Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reflections on 2009 and the Future

As 2009 winds down, I am contemplating what to do with this blog in 2010. I feel like I made a lot of progress by changing the layout, increasing the number of overall posts for the year, and by adding a podcast feature. However, I have found that my time is more limited now than it was in the past. I have a full time job, a young baby to take care of, and several hobbies.

My new year's resolution is to increase my tithing at church, increase my charitable donations, and to be a better person. I know I can't quantify the last resolution, but I have several ideas in which I can improve myself as a person. Firstly, I am going to make a dedicated effort to pray daily and pray often. I plan on spending at least 15 minutes a day for 4 days a week in adoration. I plan on reading Magnificat every day as well as the dayly spiritual reflections with Saint Paul, a book I received for Christmas. I plan to pray the rosary weekly. In addition to prayer, I hope to become less selfish in both thought and action. I hope that my actions and my behavior reflect a life of service to God and to others. I will certainly fail to live up to this at times, but with God's grace maybe I will fail less often. Thirdly, I want to be a moral and spiritual leader in my family as well as in the community when possible. This blog is one way in which I've tried to accomplish this, but I also plan to continue my position on the Respect Life Committee. I also will try to display my faith in my interations with family, friends, coworkers and strangers.

So that is my goal for 2010. Will I live up to my high expectations? Probably not completely, but I intend to do my best to live up to these resolutions. What does this all mean for this blog? I'm not real sure. The readship of this blog has declined, probably in large part due to the fact that I haven't been updating it nearly as often the past couple months. The goal of this blog was to promote the values of Christianity in our lives today. If I fail to reach a wide audience, perhaps I should try to focus on another endeavor in hopes of accomplishing my original goal with this blog. I am open to all advice, comments or ideas you might have. I appreciate you. Thank you, God bless you, and my you have a very blessed 2010!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Podcast - Tiger Woods, Brian Kelly, and College Football

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Manhattan Declaration

I signed the declaration and if you believe in the principals stated in the Manhattan Declaration, I encourage you to sign the petition also and to spread the word on to other people of like mind and good will. God bless you all this Advent season!

What is the Manhattan Declaration?
A Call of Christian Conscience

Read the Manhattan Declaration.
Manhattan Declaration

Sign the Manhattan Declaration

Live the Manhattan Declaration

Saturday, November 21, 2009

National Adoption Day

As advocates for life, we should not limit our focus to the rights of the unborn. Several children are neglected by their parents and end up in foster care. Those children may stay in foster care for years and some never find a family and when they turn 18 they are all alone. The best environment for a child is in a good loving family - a family with a mother and father who love them. Research has continuously come out to confirm this well known fact. Many believe that adoption is a very expensive and difficult process and so they never seriously consider adoption. While there may be some obsticles, nothing worth doing or receiving comes without some challenges. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a public charity that my employer, Wendy's/Arby's Group, fully supports. The Dave Thomas Foundation is a public charity dedicated to dramatically increasing the number of adoptions of children waiting in foster care. Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's, himself was adopted and he was a champion for the cause for adoption his entire life. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a more afordable option than many other adoption options. If you'd like more information, please visit their website below. God bless!

Dave Thomas Foundation

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Stupek Amendment A Pro-Life Victory?

Was the Stupek Amendmen a Pro-Life Victory or was it simply a political ploy to pass a bad health care bill? I tend to believe that although there certainly was some political games being played here, the inclusion of the Stupek amendment is indeed a Pro-Life victory and will in fact make the bill even more difficult to pass because of the radical far left leadership in this country. Hopefully the passage of the Stupek amendment is just the first of many victories in the spirtual battle for life. Hopefully this issue over abortion will divide the Democratic party, destory this bad health care bill, and reform a party that has strongly moved toward the culture of death. I say we should support the Stupek Amendment, not the current health care bill, and continue to fight against the culture of death on abortion, death penalty, euthanasia, “comprehensive sex education", war, etc. Life is not political; it is a gift from God. Health care reform is necessary but not at the expense of our faith, morals, and the life and well-being of our children and our children’s children. God bless!

Friday, October 30, 2009

USCCB Grassroots Effort To Address Concerns in Health Care Reform

The Catholic Bishops have tried and tried to get the message out to politicians, but most politicians are turning a cold shoulder so the USCCB is turning to grassroots efforts to help raise awareness about the concerns Catholics have with the current health care reform proposals. I am so pleased to see the Catholic Bishops make such a strong committment and stand on this critical issue of health care. Please spread the word. God bless!

U.S. bishops launch grassroots effort to fight for Catholic concerns on health care

Thursday, October 22, 2009

40 Days For Life Devotionals

I will not be posting the remaining daily devotionals, but there is still about 2 weeks left in this Fall 2009 40 Days for Life campaign. I encourage you to continue reading the daily devotionals at the 40 Days for Life Blog. Thanks for your continued prayers for life and God bless!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

DAY 29: Your prayers are WORKING!

Dear Mike,

YOU -- and others like you in 212 communities -- are
praying and fasting for an end to abortion.

Is the tide finally turning? I pray that it is!

More and more abortion centers seem to be
experiencing a decrease in customers. And I have to
think the reason is all that intense prayer!

Ann in Toledo, Ohio was surprised when the Center for
Choice, the location of Toledo's 40 Days for Life
vigil, was closed on Friday, one of the two days each
week when abortions are usually scheduled.

"It is extremely rare that the center is closed on a
Friday unless it's a holiday," she said. "Praise
God!"

Kathy in Columbia, Missouri also reports the abortion
center where the 40 Days for Life vigil is being held
was closed on Saturday. "It is usually open from 8:30
am to 12:30 pm every Saturday," she said, "but no one
showed up."

The abortionist arrived around 2 o'clock, went inside
for five minutes and then left again -- and did not
seem very pleased when she saw the five people
standing in prayerful vigil.

On Thursday, the abortion day in Columbia, eight
women arrived for appointments instead of the usual
15 to 20. "We feel this indicates that many are
cancelling or just not showing up," said Kathy, who
notes that the clinic staff is starting to get antsy.

As she was leaving the clinic parking lot, the
abortionist drove up to Kathy and a priest, who were
praying on the sidewalk, and called out, "Didn't the
police tell you to stay away from OUR sidewalk?"

Kathy politely answered that the sidewalk was public
property. The abortionist said people were
complaining of harassment when they came in. Kathy
responded, "I only give them information when they
leave." The abortionist called the police; Kathy
called an attorney.

A police officer arrived and went inside the clinic
to check out the "several complaints" she had
received. "Within five minutes the police woman came
out said everything was okay and just be careful not
to block the sidewalk," Kathy said. "The attorney
told me that we had just called their bluff and we
won. But the battle continues."

Fewer customers are also being reported at the
abortion center where a 40 Days for Life vigil is in
progress in Atlanta, Georgia. This past weekend,
Kateri said the facility's parking lot, which is
usually jam-packed on Saturdays, had the fewest cars
the prayer volunteers could ever remember seeing on a
Saturday. Hallelujah!

The Atlanta group had its mid-point rally on the
sidewalk across from the clinic on this particular
Saturday -- and they've posted a two-minute video
clip showing part of the event. Check it out at:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=415

"It was a tremendous outpouring of prayer in a
display of unity that was probably the most pro-
lifers at a single time that the facility has seen in
its five year history," Kateri said. A Catholic
priest led the prayer, while a praise band from a
Baptist church in Gainesville provided music.

One of the unexpected blessings was the group of
teenagers who came to pray. "That was a youth group
that had driven up from McDonough, at least an hour
away, to pray just for a few minutes," she said. They
had known nothing about 40 Days for Life and had no
inkling that a big prayer service would be taking
place.

"They ended up staying for the whole thing," Kateri
said. "It was truly God's timing."

God will act when we are faithful and respond to His
call. We have His word!

Here's today's devotional from Carmen Pate, Co-host
of the "Point of View" Talk Show...

-----------------------------------------------------
DAY 29 INTENTION
-----------------------------------------------------

Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing
over the transgressions of the remnant of His
heritage? He does not retain His anger forever,
because He delights in mercy. He will again have
compassion on us; and will subdue our iniquities.

-----------------------------------------------------
SCRIPTURE
-----------------------------------------------------

"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the
evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do
evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the
oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the
widow."

-- Micah 7:18-19

-----------------------------------------------------
REFLECTION by Carmen Pate, "Point of View" Talk Show
-----------------------------------------------------

Micah had been sent to declare God's judgment and
call the people of Judah to repentance. The people
had become spiritually and ethically corrupt.

Prosperity had hardened the rich, the poor were
oppressed and the heirs to David's throne were
practicing abominations and idolatry.

Is it not easy to see the parallels of God's people
in Micah's day and God's people today in America?

Through Micah, God corrected His people by demanding
justice, not burnt offerings and sacrifice. He told
them to love mercy, and to walk humbly with their
God.

In speaking of Old Testament stories of God's people
turning from God to sin and idolatry, Paul wrote in 1
Corinthians 10: 11, "Now all these things happened to
them as examples, and they were written for our
admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have
come."

Many biblical scholars believe God has removed His
hedge of protection around our nation in response to
our sins of immorality and abortion. Let us cry out
in repentance for His mercy once again. And may we
honor His faithfulness by doing justly, loving mercy,
and walking humbly with our God.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRAYER
-----------------------------------------------------

Heavenly Father, eternal, changeless, and faithful
Lord, we recognize that we are in need of forgiveness
as a nation, for turning our hearts away from you.
Hear our prayer of repentance Lord and cleanse us
from all unrighteousness. We praise you for your
tender mercies and your compassion that never fails.

Lord, it is only by Your grace that we can live lives
that are just, and merciful. May Your Holy Spirit
enable us to walk humbly in Your presence and may You
be pleased to restore America so that a generation
not yet born may praise you. In the name of Christ
Jesus, who has done great things for us, Amen.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
-----------------------------------------------------

To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2009day29print.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------

For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DAY 28: Whom do you serve?

Dear Mike,

We're hearing a lot about service these days --
giving back to the community. What better way to give
back something truly valuable than by taking part in
this fall's 40 Days for Life campaign!

I have a particular reason for mentioning this.

This past Friday, President Obama spoke at a forum on
volunteerism at Texas A&M University in College
Station -- the same community where 40 Days for Life
began. His speech was delivered just over one mile
away from the site of the first-ever 40 Days for Life
campaign back in 2004.

During his remarks, President Obama promoted a
government web site that identifies various volunteer
opportunities for people.

While that web site does include information about
some pro-life organizations, I was more than a bit
miffed to learn that one of the posted "volunteer
opportunities" comes from the Houston-based Planned
Parenthood operation that runs the abortion facility
in College Station.

The recruitment post asks young people to do "public
service" work for their organization and pleads, "We
need your help with a very simple but honorable job."

The so-called honorable job? Abortion escorts --
specifically to counter the effectiveness of 40 Days
for Life.

Planned Parenthood describes 40 Days for Life vigil
participants as people who "want to deceive our
clients with misinformation and lies then prevent
them from entering our health center for care." That
in itself, of course, is an extreme example of
misinformation.

But this shows why 40 Days for Life needs more
faithful volunteers for the simple -- and TRULY
honorable -- task of praying for an end to abortion
outside the very places where this evil is practiced.

Young people in Houston were recently offered the
challenge to stand up for life. And boy, did they
ever respond!

The 40 Days for Life team in Houston asked, "Can you
imagine over 300 teens getting up early and coming
out to a pro-life rally and march on a Saturday
morning?"

The answer, of course, was an amazing YES!

To see a picture from this event, the March of the
Surviving Children, go to:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=412

After they arrived at the Planned Parenthood location
that is the site of a 40 Days for Life vigil, they
marched around the entire block seven times praying
and singing. "And, to top this wonderful morning
off," the Houston team reported, "we believe that
there was a baby saved!"

Students from a Fort Wayne, Indiana school -- along
with their parents -- decided to embark on a
prayerful service project as well. They gathered
almost 400 people to take part in the 40 Days for
Life vigil at the local abortion center.

"Even in the rain," said Evelyn in Fort Wayne, "these
students marched from their school, about a mile from
the site, and stood as witnesses for 40 Days for
Life."

There were so many people it takes two pictures to
show them all! Check them out at:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=412

I'll close today's message with a story of REAL
service ... and REAL hope.

Go here to meet Isaiah:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=412

Isaiah was born this past Thursday in Riverside,
California.

Karen in Riverside reported a baby saved within the
first couple of hours on the first day of last
spring's 40 Days for Life campaign. That baby, of
course, was Isaiah. The Riverside team found
assistance for his mom through her pregnancy and
recently held a baby shower for her.

THAT is the spirit of genuine, compassionate service
that goes back generations and MUST remain alive.
THAT is the story that must be told!

Praise God for the TRUE service that is provided by
all of you praying and fasting for an end to abortion
during this 40 Days for Life campaign!

Here's today's devotional from Rev. Ben Sheldon,
President Emeritus of Presbyterians Pro-life and
National Pro-life Religious Council...

-----------------------------------------------------
DAY 28 INTENTION
-----------------------------------------------------

We pray for the conversion of abortionists and all
abortion advocates.

-----------------------------------------------------
SCRIPTURE
-----------------------------------------------------

"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the
evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do
evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the
oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the
widow."

-- Isaiah 1:16-17

-----------------------------------------------------
REFLECTION by Rev. Ben Sheldon
-----------------------------------------------------

God is just.

Inscribed around the inside of the Jefferson Memorial
in Washington, DC, are the immortal words of Thomas
Jefferson: "I tremble for my country when I reflect
that God is just."

If the deist, Jefferson, knew in the depths of his
being that God is just, how much more ought we
Christians to reflect on this profound truth?

The justice of God, like his holiness and his purity,
encourages us to seek justice for all people. It is
the evil deeds and wrong, selfish attitudes of our
modern society that have led to the cavalier
acceptance of abortion and euthanasia.

But, as Jefferson also said, "his justice will not
sleep forever."

God is calling us today to seek justice, to encourage
the oppressed, and to defend the orphans and widows
of our society.

It is a noble calling! It is one which every true
believer, every God-fearing man and woman, should
heed with no hesitation and no reluctance.

To follow the God of justice and truth is to stand
unequivocally for the right to life of everyone,
especially the unborn, the physically disabled, and
the terminally ill.

God's word through the prophet Isaiah is as relevant
in today's 21st century world as it was in Isaiah's
8th century BC world. May God's grace help us to
defend the unborn's right to life as well as that of
the already born.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRAYER
-----------------------------------------------------

O God, our heavenly Father, give us courage and
wisdom as we seek to eradicate the evil in our
society. Help us to realize that your divine Spirit
alone can change hearts and minds so that all your
human creatures may enjoy the fullness of life you
intended for them. I pray this prayer in the name of
Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, Amen.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
-----------------------------------------------------

To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2009day28print.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------

I wanted to let you know about a wonderful pro-life
event going on today, Tuesday, October 20, that
complements this current 40 Days for Life campaign.

Students from more than 3,300 school campuses are
participating in Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity to
raise awareness about the injustice of abortion by
taking a vow of silence for one day in solidarity for
the 4,000 children who die from abortion each day.

Red arm bands and duct tape will identify them as
taking part in the Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity.

Anyone can participate (you don't even have to be a
student :-) and you can use the time of silence to
pray and fast for an end to abortion.

Learn more and find out how you can participate at:

http://www.silentday.org

Yours for Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

Monday, October 19, 2009

DAY 27: 299 alive, thanks to YOU!

Dear Mike,

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."

In Houston, Texas, people participating in the
40 Days for Life vigil in front of a Planned
Parenthood abortion facility have been able to
redirect many abortion-minded women to the pro-life
pregnancy resource center around the corner -- where
they can find real help and compassion instead of
Planned Parenthood's sales pitch for abortion.

One young woman walked into Planned Parenthood, then
turned around and came out almost immediately. "I had
a bad feeling after walking in the door," she said,
"and wanted to get out of there right away." When she
arrived at the nearby pro-life center, she said,
"This is much better. I feel more comfortable here."

This is most telling. She had a bad feeling about
Planned Parenthood -- and all she did was walk
inside! Doesn't that demonstrate that we're in the
midst of a spiritual battle? And that just shows that
we must pray harder and fast more faithfully.

These bad feelings are also being experienced by
those who work in the clinics. Just the other day, I
shared the story of the clinic receptionist who said,
"I'm going to quit my disgusting job." She's not the
only one who feels that way.

At another 40 Days for Life location, the prayer
vigil participants have had regular discussions with
a clinic employee.

She has now decided to leave her job!

"I want out of that place" is the way she put it. And
one of her co-workers is almost ready to leave her
job as well (that's why I'm not identifying the
location; can you imagine the pressure she would face
if her employers found out?)

Please pray for these women -- and for all people who
seek the courage and strength to leave the deadly
abortion industry.

Here's today's devotional from Ernest Ohlhoff,
Outreach Director for National Right to Life...

-----------------------------------------------------
DAY 27 INTENTION
-----------------------------------------------------

We pray for humility in our work for God's Kingdom.

-----------------------------------------------------
SCRIPTURE
-----------------------------------------------------

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ
Jesus, who being in the form of God did not consider
it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of
no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and
coming in the likeness of men. And being found in
appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became
obedient to the point of death, even the death of the
cross.

-- Philippians 2:5-8

-----------------------------------------------------
REFLECTION by Ernest Ohlhoff
-----------------------------------------------------

There is no limit to what we can accomplish when we
don't care who gets the credit.

Jesus Christ's life on earth exemplifies a total
submission to the will of the Father. His humility,
compassion, gentleness and thoughtfulness are
reflected over and over again in the New Testament.
He was God incarnate, yet He chose to be born to a
humble, working class home.

How absurd it must have seemed to the rich and
powerful that the Son of God, the Messiah, the one
foretold by the prophets, the 'King of the Jews' was
born and raised as a simple peasant.

During His thirty-three years on earth, He sought no
riches, claimed no secular power and gathered no
possessions. Yet, His short time on earth changed
more lives, softened more hearts, and gave hope to
more people, than all the rich and powerful human
'kings' combined.

And, at the end of His life on earth, by dying on the
cross, He opened the door to eternal life for those
who heed his words and follow in his footsteps.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRAYER
-----------------------------------------------------

O Lord, help us follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Let
us humbly and diligently work to restore legal
protection for the unborn, the disabled, the
medically dependent and all innocent children of God
whose lives are threatened. Let us remember the old
adage that "He can never lead who has not first
learned to obey." And, Lord, grant us a peaceful
heart as we labor in your name. Amen.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
-----------------------------------------------------

To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2009day27print.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------

Mike, thank you SO MUCH for your prayers and
efforts that are making such a powerful impact.

I appreciate you!!

Yours for Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

Sunday, October 18, 2009

DAY 26: It's often personal

Dear Mike,

It's a great joy for me to bring you stories about
things that have happened at 40 Days for Life vigils
and how prayers have been answered.

Today, I'd like to offer a slightly different look at
how 40 Days for Life affects people.

People often tell about the profound personal impact
they experience while praying at an abortion center
as a part of 40 Days for Life. Here are just a few of
those stories.

"I found my first time in front of Planned Parenthood
a bit daunting," wrote Melanie in Indianapolis. As
she stood and prayed on a cloudy day, she simply
couldn't help staring at the building.

"I couldn't fathom that such horrific events as
abortion could occur within those walls. I looked up
into the sky, hoping for something from God to remind
me that He was truly present, despite the place that
stood before me," she said. "I saw rays of sunshine
beaming through the clouds onto the center and
recalled that wherever there is darkness, there shall
be light."

Melanie said she thanks God "for the chance to be a
witness of His love for life and pray that the
mothers see how much He loves them and their unborn
child."

There have been plenty of clouds at the 40 Days for
Life vigil in Painesville, Ohio as well. Local
coordinator Dawn Slike described one recent day's
weather as "horrific."

She said the cold, relentless, pelting rain and wind
made her question God's purposes "and led me to doubt
and reexamine the pureness of my own heart's motives.
Of course, then it became apparent to me in my
solitary brokenness that that was exactly God's
intent," Dawn said. "Focusing on God's purposes
within me made me forget how cold I was."

To take a quick look at the 40 Days for Life campaign
in Painesville, check out the short video produced by
the News-Herald, a local newspaper, by going to:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=403

In Kitchener, Ontario, faithful volunteers have kept
the 40 Days for Life vigil going 24 hours a day.

One volunteer often takes the hours right before
dawn. On this particular day, there was a
determination to spend an hour kneeling in prayer. It
was cold. It had been raining all night. An umbrella
was a big help, but it did not protect the vigil
participant's legs, which got thoroughly soaked as
the cold rain picked up and fell even harder.

"I found myself wishing for the hour to hurry up."
But thoughts suddenly turned to Christ's suffering,
and everything that Jesus endured for our salvation.

"At this time, my experience of discomfort began
changing. It struck me that I had set out that
morning with the attitude that I would be providing a
service to God. No; not at all. God did a service to
me. He blessed me with an enriched prayer experience
and understanding of Christ's sacrificial love."

Soon, daylight began to appear. "I literally watched
darkness give way to the light of day all around me,
and I could not help but see the metaphor for our
society's culture of death. Was God showing me that
he would use our 40 Days for Life to scatter the
darkness of abortion in our nation with a new dawning
light, and a culture of life? I hope so. I believe
so. And I am grateful that he allowed me to take part
in His mighty work."

Have YOU yet had the personal experience of praying
at a 40 Days for Life vigil?

Find a nearby location and get involved:

http://40daysforlife.com/location.cfm

Here's today's devotional from Vera Faith Lord,
Director of the Alpha/Omega Life Ministry and
Representative of the Orthodox Church to the National
Pro-life Religious Council...

-----------------------------------------------------
DAY 26 INTENTION
-----------------------------------------------------

That those who have forgotten their purpose may
discover it in God and therefore have the courage to
choose life.

-----------------------------------------------------
SCRIPTURE
-----------------------------------------------------

These all wait for you, that you may give them their
food in due season, what you give them they gather
in; you open your hand they are filled with good. You
hide your face, they are troubled; you take away
their breath, they die and return to their dust. You
send forth your Spirit, they are created; and you
renew the face of the earth.

-- Psalm 104:27-30

-----------------------------------------------------
REFLECTION by Vera Faith Lord
-----------------------------------------------------

"I am a feather on the breath of God."

As the quote above portrays, we are upheld by the
power and purpose of God. Our very existence on
earth, from our body's first breath to its last, when
we leave it to return home, is our Father's choice
and happens only by His willing to do so.

He who created the universe also created that which
is "me." I do not "have" a soul - I AM a soul, as
well as a body. My entire purpose in this life is to
find my way back to my Creator.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRAYER
-----------------------------------------------------

Beloved Father, remind us today that there is no
truth but you. Do not let us fall prey to the evil
one's lie that we may choose death. Remind us right
now that you, who created all life, are in control of
all life, and let us know right now that you who
created all life, are in control of all life, and let
us choose life always.

Father, please let us hear your voice more today than
yesterday. Keep lighting the pathway home, for us and
for all who participate in this 40 Days for Life
campaign. Father, we're on our way. Through Jesus
Christ our Lord, Amen.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
-----------------------------------------------------

To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2009day26print.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------

For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

P.S.- Two weeks from today the fall 40 Days for Life
campaign will draw to a close. The finish line is now
in sight -- let's pull out all the stops to finish
strong! The stakes have NEVER been higher.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

DAY 25: The truth always works

Dear Mike,

Planned Parenthood slipped up.

I'm often told that abortion facilities use
ultrasound to let the abortionist know how far along
the pregnancy is -- it apparently makes a difference
in how the abortion will be performed.

But the images are for staff only -- not the mother
of the child whose life is at risk. So please keep
that in mind.

As a 40 Days for Life prayer vigil was under way, a
young woman walked towards the Planned Parenthood
facility in Sarasota, Florida with two friends. She
accepted some information about abortion from a
sidewalk counselor -- but she may have just taken it
so the counselor would leave her alone.

As she entered the abortion center, she handed the
packet to a Planned Parenthood staffer -- who quickly
tossed it in the trash.

About 45 minutes later, however, the woman and her
friends came back out. "They made the mistake of
letting her see the ultrasound picture," said one of
the friends, "and she couldn't go through with it."

The group then asked if they could have another
information package. "She wasn't planning on keeping
the child," the friend explained, "so now she needs
someone to help her." That's exactly what happened
next. The counselor told them of several nearby
pregnancy resource centers that could offer
assistance for this mother and her baby.

"As they left," said Jeanne in Sarasota, "they seemed
pleased. No direct action by any one of our sidewalk
counselors helped save this baby. But the potential
effect of the prayers of several people on the
sidewalk can't be dismissed."

The truth -- and in this case it was an ultrasound
picture that was worth much more than a thousand
words -- cannot be denied.

40 Days for Life vigil participants in Winston-Salem,
North Carolina didn't have to say much to the woman
who arrived for an abortion appointment. She was
still in the early stages of pregnancy, but a
counselor told her that even at 21 days, her baby
already had a heartbeat.

"I had no idea," she said. "I never thought of it
that way." She immediately changed her mind.

Two girls drove up to the abortion center in the
Tri-Cities, Washington area where 40 Days for Life
participants were praying -- two were standing, a
third was on his knees.

"They both stared at us," said Debbie, who quickly
figured out that the girl driving was bringing her
friend in for an abortion. "They sat for a while in
their car after they parked and then got out I turned
and showed them my sign. They both looked at it and
walked into the clinic."

Debbie's sign shared the truth: "Abortion hurts
women."

"It wasn't two minutes later they came out and got
into their car and drove off," she said. "They smiled
and waved to us as they drove off. You could tell
they were a lot happier."

Terri in Bakersfield, California received an
incredible blessing during this 40 Days for Life
campaign -- she got to witness the birth of a baby
whose mother rejected abortion during the spring 40
Days for Life effort.

A healthy baby girl was born, and the mother -- in
tears -- thanked Terri for being there in her hour of
need ... with the truth.

To see a picture of this beautiful newborn child, who
was saved by God working through a faithful volunteer
during a 40 Days for Life campaign, go to:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=400

God bless you, Mike, for standing strong in
prayer and fasting, anticipating more miracles just
like this one!

Here's today's devotional from Rev. J. Kirk van der
Swaagh, Pastor, Conservative Congregational Christian
Conference...

-----------------------------------------------------
DAY 25 INTENTION
-----------------------------------------------------

We pray for the conversion of all those who refuse to
acknowledge that human life belongs only to God.

-----------------------------------------------------
SCRIPTURE
-----------------------------------------------------

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "Before
I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were
born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to
the nations."

-- Jeremiah 1:4-5

-----------------------------------------------------
REFLECTION by Rev. J. Kirk van der Swaagh
-----------------------------------------------------

To be or not to be? There is no question!

The question of "being" is something philosophers
have long pondered.

What is the meaning of being and what is the source?
In the passage before us, we have our answer. We have
being because we are known by God.

For God to declare that he knows and sets apart the
prophet Jeremiah even before he is conceived
indicates that our being rests in God's own being.
Because He is and because He wills we, therefore, are
and do.

The Apostle Paul says as much when he declares before
the philosophers of his day, "In Him we live and move
and have our being" (Acts 17:28).

One of the tragedies of the abortion culture is that
life in the womb has been so heartbreakingly
devalued. To embrace the arguments of the
"pro-choice" crowd one must conclude that the child
in the womb doesn't exist, isn't there, has no being.

But nothing could be further from the truth. That
child is known by God and, as such, has being.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRAYER
-----------------------------------------------------

Lord God, we confess that in You we live and move and
have our being. Because You are, we are. May we find
grace from You to affirm the being of every human and
may we labor to make this truth known to the world
around us. Amen.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
-----------------------------------------------------

To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2009day25print.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------

On a final note, many of you have been asking what's
happening with Mayor Daley and Chicago's new "bubble
zone" law meant to restrict 40 Days for Life vigils
and pro-life sidewalk counseling.

Despite the thousands of calls and faxes to Mayor
Daley's office asking him to NOT succumb to abortion
industry pressure, the Chicago media reports that
Mayor Daley has said he will sign the censorship law.

Local pro-lifers are working with heroic attorney Tom
Brejcha, of the Thomas More Legal Society, and are
prepared to take immediate legal action when this
unconstitutional law is enacted.

This is a disappointing setback, but righteousness
and justice will ultimately prevail.

Hope you have a blessed weekend, Mike!

Yours for Life,

David Bereit
National Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

P.S.- Clarification: The Indianapolis abortion
facility reported yesterday as closed for two weeks
is not a Planned Parenthood location, but another
business -- Affiliated Women's Services. We regret
any confusion caused by our mistake!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Volunteer for Evil?

Below is commentary by Gus Lloyd, radio host of Seize the Day on The Catholic Channel. You can find this and much more at his website: http://guslloyd.com/blog/

October 19-25, all four TV networks will participate in a program to help encourage volunteerism. TV shows will have themes around volunteering, and spots will be run encouraging people to go to a select group of web sites that will help them find opportunities to volunteer. But beware a hidden agenda! Rather than lay it out for you, I encourage you to find out for yourself. The networks will be promoting the web sites I Participate and Create The Good. Click on the link for Create The Good and enter the keyword “Health Care.” Then type in your zip code. See what pops up. Then type in the zip code 90210 (Beverly Hills, CA). You’ll find numerous opportunities to help Planned Parenthood further their abortion business. Where are the Pregnancy Centers? Where are the Christian ministries that help the poor? They are nowhere to be found.

Please tell your friends and fellow churchgoers to be alert! Volunteering is a very good thing. We all need to be good stewards of our time, talent and treasure. But the agenda being pushed by this effort is quite obviously skewed toward the culture of death. Get the word out!!

DAY 24: Closed for the day!

Dear Mike,

Yesterday, I was able to share the amazing news that
the Planned Parenthood abortion center in Kalispell,
Montana would soon be closing its doors forever.

There's even more good news today!

Okay, so it may not be quite as dramatic. But more
clinic doors are remaining closed on days when babies
are usually scheduled to die -- and that's good news!

Here are just a few of the reports I've received.

Planned Parenthood's major abortion center just
blocks from the White House in Washington, DC was
reported closed last Saturday -- highly unusual for
its typically busiest day, to say the least. But not
everyone knew the clinic was shut.

Dick spoke to a young woman who'd come for an
abortion. "I counseled her as to why she should not
have an abortion and about the help available," he
said, and he gave her his card. "She called me and
said she had changed her mind about having an
abortion. Thanks be to God!"

The large Planned Parenthood abortion center that is
the site of a 40 Days for Life vigil in Indianapolis,
Indiana did no abortions for two weeks!

This facility is only open for counseling on
Thursdays and abortions on Fridays. "But if at least
six women do not sign up for abortions on Thursday,"
Eileen said, "they will be rescheduled for the next
week because it is not cost-effective to fly a doctor
in from another state to do fewer than six
abortions."

Why do they have to bring a doctor in from out of
state? Because, Eileen explained, "no doctor in
Indianapolis -- or even anywhere in Indiana -- has
taken the job."

For two weeks in a row, there apparently were fewer
than six women seeking abortions. So the abortionist
stayed home, and the death toll for those two weeks
was ZERO. Said Eileen, "Praise God!"

To see a photo from the Indianapolis 40 Days for Life
campaign, go here:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=393

In other breaking news from Indiana, Planned
Parenthood just announced that it is shutting down
six facilities across the state and the abortion
chain is laying off 25 employees. Pray that these
displaced workers are able to find jobs that help and
heal, rather than hurt and destroy lives.

And news from California -- Saturday is usually the
busiest day of the week at a major abortion center in
the San Fernando Valley. But this past Saturday?

CLOSED!!

This clinic, in Mission Hills, averages 40 abortions
every Saturday. But last week, that number was ZERO!

"Could it possibly be because of the prayerful
presence there?" asked Patti, the local 40 Days for
Life coordinator, who then answered her own question:
"Very likely!"

To see the faithful prayer volunteers at the San
Fernando Valley 40 Days for Life, go to:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=393

At Planned Parenthood in Columbia, Missouri, business
is certainly off. "They usually perform 15-20
abortions every Thursday at this location," said
Terra. "But for the last two Thursdays they have
averaged 6-10 abortions. Praise God! Our prayers are
working!"

To see a picture of the 40 Days for Life vigil in
Columbia, Missouri, go to:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=393

In another location, the Planned Parenthood center is
in an office complex. The building owners have
complained about the 40 Days for Life vigil there.
"Don't you know that you are costing us money? You
are costing our tenants customers," said an owner's
representative. "People won't go into the building
while you're here!"

A peaceful, prayerful presence outside an abortion
facility or Planned Parenthood office sends a very
strong message -- and SAVES LIVES.

Thank you for faithfully answering the call to pray
and fast for an end to abortion!

Here's today's devotional from Carmen Pate, co-host
of the "Point of View" radio talk show...

-----------------------------------------------------
DAY 24 INTENTION
-----------------------------------------------------

Pray that God will continue to bless the efforts that
have gone into the 40 Days for Life campaign, as we
trust Him for the results.

-----------------------------------------------------
SCRIPTURE
-----------------------------------------------------

Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You
have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong
hand. O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be
attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the
prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name.

-- Nehemiah 1:10-11

-----------------------------------------------------
REFLECTION by Carmen Pate, "Point of View" Talk Show
-----------------------------------------------------

Nehemiah provides an awesome blueprint for volunteers
in God's service, particularly those responding to
the devastation abortion has caused our nation.

Nehemiah grieved for God's reputation as he witnessed
the condition of the city walls of Jerusalem. The
walls were broken down which was seen by neighboring
people as a sign of weakness on the part of
Jerusalem's God. No wall meant no security for the
city and its people.

We learn from his story that he covered every detail
in prayer; inspired others to join the cause;
organized others to help do the work; confronted
opposition directly and turned to God when
discouraged; and finally celebrated what was
accomplished and gave God all the glory!

Like Nehemiah, we must acknowledge God's sovereignty
as we serve Him before a mocking world. We too need
to be reminded that we are "fighting" for our
families. We too must have an attitude of confession
and repentance before a Holy God. We must pray for
strength, refute slander, and not be diverted from
our work.

Like Nehemiah, we will draw attention from the enemy
when we are seeking to protect the well-being of
God's people. We too must stand firm and seek God's
help to persevere until the task is done. We too will
be victorious.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRAYER
-----------------------------------------------------

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and
the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all
that is in heaven and in the earth is Yours. We pray
for your continued guidance and protection throughout
the remainder of this 40 day campaign.

May we be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in
Your work, knowing that our labor will not be in
vain. We pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
-----------------------------------------------------

To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2009day24print.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------

For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

Thursday, October 15, 2009

DAY 23: Planned Parenthood abortion center closing!

Dear Mike,

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.

To see photos of the celebration gathering, go to:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=389

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!

Here's today's devotional from Dennis DiMauro, the
Lutherans for Life representative to the National Pro
-Life Religious Council...

-----------------------------------------------------
DAY 23 INTENTION
-----------------------------------------------------

We pray for the strength to love those who do not
love us.

-----------------------------------------------------
SCRIPTURE
-----------------------------------------------------

But the Lord said "You have had pity on the plant for
which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which
came up in the night and perished in the night. And
should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which
are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons
who cannot discern between their right hand and their
left, and much livestock? Should I not be concerned
about that great city?"

-- Jonah 4:10-11

-----------------------------------------------------
REFLECTION by Dennis DiMauro
-----------------------------------------------------

God doesn't value people and things like we do. Jonah
loved a shade tree more than an entire city of sinful
people. We love our dogs more than a terrorist. We
love our cars more than a beggar on the side of the
road. And sometimes, we love our money more than a
child growing in a desperate teenager's womb.

But God isn't like us. Genesis 1 tells us that humans
were the capstone of God's creation. We were created
on the sixth day after God had completed the land,
the stars, the plants and the animals. Therefore, His
love for us is greater than His love for a plant, an
animal, or any other created thing.

And the book of Jonah tells us that He loves even the
most sinful people and seeks to bring them into His
merciful arms. And it's a love that seeks to touch
all of his created children: that desperate teenager,
the baby growing in her womb, even tyrants and
terrorists.

So it's up to us to imitate God's merciful love by
helping and praying for those who persecute us, and
those who don't love us back.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRAYER
-----------------------------------------------------

Gracious God, loving our enemies seems like one of
most difficult things you could ask of us. Please
remind us that this is how you love and that if you
ask it of us then you will give us the grace to do
it. This we ask through Christ our Lord, Amen.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
-----------------------------------------------------

To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2009day23print.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------

For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DAY 22: Pray for those who are angry

Dear Mike,

The last 36 hours have been a whirlwind as my family
and I visited more 40 Days for Life campaigns in New
England. We even encountered snow while driving from
the Burlington, Vermont 40 Days for Life to the one
in Hartford, Connecticut! See the picture at:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=377

You know, there is great joy in this work we are
doing together and the blessings God is providing.

But it's also clear that there's much sadness and
hostility in this world -- and that's honestly not
surprising in a culture that tolerates the
destruction of the unborn.

The night before last, while my wife Margaret was
sharing words of encouragement with the assembled
volunteers at the Burlington, Vermont 40 Days for
Life vigil, a car load of college students drove by
and repeatedly screamed at the top of their lungs:
"There is no God!"

We pray for those who harbor such anger.

Guy in Ottawa, Ontario was praying at the 40 Days for
Life vigil one morning as people walked to work. "A
couple of people said hello and discretely indicated
their support for our prayers," he said. "This was
reassuring, yet I know deep down that there are many
who do not appreciate our presence here."

He would soon find out how true that is. A man
approached, mumbling something that Guy and his
colleague couldn't understand. He then swung his
fists in the air. "Next thing we know," Guy said, "he
starts to kick the signs and equipment that were
placed out for viewing and makes cursing remarks
about the church and pro-lifers. The whole scene
lasted about 20 seconds and seemed quite surreal."

Guy was ready to call the police, but the man turned
and walked away. "Although the experience left me
somewhat frazzled interiorly for the rest of the
hour," he said, "it made me realize that the angry
man was whom the Lord wanted us to pray for today. He
is just a sample of the many very angry people who
are living with a lot of interior pain and
resentment. Jesus died for them and wants to heal
them!"

To see a photo of several 40 Days for Life vigil
participants in Ottawa, go to:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=377

There is also anger in the hearts of those who would
pressure mothers to abort their children. Karen in
Peoria, Illinois reminds us that we need to pray
"that God will protect them from those who are not
happy with their decisions to choose life."

One of the prayer volunteers in Peoria talked to a
woman whose boyfriend had threatened to kill her if
she didn't abort their baby.

She had left her home in another city -- and her
boyfriend had followed her. "Her baby is alive,"
Karen said. "She did not abort. She is not religious,
but knew that abortion was wrong." Please keep this
mother in your prayers.

To see a photo of 40 Days for Life vigil participants
in Peoria, please visit:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=377

Pray also, please, for a woman in Indianapolis,
Indiana. She had just discovered she was pregnant and
had come "to take care of it." Fortunately, Planned
Parenthood was closed.

Even more fortunately, Steve, one of the prayer
volunteers, had a chance to speak to her. Steve told
her Planned Parenthood did not "take care" of anyone.
He took her name and phone number and told her he
would contact people who could offer real help.

Eileen, the Indianapolis coordinator, said this
"choice" to seek abortion was an act of desperation
by a single mother. On the day she discovered that
she was pregnant -- and before she could tell her
boyfriend -- he told her he had just lost his job.

But now, knowing that local pro-lifers are willing to
help, she has found a better "choice" for her baby:
life!

"With God's grace," Eileen said, "she picked one of
the few days that Planned Parenthood is closed -- and
it also happened to be during our 40 Days for Life
vigil."

Nothing, of course, is a "coincidence" with God!

Here's today's devotional from Georgette Forney,
President of Anglicans for Life...

-----------------------------------------------------
DAY 22 INTENTION
-----------------------------------------------------

May those who hold life as trivial realize that we
live because God wills it so.

-----------------------------------------------------
SCRIPTURE
-----------------------------------------------------

Who among all these does not know that the hand of
the Lord has done this, in His hand is the life of
every creature and the breath of all mankind.

-- Job 12:9-10

-----------------------------------------------------
REFLECTION by Georgette Forney, Anglicans for Life
-----------------------------------------------------

Job was a man acquainted with grief, trials and
tribulation. He had everything taken from him,
including his family. He endured sickness, ridicule
and judgment from his friends. Everyone gave him
advice about his situation, questioning his
spirituality and his God.

Job's circumstances were bad but he never loses
faith. Why? Because "the hand of the Lord has made
all life." Created by God, he knows his life has
meaning and purpose, regardless of the circumstances.

In our present culture, we've lost that basic truth;
every life is made and allowed to live by God's
sovereign authority. As people who pride ourselves on
our independence, we have a hard time acknowledging
our dependence on God.

From our creation, when we were knit together in our
mother's womb to our last breath, God's word is clear
that "in His hand is the life of every creature and
the breath of all mankind."

It's time for us as individuals, and as a society, to
recognize that we exist by God's grace and turn back
to Him, honoring His word and His teachings. Why?
Because our world is full of Jobs, people who are
dealing with trials and tribulations and hurting
desperately.

Job's response should be ours as well. Regardless of
what we face (even an unplanned pregnancy) God in His
wisdom and mercy will redeem it.

How do I know? Job's friends who doubted God's
sovereignty cry out to God asking for help, God
instructs Job to pray for his friends and after he
does, God restores all that Job had lost.

In other words, because Job never lost faith and knew
and trusted His Creator, the Lord blessed Job.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRAYER
-----------------------------------------------------

Thank you Father God for being the Creator of my life
and every life. Please give me, and the society in
which I live, an appreciation for your gift of life.
Please help us set aside our pride and acknowledge
that we need you.

Show me how I can honor you today in response to all
the blessings you bestow so freely. In the name of
Jesus, Amen.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
-----------------------------------------------------

To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2009day22print.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------

For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stop Hyding

DAY 21: No matter the cost

Dear Mike,

Today, I'd like to tell you about a Christian
business owner who has a serious challenge on his
hands. I don't want to divulge any names or
locations, as I don't want any undue publicity to
complicate the situation. But I share his story so we
may all lift him up in prayer and ask for God to
provide strength and guidance.

This businessman owns a small shopping center in a
Hispanic neighborhood, which is also the location of
his specialty supermarket. About a year ago, he was
approached by an ob/gyn who wanted to lease office
space for a clinic.

The owner's only concern was whether the doctor
planned to do abortions. She assured him that she
would not, so he agreed to a three-year lease.

The local 40 Days for Life coordinator reports that
several months later, the health department cited the
clinic for various violations and shut the office
temporarily. Among the citations -- performing unsafe
abortions.

The doctor denied that abortions were performed at
her clinic, but independent investigations found
convincing evidence that the clinic offered both
chemical and surgical abortions. That evidence was
then presented to the shopping center owner.

The 40 Days for Life coordinator told the
businessman, "I do not envy you. And I do not
understand why God has you in this position. But this
I do know. God has promised in Corinthians that with
every temptation, He will provide away of escape.
This is a promise from God!"

The 40 Days for Life team went to pray at the clinic
early one Monday and found that although the clinic
was open, it had no clients all morning. The doctor's
receptionist even came out and told the people
praying that she is "going to quit my disgusting job
in two weeks."

One week later, the clinic did not open its doors
all day.

The business owner told the clinic operator, "You
rented from me under false pretenses. I asked you if
you do abortions here and you said no. Now I find out
that you have been doing them all along. Now I want
something in writing from you that you will no longer
perform abortions here or you will have to take your
business elsewhere!"

The clinic owner complained that she has spent a lot
of money on renovations, so the landlord offered to
cut a deal if the abortions were stopped: "If you
tell me what percentage of your business is from
abortions, I will decrease your rent by that amount."

So far, there's been no response from the doctor, and
the doors remain locked. Phone calls to the clinic
are apparently being forwarded to another location,
where callers are told that no abortions will be done
at that clinic until November 6.

It's good news that this clinic is closed and not
performing abortions. It's good news that the
receptionist is seeking other employment. It's great
news that there's a business owner willing to stand
up for his convictions, regardless of the personal
cost. And this battle is taking its toll on him.

Breaking the lease would of course have a financial
price, plus there's the possibility that all of this
will end up in court.

"The clinic does have a signed three-year lease after
all," said the local 40 Days for Life coordinator.
"But the shopping center owner has taken a stand. I
told him twice when he told me this story, 'God is
going to bless you!'"

So please pray!

Here's today's devotional from Carmen Pate, co-host
of the "Point of View" radio talk show...

-----------------------------------------------------
DAY 21 INTENTION
-----------------------------------------------------

Pray that we each will daily put on the full armor of
God, so that we are strong in the Lord and the power
of His might.

-----------------------------------------------------
SCRIPTURE
-----------------------------------------------------

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but
against principalities, against powers, against the
rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual
hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you
may be able to withstand in the evil day and having
done all, to stand.

- Ephesians 6:12-13

-----------------------------------------------------
REFLECTION by Carmen Pate, "Point of View"
-----------------------------------------------------

I am confounded to see how the battle over the issue
of life is perceived more often in churches today as
political rather than spiritual. Ironically, the
enemy has used this twisted perception to silence
many in the body of Christ.

We must see the battle for what it is and if we are
to be prepared to face the spiritual enemy on the
issue of abortion, we must daily "put on" the armor
God has given us:

Gird your waist with Truth (vs. 14) -- Commit your
emotions to believe truth and to speak truth,
regardless of the repercussions.

Put on the breastplate of Righteousness (vs. 14) -It
will protect our hearts -- the innermost springs of
our beings -- from all unrighteousness so evident in
this fallen world.

Shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of
Peace. (vs. 15) -- Preparation is vital if we are to
be effective in God's work.

Taking the shield of faith (vs.16) -- The Accuser
will instill doubt, fear, and guilt. Faith acts as
an invisible shield that deflects such false
accusations.

Taking the Helmet of salvation (vs.17) -- A helmet
protects the head, the brain and in turn our mind and
thoughts. Satan hopes we will set aside divine
revelation for human reasoning.

Taking the sword of the Spirit (vs.17) -- The Word of
God, the only offensive weapon in this armor, was
used by the Lord Jesus against Satan. The living Word
is powerful and effective.

Our armor is complete. We are ready to wage war, and
the next verse tells us how, "Praying always with all
prayer and supplication in the spirit." (vs.18)

-----------------------------------------------------
PRAYER
-----------------------------------------------------

Dear Lord, as you lead us into the spiritual battle
of abortion may we be reminded that the battle is
truly Yours. We thank you for equipping us with Your
armor. Lead us daily to put it on!

Thank you for allowing us to serve under your
command, and for hearing our requests for direction
and protection. Thank you for the victory that is
ours because of Your Son, Jesus, Amen.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
-----------------------------------------------------

To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2009day21print.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------

For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

Monday, October 12, 2009

Show Two

In show two, I do a quick follow up on the discussion of vaccinations from show one. I talk about a couple positive stories about two baseball players doing good works off the field. I also talk in depth about the sports stories of the day: playoff baseball, college football and the NFL. Remember to visit my blog at: achristianperspectiveonlife.blogspot.com. Thanks for listening and God bless!

DAY 20: 219 saves, mid-point video

Dear Mike,

Today marks the half-way point of the fall 40 Days for
Life campaign and, as a special treat, I just posted a
brand-new short video from the Augusta, Maine, 40 Days
for Life mid-point rally where I spoke yesterday and
my family met many heroic prayer warriors:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=363

I'll warn you in advance -- this video was shot with a
little pocket camcorder clipped to a sign and the wind
was gusting during parts of the rally. The picture and
sound are far from perfect, but I hope you still find
it inspiring. :-)

If you have a dial-up Internet connection and cannot
watch videos online, we also uploaded the audio from
the event which can be heard or downloaded on the same
web page:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=363

Now for a few of the great reports pouring in at this
mid-point of 40 Days for Life...

Brian in Norwich, Connecticut put out the call to the
40 Days for Life team. "This Saturday, Planned
Parenthood is holding their annual two-hour
demonstration against us," he wrote. "Please come and
show your support for life."

A small handful of Planned Parenthood demonstrators --
some of them paid Planned Parenthood employees -- did
indeed show up. But they were vastly outnumbered by
people who answered the call to pray for an end to
abortion.

The Norwich Bulletin published one photo of the event
that is quite telling. In the foreground there are a
few people holding pink Planned Parenthood signs.
Behind them, however -- and stretching far into the
distance along the sidewalk -- are people peacefully
praying.

To see the amazing Norwich Bulletin photo, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/ygolyub

The woman holding the "I regret my abortion" sign is
Nicole, who has been a strong voice and leader with
the 40 Days for Life effort in Norwich and a real
blessing to our work nationally.

Another blessing is the number of families who come
out to pray at 40 Days for Life vigils.

One example is the McIntyre family in El Paso, Texas
-- Mike, Laura and their nine children. Six of the
children took part in the vigil just last week.
Bethani, the 8-year-old, was singing "Jesus Loves Me"
as a young woman arrived.

She approached the clinic, but did not go inside. She
just sat down for about 15 minutes -- listening, as
Bethani sang.

Eventually, the woman got up and walked over to the
McIntyres and told them she had decided to keep her
baby. All it took to change her mind was the voice of
a young child singing praise to Lord from her heart.

The child had saved the child. One of the McIntyre
children noted, "So this is why we come here!"

Yvonne in California's San Gabriel Valley watched a
woman walk into the abortion center -- and leave a
short time later. Yvonne noticed the young woman was
holding a map with directions to a location that does
second-trimester abortions.

"She is five months pregnant," Yvonne said. "After
informing her of services available through local
pregnancy centers, churches -- as well as support from
all of us -- she decided to choose life for her baby."

And those are just two of the 219 children -- and
mothers -- spared from abortion during this 40 Days
for Life campaign so far!

Yet another blessing for 40 Days for Life is the
number of people who've had experiences with abortion
who deeply appreciate what you're doing.

Stan in Buffalo, New York was praying at the 40 Days
for Life vigil when a woman walked out of the nearby
dry cleaning shop and came over to talk. "She said
that her favorite sign was the one that offered
post-abortion hope and healing," he said. She confided
that she'd had a past abortion, but had found healing
and forgiveness in Jesus, and had been born again.

"She asked that we display more signs like that," Stan
said, "because so many women suffer so much from past
abortions. Please pray for those who live with regret
for a decision they can never undo. May they find what
this woman found."

Speaking of post-abortion healing, 40 Days for Life
will be joining with Operation Outcry for a special
outreach to those suffering in the wake of abortion.
Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 24. I'll be
bringing you more information in the days ahead.

Here's today's devotional from Rev. John Brown, the
Director of United Friends for Life (United Church of
Christ)...

-----------------------------------------------------
DAY 20 INTENTION
-----------------------------------------------------

May God's justice sober our society, and may mercy
triumph over judgment.

-----------------------------------------------------
SCRIPTURE
-----------------------------------------------------

Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning;
from the hand of every beast I will require it, and
from the hand of man. From the hand of every man's
brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds
man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in
the image of God He made man.

- Genesis 9:5-6

-----------------------------------------------------
REFLECTION by Rev. John Brown
-----------------------------------------------------

The value of every human being can hardly be seen
more clearly than with this verse. God, the King of
the universe, has created all human beings in his
image, and declares forthrightly that shedding the
blood of any individual will require the blood of the
one who shed it.

God's concern for human beings is not limited to any
particular group. Indeed, his concern is universal,
and includes male and female, young and old, born and
unborn, disabled and able-bodied, the citizens of
every nation on earth.

Abortion, the deliberate killing of the unborn, is
the shedding of innocent blood. Surely the blood of
millions upon millions of innocent children cries out
to God. It is true that we live in an age of grace,
and yet this passage (among many other texts which
express similar sentiments) should give every
thinking Christian pause.

Christians of all people, entrusted with the Word of
God as we are, must take a stand. We must speak out.
We must do all that we can to protect the innocent,
to pursue justice, and to encourage the repentance of
all those who bear responsibility for this great
evil. Only in this manner can we hope to forestall
the judgment that must otherwise surely come.

This passage should also be seen as an encouragement
to educate and disciple our children and
grandchildren about what it means to be human, and
the responsibility that will become theirs in this
ongoing struggle.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRAYER
-----------------------------------------------------

O Father, forgive us for our lack of courage and our
want of compassion for the unborn and for those lost
and hurt by abortion. Fill us anew with your Spirit.

Renew our minds, strengthen us in righteousness, help
us be people of salt and light within our nation. May
every human being, from conception to natural death,
be treated with the respect due those made in your
image. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
-----------------------------------------------------

To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2009day20print.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------

For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

P.S.- After you watch the mid-point rally video, let
us know how 40 Days for Life has blessed YOU thus far
by posting a reply at the bottom of this web page:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=363

Sunday, October 11, 2009

DAY 19: Watching God at work

Dear Mike,

Today my family and I visited 40 Days for Life
locations in Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as
Manchester and Greenland, New Hampshire. During those
visits we were told about five more lives saved from
abortion due to the prayers and faithful participation
of local 40 Days for Life volunteers. Praise God!

With 40 Days for Life campaigns going on in 212
different communities, it's hard to focus on any one.
But I keep hearing success stories from Lake Jackson,
Texas -- small victories, for the most part; but those
blessings add up.

Lake Jackson is a community about 45 minutes south of
Houston that is holding its first 40 Days for Life
campaign this fall -- even though there is NO abortion
facility there.

"As we ventured into this ministry, we had no idea
where God was going to plant us," said Shannon Hunt, a
local coordinator. The group eventually found a spot
to hold its vigil -- on a corner near a school.

It must indeed be a good place. People are certainly
noticing 40 Days for Life. Linda, one of the vigil
volunteers in Lake Jackson, said "we had many people
honk and wave in support of life. The Lord's presence
was felt and His power was seen."

One woman rolled down her window and shouted to Linda,
"My baby is alive because of you." The message --
delivered on a street corner in Texas -- is indeed
having an impact.

To see a picture from Lake Jackson's first 40 Days for
Life campaign, go to:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=355

As is the case in many cities, the Lake Jackson
campaign is attracting numerous new people to pro-life
activity for the first time. "This is the first time I
am participating in something like this, and it is
awesome to share this experience," said Gabriella, who
noted the vigil has received very good feedback from
people driving by.

40 Days for Life is giving people something to talk
about -- and think about.

Tim said one of his co-workers was grateful for their
efforts. "It gave him a moment to reflect that he was
adopted and may not be here if laws 40-50 years ago
are what they are today. It was a great message of
validation."

The most amazing validation, however, is the fact that
three babies have been saved from abortion through
this community effort in a city that does not even
have an abortion clinic.

Shannon met a young couple who asked what the group
was doing. It did not turn long for the conversation
to turn to the young woman's pregnancy. Abortion had
been suggested. They had already visited a clinic in
Houston. But after talking with Shannon, the woman
said, "I can't go through with it."

Shannon thinks they were already turning away from
abortion when they stopped to talk. "But they needed
one more person to be excited for them; one more
person to affirm the direction they were heading; one
more person, maybe even a pregnant woman, to speak
God's truth one more time so they could finally make
up their mind," she said. "Grace had brought all of us
together."

You may have guessed that the "pregnant woman" sharing
the truth is the speaker, Shannon. (Congratulations,
Shannon!!) There was no one signed up for the vigil at
this particular hour, so even though she wasn't
feeling especially well, Shannon went out to pray.

"I was very, very sick the second I got home that day,
and did not get out of bed for the next three days,"
she said. "God's grace got me to that vigil site
during that empty hour. Imagine if no one had made
it."

As Shannon noted, "even in a town with no abortion
clinic, God is making a difference."

Here's today's devotional from Rev. Rob Schenck,
President of Faith and Action and National Clergy
Council...

-----------------------------------------------------
DAY 19 INTENTION
-----------------------------------------------------

We pray for a renewal of our zeal to offer generous
help to the unborn and their families.

-----------------------------------------------------
SCRIPTURE
-----------------------------------------------------

If I have despised the cause of my male or female
servant When they complained against me, What then
shall I do when God rises up? When He punishes, how
shall I answer Him? Did not He who made me in the womb
make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the
womb?

-- Job 31:13-15

-----------------------------------------------------
REFLECTION by Rev. Rob Schenck
-----------------------------------------------------

The ground is level as we stand before God.

Job lived with an awe provoking sense of God's
expectation of him, particularly regarding his
obligation to care for the weak and needy. He knew
that in God's economy everyone stands on level ground
when it comes to our status as God's creatures.
Because of that central truth, we must take care of
each other.

Job also knew that he didn't deserve any of the good
things God gave to him. Instead, those blessings came
to Job from God's benevolent heart. As an extension of
that knowledge, Job instinctively linked his
obligation to be generous to others to God's kindness
toward him.

As in Jesus' parable of the unmerciful servant
(Matthew 18:23-35), Job knew that it is an egregious
sin to deny to others what we enjoy ourselves. He
actually calls down on his own head severe
condemnation and even punishment should he fail to
share with others out of his own abundance (see verses
16-23).

Proverbs 3:27 reads, "Withhold not good from them to
whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand
to do so." Some things are so obvious that we don't
even need to pray except to ask of God forgiveness and
the power to do what so obviously needs doing.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRAYER
-----------------------------------------------------

God, forgive us when we try to explain away the
obligation we have to help others who need help.
Enable us to not devalue them because they are in the
circumstance that they are in, but to see them for
what they are, those, who like us, were formed by your
hand in their mother's womb. Amen.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
-----------------------------------------------------

To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2009day19print.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------

For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

Saturday, October 10, 2009

DAY 18: Never give up

Dear Mike,

It's Saturday, so you may find some unexpected
"guests" at the Days for Life vigil sites today. In
previous messages, I've mentioned some of the
abortion supporters who feel obliged to "challenge"
our prayer vigils, and Saturday seems to be the one
day of the week they find time to come out.

Sarah left a note on the 40 Days for Life blog that
sums up pretty well how to properly respond to these
highly vocal critics. "When I get ridiculed for
telling the truth, it only makes me pray more and
encourages me to tell the truth," she said. "Let's
never give up this good fight."

On a recent Saturday, a California abortion advocate
wrote in her blog that she went out to protest the
40 Days for Life vigil in Riverside. But when she
arrived, "I was told by the security guards that I
was the first counter protester they've seen this
whole two weeks!" She stayed for an hour and a half
and then gave up and went home.

The abortion groups and their supporters are driven
by ideology. The pro-life people are driven by faith.
There's no question that faith is stronger!

Please keep it up!

Speaking of Riverside, Pam -- one of the local
campaign leaders -- told me that volunteers for the
local 40 Days for Life participated in a community
Walk for Life, setting up a booth and distributing
pro-life information. "It was a great way to get the
word out and tell everyone about our midway event,"
she said. "There were 1,000 people at the park."

To see a picture of a few of the 40 Days for Life
team members in Riverside, go here:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=351

Rita expected company the first time she went to pray
at a 40 Days for Life vigil at a Planned Parenthood
facility. But she had none. No protesters, which was
good; but nobody else to pray with, which was at
first disappointing.

"I wished someone would come," she said, "but God put
it on my heart that it was a strong statement to see
one person, no picket signs, peacefully praying,
wearing a black shirt with bold white letters
spelling out, 'I Pray.' He was with me and that is
all that matters."

It was, to say the least, an emotional experience for
Rita, "especially when I thought about the fact that
behind those walls babies die a horrible death.
Afterwards, I held my one-month-old grandson and
wept."

Kelly in Southgate, Michigan said it's very rare for
the parking lot of the abortion center to be
absolutely empty on a Saturday, but that's exactly
what happened. The vigil participants were thankful
that no abortions were being done, and continued to
pray as planned.

But then a young, professionally-dressed woman pulled
up on the side street next to the vigil, parked her
car and approached quickly. She had her cell phone in
hand and started scrolling through the pictures on
her phone.

"I was here 10 years ago," she said. "I was going to
have an abortion. I mean I was in there and on the
table. But because someone like you was out here
praying, I just couldn't go through with it."

Then she found the picture she had been searching
for. "This is my son." There wasn't a dry eye among
the volunteers who were listening to her story.

"I just wanted to say thank you," she said. "What you
are doing here is SO worth it!"

As my family and I drive all across New England
visiting 40 Days for Life locations over the next few
days, we wanted to wish you a very blessed weekend!

What you are doing is indeed worth every moment,
every effort, every sacrifice.

Here's today's devotional from Randolph Sly of the
National Pro-life Religious Council...

-----------------------------------------------------
DAY 18 INTENTION
-----------------------------------------------------

We pray for a flowering of the joy of parenthood.

-----------------------------------------------------
SCRIPTURE
-----------------------------------------------------

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the
fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the
hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's
youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of
them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with
their enemies in the gate.

-- Psalm 127:3-5

-----------------------------------------------------
REFLECTION by Randolph Sly
-----------------------------------------------------

I still vividly remember the day my first child was
born. As she came into the world I gazed upon the
most beautiful little baby I'd ever seen.

Later I was driving home from the hospital for a
shower and a fresh change of clothes when a song came
on the radio, "The Men in My Little Girl's Life" -- a
ballad about being a father as he watches his
daughter grow through childhood to womanhood.

I wept as I listened, knowing those years would go by
very fast... and they did.

Being a father, whenever I read the Psalm quoted
above I'm always captivated by one word - "heritage."
It basically means "something passed down from a
preceding generation."

That little girl I watched being born and wept for is
not mine to give to God like a product of our
fertility, but rather His, which he has entrusted to
us. So are all her siblings.

My wife and I share a great treasure: precious lives,
which are placed in our lineage that His life with us
might be perpetuated.

To the psalmist, this was a blessing from the
Lawgiver, God Himself, who blessed Israel with
another generation intended to continue their
covenantal promise.

For us in Christ, it is his gift of succeeding
generations for His Church and her families.

These days I'm looking upon my grandchildren, and
rejoicing that my children and their spouses will
pass on the greatness of Christ's gospel to them and
thus will continue the work of God in the world. What
a blessing. What a heritage!

-----------------------------------------------------
PRAYER
-----------------------------------------------------

Heavenly Father, please keep me from taking for
granted the gift of children. Help us to remember
this heritage that you have given us. Make us
faithful stewards of these precious lives, that each
generation might be raised in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord. We ask this through Jesus
Christ our Lord, Amen.

-----------------------------------------------------
PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
-----------------------------------------------------

To download today's devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2009day18print.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------

For Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life