And from Sean Carney, August 24, 2016: “We’ve just received word that an abortion center where eight 40 Days for Life vigils have taken place has gone out of business — the Planned Parenthood facility in Appleton, Wisconsin. “
Ezekiel 9. It has been on my mind since reading it in the Office of Readings earlier this week. I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post about it, since Marian is primarily in charge of the blog now, but I feel a tugging from the Holy Spirit that there may be some folks who will benefit from the thoughts that are on my mind.
9 Then I heard him call out in a loud voice, “Bring near those who are appointed to execute judgment on the city, each with a weapon in his hand.” 2 And I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side. They came in and stood beside the bronze altar.
3 Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side 4 and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”
5 As I listened, he said to the others, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. 6 Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple.
I couldn’t help but imagine that those of us who stand and pray in front of abortion clinics are being marked by the angel of the Lord with spiritual marks on our foreheads, to protect us from the judgement that is due to our nation from the sin of abortion.
“Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”
Not that that’s the reason we do it. We do not do it to escape punishment. In fact, if it is the Lord’s will that we share in the suffering of our nation, we willingly unite our suffering to our Lord’s for the salvation of souls. We do it because it is necessary. Our nation has become blind to sin. We are called to be a visible witness, so that perhaps their eyes will be opened. Our nation has become deaf to the cries of the weak and vulnerable.We are called to be a voice for them, and perhaps a deaf ear may be opened.Our nation has become weak, selfish and apathetic.We are called to be an example of self-sacrifice for the good of others, and perhaps someone will come to understand that giving away ones life is the only way to save it.
I am becoming more and more convicted that affluence is truly a hindrance to our souls, and to the soul of our nation. Jesus warned us that it will be very hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He didn’t say it is impossible, in fact, He said that with God all things are possible! But, He said it would be DIFFICULT. It seems that the more affluent and comfortable we are, the better we are able to insulate ourselves to the suffering that is all around us.I wonder if God is going to remove our affluence very soon. If so, it will be for our good, and for the good of souls.
Let’s not wait for that to happen before we act! He is giving us time right now, as a test, to see if we are willing to set aside our comfort for a few hours for Love of Him! Let’s not wait until we have no choice other than to grieve! It will touch Jesus’ Heart so much more to see His children WILLINGLY giving up their comforts in order to publicly grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done at 933 Liberty Avenue…rather than to do it unwillingly…after our comforts have been stripped away against our will.
Our 40 day vigil in front of Planned Parenthood is now 75% filled, with 70 churches/groups having adopted 80 of the 120 4-hour time slots! There are still 120 hours that are unfilled! Our team of faithful and selfless vigil shift managers are scheduled to be there no matter what…whether or not anyone else shows up, but I do not want them to have to stand alone. Please go to https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/ to sign yourself up as an individual to fill a few of these hours. Consider making a weekly commitment of one or two hours. Or, if your church can help us to fill a 4-hour slot, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know, and I will add your church to the schedule. Make sure to check the list of scheduled churches prior to selecting your slot, to make sure that it is not already filled. Go to http://40daysforlifepittsburgh.com/vigil-schedule/ to see the current schedule.
Plan to attend our 40 Days for Life Kick-off Event on Sunday, September 25th at 6pm, at Memorial Park Church, 8800 Peebles Road, Allison Park. Fr. Boniface Hicks, OSB, host of WAOB radio, and Rev. Joe Stump, Pastor of Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene will inspire us as we begin this difficult 40 day journey of prayer, fasting and witnessing. Jarod D’Amico of Intent, and Aaron Greer will bless us with their wonderful Christian music and we will have opportunity to enjoy fellowship and friendship during our gathering.
Finally, help us to maintain our 40-day fast by signing up to fast on at least one day during the 40 days! Our goal is to have at least two people fasting (either bread and water, or all liquids) on each day of the 40 days. Click HERE to sign up!
Do you ever feel like getting to know someone else is not worth the effort it will cost you? I felt that way sometimes. I have been hurt by very close family and friends. The situations were not related to abortion but it was still betrayal. So, like many people who have been betrayed, trust became an issue for me…trusting others and trusting in my own judgement.
Thankfully, I never lost trust in God.
I told a friend one day… “I have never hated God in any of this.”
“God doesn’t make junk.” People have forgotten that God made us. Each and everyone of us- was, is and always will be a person made and loved by God. Even a renowned atheist can see the beauty of the human spirit!
Through prayer, and seeing first hand how God used my situation to help others, I was renewed and now always look forward to meeting new people. For however long or short the time, I know that God has placed people in my life and me in theirs for a purpose. I like getting to know them.
As Lisa so clearly captured in pictures and words in the previous post, Pittsburgh Team Members Join the Worldwide 40 Days Family, getting to know people from other cities and countries was a highlight of the 40 DAYS FOR LIFE Summer Symposium. When you get to know someone, you find out just how much you have in common.
The topic of discussion at the symposium was serious. Abortion is a topic from which many people will walk away. 40 DAYS FOR LIFE confronts abortion because abortion confronts us all, each and every day. One of the things I took away from the meeting in Orlando was that many people in the pro-life community are post abortive and that all of us have been impacted by abortion. Through 40 DAYS FOR LIFE, the post abortivecan turn their pain into the power to help others make life affirming choices.
Listen to David Bereit tell the story of how the seeds for 40 DAYS FOR LIFE were planted in the hearts of four young people. In this video, David talks to Students for Life. As it turns out, a father on his deathbed, pleaded with his own son, a friend of David’s also named David, to do something to bring an end to abortion. David explains why the plea was so powerful. David calls witnessing for an end to abortion “the greatest civil rights issue of our time”.
UNITED is the theme for the Fall 40 DAYS FOR LIFE campaign. How inspired is UNITED at a time when the our nation in particular, and the world in general, is so divided? That which brings family members closer- newborns, weddings, funerals, crisis can also tear people apart.
With 40 DAYS FOR LIFE, we celebrate newborns and mourn the death of the aborted. May the UNITED theme of 40 DAYS FOR LIFE strengthen our resolve to see that the world welcomes and treasures the unborn. May we all, as a people, join together in helping all women, who are considering abortion, see that the baby is a blessing, not a crisis. Help a woman get to know her baby. Help the father get to know the mother and baby.
Getting to know you,
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you,
Getting to hope you like me!
“You know better than anybody else that as a mother you are bonding with your ‘bellybaby’ You are already getting to know your baby before you’ve even seen him. You know exactly what each kick and turn means. And your baby knows you too! He tastes, hears and feels your mood!”
“The taste of the amniotic fluid depends on your condition and your mood. Every time your baby takes a little sip of this fluid, he tastes the changes. He has a much larger number of taste buds than an older child or adult. Also, the taste buds cover an even larger area, the entire oral cavity. He is a master taster. Research has shown that if you suddenly experience something stressful, the taste of the amniotic fluid changes. Small changes, such as during a chat with the neighbor, are not easy to measure. But when you, as a mother, talk with full attention to your baby, it’s usually accompanied with a lot of emotion. And he will taste that. Such intense emotions help your baby to understand your ‘talk’ better. Similar emotions help your baby to learn to speak after birth.”
Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side of the sea, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”
After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the men of that place recognized him, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought to him all those who were sick and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed.
Today’s Gospel passage (from Tuesday, 8/2) is very apropos to our pro-life journey and ministry. There are times when we feel like Peter when he decides to do something risky… as long as he knows that it is the Lord calling him to do it. However, when he begins to do that very thing the Lord was calling him to do, he gets afraid. And Jesus lets him sink- and laughs derisively. KIDDING. The Gospel tells us that Jesus IMMEDIATELY stretches out His hand to catch Peter. He does the same for us. We must trust in Him and in His calling.
A second thing to point out is that when Jesus arrives at the place where people are sick and hurting, those who need healing gather to try to at least touch the tassel on His cloak. How many souls affected by abortion only need to reach out and try to connect with Our Lord? There are so many sick and hurting men and women who have been scarred (mostly in their minds and hearts), and they are in such great need of the healing power of the Divine Healer. We can be that bridge for them when we are on the sidewalk, as we pray for them and try to help in their time of need.
This past weekend, Nikki and three team members were privileged to attend the first ever 40 Days for Life Summer Symposium Leaders Conference in Orlando, Florida. It was amazing in every way, and we are so excited to share a little of our experience with you! And please make sure you catch the big news at the end of this post!
The conference was held at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center. From the moment we arrived, we KNEW that we were not in Kansas any more:
We got very spoiled very fast. Nothing wrong with a little pampering for a weekend. But what was TRULY even more amazing was the quality of the presenters. We heard from speakers who presented topics from legal rights to recruiting volunteers, from overcoming persecution to learning the impact of our campaigns behind the scenes. There were about 250 attendees, including representatives from 10 countries outside the U.S. (Currently, there are about 37 countries which hold 40 Days for Life vigils!)
We arrived late on Thursday night, and attended noon Mass the next day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe. (http://maryqueenoftheuniverse.org/)
Back to the Gaylord Palms! We started to get really excited when we began to see THESE all over the resort:
And even THESE on the floor to guide our way:
In the convention center:
Our conference schedule:
What an amazing national team 40 Days for Life has:
Some of our speakers:
Some of our amazing times with new friends and awesome discussions:
Sunday’s Mass was awesome… and then we spent the day relaxing!
Monday morning, we headed out to get to 8 am Mass:
One story about one of our Uber drivers. He was originally from Haiti, but that was over 20 years ago. Marian was so great about telling our drivers why we were in town… and when she told this driver, he shared his story. Turns out that back in Haiti, his girlfriend got pregnant and had a botched “back alley” abortion, which was completed at a hospital. He feels regret, even now. “I could have had a child,” he said to us sadly. Amazing, isn’t it– the impact that this abortion has had on him for decades. And does he ever talk about it? Who knows. Maybe he will now. We definitely prayed for him at Mass, and will continue.
And now for the big news:
Check out the new wheels owned by the national 40 Days leaders!
“United” is the theme for this fall campaign. The theme is all about uniting during this very divisive time in our culture. The national team made it a priority to get a campaign in all fifty states-and they accomplished their goal! Wyoming was the last state to get on board, and now all fifty are in! The national team will be visiting all fifty states- in 40 Days!- in their new RV. Pittsburgh is scheduled for a statewide rally when the RV visits us at 6 P.M. on October 5. Please try to join us!
My husband didn’t quite grasp how they were managing to do fifty states in 40 Days… so here’s their schedule to show you!
Thanks for taking this little virtual trip with us… hope you enjoyed it. Let us pray for God’s blessings upon our upcoming fall campaign, here and AROUND THE WORLD!!!
Pray that the violence of sanctioned abortion ends in our lifetime, so that all people can be free. Planned Parenthood in downtown Pittsburgh was closed for the day on Saturday, July 23, Let us pray that it closes each and every day of the week. Pray that the workers and abortionists read and listen to messages of life. Pray that at least one of the workers at the Pittsburgh clinic has a change of heart and becomes the catalyst for change in Pittsburgh, (one of the most livable cities in America).
“One mission would continue to haunt Noel Regney: He was assigned the task of leading a group of German soldiers into a trap where the French fighters could catch them in a crossfire.
Although Regney was shot that day, he survived. The French suffered only minor injuries. But the memory of the enemy soldiers falling to the ground, most of them dead, was etched in Noel Regney’s mind.
He never commented publicly on what took place that terrifying day. It has been said that he was intentionally wounded by the French to protect him from the Germans, in the belief that his injury would indicate he had no knowledge of the trap that had been set for the enemy.
Not long after this encounter, Regney deserted the German army and lived underground with the French for the rest of the war. “Only then did I feel free,” he once observed.”
A nation, which sanctions abortions, needs peace makers.
The following is a series of video talks from former abortionists. The videos are a few years old, but oh so great to hear! Dr. Robinson’s voice is prophetic about 40 Days for Life. Listen as they talk about their walks into the abortion industry and their journeys away from it.
An abortion doctor is the last person to see the aborted child alive. Dr. John Bruchalski, a former abortion provider, states that “abortion is a bad choice in many, many ways…most women who have abortions do not go back to the abortion clinic for a follow-up…Abortion is the most common surgical procedure in this country and there is no follow-up…”
Dr. Robinson states: “God said to Saul, “You are going to take my Gospel to the gentiles.” Dr. Robinson speaks from a black man’s perspective. He calls the men who started 40 Days for Life – geniuses!!!!
One of the websites is directed toward teens by which teens learn the truth about abortions from former abortionists: Teenbreaks
Dr. Bernard Nathanson: ” I am personally responsible for 75,000 abortions. This legitimizes my credentials to speak to you with some authority on the issue…..
“A favorite pro-abortion tactic is to insist that the definition of when life begins is impossible; that the question is a theological or moral or philosophical one, anything but a scientific one. Fetology makes it undeniably evident that life begins at conception and requires all the protection and safeguards that any of us enjoy. Why, you may well ask, do some American doctors who are privy to the findings of fetology, discredit themselves by carrying out abortions? Simple arithmetic at $500 a time, 1.2 million abortions means an industry generating $600 million annually, of which most goes into the pocket of the physician doing the abortion.” ….
“As a scientist I know, not believe, know that human life begins at conception. Although I am not a formal religionist, I believe with all my heart that there is a divinity of existence which commands us to declare a final and irreversible halt to this infinitely sad and shameful crime against humanity.” Dr. Nathanson co-founded NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) in 1969. He died in 2011 with a full conversion of a heart for life.
Dr. Anthony Levatino: “It took a personal tragedy to prompt a change of heart. While he was doing abortions as a resident, he and his wife were trying desperately to have a child.There I was throwing kids in the garbage, five or six a week. Just give me one, I thought.”
Listening is the key to life when witnessing on the sidewalk.
If you are an abortion worker, scroll down to the last blog (July 11) for information on securing financial help and guidance in your journey away from the abortion industry. Sharon Yorston- a former abortion worker.
Do you hear what I hear?
I hear hope!!!
Fall campaign September 28- November 6. Pray that there will be no need to have a campaign this year at 933 Liberty Ave. Pray the workers and abortionist doctors and nurses will have a change of heart.
When you read the headlines, do you think “It’s not mine”?
When you read of lives lost, do you think of the cost?
What does it matter to you?
WHOSE LIVES MATTER TO YOU?
The word, matter, is used in slogans these days… all lives, black lives, police lives, children’s lives (oh, back up a moment)…. all lives (but not the aborted) black lives (but not those targeted by PP); police lives (not those in utero who may have grown up to be police) and children’s lives (except those in utero).
Google it: The verb, matter, means “of importance or significance”. The noun, matter, means“physical substance in general, as distinct from mind and spirit; (in physics) that which occupies space and possesses rest mass, especially as distinct from energy.”
Former abortion workers did not think that other people’s lives mattered- especially the unborn child. They took part in abortions daily. Working as security guards, escorts, receptionists, medical support or the person who performed the abortion, what ever had to happen to get the customer to choose an abortion, they did. The baby would die. Many women who worked in abortion clinics aborted their own children as well. Their own children did not matter to them.
But many have had a change of heart.
Metanoia: change in one’s way of life resulting from penitence or spiritual conversion.
Former abortion workers decided TheyCan Do It!They can do better!
They can save lives!
And in turn, save their own lives.
Abortionworker.com- the ministry started by Abby Johnson (second from left) used a Rosie the Riveter campaign in “Quitting Takes Courage”.
WE CAN HELP ABORTION WORKERS CHANGE THEIR HEARTS! We can help them find the courage to quit working at an abortion mill. We can help show them that God “loved us into being more then just matter” because we are all made in the image and likeness of God.
If you think you can’t, you won’t try. We can do this. We can be strong in our convictions like the women whom “Rosie” represented. We can be the change the world needs. We can pray, educate and help change the hearts of women and men who work in the abortion industry. WE CAN DO THIS!
40 Days for Life:
Fall 2016 campaign- September 28 through November 6
Whose lives matter to you? What do you plan to do?
Check out the 40 Days for Life- Pittsburgh schedule for the fall campaign. Vigil Schedule
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
No matter the word Inalienable or unalienable the meaning is the same: incapable of being transferred to another or others. Women do not have the natural right to take life from the unborn. When a woman chooses abortion, her body and soul pay with natural consequences. We suffer as a nation each time a baby is aborted.