Monday, October 26, 2009

A Few Words About Our Final Week - Please keep up the good work!

My Dear Friends,

The 40 Days continues to be an anointed time for our community in upholding the sanctity of life and in responding to the culture of death with the power of prayer. This is the last week! I ask that you make every effort to commit an hour or more to stand at the vigil in the remaining time slots. You all continue to encourage me with your commitment to the unborn and their parents. There have been many times that I have gone to the vigil to find people participating in prayer who did not sign up online. While many people spontaneously stop by (which is wonderful!), I ask that if you know you will be covering an hour, to make sure to sign up online as this lets other people know which times to fill (again, please be sure not to walk across the grass of Albemarle Baptist).

Sunday is day 40 of 40! Our Victory Celebration will be at 7 PM that evening. I truly hope you can be at this blessed gathering. It is very powerful to hear of the many graces God has poured forth in such a short time. Details will follow soon (just to give you one fact, did you know that over 400 babies have been saved nationwide?!). Although we have not made our vigil on Sundays, I am asking you all to fill the 12 Noon to 6 PM time this Sunday, November 1st, because it is the final day of the vigil. We should easily be able to make a strong showing in these hours.

I will be in touch. May God mightily bless you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Each life -- a victory

The day before this fall's 40 Days for Life campaign began, the local team in Orange County, California received some great news.

Nathan had just been born -- at a very healthy nine pounds!

At once point, however, Nathan's life had definitely been at risk. Thankfully, he was one of the babies whose mom chose life during the spring 40 Days for Life campaign.

"Please tell all those people thank you," said Nathan's mother. "Thank you for being there praying for people that you do not know. You made a huge difference in my life and in my baby's life. I cannot thank you enough for what you did."

The Orange County team also got to meet a different baby named Jack. He had been scheduled to be aborted ... TWICE!

But his mother chose life.

Jack's adoptive mom brought him with her when she went to pray at the 40 Days for Life vigil.

We rejoice for all the lives saved ...

... 299!

Yes, 299 children have been spared from abortion during the fall 40 Days for Life campaign thus far, thanks to your prayers, fasting, standing vigil, and the grace of Almighty God!

That's also 299 mothers who have been spared a life of regrets following an abortion decision.

Praise God!

The 40 Days for Life team in Manassas, Virginia sees the value of having a pro-life resource center very close to the abortion facility. Ken said a 19-year-old girl arrived at with her mother, fully intent on making an appointment for an abortion.

"They did an ultrasound and found she was 26 weeks pregnant," he said. "This abortion facility only does first-trimester abortions, so they sent her away."

The girl and her mother were directed to the pro-life pregnancy center, where the counselors told her about all the resources that were available.

"The wonderful counselors helped her decide to have her baby," said Ken. "Another life saved! The prayers of our 40 Days for Life participants were powerful."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

By The Babe Unborn

By G.K. Chesterton

If trees were tall and grasses short,
As in some crazy tale,
If here and there a sea were blue
Beyond the breaking pale,

If a fixed fire hung in the air
To warm me one day through,
If deep green hair grew on great hills,
I know what I should do.

In dark I lie: dreaming that there
Are great eyes cold or kind,
And twisted streets and silent doors,
And living men behind.

Let storm-clouds come: better an hour,
And leave to weep and fight,
Than all the ages I have ruled
The empires of the night.

I think that if they gave me leave
Within that world to stand,
I would be good through all the day
I spent in fairyland.

They should not hear a word from me
Of selfishness or scorn,
If only I could find the door,
If only I were born.

Exciting news from Kalispell!

The following has been sent to us by David Bereit, the National Director of 40 Days for life.

We just got word that a Planned Parenthood abortion center in Kalispell, Montana will be closing down for good next month. CLOSING!!

And -- you guessed it -- that facility was the location of Kalispell's 40 Days for Life vigil this past spring!

Planned Parenthood told the local media it is closing the center for economic reasons -- or as Stacy James, a Montana Planned Parenthood executive, admitted to the daily newspaper, "We've not had the patient numbers to keep the doors open."

She then went on to blame the economy, the recession, the health care crunch and a lack of government subsidies.

Ms. James said nothing at all, however, about the 40 days of prayer, fasting and constant vigil in front of the Kalispell facility this spring.

Karen, the local 40 Days for Life coordinator in Kalispell, had no doubt as to why the clinic is shutting its doors forever. "Our heartfelt pleas to God for an end to abortion here in Kalispell are being answered," she said. "Let us rejoice in our mighty God who has looked down upon His with such great favor."

The Kalispell team is currently holding a 40 Days for Life campaign outside another local abortion facility, but the first thing they did upon hearing the news about the closure was to return to the soon-to-be-closing Planned Parenthood facility to thank the Lord for this amazing victory.

Click here to see more photos of the celebration gathering!

This now makes FOUR abortion centers where 40 Days for Life vigils have been held that the doors have been shuttered and these businesses have CLOSED FOREVER. Praise God!

Where and when will the next closure come?

I'll trust the Lord to provide that information. But for now, I'm hearing from a number of local teams that abortion centers that are the sites of 40 Days for Life prayer vigils are cutting their hours -- and even closing their doors on days when abortions are
usually scheduled.

Could one of them be next to close? Let's pray!

When Ed arrived to pray at the 40 Days for Life vigil in Everett, Washington on a day when abortions are usually performed, he noticed a Planned Parenthood volunteer outside the clinic. "A moment later, she left and the doors were locked," he said. "I looked over at the sign where the hours are posted and it had changed."

The sign said: "CLOSED TODAY."

Ed's simple reaction: "Praise God!"

Prayer volunteers say business at this abortion center in Everett is most definitely OFF. The
previous day had been very slow at Planned Parenthood, and it looked like the only people there
were staff members. As we have observed time and time again, Planned Parenthood is a business about making money. If women decide not to have abortions, they simply can't stay open in a community.

Clinic hours were also cut back in Canton, Ohio. "Planned Parenthood in Canton has posted a letter on their door stating that they will be closed all Saturdays during October due to administrative needs," said Jill. The Saturdays, of course, all come during 40 Days for Life. "Wow!" she added. "What a coincidence!"

Obviously, it isn't really a coincidence. I have to wonder if "administrative needs" is just their cover story; could it be they're closed because they, just like Planned Parenthood in Kalispell, are finding they don't have enough customers to stay in business?

I hope and pray that is the case.

God is so good!

Midway Rally: Photos

Monday, October 12, 2009

Stories, Encouragement, and Report: Half Way!

Dear Friends,

We are now half way through the 40 Days; I encourage you to recommit yourself to this crucial cause. Ask yourself why you are a part of this effort. Is this God's will? Can one person make a difference? Yes, one man can. I have a few stories for you.

1. One man who had never prayed in front of Planned Parenthood before 2 weeks ago decided to commit an hour each morning from 6-7 to petition God. Later that week in the middle of the day, a man driving by in a pick-up truck slammed on his breaks (nearly causing an accident), parked on the side of the road, and approached the few women who were praying at that time. "I just wanted to let you know that I've seen a man praying out here on his knees every morning and it's making me ask myself what I think about abortion."

2. One woman said, "When we go to Planned Parenthood to pray, it's like leaving this world and stepping into the spiritual world." Surely, that place is a great stronghold of the devil. As St. Paul explained, "For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12

3. I saw a 3 year-old boy holding his mother's hand in the Church parking lot. I asked them what they were up to. "We're going to pray for the babies," the little boy explained. Some say that abortion is not for children to know about. In my experience, children are more upset about abortion than adults often are. They do not need to be told any details. They instinctively know life is beautiful and that any suppression of life is a bad thing. I frequently see small children who can barely talk at Church, who smile and point at my daughter in my arms and say, "Ba-by." Such an encounter is the essence of the pro-life position.

4. One person who is not a Christian told his spouse, "I am very impressed by the effort and commitment of those doing the 40 Days." See, you are making a difference!

5. One man who has been taking early morning times simply said, "It's awesome to be out there."

If you have offered your prayers and time, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you have not yet participated in the 40 Days, please do not think it is too late to start. Please do not feel that lack of action thus far means you shouldn't get involved now. Now is the perfect time!

We are now half way through. Ask yourself, "Can I do more for these little innocent ones? I encourage you to consecrate your efforts to the Lord. I beseech you in His Holy name to be sacrificial with your time. Will you stand in vigil and pray with me for 1, 2, or more hours this week? Please go to our sign-up page and fill in an empty spot (especially Tuesday and Wednesday). Ask a friend to come with you. May your prayers be powerful and effective. God bless you all!

"Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." James 4:17

Mid-way rally report!

Scott Klusendorf addressed the small group of about 15 people who gathered on Saturday for our Midway Rally. His words sounded like a speech for an small army about to go into battle against an enormous enemy. We gathered like Gideon's army, the American soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy, or many of the other small forces that were totally outnumbered, overpowered, and out strengthened. We could have been demoralized. We could have been discouraged. We could have given up. Scott encouraged us with 3 important points:

1) "You are not alone." The fight against abortion can make you feel alone. But we are not alone. The pro-life forces are growing nationwide, whether we see them or not. He who seeks the Lord's will is never alone anyway: "What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us?" - Romans 8:31

2) "Surrender is not an option." Sometimes we may feel like giving up. Scott recently had the opportunity to speak with a British solider who survived D-Day. He told Scott that though Germany was devastating all of Europe, that era was one of the greatest in his life. Why would an old man who has been living in relative peace say this about a war-stricken time? "We knew what we stood for then," the man explained. Now the meaning of life is unclear. The difference between good and evil is blurred. In these dark times, there are 2 sides that we can be on. Silence and surrender always help the oppressor.

3) "Help is on the way." 90% of the first wave of soldiers who rushed the beaches of Normandy were killed. But those who survived did not give up. The reinforcements that arrived behind them joined them for victory. Without that victory, the results would have been devastating for the whole world. We pro-lifers now stand as part of a growing wave of soldiers against abortion. And the Calvary is on the horizon. Don't let up!

Friday, October 9, 2009

MIDWAY RALLY, Saturday 1:30pm

REMEMBER to set your calendars for the Midway Rally this Saturday!

Come together for prayer, worship, and encouragement led by our passionate and engaging nationally known guest speaker, Scott Klusendorf. This weekend marks the half-way point of the 40 Days For Life. We have already seen God's love impact our community in this anointed time. Let us not grow weary or complacent, but build up our momentum in fighting for the unborn, in caring for their mothers and fathers, in proclaiming the truth and the beauty all human life. I hope to see you Saturday. Please spread the word; the more involvement we have, the quicker we bring an end to abortion! God bless you.

What: Midway Rally
When: Saturday (10/10) from 1:30-2:30, finishing our time together with prayer at Planned Parenthood
Where: Word of Faith Church, on the corner Hydraulic & Lambs Road, right beside Albemarle High School (A map is available)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Message from our Cville Director

Dear Friends in Christ,

Life is God's most beautiful gift and abortion continues to reject the Lord's special creation - person's made in His Holy image. That is why we must not tire in praying and speaking up for the little ones who are most vulnerable in this culture of death. Help me proclaim the culture of life, the culture of Christ, the culture of authentic love that accepts and rejoices in every life - every child, every woman, every man.

Thank you all for your support thus far in the 40 Days. Each prayer is part of God's perfect plan. Each effort and sacrifice you make bears eternal fruit. We are almost half way through the 40 Days. Please recommit your efforts with the prayer below - recite it often, remembering that you may be the only thing between a child and his or her scheduled death. When you petition the Lord on behalf of these little one's, you make the greatest effort possible. This is an effort beyond human means, for we know that "nothing is impossible with God." You also listen to Jesus' command, "Let the children come to me."

Our Half-Way Rally is this Saturday (10/10) at 1:30 PM. Our guest speaker is Scott Klusendordorf, a nationally syndicated Christian speaker. We will also have prayer and a time of worship. The location is not yet confirmed, but I will let you know as soon as I find out. I know that this is not very far in advance, but if you are able to come, it will strengthen you, others, and our entire community in fighting for justice, peace, and truth. Please spread the word and stay tuned for more details.

If you have not had a chance to commit an hour at the vigil, choose a specific day and make it happen. Find someone to go with you and present your requests to God together recalling St. Paul's words, " everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

My heart rejoices and my will is strengthened when I drive by Planned Parenthood and see others praying and bearing witness to the truth of the harm of abortion and sanctity of life. Of course, if you decide to stop by spontaneously that is wonderful and encouraged. But if you plan to cover a particular hour, please be sure to sign up online so that as we work to cover every hour, we know which ones are already taken care of. Tuesday and Wednesday still have many openings.

Praise God for helping us spread the word on CBS!

May God bless all of your efforts!

Fr. Frank Pavone says, "Prayer leads to action." Please pray with me:

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life,
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.

I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death
by the Resurrection of Your Son.

I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.
Today I commit myself
Never to be silent,
Never to be passive,
Never to be forgetful of the unborn.

I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement,
And never to stop defending life
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected,
And our nation once again becomes
A nation with liberty and justice
Not just for some, but for all.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen!

Fasting: Why and How?

Does fasting really accomplish anything? Didn’t Jesus rebuke people for fasting?

God made us with a body and a spirit. We are physical and spiritual beings. Jesus commanded us to worship “in spirit,” but does this mean our bodies are inconsequential to spiritual life? The Bible tells us the opposite. Those who receive the Holy Spirit become temples of God. That is, God comes to dwell in our bodies. For this reason, St. Paul tells us, “Glorify God in your body.” Jesus died for us not to free us from our bodies, but to free us in our bodies. St. Paul says, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies…”

Jesus’ perfect sacrifice involved both his body and his spirit. He laid down his flesh and submitted his spirit. Following Jesus’ example, St. Paul tells us to “present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual act of worship.” Our bodily action is spiritual worship, according to St. Paul. This, of course, does not mean we can merely offer our bodies apart from our spirits, for we cannot divide the human person. Rather, it means we must offer our entire being to God – body and soul – just as Jesus Himself did. St. Paul even goes so far as to say that our “bodies are members of Christ.” We glorify or deny the Lord with our bodies.

Jesus gave instructions for those who fast. He did not state, “if you fast…” but “when you fast…” Jesus’ rebuke comes for those who fast for the wrong reasons. Jesus was not rebuking the outward action but the inward motivation of these people. We must fast not to be seen by men, but to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God.

Fasting is so important for Christians that we learn some prayers must be accompanied by fasting. In the Gospel we learn that the prayers of Apostles were not effective in one instance. Upon questioning Jesus, he told them, “Some demons can only be driven out by prayer and fasting.”

The Gospel also shows us that Jesus himself fasted. As our ultimate model in everything we do, we must not take his fasting lightly. As we strengthen our wills through sacrifices, we are able to strengthen our spirits as well.

How then should I fast? There are many ways to fast. You can have only bread and water for a day. You can fast from sun-up to sundown. You can skip a meal. You can make small sacrifices within a meal – give up butter, salt, cream in your coffee, or your favorite snack for the day. If your health is not great or fasting would prevent you from attending your needs, you can fast in other ways. Give up the Internet, TV, or your phone for a day. Sacrifice listening to the radio or chewing gum. The point in all these activities is not merely to do them, but to do them from the heart. If we make give up some sort of pleasure, such as eating, we make a prayer of body and spirit. Our difficulties, sacrifices, and sufferings can be joined to the prayer and perfect sacrifice of Christ, who offered himself to the Father in the Holy Spirit. Friday is a particularly powerful day to fast, as it is the day Jesus offered the ultimate sacrifice. Our sacrifices can have meaning because they are joined to the Ultimate meaning – Christ crucified and resurrected. With Jesus, who sacrificed his body, we can say, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Brief reminders regarding racism

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"When America was pro-choice on slavery and pro-choice on segregation, the choices of states, slave owners and segregationists ultimately had to be limited by law so that justice for the oppressed could finally prevail. Are we willing to stand up for the unborn today as our forebears stood up for us?" -- Josephite Fr. John Raphael, Clarian Herald, New Orleans (February 2009).

Mondays and Fridays are wonderfully full, but we're still in need for the rest of the week! Please pray for volunteers!