The Years the Locust Ate

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com
24 "The threshing floors will be full of grain, and the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil.25 Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you.26 You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame.27 Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, And that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other; And My people will never be put to shame."
Joel 2:24-27

I came across this passage in Joel and I was overwhelmed by how faithfully God has restored me. January has become one of my favorite months, as it is Sanctity of Human Life Month. The Pro-Life community, as a whole, celebrates how special and valuable each unborn life is. From conception, to birth and beyond, we choose to recognize and protect life. It wasn’t always easy for me to be joyful during this time. I have abortion in my past and I struggled with depression, guilt, shame and self loathing for many years. If you would like to read my testimony in that regard, I have linked it here: https://thewellredeemedwoman.home.blog/2019/01/16/how-to-save-a-life/

I recorded my testimony on video today for my church to play for SOHL day, January 19th. After I left, I reflected back on “the years the locust ate”. My rebellion that hurt God. My choices that ended the lives of 3 of my children before they were even born. My life marked by death and sin in so many ways. I deserved death and knew it; I felt it as strong as I feel His great grace today.

How amazing is it that now, after crying out to God, He saw fit to restore me? I brought nothing good to the table that God needed to continue His plan for humanity. Don’t misunderstand that! God didn’t need me, He WANTED me! All the sin I had, Jesus took to the cross so that I could have access to my heavenly Father. I came with my broken heart…it was mended by Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. I came with all my efforts to live good…exchanged by Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness. I came with a failed attempt to rule myself…shown the truth by Adonai, Lord Master.

This list goes on and on. God truly has restored my lost years and multiplied them with joy for His glory. What have you allowed the locust to devour? Let God restore it. You can’t do it apart from Him. Radical love…it changes everything

"Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, And that I am the Lord your God"

Love Thy Neighbor

I have always loved history. It was my favorite subject in school. I enjoy U.S. history, as well as world history. I seek to always learn more about Memphis, my hometown, even though I have lived here my whole life. There never seems to be an end to what you learn when you simply walk around a part of town you have never been too. I also love the history of different cultures; today I want to cover some African American history. Here in the United States, February is Black History Month.

However, I am not telling you about Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play major league baseball. I’m not telling the story of the great abolitionist couple Frederick and Anna Douglass. The botanist and inventor, George W. Carver, who had a great love for education, isn’t our subject today either.

Rather, I would like us to remember and grieve the 18 million plus African American babies that have been lost to abortion since 1973.

Please don’t mistake me: God says ALL life is precious. I have no doubts about that. I want to give some statistics that, I believe, support the fact the the abortion industry, led by Planned Parenthood, targets the African American communities across our nation. I want to unpack a few ideas:

  1. What are the facts around the African American community in regards to abortion?
  2. Who is Margaret Sanger and why did Dr. Martin Luther King Jr praise her?
  3. How can I help promote life for the future generation of African Americans?

Our first question has easy enough answers to find. What are the facts? I have pulled stats from several different sites. I will cite them all at the end of this text

  • African American women are 5x as likely to choose abortion vs white women
  • In the US, black babies are aborted at more than 3x the rate of white babies.
  • According to the latest census data, just over 12% of the U.S. population is black, and yet somewhere between 28-36% of all 2014 abortions were performed on black babies. The Guttmacher Institute puts that number at 28%, based on voluntary survey data from 8,380 respondents. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) places the number at 36%, based on actual counts of every abortion performed in the 30 states/districts that collect and report abortion data by race. By comparison, non-Hispanic white women make up 61% of the population but account for only 38-39% of all abortions. 
  • In 2016, approximately 2,538 human beings lost their lives to abortion each day in the United States. On average, 18% were Hispanic, 36% were black, and 38% were white. That translates to approximately 457 Hispanic children, 914 black children, and 964 white children. Though the white population in the U.S. outnumbers the black population five to one, abortion kills close to the same number of black children each day as it does white children. In fact, more members of the black community are killed by abortion each year in the United States than by all other causes combined.
  • As of July 2017, the black population in the U.S. stood somewhere around 40 million, which means that abortion has reduced the size of the black community by more than 30%—and that doesn’t include the children and grandchildren that would have been born to those aborted more than a generation ago.

The second question has a bit more speculation but lets discuss Margaret Sanger first. She founded the American Birth Control League in 1921. This would be later renamed to Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A social reformer and sex educator, Sanger opened the first birth control clinic. All the evidence I could find suggests Sanger was not a supporter of abortion. All abortion was illegal when Sanger was alive and her thoughts were if birth control were legal and accessible, then there wouldn’t be a need for abortion. However, Sanger was a leading advocate of the eugenics movement, specifically of negative eugenics, which promoted the reduction of sexual reproduction and sterilization of people with undesired traits or economic conditions. In her time period, that demographic was most African American people. Sanger was obsessed with preventing the birth of people with physical and mental illnesses or who were economically disadvantaged, regardless of their race. Despite believing in the general racial superiority of the white race, Sanger preferred intelligent, middle class African Americans to illiterate, low class whites.

So, what does this have to do with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr? The pro choice movement thinks they have the support of Dr. King. In 1966, He was bestowed the inaugural PPFA Margaret Sanger Award. They still pull quotes from his acceptance speech to use in the fight for “black reproductive health”. I think we can say for sure that Dr. King loved the Lord, first and foremost. Planned Parenthood did not perform abortions in 1966. I believe the common ground between the civil rights movement and what Sanger was trying to accomplish (at that time) was: furthering the cause without violence. I just can’t imagine that if Dr King were still alive, he would align himself with the present day Planned Parenthood. He wanted love and life for the African American people, not genocide.

Wow! The radical love of the right man changes everything. That is my blog statement. Dr. King did that for the African American people. He wanted to do it for all people, just like Christ does. He sees what can be, if you only accept the good things he has for you.

Lastly, what can I do?

Four little words, they can carry so much weight if I just look for opportunities. I will continue to oppose Planned Parenthood. They are killing the African American community at a detrimental rate. Ultimately, its a business, and the bottom line is how much money they can make. Why are the only locations of Planned Parenthood in low income areas? I don’t have one in Collierville, TN. There isn’t one on Mud Island in downtown Memphis. I never noticed one while I was shopping at the boutiques in Franklin, TN. They have identified their customer and have taken Sanger’s warped eugenics work to the limit by putting an abortion clinic near every African American community.

Its Black History Month. Lets help our friends by first acknowledging this problem. Then, lets be proactive in the fight for life, African American life. The Church will be represented by all tribes, tongues, and nations when Christ returns in glory to set up the new heaven and new earth. My heart cannot bear to lose another Jackie Robinson, Anna Douglass, Frederick Douglass or George W Carver…lets protect the future, to preserve the past.

How To Save A Life

Photo by Marcos Flores on Pexels.com

2019 has begun and January is Sanctity of Human Life Month. This particular month is one of the main reasons I started this blog. This January would be the one! The one where I share my story, my life, as it relates to Sanctity of Human Life Month…on the internet! Sharing what this month means to me always makes me reflect on how good God is. I have been anticipating this day for a long time. Being able to participate with joy in my heart for the past several years is a huge victory in my life, and God gets the glory! The struggle with guilt, shame, and self loathing no longer hold me in darkness. They have been replaced with peace, joy, and life the way our God intended: abundant and found only in Him.

Throughout the bible, we can find scripture that makes a very evident point, God places a high value on life. In Psalm 139: 13-16, King David tells us that God “wove me in my mothers womb” and ” And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me. When as yet there was not one of them.”

About 7 years ago, I found myself searching for a ministry to be involved in and prayed that God would use me to reach others. I asked fellow church members what they were involved in and if they knew of organizations that needed volunteers. It seemed every conversation led me back to one place, Life Choices. The years I have spent in this ministry are a blessing beyond belief! Life Choices is a multi faceted establishment, committed to provide a non-judgmental and Christ-like environment designed to educate and empower women to make life-affirming decisions.

Before I tell you more about what we do, I’m gonna go backwards just a bit in my story, where I was literally Israel in the time of the Judges because like scripture said “there was no king and everyone did what was right in their own eyes”.

After having a son at 20 and starting a losing battle with postpartum
depression, about 4 months later, I was pregnant again. I, regrettably,
chose abortion and over the course of the next 2 years my selfish actions and fear of losing control of my life would drive me to making that same choice 2 more times. I had 3 abortions in less than 3 years. At this point in
my life every relationship was affected by abortion. The ability to love and connect with my infant son was shattered. My relationship with Ryan was
shaky, at best, and eventually we would separate for a time. I couldn’t focus at work, I lashed out at my coworkers. I had nothing to stand on and I was
sinking fast.

They say “its no big deal”. They say “its your right”. They say “lots of women do it”; but they are the world: the lost, the dying, and the broken, and I bought the lies. If what I had done was the right choice for this situation, these unplanned pregnancies, why did it make me feel so wrong? The answer to that question, I believe, is because I was rebelling against my Creator, the author of life. His plan for me included those babies. When God made me a mother, he gave me a heart for my children, to love them and protect them. I set myself in opposition to that, and I was suffering the consequences. By 2006, I was just a shell of a person; going thru the motions, to smile when your suppose to and then cry and rage when no one is around. I told myself that these were my choices and I have to live with feelings. So I carried the guilt and I carried the shame; and after years of searching for peace and worth in all the wrong places I was just leveled.

That’s when I gave it all to Christ.

The sinless life I couldn’t lead, He did perfectly from birth. The brutal death on the cross that should have been mine, He willingly took my place; and when all I could muster was empty promises to live better, He fulfilled the ultimate promise and rose again on the 3rd day, defeating death and making a way for me to be reconciled to my heavenly Father.

From there I began a personal relationship with Christ, being discipled by other believers, and living daily for Him. In 2012, I had reached a point where I wanted to help others. Well, I guess the better statement would be, I thought I was ready to help others..but not quite yet!

That’s when I found Life Choices.

After counseling, I was told about the bible study that LC has for post abortive women. The next few weeks changed my life! I experienced more grace and healing than I ever thought possible. I left that time with some very important wisdom and knowledge, imparted on me, by the Holy Spirit, thru women who are so precious and priceless to me. The things that continue to help me are: First, some words from 1 John 4:8 “anyone who does not love, does not know God, because God is love”.

Friends, God is love and love covers a multitude of sins, EVEN the sin of abortion!

Second, John 8:36 says “whom the Son sets free, is free indeed”

I cannot pick this back up. I was never meant to carry the weight of guilt and shame. I use to say a lot ” I know God forgives me but I just cant forgive myself”

And that is absolutely true! I cant, but that is exactly why I have a Savior. Now, what I say a lot is: abortion was what I did, its not who I am. Who I am is…a forgiven, redeemed, much loved daughter of the One True God, co heirs with Christ.

To date, over 59 million lives have been lost to abortion since the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision. In Tennessee, in 2017, 11,411 abortions were preformed. 20% of those were women who live in other states and Shelby County has one of the highest abortion rates in our entire state!

So..what can you do? What does this mean for you?

The March for Life national organization will have events planned and information readily available. The theme for 2019 is Unique from Day One: Pro-Life is Pro Science.

The TN chapter of Right to Life will sponsor events state wide; here in our city, Life Choices has many ways to get involved. I’m including several links at the end of the blog to additional info and volunteer opportunities

My specific volunteer area is the HOPE ministry:

Helping Others with Post abortive Experiences.

Along with being a presence at many of Life Choices’ events, the HOPE ministry also facilitates a bible study twice a year, specifically designed to speak to the needs of these women. We learn the biblical attributes of our God, who loves us so much that He gave us Christ and we look at what Christ did with guilt and shame when He went to the cross. So, if you are hurting from a past abortion, please contact us at Life Choices. The services are free. We have 2 locations that serve the Memphis area.

There is help, you are worthy and most of all..you are loved.

So on January 20th, I encourage you, your family, or small group to get involved. The most important need is prayer for our nation and its leaders. Sanctity of Human Life Day will be recognized across our country; this will be a day when the collective Church can rejoice together knowing that God makes no mistakes when He creates a life.

Links for additional info:

The Roe Vs Wade Memorial on Jan 22, here in town

https://www.facebook.com/events/2002145366535359/?ti=cl

Volunteer Opportunities at Life Choices:

https://www.lcfriends.org/volunteer-opportunities/rd

43rd Annual Right to Life Rally, here in town




Adopted and Thankful

screenshot_2018-11-18-14-28-00-1November is National Adoption Month.

Before November gets away from me, I want to share my heart about this with you thru my words. *EDITED: November did get away from me! as this goes to publish 12/06/18*

What does adoption look like as a believer? Does it mean that if you don’t adopt homeless children you aren’t obedient in your walk with Christ? Do you feel God hasn’t “called” you to adoption?

ALL THE QUESTIONS, RIGHT!?

First of all, I’ll be candid..I don’t feel “called” to adopt. I put that in quotations for a specific reason. At times. I think we use the Holy Spirit as a cop out sometimes. Its very easy to throw that out there and do you notice that NO ONE will question you? But..I digress. A topic for another day! Back to the subject at hand, called to adoption

As of June 2017, there are 1600 in Shelby County alone kids waiting to be placed in a home. Wow! Those are children living in a situation other than a traditional home. The number grows of course as we add in other areas until it reaches about 400,000 kids nationwide. 400,000 that don’t have a family, no one to help with homework, no one to teach them to ride a bike, no one to keep a constant vigil thru the night when they are sick.

Who will show them they are loved, worthy, and valued by their Creator?

I think that people that ARE called to adopt might have an easier initial role than those of us who don’t. I am NOT saying adoption is easy..it isn’t! However, when that is your path, there are lots of resources available.  But, what happens when you aren’t called to adopt? What then? Do you wait until He does? I don’t think so. I think that there are so many facets to loving those kids.

What about becoming a foster parent?

What about volunteering at a group home?

What about really supporting our friends that do adopt or foster?

These are all ways that we can take an active role in living out the message in the book of James. “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father looks like this; to visit orphans and widows in their distress and to keep one unstained by the world.”

What? What’s with all the pure religion talk and unstained stuff about?

Adoption is becoming popular right now and we have to be careful that our hearts are not motivated by an altruistic love of the image that adoption can give. Adoption and care for these kids has to be rooted in the Gospel and our love for Christ. We love them because we are first loved by Christ. We give to them with no intent of collecting on the investment. And that…is what it means to serve others like the James passage implies. If you have time, listen to the podcast from David Platt regarding this; its amazing! The link is provided below.

https://www.mcleanbible.org/sermons/fathers-love-and-fatherless#.W-nYx_xhlHg.link

I don’t consider it a coincidence that November is National Adoption Month AND Thanksgiving. So, this month, as our family prepared to celebrate the holiday, I was most thankful for my very own adoption. When I became a daughter of The Most High King, I was grafted into a family line that was ordained thousands of years ago. I came into the family with a need for unconditional love and a place to call my home, I have both now, in the love of Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More About The Well-Redeemed Woman

The beginning is a good place to start. Right?I want to tell you about the well-redeemed woman. Like all good blogs and titles, it’s a play on words: I’ll explain.

First, the well-redeemed woman gets its title from a story of an account between 2 people in the Bible. More specifically, the book of John, Chapter 4. The chapter tells of how Jesus was traveling to Galilee from Judea, going thru Samaria to get there. During a midday stop at a well, a woman comes up to draw water for her household. The encounter and conversation that plays out is nothing short of “radical love by the right man” and it “changes everything” for the woman. She was redeemed at the well, thus, well-redeemed woman.  I am so excited to (in a later blog) go further into this story. Please read it and feel free to contact me about it if you JUST CANT WAIT to talk about it. I am not a pastor or teacher but I love conversation about the Bible. So…more about the title…

Second, the well-redeemed woman is just that: WELL redeemed. Everything about the redemption is well and good. The triune God of the Bible ordained a perfect time and place for those that are in Christ to come to Christ. In my opinion, the woman at the well in Chapter 4 of John had an encounter with Christ at just the right time. God doesn’t make mistakes, there is no Plan B; he doesn’t have a defensive coordinator scrambling to draw up another play when we make choices. Those in redemption with Christ are WELL redeemed; I, thankfully, am WELL redeemed. The radical love of the right man changed everything for me. That man was Jesus Christ.

“You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life.”
Lamentations 3:58

well_bucket2