Kristi Burton Brown

#1 inspirational author continually tackles difficult topics of abortion, adoption

Kristi Burton Brown
By Kristi Burton Brown
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October 5, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - If you haven’t read any Karen Kingsbury books, you should definitely go pick one up. Maybe even order Shades of Blue on Amazon or get the Sunrise series sent to your Kindle. You could start by watching her book turned into a movie, Like Dandelion Dust – without a doubt one of my favorite movies ever. While I can’t wholeheartedly recommend every book written by Kingsbury, the vast majority of them proclaim good, healthy messages about relationships, love, family, and life.

Kingsbury is known as a Christian author, but she is hailed as “America’s favorite inspirational novelist” on her Amazon bio:

New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America’s favorite inspirational novelist, with over 20 million books in print. Her Life-Changing Fiction has produced multiple bestsellers, including Unlocked, Leaving, Take One, Between Sundays, Even Now, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, and Ever After, which was named the 2007 Christian Book of the Year. An award-winning author and newly published songwriter, Karen has several movies optioned for production, and her novel Like Dandelion Dust was made into a major motion picture and is now available on DVD. Karen is also a nationally known speaker with several women’s groups including Women of Faith.

What’s more, Kingsbury lives what she writes. She’s been married to the same man – whom she refers to as her “Prince Charming” – for over twenty years, and together they have six children. Three of their boys were adopted from Haiti just over a decade ago. Her ministry, Life Changing Fiction, raises money for various charities.

No matter which of Kingsbury’s books you pick up, you will likely walk away with the message that God has a plan for your life – a plan you may not personally approve of at the moment, but a plan that is altogether good. There are several messages like this one that Kingsbury continually pounds home in the most delightful ways. She illustrates the constant faithfulness of God in everyday life situations and in the most difficult circumstances. She paints her characters as realistic and usually down-to-earth. In fact, most of them could easily be your next-door neighbors.

But there is one message in particular that Kingsbury sends home to her readers in poignant ways, again and again. And that’s the message of the beauty and value of all life. Kingsbury doesn’t shy away from the hard topics of abortion and adoption. She has a personal story to share. In her author’s note in the back of Shades of Blue (a story about healing, forgiveness, and restoration for a man and a woman after a long-ago abortion), Kingsbury shares how she regrets driving a friend to an abortion appointment years ago when the friend had no one else to turn to. Kingsbury writes about how she wishes she had thought of something else to do, somewhere else helpful to take her friend.

Several people have written to Kingsbury, letting her know how Shades of Blue has changed their lives. Sixteen-year-old Lexie wrote:

Anyways, I really wanted to say thanks, for teaching me that every life is important no matter what age they are, and I can never thank you enough for filling me with knowledge that I never knew of. This book changed my life, maybe not drastically, but enough to make me never forget your words and these characters that you have so carefully made. I can’t remember a time where I have cried so hard over a book because I just kept thinking, someone in the world is going through this pain and suffering and hate for themselves and thinking God will never forgive him, but God is good, he forgives us no matter what we have done.

Jessie shared her own touching story:

So I think I have finally found healing after reading Shades Of Blue this weekend..I myself had an abortion years ago and have never forgot that. The guilt that pours through you is unbearable.. I have wondered who and what that baby may have been and have often wished I could go back in time and do what I have always known was right. I think I cried through this entire book and by the end I felt like I had some answers and could finally start to heal. I have been to church and have asked Jesus into my heart but it never felt right and I think I now know why…I have always felt like God has forgiven me but I never forgave myself! …

I saw it and picked it up and felt I had to have it. I didn’t even know what it was about..( God must have known I had to have it) I started reading it Friday night and finished it Saturday morning. Later that day I met a girl who had just discovered the day before that she was once again pregnant… My eyes instantly filled with tears. She had said she wasn’t sure if she was going to keep the baby. I started to sob and asked her if we could talk…..

Low and behold she agreed to have a conversation with me, so I was honest with her. I told her what I had been through in the past and then I told her about a book I had just finished reading. I wept and told her to please reconsider her choice. To make a long story short by the end of the conversation she herself was sobbing and thanked me for talking to her. She said she had goose bumps and that she would reconsider her decision.

And Shades of Blue is just one of Kingsbury’s books that deals with this tough subject. She writes about a young unmarried girl in Take Three (part of the Above the Line series) who nearly has an abortion but changes her mind and gives her son up for adoption. The trailer for Take Three shows an elderly man outside the abortion clinic giving Andi – the girl – a pro-life pamphlet about the development of her unborn baby.

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The Sunrise series, particularly Summer, deals with Ashley Blake and her discovery that her first daughter has anencephaly – a condition that will cause her to die in the womb or very soon after birth. I won’t give away too many details, but suffice it to say that Summer is an absolutely incredible story that accurately portrays the feelings and beautiful experiences of many families who reject the advice to abort a baby with defects. You won’t walk away without crying your eyes out and celebrating the absolute wonder of each tiny life, no matter how brief.

This Side of Heaven, Loving, and Like Dandelion Dust all deal with adoption. When Joy Came to Stay and Between Sundays address the foster care system in a moving way. The entire Bailey Flanigan series is written about the Flanigan family, who have adopted half of their children from Haiti, just like Karen Kingsbury’s real-life family.

I can’t say enough good about Kingsbury and her choice to address the tough issues of abortion, adoption, and foster care from multiple angles in multiple books. I have no doubt that her books will continue to inspire, save lives, and bring healing to many. This culture needs more authors like her!

 

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org

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Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
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Vatican pressing forward with reform of US feminist nuns: Cardinal Müller

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Vatican is pressing forward with plans to reform the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

In an interview published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said that the reform of the LCWR, which was undertaken after an assessment of the group found serious doctrinal problems, will be carried out with the goal of helping them "rediscover their identity.”

“Congregations have no more vocations and risk dying out," Müller said. "We have first of all tried to reduce hostility and tensions, partly thanks to Bishop Sartain whom we sent to negotiate with them; he is a very gentle man. We wish to stress that we are not misogynists, we are not women gobblers! Of course we have a different concept of religious life but we hope to help them rediscover their identity.”

Moreover, the cardinal said that problems specific to the LCWR are not a reflection of all the women religious in the US.

"We need to bear in mind that they do not represent all US nuns, but just a group of nuns who form part of an association,” Müller said.

“We have received many distressed letters from other nuns belonging to the same congregations, who are suffering a great deal because of the direction in which the LCWR is steering their mission.”

Cardinal Müller's remarks confirmed the assertion he and the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, made in an address to LCWR officials in Rome on April 30, that the theological drift the feminist nuns are taking constitutes a radical departure from the foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

The Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church,” Müller said in the address.

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“The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” he stated.

The LCWR has openly defied the mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church, and sexual morality.

Among the CDF’s directives, to which LCWR has strenuously objected, is the requirement that “speakers and presenters at major programs” be approved by Archbishop Sartain. This, Müller has explained, was decided in order to “avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church.”

The LCWR has invited speakers to their Annual Assembly such as New Age guru Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Sr. Laurie Brink, who is particularly noted for flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ and telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they need to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

In one of the first public statements of his pontificate, Pope Francis affirmed that the investigation and reform of the LCWR must continue.

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Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher
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What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

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After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit OnlineforLife.org.

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

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New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

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By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, the lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

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Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

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