Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Day of Victories at Governor's Ridge

The account below is given by Sarita, who is a wonderful pro-life warrior.  At the bottom of the post is a picture of me with two other women from St. Michael's who are also members of the Respect Life Committee.  Also below is the beautiful poster of the virgin Mary which our committee bought last year.  The other picture is of a woman who came to the abortion facility over a year ago with the idea of getting an abortion but she changed her mind.  What a wonderful choice she made.  Look how cute her girl is! 
Dear brothers and sisters,

Today was certainly a Day of Victories at Governor's Ridge, by the Grace of God!
In spite of the fact that most of the Hispanic Community of St. Thomas was attending a retreat out of town, the Lord still provided us with 44 prayer warriors, representing a variety of cultural backgrounds, as well as Protestant and Catholic church affiliations. All were united prayer in defense of Life, so much so that the enemy was very angry and tried to intimidate us. Someone (we suspect it was the abortion clinic) called the police and falsely told them there were people running up to the cars and harrassing the drivers. Out of the blue, three patrol cars showed up, and I ran to see what was the matter. The officers asked if I was with the group, and I said yes, and they told me about the allegation. I very cheerfuly denied it, assuring the officers we had all been very peacefully praying, like they know we always do, and that there were children with us. They believed me, and said they have to follow up on any complaints, that we were within our rights to pray peacefully, and that they didn't know who had called in the complaint. Then two of the patrol cars drove off, and the third officer watched us pray for a short time and then left too: The Lord's Victory Number One.

Not long after that, our honored guest of the day arrived: the Lord's Victory Number Two. It was Latina, the beautiful African-American mother who chose Life at this very clinic last year and now brought her nine-month-old little Chelsea to participate with her in the prayer vigil. Chelsea is the most powerful sign that can be shown to any mother entering or leaving the clinic area. She is so precious! I have attached pictures of her and her mother. Latina told us about the day she chose not to abort little Chelsea, after seeing our large sign of an 8-week-old baby in the womb. Chelsea was about that far along in the womb at that time.

That sign didn't get photographed today, as it had already been taken home when I started taking pictures. But it was present at the clinic long enough today to have been the instrument of the Lord's Victory Number Three. An African-American couple, who was probably the last one scheduled for an abortion today, pulled up to the light to turn into Governor's Ridge. Our Hispanic group began to wave their signs, especially the big one of the 8-week-old baby in the womb. The man, who was driving, tried to cover his face with his cap, in order not to have to look at that sign. When the light turned green, the couple drove into the complex, but then they paused, just inside the entrance. Afterwards they turned and drove through the complex and out one of the exits, leaving without ever going to the clinic. We feel sure they chose Life for their baby because of the prayers and the sign. Please pray for them, that they persevere in their decision for Life, and that they joyfully discover God's provision for all their needs, as Latina did.
Latina and her baby's father, who is Caucasian, are attending a church regularly now, along with her two teenage daughters. The are engaged to be married, and she testifies that the secret to making the right decisions in life is for the Lord to have First Place in one's Life. I heartlily agree. It is His love that impells us to reach out to these mothers at Governor's Ridge.
Please pray for all who have joined us to continue to make that sacrifice, and pray that others may be added to their numbers. Our prayerful presence may cause a mother to change her mind and keep her baby.
In Christ for Life....Sarita

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September Respect Life Committee Updates

Silence on Contraception has Caused Confusion Among Many Catholics

Silence from the clergy on the issue of contraception is in large part to blame for why a majority of Catholics use contraception despite the practice going against church teaching. It is not only the responsibility of the Church hierarchy, but also the lay faithful to speak up about the immorality of artificial contraception and to practice what they teach. While understanding that this is a delicate subject, we must explain to those who do not understand why the Church considers this practice sinful because this is the charitable thing to do. We must also express the great joy and freedom that natural family planning offers to married couples. People are generally more open to listening to a positive message, and a marriage where spouses love and respect each other so much that they are willing to give of themselves completely is a positive message. People need to know that the divorce rate among couples who actively practice natural family planning is around 1% as opposed to the over 50% average. These are the positive messages that people really need to hear. We will never win the battle against abortion if we don’t also address the problem of widespread use of artificial contraception.

“Catholics for Equality” Promotes Dissension From Church Teaching on Homosexuality

Another so called “Catholic” group is promoting an agenda contrary to the Catholic Church. The newly formed group, Catholics for Equality, is promoting homosexual political agendas and is openly critical of Catholic bishops and the teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality. Although the issue of “gay marriage” is not generally thought of as a pro-life issue, I believe that all controversial moral issues are worthy of mention when talking about pro life. This is especially true with the issue of protecting the sacrament of marriage, because it is through marriage that procreation is designed to take place.

Embryonic Stem Cell Funding Ban on Hold

Pro-life groups were pleasantly surprised a couple weeks ago when a judge ruled to ban federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. However, President Obama and his aides have appealed the ruling and there has now been a temporary hold on the decision. Pray that the judge’s decision will be upheld and that our tax dollars will not go toward destruction of human embryos.

40 Days For Life Kick-off Rally This Saturday

When – Saturday, September 18th : Vigil begins at 6:00 AM. Rally begins at 9:00 AM.

Where – In front of the abortion mill at Governor’s Ridge. Park in the empty strip mall at the southwest corner of Delk Road and Powers Ferry Road.

Directions - Address: 1640 Powers Ferry Road, Marietta

Take Windy Hill Road, going east, to Powers Ferry Road, crossing over I-75.

At Powers Ferry Road, turn left (north).
The first traffic light you encounter will be directly in front of the Governor’s Ridge office complex, which will be on your left. (Do not turn into the complex. We are not allowed to park there.)

Continue on Powers Ferry Road, passing a fire station. After the fire station you will see Kims Care Kleaners and a huge parking lot.

Park and walk back to Governor’s Ridge.

Rules - Stay on the sidewalk, and do not step on the grass behind the sidewalk. Do not stand in the driveways that enter and exit the complex, or stand on the islands at the main entrance. Leave room for joggers to pass freely. Do not enter the complex.

You need not talk to anyone. You may pray out loud or silently. The Rosary is a suggested prayer that is very powerful.

You may make your own sign (preferably laminated, since it might rain), or we can lend you one, until they run out.

We suggest you bring a vigil candle if you are going to be praying before it is light. On Saturdays, the busiest day for abortions, the women start arriving before 6am, so if you have a candle, they can see you are praying for them. You may save a life!

Children are welcome, but need supervision. Powers Ferry Road is a busy street.

More Information

You can sign up for a time slot on the vigil calendar on the local 40 days for life website.

Please urge others to join us. Innocent lives are at stake.

Respect Life Meeting

We will have our monthly meeting on Monday, September 20th. Plan on meeting in Conference Room B. We will have several issues to discuss so I hope many of you will be able to attend.

Prayer Vigil

Our monthly prayer vigil will be Saturday, September 25th. We will meet at 8:00 AM at St. Michael’s and carpool over to Governor’s Ridge. Since abortion appointments are being scheduled earlier, we may want to consider going back to the original schedule of meeting at 7:00 AM, but at least for this month we will meet at 8:00 AM. The 4o Days for Life Campaign will have already started, so I’m really hoping for a big crowd next Saturday.

God bless,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Does God Have a Plan for Your Life?

*The following is a 2001 quote from famous musician Dave Matthews.*

"It would be safe to say that I'm agnostic. However, I do feel as though we owe a faith to the world and to ourselves. We owe a grace and gratitude to things that have brought us here. But I think it's very ignorant to say, "Well, for everything, God has a plan." That's like an excuse. ... Maybe the real faithful act is to commit to something, to take action, as opposed to saying, "Well, everything is in the hand of God." – Dave Matthews to the Boston Globe Mar. 4, 2001

I am a big fan of Dave Matthew’s music, but I don’t sign up to his religious views. I believe in God. I believe Jesus Christ died for us so that we might have eternal life. However, I think Dave Matthews makes a valid point when he says that people who use the phrase ‘God has a plan’ as an excuse are ignorant. We must not use the phrase “God has a plan” as an excuse. God’s plan for us is to love. He desires that we love Him above all things. We should also love our neighbor and ourselves. We all have been given the gift of free will. This is a gift given by God that distinguishes the human race from other animals. This free will means that we have the choice to choose between good and evil. So when we choose evil is this just part of God’s plan? Absolutely not! God is all good and everything he created is good. Our choices are ours and ours alone. When we do good deeds the Holy Spirit may be working within us, but the good deed requires us to listen to the Holy Spirit and take action. It is ultimately our choice. On the flip side, the devil may tempt us to do evil but at the end of the day the choice is ours. We should not blame our sinful actions on the devil. God is not interested in excuses. God can make good out of all situations, meaning that no matter what the situation there may be or how that situation came about, some good will occur if we appropriately respond to that situation. However, this does not mean that every situation is His plan. When we sin, it was not God’s plan but rather our denial of the plan He has for us. When we sin we should not try to explain it away, but acknowledge our sinfulness and actively work to rid those sinful acts from our life. To be a faithful Christian is more than just believing in Jesus, it means to have faith in Him and do good works. It means that we recognize our sinfulness and we are constantly striving to rid ourselves of our sinful ways so that we may become more like Him. We do this best though prayer and the Sacraments. We must use our talents to glorify God. To be Christian does not mean that we sit on the sidelines and watch the action. We must be in the game. When we live according to God’s plan which is love, we will win and God will smile. God’s plan is love. Go and live according to His plan.

God bless,

Friday, September 10, 2010

Father's Love Letter

The following was forwarded to me by a friend.  It is so good that I had to share.  God bless!
Father's Love Letter

My Child ~

You may not know me, but I know everything about you ~ Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up ~ Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways ~ Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered ~ Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image ~ Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being ~ Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring ~ Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived ~ Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation ~ Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book ~ Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live ~ Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made ~ Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother's womb ~ Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born ~ Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me ~ John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love ~ 1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you ~ 1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child and I am your father ~ 1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could ~ Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father ~ Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand ~ James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs ~ Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love ~ Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore ~ Psalm 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing ~ Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you ~ Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession ~ Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul ~ Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things ~ Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me ~ Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart ~ Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires ~ Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine ~ Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you ~ Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart ~ Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes ~ Revelation 21:3-4

And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth ~ Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus ~ John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed ~ John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being ~ Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you ~ Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins ~ 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled ~ 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you ~ 1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love ~ Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me ~ 1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you from my love again ~ Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen ~ Luke 15:7

I have always been Father, and will always be Father ~ Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is ~ Will you be my child? ~ John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you ~ Luke 15:11-3

Love, Your Dad, Almighty God

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Does Money Buy Happiness?

According to a report in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a person’s emotional well-being tends to increase with their income up to about $75,000. (Can Money Buy Happiness?)

This is an interesting report, but I am not surprised by the results. I definitely don’t think money buys happiness, but I can understand how a stable financial situation may make it a little easier to be happy so long as the person has their priorities straight. I think when people are falling on hard times, financial or otherwise, it’s easy to fall into despair and fear. $75,000/year is enough money to meet basic family needs such as clothing, food, and housing and provides a little cushion for some savings and nonessentials. However, there is no clear indication that people that make more than $75,000/year are any happier. In this culture which places so much importance on financial well-being and material things, sometimes the idea of what it means to be happy is misunderstood. A strong faith in God is the best and surest avenue to happiness if you ask me. A strong support system of family and friends is also a great comfort. A stable financial situation may help a person feel happy, but it is not the source of happiness.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Dear Lord, thank you for all the wonderful gifts you have given me.
I know that all good things come from you. May I never lose sight
of what is important in this life. I know that You are the true source
of all happiness. May I never fall into despair and fear no matter what
sort of difficult circumstance comes my way. I trust in You Lord.
I know that You will provide me strength to overcome all obstacles
so long as I remain faithful to You. Look after all those who are poor.
May they find what they need to be able to take proper care of themselves
and their families. Inspire in those of us who have an abundance to
lovingly share our gifts with those less fortunate. In Jesus' name, Amen.

God bless!