Friday, November 20, 2009

The Manhattan declaration

Attention! From the signers of Manhattan Declaration, being released today at Noon EST, in Washington D.C:

We invite you to join with other Christians across the nation who support the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty by endorsing the Manhattan Declaration.

Throughout the centuries, God has graciously provided His people with teachers and prophetic voices who apply His word to the critical issues of the day and who lead their hearers to embrace His life-giving authority and counsel in the midst of cultural madness. The Manhattan Declaration extends and honors that tradition, and we urge you to join us in affirming it. The Manhattan Declaration addresses with urgent eloquence the devaluation of human life, the corruption of marriage, and the erosion of religious liberty. With careful instruction, it brings light and clarity to all who read it. We trust that millions of believers will sign it, that countless others will be drawn or driven to give it fair consideration, and that our society will be changed by its strong yet sweetly reasonable message.

The Manhattan Declaration will be released this Friday, November 20, 2009, at a press conference in Washington D.C. It bears the signatures of many religious leaders, but this is just the beginning. The list of supports will grow dramatically in a short time and those who most need to hear this word will not be able to escape or downplay it. So please endorse this document by your signature and spread the word to others who might endorse it as well. Thank you.

Click here to view the Manhattan Declaration and lend your name to those who have already signed.

"Subtle links": God saves twins!

"...how subtle are the links which bind two souls which are so closely allied." -- Arthur Conan Doyle


In life there are moments when the grace of God becomes so vividly and visually apparent that, if we were to try and capture such a moment in fiction or film, it would be dismissed as an improbable fiction. And yet the grace of God pervades every moment of every day, more wondrously than we can understand or seek to describe. That is what we are called upon to remember in those seemingly extraordinary moments -- not that the action of God in our lives is unusual, but that our realization of it is what is really extraordinary.

On this particular "Friday for Life", as we stood in a little group, praying in front of the genocide factory of Planned Parenthood, we experienced the usual mixture of reactions -- a whispered "God bless you" from an elderly man out for his morning constitutional, and a scarcely understandable shout that we should "get a job".

When the red mini-SUV pulled out of the parking lot and slowed at the curb near the sign, our prayers intensified. It was driven by an older woman, with a girl in the passenger seat. We fully expected we were about to "get it with both barrels", as the saying goes. As the older woman got out, and walked across the grass to speak with us, my mother made one last whispered petition to the Holy Spirit.

But this was a grandmother who had come to thank, not to attack. "I want to thank you," she said. "My daughter came here to have an abortion. But we've just learned that she's pregnant with twins... and she's changed her mind."

Blessings, hugs, and tears predictably followed.

Thanks be to God for his benevolence and for the little twin who saved two lives today. If Cain's question -- "Am I my brother's keeper?" -- were put to that little prolifer, the answer would clearly be "Yes!"

Love and prayers for mother, grandmother, and for that happy pair.

Monday, November 9, 2009

FRIDAYS FOR LIFE!

Praised be Jesus Christ!

I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your prayers, fasts, sacrifices, and efforts in these past 40 Days. What a difference they have made! Many of you have shared your experiences with me, and each one is a powerful testimony to God's mercy.

The big news that rounds out the 40 Days is that a Planned Parenthood Director, Abby Johnson, quits after working at PP for 8 years! I believe that God has crowned the 40 Days For Life with this woman's conversion. Watch the video from foxnews and read the full story here. She worked in College Park, TX, where the 40 Days for Life began - which she had seen out her window for the past 5 years! There have been over 100 stories on her, but this one is amazing: (listen to the interview)

Nationally, there were also 8 nurses who quit and 563 babies saved!

I also believe that these 40 days are only the beginning of the end of abortion - yes, ending abortion must be our goal. The irony of Abby's story was that what was unsettling to her was a push from her bosses for more abortions. If abortion is a good thing, why is more of a good thing bad? Clearly, abortion is the "business" that keeps PP running. Abortion is all about money for them. And as this "business" was receiving less revenue (that is, more women were keeping their children), PP responded by saying, "We need to have more abortions." Praise God for His grace that caused this woman to realize the truth! Amazingly, it was an ultrasound that made Abby realize that abortion is murder. A director of 8 years did not realize what was happening to those children! Can you imagine that? That is why a visible presence outside these abortion facilities is so crucial. We are the only chance that many of these babies have. We are the only visual for many children's mothers (who are not allowed to see the ultrasound). But if the 40 Days For Life is over, why am I so fired up?

Abortion is not over. Abortion continues to destroy many members of our community, and damage many others. That is why we will continue to pray outside Planned Parenthood every Friday - the day of abortions in Albemarle - until it closes (details below). I am asking you personally, will you commit to praying an hour each Friday? If you cannot, will you pray every other Friday? Or, will you pray one Friday a month? I cannot emphasize the great impact your visible prayerful presence has made on so many hearts and minds. Please continue to stand up for life with me. Please continue to be a voice, a sign, for the true peace, true justice, and true love of Christ. There are little children in their mothers' wombs right now who are scheduled to be killed. Will you help me try to save them? There are mothers who are confused and scared being pressured to have abortions, will you pray for them?

Friday sign-ups will continue here just like during the 40 Days.
We will be covering the hours 9 AM to 5 PM. However, on the First Fridays of the month, we will only cover 9AM to Noon, so that we can have more substantial numbers all at once. If you are willing to pray at PP, but cannot come at the designated hours, of course any prayerful presence there is encouraged any time. I also ask you to fast on Fridays. Jesus gave up his body for us, that we might have life. By fasting, in a small but real way, we too give up something good (food) for the sake of something better (grace!). Fasting is a way of praying with our bodies that unites us to Christ's perfect offering to the Father (more about fasting here).

"And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart." Galatians 6:9

Please keep praying! God bless you!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saving Lives!





USCCB NATIONWIDE BULLETIN INSERT

Tell Congress: Remove Abortion Funding & Mandates from Needed Health Care Reform

Congress is preparing to debate health care reform legislation on the House and Senate floors.

Genuine health care reform should protect the life and dignity of all people from the moment of
conception until natural death. The U.S. bishops’ conference has concluded that all committee approved bills are seriously deficient on the issues of abortion and conscience, and do not provide adequate access to health care for immigrants and the poor. The bills will have to change or the bishops have pledged to oppose them.

Our nation is at a crossroads. Policies adopted in health care reform will have an impact for good or ill for years to come. None of the bills retains longstanding current policies against abortion funding or abortion coverage mandates, and none fully protects conscience rights in health care.

As the U.S. bishops’ letter of October 8 states:

“No one should be required to pay for or participate in abortion. It is essential that the legislation clearly apply to this new program longstanding and widely supported federal restrictions on abortion funding and mandates, and protections for rights of conscience. No current bill meets this test…. If acceptable language in these areas cannot be found, we will have to oppose the health care bill vigorously.”

For the full text of this letter and more information on proposed legislation and the bishops’ advocacy for authentic health care reform, visit: www.usccb.org/healthcare.

Congressional leaders are attempting to put together final bills for floor consideration. Please contact your Representative and Senators today and urge them to fix these bills with the pro-life amendments noted below. Otherwise much needed health care reform will have to be opposed. Health care reform should be about saving lives, not destroying them.

ACTION: Contact Members through e-mail, phone calls or FAX letters.

* To send a pre-written, instant e-mail to Congress go to www.usccb.org/action.
* Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call your Members’ local offices.
* Full contact info can be found on Members’ web sites at www.house.gov & www.senate.gov.

MESSAGE to SENATE:

“During floor debate on the health care reform bill, please support an amendment to
incorporate longstanding policies against abortion funding and in favor of conscience rights.
If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed.”

MESSAGE to HOUSE:

“Please support the Stupak Amendment that addresses essential pro-life concerns on abortion
funding and conscience rights in the health care reform bill. Help ensure that the Rule for the
bill allows a vote on this amendment. If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill
should be opposed.”

WHEN: Both House and Senate are preparing for floor votes now. [NOW!]

Act today! Thank you!

Law and Order: "Dignity"



A recent episode of Law and Order entitled "Dignity" addressed the murder of an abortion doctor. To the astonishment of pro-lifers and the fury of mainstream media, the show actually presented the pro-life cause with great feeling. As the nrlc put it: "...what makes the Law & Order episode so riveting is that virtually every pro-life argument you knew you would never hear on a network program is a part of "Dignity." More important, it occurred to me as I listened in utter astonishment that each of these observations could have been presented in a way that was artificial, forced, or (as so often is the case with network portraits of pro-lifers) something that you would expect from an idiot. None of that was the case. These were real flesh-and-blood people, not caricatures."