With special thanks to the churches and individuals who took the time to pray today!
Then the Lord formed human beings from the dust
and sent each of them back to it again.
2 He gave them only a limited time to live,
but he gave them authority over everything on earth.
3 He made them to be like himself,
and gave them his[a] own strength.
4 He made all other creatures afraid of them;
he gave them authority over all the animals and birds.[b]
6 He gave them their tongues, their eyes,
their ears, their minds, and their consciences.
7 He filled them with knowledge and understanding
and showed them the difference between good and evil.
8 He gave them his own insight
to let them see the majesty of his creation.[c]
10 They will praise his holy name
and proclaim the greatness of all he does.
11 He made knowledge available to them
and gave them the Law as a source of life.
12 He made an eternal covenant with them
and revealed his commands to them.
13 They saw the splendor of his majesty
and heard the glory of his voice.
14 He warned them against unrighteousness
and taught each person how to treat others.
Mighty Ducks, Crooked Arrows and the Prodigal Son
Moviemakers, like Jesus did, use stories to teach lessons and impact cultures. Do you ever wonder where the writers get their motivation for story lines? The Mighty Ducks is a series of movies about the underdog team in the sport of hockey. Crooked Arrows is about the underdog team in lacrosse. By the end of each movie, the losing team is victorious due to individual effort, teamwork and bouncing back from failure. Included in each storyline is the coach who, in each instance, is a prodigal son working out relationships, dealing with ethical issues and finding his true spirit.
Crooked Arrows, for example, a movie about the Native American game of lacrosse, demonstrates the prodigal son story. Mentored by a wise father, grandmother and older friend, the prodigal, returns to the “Creator’s game” of lacrosse. The three wise adults hold the prodigal accountable along the way. The older friend encourages him to, “Look inside. Ask your heart. The truth may sleep, but it never dies.” Challenged to honor the Creator, the prodigal searches his conscience and heart.
The prodigal son of course is a familiar story to Christians. The pro-life movement has many prodigals in its midst. Who better than prodigals to testify to the errors of walking away from responsibility and family? Prodigals have examined their hearts and consciences, then repented and now fight for the lives of the unborn.
Sirach 17: 25-26
25 Come to the Lord, and leave your sin behind. Pray sincerely that he will help you live a better life. 26 Return to the Most High and turn away from sin. Have an intense hatred for wickedness.
The pro-life movement also has many who have stayed the course, worked with and honored the Creator and have a full quiver. Al and Sally are true examples of honoring The Creator!
Psalm 127:3-5 (NIV)
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
And so we pray to end abortion:
From The Ascetic Heart-“though prayer be the target, it is also the bow by which the arrow is launched to hit the mark; and so the ascetic heart prays, that it might learn to pray. His cry remains, “Teach us to pray. Pray within us.”
Pictures and reports of prayer from the sidewalk today:
Barb reports on the prayerful witnesses from the early shift, 7 am to 9 am:
7am downtown sidewalk…snowy crispy white, chilling winds challenging gravity…wow…this is living….
And, it never stopped amazing.
Already there were Marian and Diane. Almost on the tick of 7, four men arrived to witness. As the sidewalk filled (leaving the obligatory passage for pedestrians) Harry, Dave, Bill, Sam, Phil and Martin from North Hills Reformed Presbyterian Church and Sally, Al, Bill, Michelle, Kim and the football coach from a Catholic high school shared company with Richard and me.
One of the younger men from North Hills said that he is getting married soon and he and his fiancé look forward to having a large family, maybe 9 children.
Another of those men has relatives living near Dubuque, Iowa. He works in commercial real estate. The abortion site there had been losing money and closed. He and friends arranged finances and bought the building for a pregnancy support center.
Michelle cheered the entire sidewalk, wishing a “God bless you!” to just about every passerby.
Kathy L sent in these pictures from the 9 am -11 am vigil today.
As a fill in SM, I was greeted by Kim N. (SA) just leaving, and Dan from Holy Family Church in Steubenville, OH, and a great group from The Reformed Presbyterian Church of the North Hills. Parents, Charles and Phoebe, brought their three darling children and all wore life signs.
Shortly after my shift started, a woman passerby stopped to look at the fetal models and openly shared how she had an abortion years ago, due to being on drugs, and how badly she felt when she saw fetal development pictures corresponding to her aborted child’s age. I offered Rachel’s Vineyard info which she took and Sam prayed for her before she left.
Another woman coming out of PP to smoke accepted information for her friend who was inside getting birth control. Several passersby accepted Forty Days for Life fliers.
Katy O. reports for the 1 pm to 3 pm shift that prayer is always the answer when dealing with the adversary.
Beth S. and Bill D. were there for the first part of my shift, and Beth said she thought there was some kind of volunteer training going on. Later several people came out and one was holding a volunteer handbook.
Ron, Joe and Fran came a little later, and I gave two kids who were interested in the display fetal models.
Right after Marshall and Joseph arrived a girl spit at us so we said an Our Father for her.
Marshall reports for the 3 pm to 5 pm shift.
The shift started with an angry, 30ish woman who decided to express her frustration with our cause by spitting on or near us. We forgive her in the name of the Lord. A warm welcome on a cold day.
Other than the warm welcome, the shift was spent in prayer and reflection. We hope that our prayers will effect the workers, vendors and guests at PP.
God bless all of you,
Pat M. manages the 5pm to 7 pm shift on Fridays but can often be seen at lunch or early in the morning as he walks to work. During the vigil he can also be seen praying on Sunday with his family. Pat writes the reflection and the blog on Saturdays. His report for tonight:
The evening was windy, cold, but uneventful (the calm before the parade?). I was blessed to have sidewalk veterans Lorie and Mary, along with first-timer Tom for my entire shift. God bless them for enduring. And God bless SM Sheila C. who signed-up the Weirton Catholic Churches (Sacred Heart of Mary and St. Joseph) to help cover our vigil.
Choose life! Honor the Creator.
The pro-life movement may appear at times to be underdogs and losers, but the greatest story ever told promises victory for those who believe in the Creator! Praise and honor to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!!