to understand by asking questions that will give her a chance to express herself, and to help identify what she’s most concerned about (which you need to know in order to address the problem—you cannot alleviate a problem you do not know exists).

For example, ask her, “Why do you want an abortion?”

Her response will likely involve expressing concerns about money, school, lack of support from her partner or family, feelings of inadequacy, or perhaps even pressure to abort. (See the above statistics on why women have abortions)

What does this reveal?  She does not desire abortion as an end in and of itself; rather, she sees it as a means to address a problem. Once she identifies the problem, suggest other means to address it, always through the approach of asking questions:

  • “I’m sad for you that your parents said they’d kick you out.  You’re right to be devastated by that.  What if I  let you live with me? Would that help? [Or, what if I connect you to a place where you could live?]”
  • “If I’m hearing you right, it sounds like you don’t have the resources to care for a child.  What if I connect you to a center that will give you the resources you need?”

RESOURCES: http://www.heartbeatinternational.org/about-us/item/402-pregnancy-help-centers-prevention-crisis-intervention-healing

  • “It sounds like you don’t feel prepared to parent a child right now, and I can understand that.  What do you think about adoption?”

RESOURCES: http://www.theradiancefoundation.org/outreaches/adopt-hope/

  • “When a person receives a poor prenatal diagnosis, it can be scary to envision a future where the child has a disability.  Have you heard of stories of people who have had positive experiences caring for children with special needs? May I share some of these with you?”

RESOURCES:

Questioning is not only important to identify her motivations to abort so you can provide alternatives, but questioning is an important tool to help her explore her “gut” feelings about abortion.  Questions that help her think beyond the present scenario, to imagine a positive situation in the future when she’s pregnant, can help bring to light her own negative feelings about the abortion procedure:

  • “Given that you just said you don’t even love the child’s father, I can understand it would be hard to envision parenting the baby.  Something that’s worth considering is if your scenario was just the opposite—if you were happily married and pregnant with a child you’d tried for so long to be pregnant with, would you ever consider abortion?  [After her answer: Why not?]”
  • “If your parents wouldn’t kick you out of the house, would you be less likely to consider abortion? Why?”
  • “If you had the financial resources you needed to raise another (or this) child, would you want to carry through with the pregnancy? Why do you think that is?”

NOTE: The point of these questions is to draw out of her any instinctive feelings of revulsion toward abortion—if she articulates that she would never kill her child in these scenarios, you can now explore her thoughts that it is a child, and whether the difficulty of her situation changes what the child is.

  1. Support Her

There’s something terrifying about being alone in moments of crisis.  There is something comforting about sharing, even a hard experience, with another soul.

A true friend will stand by her throughout this unplanned pregnancy.  If she feels abandoned, then she may run to the abortion which she feels will get her “out” of this experience of crisis and “aloneness.”  Knowing she has someone to stand by her through the crisis will make it easier.

Offer to be with her when she has difficult conversations with her relatives or boyfriend/husband.  Offer to go with her to the doctor.  Time is of the essence in these situations and so is generous, self-less help.  If you have to miss work or school to accompany her to a pro-life doctor the next morning, do it.  Offer to accompany her to a pregnancy help centre.  As a friend, it’s important to remember you aren’t a professional.  Correspondingly, remember that professionals aren’t friends, and offering to be present when she gets assistance from them will make her feel more supported than simply giving her a phone number to call.

NOTE: When she gets professional assistance, ensure that the people you recommend for this are 100% pro-life.

Tragically, some individuals and groups that are labeled “Christian” don’t always hold a consistent pro-life ethic, and this requires you be extra vigilant in your recommendations.

FURTHER NOTE: Get to know your local pro-life doctors and local pregnancy care center staff as soon as possible, before you meet someone in crisis.  The more information you can give to your friend about who works where, what they offer, and how friendly they are, the more likely it will be that she will call or visit.  And remember—offer to accompany her.

Part of being a support is helping her see goodness in a future that she thinks looks grim.  Being on the outside, you have the chance to paint a picture of hope when she feels despair, to help her consider how short-term gain can bring about long-term pain, whereas short-term pain can bring about long-term gain.

This message, handed out by pro-life activist Mary Wagner to women going to abortion clinics, speaks important words of hope to women in crisis: “You were made to love and to be loved.  Your goodness is greater than the difficulties of your situation. Circumstances in life change.  A new life, however tiny, brings the promise of unrepeatable joy.  There is still hope!”

  1. Inform Her

It is possible to communicate truth without love, but it is impossible to communicate love without truth.  Loving your friend therefore means communicating the truth about the abortion she says she wants.

Certainly how you communicate that truth matters.  You need to be sensitive and should continue to use questions as much as possible, but you nonetheless need to impart some hard truths.  When providing information, you should convey three things:

  • The humanity of her pre-born child,
  • The inhumane nature of abortion, and
  • How abortion can hurt her

Let’s look at each of these in more detail:

The humanity of her pre-born child

A lot of women are unaware of just how rapidly their pre-born children are growing (for example, that a baby’s heartbeat has been detected at 3 weeks, and brainwaves have been detected at 6 weeks).  Ask a question like this:

“May I take you to a site which has amazing scientific facts of your baby’s development?”

RESOURCE: http://www.ehd.org/ (Fetal-maternal health website with prenatal development facts, along with actual video footage and 3D and 4D ultrasound)

Helping her bond with her child is key; two other ways to do this is through giving her a fetal model to hold, which helps her visualize her baby, and encouraging her to give a nickname to her child, for it’s harder to kill someone we’ve named and connected with.

RESOURCE: First-trimester fetal model: heritagehouse76.com/details.aspx?prod_id=3378 (or ask your local pro-life society to give you one)

The inhumane nature of abortion

Remember, you’re having this conversation with your friend because she said she wants an abortion.  But does she know what abortion actually entails?  It is essential that you convey the facts of the procedure.  You can ask,

“What do you know of the abortion procedure?  I have some knowledge of abortion and I believe you deserve to know what I do. May I share some information with you?”

RESOURCES: CCBR abortion videos: unmaskingchoice.ca/videos; Nucleus Medical Media: nucleusinc.com (search Suction & Curettage abortion at 9 weeks; D &E at 14 weeks).

When trying to explain that your motivation to share what you know comes from a place of goodness, you could use this analogy:

“Imagine there’s water with poison in it—whoever drinks it will die. Now imagine you are thirsty and, not knowing the water is poisoned, you drink it.  Would you have knowingly committed suicide?”  She’ll say no.  Then continue, “Now imagine that I know there’s poison in the water and you don’t.  I see you grab the glass and I don’t warn you what’s in it.  You drink it and die.  Have I just been an accomplice to your murder?”  She’ll say yes.  Then connect the dots: “In the same way, I know some pretty shocking things about the abortion procedure, and if I don’t share these things, then I’d be guilty of withholding life-saving information.  That’s not fair to you.”

Admittedly, you need to be discerning in your one-on-one interactions about when to use any material. Be gentle, listen, and when it comes to showing pictures, tell her that you care for her and that you want her to be informed of everything she needs to know about abortion.

Finally, be encouraged that using this information doesn’t just work in theory—it works in practice.  For example, a Los Angeles pregnancy center not only offers to show an abortion video to each client, but they provide a copy of that video for the client to take home.  In 2011, they conducted a survey of all mothers who chose life for their babies at the center after initially contemplating abortion.  80% of their clients who chose life said the video was the number one thing that helped them choose life for their babies.

When the women take a copy of the video home with them, it also helps them to convince husbands, boyfriends, parents or other people who might be pressuring them to abort that abortion is a terrible choice.  Showing the abortion video to parents pressuring their teen to abort helps them to understand the profound damage to their daughter (and grandchild) whom they love and want to protect.  It is good to show the video to everyone influencing her decision.  Further, some clients have reported giving their copy of the video to pregnant friends who in turn opted against abortion.

That is consistent with this post below one of CCBR’s abortion videos on Youtube:

“A big thank you goes out to whoever posted this video.  I scheduled an appointment with Planned Parenthood to have this procedure and wanted to learn more because they wouldn’t give me any information. I’m calling to cancel right now. I don’t want my baby ripped to shreds.”

How abortion can hurt her

Because abortion kills children it hurts women.  It goes against human nature to kill one’s offspring—that is why abortion can adversely affect women emotionally.  It goes against the nature of a woman’s body to unnaturally and prematurely interrupt pregnancy the way abortion does—that is why abortion can adversely affect women physically.  Consider asking your friend,

“Have you heard about the complication risks of abortion?  May I share what I know with you?”

RESOURCES: deveber.org/summary-womens-health-after-abortion, abortionbreastcancer.com, afterabortion.org, silentnomoreawareness.org

  1. Be Unwavering

Remember the earlier comment that being alone in moments of crisis is terrifying?  That is true not only for the unplanned pregnancy, but also for the abortion procedure.  The act of abortion could be, in her mind, a terrifying moment she wishes not to endure alone.  Knowing she’ll be without a friend could be enough to convince her not to do it.  But if you are present, that could make her abortion experience easier to endure. This is why it is essential that if, after your best effort to convince her of abortion’s wrongness, she goes ahead with the procedure, that you not go with her, not drop her off, not pick her up, not facilitate her decision in any way.

Keep this principle in mind: friends don’t drive friends to abortion clinics.  After all, if your friend was going to beat up her baby brother and you failed in convincing her not to, would you participate in that action, even if only to “be there to support her”?

If your friend does abort and then realizes at some future point that she made a mistake, and if you had in some way facilitated that abortion, she’ll wonder why you did that when you knew it was wrong. She may even hold you partially responsible, and rightly so. But if you demonstrate integrity through your unwavering views and consistent action, this could be the factor that convinces your friend not to have the abortion—after all, actions speak louder than words. What we DO says a lot more than what comes out of our mouth.

Consider how you could explain your refusal to go with her:

“Because I love you, I can’t go with you.  Because to love you is to desire your good, and I know too much—I can’t erase what I know about abortion and I know it won’t be good for you or your baby.  If I go with you, if I help you get there, then I’d be betraying you.  I’d no longer be guided by what’s best for you, but what’s best for me (namely, just making sure you aren’t mad at me). I love you enough that I’ll endure you being mad at me—even feeling hate towards me—rather than help you do something I fear you’ll regret in the future.”

Hopefully,  it won’t come to making that statement.  Because when you seek to understand and communicate truth in love, you can go far in convincing your friend to make a life-affirming choice.


[2] Marsden et al., Model systems for membrane fusion, CHEM. SOC. REV. 40 (3): 1572 (Mar. 2011) (emphasis added).

[3] Okada et al., A role for the elongator complex in zygotic paternal genome demethylation, NATURE 463:554 (Jan. 28, 2010) (emphasis added).

[4] Signorelli et al., Kinases, phosphatases and proteases during sperm capacitation, CELL TISSUE RES. 349(3):765 (Mar. 20, 2012) (emphasis added).

[5] Coy et al., Roles of the oviduct in mammalian fertilization, REPRODUCTION 144 (6): 649 (Oct. 1, 2012) (emphasis added).

[6] Marcello et al., Fertilization, ADV. EXP. BIOL. 757:321 (2013) (emphasis added).

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An Eye for an Eye (guest writer Brandy Frizzell)

This post is written by Brandy Frizzell.  She attends Powerhouse Church and we have been walking together for over a year now.  I have been privileged to witness her grow exponentially in the time we have spent together.  She is precious to me so be nice! Please read, share, and comment!  Encouragement is welcome!

I was reading in Exodus last night and came across the passage that mentions about an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. I have always heard people use this verse for retribution for things done wrong for them, so I was not exactly sure where in the Bible this passage was located.   I had read Exodus before, but when it was I was new in Christ. Oh what a difference it makes the times in your life when you read certain scriptures. It really is true that the Bible is a living, breathing Word.

Alas, I digress. These portions of the scripture before and after are God providing laws for Israel, so that they may live righteously and be separated from other nations. Read it for yourself:

22“If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

What really struck me in reading this passage were the verses before it. This eye for an eye scripture is specifically referencing the life of a baby that is unborn. If there is serious injury to a baby in the womb that causes the baby’s life to be terminated before birth, then the life that caused the baby’s premature termination was to be taken as well.

God could have chosen to put this eye for an eye scripture at any point in his laws. He was providing specific instructions for His people on dealing with servants, bodily injury, and the protection of property.

I believe that this passage specifically outlines God’s love for children and how important it is that they be born, that their life not be terminated prematurely. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

As I was reading this scripture and I meditated on it, I began to think about abortion and the implications of abortion. These scriptures outline how serious God feels about an unborn child. We cannot continue to let people be deceived that God has not set these children aside as prophets for our nation.


Please tell us what you think.  Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life we would love to hear from you.

Follow us on Twitter @loveletslive73

Watch Your Mouth Girl: 5 Things I Wish I Didn’t Say

Love Lets Live73

I am the Queen of the Big Mouth…at least I was.  Hey…sanctification is a process!  I am the person who thought that if it was true, then I should say it. I am also the person who believed that I always had all the answers. As I grow and mature and move forward in my walk with Christ [yes…I am a Christian…but don’t let that stop you, read on!], I am learning that I don’t always have the voice that needs to be heard.

Here are FIVE statements I wish I had not ever made, in no particular order [however you’re welcome to rate them]

1.  “YES” [when I wanted to say NO!]

We do not have to participate in EVERYTHING.  It is so easy to say yes and be a people-pleaser.  What happens?  We over-extend ourselves and live a life of chaos.  This is a distraction of the…

View original post 1,103 more words

Sex for Sale: What Does It Cost?

Love Lets Live Outreach was birthed by the Holy Spirit in Sept 2012 as a result of a Campaign for Life on Facebook prior to the election.  We were provoked in a group of about 10,000 followers to post a pro-life status for 40 days before the election.  The creator of the group had been a member and pastor at our church.  He had moved on to plant a church elsewhere.  I accepted the “challenge” and sought to educate myself.  My heart was stirred but my head was empty…you know?  I knew the science of abortion but I did not know the current state of our nation in regards to this injustice.  If I was going to post a pro-life status for 40 days, I needed to know some facts.

My quest was fruitful.  I absorbed EVERYTHING and a fire burned in my bones.  I had such indignation and had no idea what to do.  The people in this Facebook group were talking a lot and sharing their frustrations…but I am a doer, not just a hearer.  This passion that was burning in me was not to be quenched with a bunch of keyboard activists.  NO SIR!  We were given another challenge:  who was willing to gather a group and pray in front of their local abortion clinic?  Man!  I was so excited.  I waited for the leader to rise up and start shepherding the herd.  Day 2…Day 3…Day 4…I was getting impatient.  I cried out to God (literally cried) because I had learned that Houston was home to the largest abortion clinic in the nation, so surely a passionate advocate for the unborn was present in this group of 10,000.

You guessed it…the Lord told me, “It is you.”  My first response…I whined about how much I was already doing and what little time I had to dedicate to such a worthy and important cause.  It was deserving of my full attention and I was unable to commit.  He did not waiver. He did not shift.  The fire in my bones burned hotter.  Though my flesh was resistant, my Spirit was stronger!  Thank you Jesus!

We stepped onto the sidewalk for the first time on September 12, 2012, a Wednesday.  Since that day, we have seen 26 ladies choose life for their babies (that we know of for sure).  The Blue Bus (mobile crisis pregnancy center) has told us of countless others who came in for services and stated that we prayed with them or they saw us.  Here are some of our saves:

BabySaved Bisi Cecily Jeremy JeremyAndJamisha KaseyChoseLife MiaValentina MiaValentina2

Last night, we set out to learn about something new.  A few of the ladies associated with our ministry have a history of working in the sex industry and one in particular was trafficked and coerced into prostitution by a man who brainwashed and abused her for 6 years. We are broadening our scope of Proverbs 31:8 to end ALL INJUSTICE.  So, we are seeking and learning more.

Former Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons for the U.S. Department of State and founder of the non-profit Global Centurion, Laura Lederer compiled a recent study entitled, “The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities”.  Out of the 107 sex trafficking survivors surveyed, 87.7% reported seeking care from a healthcare professional during the time of trafficking. More specifically, the most common point of contact occurred in the emergency room with 63% of victims seeking care there. These new findings – in contrast with the much lower overall 28% figure found in a 2005 study cited in the Hearing Memo – emphasize the significant role that a healthcare provider can play in preventing further abuse. Human trafficking, or trafficking in persons (TIP), refers to the activity of holding a person in a compelled service, and is a crime under U.S. and international law. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines sex trafficking in particular as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.” As one of the fastest-growing criminal industries, TIP generates about $32 billion per year, and it has accurately been referred to as “modern- day slavery.”

The average age of initiation: 13 years old

Forced abortion is a trend in the sex trafficking arena.  55% of the women that Lederer surveyed had at least one abortion and 30% had multiple abortions during the time they were “working”.  More than half of the women admitted that the abortion was not their choice but that they were forced or threatened.  The interesting circumstance here as that the forced abortion of a trafficked woman transcends the political boundaries of debate about “choice” and LIFE.  The woman’s choice is stripped from her and the life of a child is snuffed out.

“If we value human life at the earliest stages of conception, we need to express equal value throughout that child’s life. When there are so many children coming from broken homes, where they have experienced even sexual abuse, the vulnerability of that child is very likely. My desire is that if we value a child at its moment of conception, we would value it throughout its childhood and teen years. And if you want to make a difference with the issue of sex trafficking, I would challenge you to start with where you’re uniquely gifted and where you are uniquely talented. Where has God already given you skills to benefit society?” ~ David Trotter, co-executive producer of “In Plain Sight: Stories of Hope and Freedom

We had the privilege of screening a documentary produced and directed by Ruth Villatoro called “The Cantinera“.  The film was raw and packed full of hidden camera footage of Houston outreach Elijah Rising led by Cat French going into clubs and gaining intel on the SOB’s (sexual oriented businesses). The film also featured Dottie Laster’s efforts to secure papers for trafficked victims so they can attain healthcare, work and have an identity.

DID YOU KNOW: 20% of all human trafficking cases in the US occur in Texas!

Following the viewing, we had a question and answer session with United States Attorney Ruben Perez, known for several high profile cases involving cantinas. Human trafficking crimes, which are defined in Title 18, Chapter 77, focus on the act of compelling or coercing a person’s labor, services, or commercial sex acts. The coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or psychological, but it must be used to coerce a victim into performing labor, services, or commercial sex acts. Contrary to some misconceptions, human trafficking crimes do not require any smuggling or movement of the victim. While undocumented migrants can be particularly vulnerable to coercion because of their fear of authorities, traffickers have preyed just as aggressively on U.S. citizen children. Because of the vulnerability of minors, where minors are offered for commercial sex the statutes do not require proof of force, fraud, or coercion.

DID YOU KNOW: The city of Houston leads the nation in Human Trafficking cases

According to the United States Department of Justice, the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division provides services to victims of civil rights violations, including human trafficking. Victim/Witness Coordinators are available to provide assistance with accessing services such as case management, housing, medical care, counseling and shelter. As mandated by the Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance (2005), all victims of federal crime are entitled to certain rights under the law. These rights include:

  1. The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
  2. The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
  3. The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
  4. The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, [or] sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
  5. The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
  6. The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
  7. The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
  8. The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy.

Mr. Perez stated that the assets of the perpetrators (SOB owners) can be liquidated to benefit the victims according to the Victims of Trafficking Protection Act.  If a trafficking victim is an illegal, they can agree to help the state with their case and stay in the US for up to one year.  Once they complete their requirements to help the state, they can stay an additional 3 years.  This provision requires much investigation to ensure that the law is not being abused.

As I watched the documentary and saw Cat and her team exercising their freedom and gaining access, I was a little uneasy.  I felt as though her efforts were insubordinate at times (I don’t know her, have never met her, I am only making an assessment of what I witnessed on screen).  I sensed an unrest in her spirit as I watched her work.  I saw frustration and angst.  I do appreciate their commitment to prayer and worship, changing the climate and raising awareness.

I would think that working with law enforcement is essential in the effort to get to the ROOT of this crime, otherwise we are just pulling weeds.  As a taxpayer, I would be incredibly upset to find out that a crime unit had been investigating an establishment for well over a year, gathered intel and a renegade outfit goes in to save a girl and cost them an entire investigation, thereby wasting tens of thousands of dollars and man hours as well as risking the lives of many victims and their families.

Getting to the root takes time.

Passion is good.  Heart is admirable.  But discernment and wisdom are needed to be effective.  We want fruit that remains and lasting results.  So, Love Lets Live is being schooled on Human Trafficking.  There will be more to follow.  We will do our best stay informed and take advantage of ALL educational opportunities with numerous agencies.

The documentary screening we attended last night was sponsored by CrimeStoppers, supported by Telemundo Houston, and an incredible panel that featured Misa Nguyen of United Against Human Trafficking Alliance, Ruben Perez of the US Department of Justice, and Ruth Villatoro, Producer and Director of La Cantinera. Here are a few tips we picked up from the panel:

  • A “cantinera” is a human trafficking victim that is forced to drink and have sex with men at cantinas.  They will drink up to 40 beers a night
  • Cantineras are often forced to live at the cantinas and live in confined spaces (closets) during their “off hours”.
  • A solicitation for a “waitress” at a cantina is often solicitation to enter human trafficking
  • A cantinera’s job is to encourage and entice patrons to drink more (spend more)
  • Due to the nature of her job, a cantinera often must consume dangerous amounts of alcohol
  • There are not enough prostitutes in Houston to satisfy the demand
  • Women are trafficked through multiple states to keep them disoriented and prevent them from building relationships
  • The prostitution often takes place at a rent house or accommodating hotel nearby the club, if not inside the club.
  • An “outbuilding” is a home or office attached to the club where the act of prostitution takes place

How can we identify a cantina or SOB?

  • No windows and signage that indicates it is a club or a bar
  • Obvious security measure to keep people IN not keep criminals out such as razor wire on the fences
  • Report ANY suspicions to CrimeStoppers.  Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for any information that leads to the filing of felony charges or arrest of any suspect. Download Houston Crime Stoppers in the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store and the Blackberry App World. Call 713-222-TIPS (8477). Text TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). All tipsters remain anonymous.Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 10.44.13 PMScreen Shot 2015-01-21 at 10.45.19 PM

10 Biblical Affirmations: Who does HE say that I am?

If you are a believer, he says THIS about you:

Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 2.34.31 PMJohn 1:12 ~ But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

Ephesians 1:5 ~ God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 2.37.43 PMRomans 3:23-24 ~ For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

Romans 6:6 ~ We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.

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1 Corinthians 1:30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.

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 2 Corinthians 3:14 ~ But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ.

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Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

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Ephesians 3:12 ~ Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.

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Philippians 3:20 ~ But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.

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Ephesians 4:24 ~ Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

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Galatians 5:1 ~ So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

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.Ephesians 1:7 ~ He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.

Let me hear from YOU.  I love affirmation 🙂  If you were blessed by this blog or have something to say…say it! Thanks!

TESTIMONY: Orphaned, Abused, Addicted ~ Her Greatest Pain Became Her Greatest Passion

I get that look when I share my story…you know the look, “This can’t be for real.  NO WAY!”  I’m not sure if any of you have ever encountered that response when you share what God has done in your life, but it happens to me quite often.  The most important message I can deliver when telling you my story is this:jesus-friend-of-sinners-romans-3-22-24-400x400.png

I was not wanted.  I was not planned.  I am a girl of circumstance.  I am a product of choices…several.  There was not a billowing praise lifted up to the heavens when my conception was announced…there was a deep, gruntled exhale of disappointment and despair from my parents.  Neither of them had any “time” under their belt except my father…his “time” was spent in a state penitentiary.  My mother met him there while she was visiting her father who was incarcerated for armed robbery.  My father was 18 years old and serving a sentence for assault and battery on an elderly man.

Once my grandfather was released, my father followed and came to find work.  My conception came soon after.  I want you to check out this video.  This is my grandfather telling the story of how he was delivered from alcohol and how he saved me from the “choice”: Saved from Abortion

Looking back at pictures, I look like I was a typical, happy-go-lucky kid.  My face doesn’t appear to reveal any signs of the trauma I witnessed.

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My parents’ relationship was tumultuous.  My father was a violent alcoholic.  He beat my mother all the time.  She would leave and come back, leave and come back.  The number one reason domestic violence survivors stay or return to the abusive relationship is because the abuser controls their money supply, leaving them with no financial resources to break free. My mother was no different.  She had 4 kids by the time she was 24 years old and though she worked, putting 3 kids in daycare and keeping one in school was expensive.

In 1981, my mother left my father.  We stayed in a shelter on South Hull Street in Montgomery, Alabama.  Soon after, she got a duplex right up the street.  It wasn’t long before she began talking with my dad again and they were cozy.  This would be the end.  On August 24, 1981 my father beat my mother for the last time.

We buried her a few days later.  I was not in attendance.  I was 8 years old and an orphan.  I had a younger brother and two younger sisters who needed me. My father plead guilty in his trial and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

We set out on a journey that Arrivalwas treacherous. We were placed in a foster home of distant relatives whom we had never met.  It’s unclear to me why this happened but I’ve been told that our immediate family members were just not able to take care of us. This family stepped up and agreed to keep us together.  They had 7 children between them so the 4 of us were welcomed in.

About two weeks after we arrived, I got an awakening that I had never anticipated.  My younger sister was 5 months old and I was charged with her care.  I was watching her in the den and she rolled off the cushion and bounced off of the hardwood floor.  Imagine the sound…

My foster father “Buddy” came in and snatched me up by my feet and whipped me while I was hanging upside down.  Then, as if he was bored, he just dropped me onto the floor.  I was mortified and went outside to gather myself and sit on the steps.  He came to speak to me.  I thought he would hug me and tell me it would be okay. NOPE. He said this, “If you don’t want to go back to eating ketchup sandwiches and cheerios, you better watch yourself.  Them kids are YOUR responsibility. Got that?”

For the next 10 years, my life and my brother’s life became a game of survival.  We were subjected to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.  That happy face that I see in the pictures of my childhood became a synthetic shroud of secrecy.Screen shot 2014-12-02 at 4.27.50 PM I smiled only to make it appear as though nothing was wrong.  I became the protector…like an eagle over her eggs. I would do anything to keep them from hurting my siblings.

I can’t explain the anxiety that dwelt within me.  I lived in constant fear.  And I hated it! I didn’t WANT to be afraid, but I didn’t know any other way.  I had no HOPE.  The way that man would beat my brother just killed me! I could not stand the thought of being without my brother but I was so afraid and so small and so helpless.  Many times, I simply succumbed to his requests for evil and played a part.  I became the sacrifice so that my sisters would not have to be exposed to this evil.  I  started drinking at the age of 11.  I learned quickly that this would “numb me out” and it became my coping mechanism.

WScreen shot 2014-12-02 at 4.29.54 PMhen I graduated high school, I had my choice of scholarships.  Honestly, I didn’t care.  My only focus was getting out of this den of evil and finding work so I could help my siblings.  As soon as I graduated, I ran away from my foster home and turned “Buddy” in for the crimes he had committed against us. He went to prison.  I began my journey into independence. I got a trust fund from my mother’s death and I blew it in one year on alcohol, partying, and drugs. I had begun going onto post and hanging out at the Enlisted Club, “The Hidden Door”, with my cousins Brandy and Sharon. I started going out with a soldier…

I madeScreen shot 2014-12-02 at 4.30.26 PM one of the best decisions ever.  I decided to join the US Army in March 1993.  He was in C Co/3rd Battalion/75th Ranger Regiment at Ft. Benning, Georgia.  I was exposed to the Army way and l liked it.  I knew that I could get an education and make money at the same time, so I made the decision and went to see a recruiter. They signed me up and I chose my MOS ~ Medical Laboratory Specialist. DOC141202-20141202051154-0004 DOC141202-20141202051154-0005

Mike and I got married before I joined the Army.  The main reason was not ‘love’ but joint domicile: so that I would be stationed where he was.  I liked Mike.  I had no understanding of how to love someone or be in a functional relationship. Screen shot 2014-12-02 at 4.25.02 PM I was a horrible wife.  One year into our marriage, I became pregnant.  Mike was ecstatic but I was devastated.  I was afraid.  I believed what my foster parents had drilled into me: that I would never be a good mother and that my choices would take me down the very same road she traveled.  These words were so powerful and created my spirit.  Being pregnant was not what I wanted, but Mike really wanted this baby.

My son was born 9 weeks early.  He stayed in the NICU for 3 weeks after his birth and I stayed in the bars.  I was able to stay clean throughout my pregnancy, but once the freedom was available I grasped hold and took off. I was as selfish as they come.Screen shot 2014-12-02 at 4.27.14 PM

I would leave my son with my little brother while I went out.  My husband was in the field and often times would be gone for weeks at a time. I took advantage and began sleeping around and partying. It wasn’t long before my husband had enough.  We divorced in May 1996.  I was referred to the Army’s alcohol and drug program.  I began seeing a counselor and was diagnosed with several “labels”.  Things like ‘borderline personality disorder’  and ‘PTSD’ and several others were attached to my chart. The counselor “highly encouraged” me to go to inpatient treatment so I obliged.

During this treatment, I was forced to look at myself with a clear mind.  I didn’t like what I saw.  You would think that this would encourage me to be better and strive to make more of myself, but instead it only highlighted the error of my ways and magnified the fact that I had failed to meet expectations.

I met Roger while I was in treatment.  We became friends and shared our hopes and hurts. I found out that we were both stationed at Fort Benning.  We met up once we both got back and began seeing each other. I wasn’t ready to go back to work…I wanted some time off, but the Army didn’t give it to me.  So I took it.  We left without permission…better known as AWOL. We took a dramatic road trip across the country to Las Vegas. RognPam I became pregnant and soon decided [after 4 months of living in my car & on the run] that it was time to turn around and go back.  I received a general discharge, thankfully, because my service up until this point had been “of good conduct”. He was sent to military prison for some crimes he had committed previously.

We reconciled once he was released and did the best we knew how to make it work.  I was a train wreck full of rage and anger.  Our household was dysfunctional for years. I mean YEARS! We struggled with addictions and past hurts. I got sober in April 2004 when Roger had left to live in Texas. Even though I got “clean” I still felt dissatisfied, irritable, and discontent. There was a void and an unrest in me that presented itself as misguided anger and anxiety. Roger returned in 2005, we married 2 months later and life was “peachy” for a season. Circumstances were ‘under control’ and our life was running fine, as everything was going just as WE planned. We welcomed a new daughter in October 2006. CourtNCassidy

CassidyWe moved to Texas in March 2009 knowing that something had to change. I knew that MY attitude was not right. I knew that I was wrong and I was not capable of changing my husband. Honestly, I didn’t believe that what he was doing was any way directed at me. I knew he was miserable and I didn’t want him to feel like that. I wanted to help him and I tried everything…EVERYTHING. I began going to Powerhouse Church after his cousin kept asking me and asking me and I kept saying NO, but don’t stop asking! One day, I said yes.

The teaching was on order…order in the home. I recognized immediately that my home was not in order. I began to repent to God for sins that I didn’t even know were sins! I cried and travailed over these sins because I recognized that I needed a Savior. I had truly done everything I KNEW to do, right AND wrong, and my life was still a mess. I gave my heart to Jesus Christ. I gave Him every piece of my broken heart and He gave it back to me softened and permeable, ready to receive what He poured out for me at the Cross: GRACE.

The Bible tells us that it is the Truth that sets us free. But, if no one tells us that Truth then we remain in bondage. We cannot change people, only God can do that. What we can change is our response to God and to people.RocketsWhitehead There is freedom that comes when we surrender our lives completely to Jesus Christ, giving Him full authority over every aspect of our being. We are completely in the will of God and obedient to His Word, and that brings security. With that Promise, there is no guarantee that pain, trials, tribulation, temptation, persecution, and troubles will not come.  But strength is built by resistance.  When we keep our eyes on the things of heaven and not earth, the eternal and not the temporal, the matters of life that we once found to be devastating are now sandpaper that refines us.

His Word tells us that if we seek Him with all of our heart, He will come down to us. Psalm 116, Psalm 81, and Psalm 119 are good prayers. I also like Psalm 40 (my personal favorite because He pulled me out of a pit of despair! I was sinking fast.).

Through reverence, there can be restoration. When a home is restored, the first thing that has to happen is the walls are torn down and many times a new foundation has to be laid. The same must happen to us. Walls must come down, and a new foundation must be laid. Many of us have a cracked foundation. pamnrogWe’ve been taught the wrong way and led in the wrong direction. It’s okay to turn around and start over! We don’t have to do today what didn’t work yesterday. It’s okay to say “I don’t know!” or “I’m wrong!”. Here is my husband testifying after his deliverance from gambling, alcohol and drugs in July 2014 (that’s right…it took a little longer for him.)

Today, I work for a pro-life ministry with one of the leading pro-life leaders in the world. eople are restored everyday.  I lead some outreaches through a ministry at our church as well hitting the sidewalk in front of the largest abortuary in the US to pray for families to choose life.

Bz1U1yyIUAEMDFA.jpg_largeI teach on sexual purity and deliverance from bondage at women’s encounters. Jesus worked IN me so He can work THROUGH me. I am a trophy of Grace. TeachingPurity

Paul wrote much of the New Testament and was on fire for the things of God. He was a persecutor of Christians until he had an encounter with the Living God! He talks of what he calls a ‘thorn in his flesh’, a messenger from Satan that kept him from becoming proud. Here is what he says in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10:

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My Power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” BrandonLayingHands HappyFamily LayingHands MrClarence RogLayingHands

Identity Crisis: Who am I and what did you do with ME???

There is always much talk of my “rights” and “identity” in the world today.  People claim many rights that are, well… plainly put, just wrong. The right to abortion, the right to marry someone of the same sex, the right to “self-fulfillment”.

We hear the question posed: how do you “identify” yourself?  This determination is often made by your sexuality, race, gender, personality, nationality, family of origin, profession, talent, achievements…the list goes on.

Right now, STOP for a moment and describe yourself. What is in the list that identifies who you are?

NOW, let me pose THIS question:

IF ANY OF THESE WERE TAKEN FROM YOU, WHERE WOULD YOUR IDENTITY COME FROM?

Makes you stop and wonder, right? Good.  I am writing this to provoke you to determine and know with confidence WHO YOU ARE.

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“Ray” grew up playing sports.  At 6’6″ tall, he was your classic “jock”. Predictably, he achieved a scholarship to play basketball at the college level. “Ray” comes from an upper middle class home in a Houston suburb, parents divorced in his early teens, and he lived with his father after that. The affirmation that “Ray” received from his dad always came based on his performance. If he did well on the court, his dad was proud. His identity was founded in what he did and based on the perception/affirmation of others.  Once he became a student at University of Oklahoma, a different world was made available to him and he indulged in gambling, drugs and alcohol.  All of this affected his ability to play sports.  Suddenly, he was not the person that everyone knew him to be.  Now, his identity shifted to “the bookie”, “the pothead”, “the drunk”.

I paint this picture for you to show you that we cannot define ourselves by things that can be stripped away from us in a moment. Circumstances change, injuries happen, the economy fails, we age, and we fail. If I am defined by what I do, then at any given moment my identity will change from champion to loser.

CommittedWe have just begun a new sermon series at Powerhouse Church called “In Christ ~ Discover Your Rights”.  When someone says they are “in Christ”, what does that mean?

If I say that I am IN the pool, that means the pool surrounds me.  If I say that I am IN the house, that means the roof covers me, the walls surround me, etc.  If I am IN my clothes, the clothes cover me.  So…to be IN Christ means that He surrounds me, covers me, and I am decreased. In order to be IN something, I must be smaller than that which I am placing myself into.

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When we identify as a “Christian” we are saying that we are IN Christ.  How does that translate?

As I was listening to our pastor describe “putting on Christ”, these Scriptures flooded my heart and mind:

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He has DRESSED me with salvation and given me a ROBE of righteousness.  The prophet Isaiah compares this to a bride and her wedding day…one of the most monumental days in the life of a woman or man.  There’s more…

Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 2.00.45 PMThis verse implies that I have a part in being IN Christ as well as a choice about what I do.  WHAT???  It’s not just saying a prayer, He puts His robe on me and then I’m walking around looking like Him?

Imagine that you are a queen [you ARE!].  You have many visitors and ambassadors from other countries who come to meet with you.  One such visitor asked to wear your crown.  You allow it.  She walks around with the crown on, though she has not been schooled in etiquette, customs, laws, or politics.  Would you allow her to make decisions on your behalf and use your name to exercise authority? Because she is wearing the crown, does that make her an heir to the throne?  No.  In order to be an heir, you must be in covenant with the family.

When we are IN Christ, we are made righteous.  If we choose to “put off” Christ and “put on” the old man, then we become unrighteous.  So many today are seeking individualism and identity by what they do or how they feel.  But IN Christ, we are to walk by FAITH and by the Power of the Holy Spirit.

I would love to hear from you.  Let me know how this post provoked you to IDENTIFY yourself.

Watch Your Mouth Girl: 5 Things I Wish I Didn’t Say

I am the Queen of the Big Mouth…at least I was.  Hey…sanctification is a process!  I am the person who thought that if it was true, then I should say it. I am also the person who believed that I always had all the answers. As I grow and mature and move forward in my walk with Christ [yes…I am a Christian…but don’t let that stop you, read on!], I am learning that I don’t always have the voice that needs to be heard.

Here are FIVE statements I wish I had not ever made, in no particular order [however you’re welcome to rate them]

1.  “YES” [when I wanted to say NO!]

We do not have to participate in EVERYTHING.  It is so easy to say yes and be a people-pleaser.  What happens?  We over-extend ourselves and live a life of chaos.  This is a distraction of the enemy.  He wants to get you so focused on pleasing man that you don’t please God.  He will get you so busy that you are not productive.  You are always late, nothing gets finished, you are completely overwhelmed and then what happens?  You just QUIT!  Don’t let this be you.  Be honest. If the answer is NO, then let it be NO. You do not want to have to go back on your word.  Your word is your bond. Follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.

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2.  “God won’t give you more than you can handle. Suck it up.”

I said this more than once in my immaturity.  Here is what Scripture actually says in 1 Cor 10:13:

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.  And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

God’s grace is sufficient.  He gives us MORE than we can handle so that we are dependent on Him and He is glorified in the victory. We allow Him to handle…we are to stand firm on His Word, His Promises.

God's Promises

I love when Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane.  It is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. Jesus had just been affirmed by The Father.  He is about to begin His ministry.  He has been fasting.  He is weak…and temptation comes. The devil tempts Christ in trying to have Him do something that is contrary to the nature of God. The enemy played on His natural weakness, not accounting for His spiritual strength. What Did Jesus Do? [WDJD]  He gave Him the Word…He fought with His Sword. In temptation, we must do the same.  He shows us a way out…[wisdom]…so that we can endure. His grace is sufficient and His power works best in weakness [2 Cor 12:9].  I have committed Scripture to memory so that when temptation comes, I can battle spiritually.  Praying in tongues is another weapon in my arsenal.  The devil can’t understand this heavenly language.

3.  “I would NEVER _____________”

No matter WHAT you fill in the blank, this is condemnation.  Anytime I use the word ‘never’ or ‘always’ it should only be in reference to Jesus because He is the only perfect One.  These words are drenched in finality and eternity.  I help lead our prolife ministry at Powerhouse Church in Katy, Texas.  We go out to Planned Parenthood at least once a month.  I train volunteers to counsel on the sidewalk.  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard them say TO ME “I just don’t understand how a woman could ever have an abortion.”  I DO NOT put these people on the sidewalk. If they would stand and tell me this [I have HAD an abortion] I can’t gauge what will come out of their mouth in front of a fearful, abortion-minded woman.  These words pierce past scar tissue directly to the heart and create new wounds. We must learn to be compassionate and loving, we don’t ever know the battle that someone is waging.

A better way: start with a testimony of a time when you did something really depraved. This evens the ground and breaks the silence. Many times the Holy Spirit places people in front of us because He wants us to testify to His goodness.  It is His goodness that draws men [and women] to repentance.  When we draw a line with ‘never’ and ‘always’ we exclude or isolate.  We separate ourselves from a sinner when we act ‘self-righteous’.  Don’t EVER forget where you came from.

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
    and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
    out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
    and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
    They will put their trust in the Lord.

~ Psalm 40:1-3

This ^ is one of my favorite passages of Scripture and keeps me grounded. I am reminded often that “There but for the grace of God go I.”

4.  ANYTHING…[sometimes I just wish I had said NOTHING]

Listening is a ministry.  [NOT eavesdropping or gossiping] There are so many times when I wish I had just listened and not said a word. If you listen long enough, you will hear the need. I must submit and surrender my judgments, assumptions, prejudices and experiences and ‘get in their boat’. I have found that as the person confesses the hurt or transgression, the Holy Spirit begins to bring to their remembrance the Truth and they are set free without my “assistance”. Just being present and representing Christ is enough sometimes.

5.  NOTHING…[other times I should have spoken up]

I have carried offense because I would not go to a person and tell them the truth. This root of bitterness harmed ME, not the other person. Time does not heal all wounds, JESUS DOES.  Confession comes by way of the mouth, not osmosis.  We must open our mouths and speak about the hurts we carry.  Healing begins because of the exposure. The devil has no power over the transgression once the light shines on it.I have also watched someone fall deeper into depravity because I was more concerned about whether they would be angry with me than what the Holy Spirit was telling me. If we love our neighbor, we will be an example of Christ’s love.  We may not have to SAY anything, but our actions proclaim boldly the Truth that binds us.  IF the moment comes when you do need to speak up, don’t stifle the unction of the Spirit.  Let Him guide you and get out of the way. He is a Wonder-Worker! Words as smooth as velvet have flowed from my lips and I had no idea where they came from because I allowed Him to use me and be a mouthpiece for God and He got ALL the glory…because I am just NOT THAT SWEET 🙂

This list could go on and on and on…until next time, leave me a comment of something that YOU may have said that you only wish you could take back. I would love to hear from you!

2014 Election: Hope Rising

I am encouraged by the results of the 2014 midterm elections.  For the first time in 8 years, the House of Representatives and the Senate are both PROLIFE.  I don’t know about you, but that sparks hope inside of me!

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I voted for the first time in the 2008 presidential election. This was ONE YEAR before I made Jesus Lord of my life.  At that time, I am quite embarassed but will be transparent and tell you that I voted for Barack Obama believing that he would deliver change…and honestly, for an example of just how shallow I was: I was excited that a black man [well…kind of black] was running for president [YES, I can admit it…I was one of THOSE people].  I believed that he could shake things up a bit in Washington.  I believed that he had an ear for the people.  I was really temporally focused and selfish.  I had a career in healthcare [laboratory technology] so that was a big priority in my life.  Many of my patients did not have insurance coverage and it was frustrating to say the least.  Obama made comprehensive health care reform the centerpiece of his domestic agenda.  He promised:

  • To facilitate health care coverage for nearly all Americans [he changed his tune on individual mandates to suit Congress]
  • To provide subsidies for people who cannot afford insurance
  • Implement consumer protections
  • Boost federal funding for prevention and wellness programs,
  • Give tax credits to small businesses that provide their employees with health coverage
  • Implement health information technology systems.

I believed that Barack Obama was going to innoculate the country with HOPE.  Here is one bold faced lie: “If you’ve got health insurance through your employer, you can keep your health insurance, keep your choice of doctor, keep your plan,” Mr. Obama said in his Oct. 15, 2008 debate against McCain. “The only thing we’re going to try to do is lower costs so that those cost savings are passed onto you. And we estimate we can cut the average family’s premium by about $2,500 per year.”

Looking back…well, just watch for yourself and see how blinded I was.  This is long, however it is well worth the watch if you have time:

I made a lot of excuses for my patients because I made a lot of excuses for myself.  My desire was not to empower them but I simply was enabling them and sympathizing rather than empathizing. TODAY…I stand for righteousness.  I have a biblical worldview and my heart has been transformed.  I stand on two key issues when determining who I vote for: abortion and the sanctity of marriage. I am PROLIFE and I believe that marriage is for a man and a woman.  This determines who I vote for. I have been schooled.

If I could teach one thing to young people or those who may not have ever voted either out of ignorance or complacency, it would be this:

Define what is important to YOU.  Really determine what your convictions are and what you want to stand on.  Make sure it is a firm foundation and not sinking sand.  Some things are constant and others are forever changing.  Make sure you base your decisions on righteousness.

Let me know what is important to you…and what you think of this year’s results.

Let’s Get Naked: 7 Things Your Husband Wants You to Know

Ok…It’s not what you think!!! Did I get your attention?  LOL  I hope so.  I want to share a few things that I have learned about how to be a better wife.  Have you ever just wondered [but didn’t ask] “What does my husband want???”

We can ALL improve, right?  None of us have perfect marriages.  We all argue, we all disagree, we all get irritated, we all have that P word: P-R-I-D-E.

Humility is what is left when we are undressed of pride.  So, let’s get naked.  Here are 7 Things that your husband wants you to know:

1.  You don’t need to be one of the guys.  Release the death grip and let him have his “guy time”.  You don’t have to don the jersey, sight the weapon, or swing the club to spend quality time with your husband.  He likes to date you, not “hang” with you. He doesn’t want you COMPETING with him.  He wants you to COMPLETE him.
2.  He loves the touch of your soft skin and hands because they are in great contrast to the roughness of his.

3.  He likes that you smell like flowers and NOT motor oil or buck lure.

4.  He appreciates that you can’t color analyze the A&M game because it makes him seem like a genius when he does.  So, even if you CAN color analyze the game, DON’T!

5. YES, occasionally you indulge in his world but don’t beat him at his own game, even if you can.  That is disrespectful and it does nothing but deflate him. He wants to be YOUR champion and he cares more about what you think of him than anyone else. Be his cheerleader and let another man in his life be his coach.

6.  Let him be the head of your home and you be the heart.

7.  He wants to be the king of the castle. Don’t usurp his authority.  Don’t undermine him.  YOU are not always right, especially if it causes disagreement, then you are definitely WRONG.  STOP saying it’s him!

My point?  Be a lady.  THAT’S what he wants.  He loves your softness, your tenderness and most of all, he loves being needed. I’ve learned all of this the hard way but I believe it is because God wanted me to share it with YOU.  I was the world’s toughest tomboy, ex- Army soldier, and wanna-be lady boxer [yes, it’s true].  I haven’t lost my personality, but my character has been refined. I am not tupperware; I am fine china.

Christ makes ALL things new and today I am who He created me to be: the helpmate to my husband and I complete him.  I don’t try to compete with him. I despise shopping, having my nails done, pedicures, make up, jewelry, heels and bras [doesn’t everyone??]. I don’t enjoy any of these things and I am not trying to!  However, because I love my husband and he always compliments me when I make a little effort to look good for him, I will get my nails done FOR HIM, put on make up FOR HIM, accessorize with a LITTLE bling FOR HIM.  I don’t do it for YOU [I am not competing with you either] or even for me, but because I love my husband and I want him to have eyes for me.

Remember, your husband chose you.  Don’t forget and never deny the attraction that you have for each other.  He wants YOU and NO ONE else!

This post is meant to challenge us all to be better wives.  Chew on this little quote from genius Albert Einstein:
“We can’t solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”