The truth set me free from my two abortions
December 13, 2012 (Bound4Life.com) - “It’s not a life.” “It’s not a baby.” “It’s just an embryo.” “It’s not murder.” “Your life will never be the same.” “You are too young.” “You will ruin your bright future if you have this baby.” “It’s okay. It’s really not a big deal.” “I’ve had an abortion before and I am fine.” “It’s your body; it’s your choice.” “We can’t do this.” “I’m not ready.”
I could go on and on with what I have heard and what has even come from my own lips. Today I confess, I was deceived; I was wrong. Truth began to interrupt my life early in 2010. Everything I had thought and believed to be true regarding abortion and the value of a human life was shattered.
What brought me to my breaking point in 2010 ultimately began in the spring of 2008. My life was forever changed when I met a man named Jesus Christ. I surrendered my life into His hands, and left in my wake years of treacherous decisions and sins committed against God, myself and so many others. I was for many years an alcoholic, a drug user, a drug dealer, a lover of money, a lover of self, and a lover of the pleasures of the world.
At my salvation, the Lord opened my eyes to see the vanity of my pursuits, and the worthiness of pursuing Him. I fell in love with Him and His Word. My life got turned upside-down. Everything I ever believed was challenged as I read the Bible. My life was transformed day after day, as truth washed over my heart and mind.
In 2010, I began going to the Richmond International House of Prayer. The people I met there were deeply in love with Jesus, prayer and worship. I made some amazing friends and found myself spending all of my free time there. I agreed with everything they were about, except for one issue: abortion.
At RIHOP, they were passionate to pray for the unborn, the parents of the unborn, abortion centers and their staff. They prayed with such conviction and concern, it disturbed me. What I believed to be their deception was not enough to keep me from coming every week.
I could not bring myself to believe what they were saying because it was hitting something hidden deep within my heart; things that I had locked away many years before. I had two abortions at the ages of 18 and 21. I had also justified, convinced, and encouraged many others to have abortions, and even drove a friend out of state to receive an abortion because she was a minor.
Each time I had an abortion or helped another person to, I was firmly convinced I was right, and I was a good person. In the pit of my deception, I still felt the need to hide what I had done never to remember it again. These “wrong” intercessors, with their passionate prayers for the unborn, had no idea they were rattling chains hidden deep within my heart every time they prayed.
I asked the Lord to show me His heart for the unborn, if He had one. I wanted to know what He thought about the whole abortion issue. Soon my eyes and heart slowly began to open. I began seeing people wearing red wristbands with the words LIFE everywhere! Every time I saw the bumper sticker “Cure Abortion” on my best friend’s car, it became less offensive. As the weeks progressed, I could not stop wrestling over the issue. I started to think that I might be wrong.
The truth was there all along, written in His word. I was so hardened to believing it because of the stronghold of lies I had built over the years. One day while reading Psalm 139, I broke and the floodgate of tears began. Suddenly the Holy Spirit removed the veil, and I knew that every word written was true.
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed; and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me when as yet there were none of them. PSALM 139:13-17
Coming to an understanding of the Lord’s heart for the unborn was the beginning of a journey marked with pain, shame, repentance, healing and freedom. I knew that I could not stand before our holy God and justify abortion on any level, nor did I want to. A baby was no less a son or a daughter to Him, whether one day conceived or one day born from their mother’s womb. I could no longer ignore my past, but had to face the horror of it. I was struck with the reality that I was a murderer. I had not simply fixed a little problem, I had ended numerous human lives from ever living this side of eternity.
I went through a time where the father of lies himself tried to crush me with the weight of my sin. I beat myself up and felt that I could tell no one of what I had done. I was burdened with heavy grief and shame, but instead of running away from and ignoring my pain as I had always done in the past, this time I ran to the Lord.
My heart was truly repentant of what I had done, yet for a time I could not fully accept the Lord’s forgiveness. In the midst of the enemy’s lies, our Father in heaven had much to say to me about who I was in His eyes. I was washed in the blood of His Son. My sins were forgiven. He did not condemn me and I must not condemn myself.
Jesus said to her, neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more. JOHN 8:11
Over time, I was able to fully open my heart to the Lord. These dark areas I had hidden away for so many years were in desperate need of His love and healing. I knew that however painful the process might be, it was necessary and He could be trusted. I will always remember this one Friday night service at the Fredericksburg Prayer Furnace. While worshiping the Lord, I heard Him speak to me, “You are not a murderer, you are My daughter in whom I am well pleased.” The truth went from my head to my heart, and finally I was able to believe it.
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On the latter end of this painful journey, I have experienced the love of our Father and the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice like never before. I share this testimony in all humility, knowing I once was wrong and influenced the decisions of many people to have abortions. I pray they are able to forgive me. The Lord has burdened me to share my testimony, His heart for the unborn, and His heart for those that have had abortions. I know the same healing and freedom the Lord has granted me, He wants to bring to every other heart that is placed in His hands. The same truth He has gripped my heart with, He wants to grip yours with too. The blood of Jesus was poured out to atone for the sins of the world; not a select few people, and not a select few sins. The degree of our sins is irrelevant when covered in the blood of Jesus.
In searching out God’s heart for why He cares so deeply for these babies, and standing in prayer for the unborn, God has allowed me to see some of what He sees and feel some of what He feels. During my internship at IHOPKC, there were moments when God would put His heart inside of mine. These nights of prayer when the Lord revealed to me the depths of His heart have marked my life forever. The Lord also has me on a journey of discovering more of His heart for the unborn through dreams.
Not one person ever shared with me God’s heart for me or my unborn babies. I never knew of Jesus, or heard the gospel until He revealed Himself to me when I was 23 years old. Growing up, I never heard about the injustice of abortion. It was marketed as something good, and still is. I never heard about purity. All of my friends and classmates were sexually active beginning in their early teens. There is a famine in our nation of what is on the Lord’s heart and what truth really is. What is evil is declared as something good, and what is good is made to look evil! In this scarcity of truth and abundance of deception, a generation is perishing.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge… HOSEA 4:6
I can no longer keep this testimony hidden in unwarranted shame. I have held my mouth closed for far too long. There is so much God wants to say about the issue of abortion, and so much He wants to say to those who have been affected by them. He is looking for messengers willing to trumpet unpopular and even offensive messages. He is looking for messengers willing to declare His heart and truth, regardless of what others might say or think. Lives depend upon the hearing of truth. Will you be that voice?
Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. PROVERBS 31:8
Leslie and her husband Adam are full time missionaries at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. They work with the Life Initiatives team there. Their son Isaiah will be 6 months old on December 21. He is a living and joyful reminder to his parents and everyone around him to the value of LIFE. You can read their blog and visit their web page here.
Texas AG to Target: Show me how you’ll protect women and kids from criminals
AUSTIN, Texas, May 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The latest backlash Target received as a result of its transgender bathroom policy was a letter from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asking the company to provide its safety policies to protect women and children from “those who would use the cover of Target’s restroom policy for nefarious purposes.”
“Target, of course, is free to choose such a policy for its Texas stores,” Paxton wrote in a letter to Target CEO Brian Cornell. He noted the possibility of the Texas Legislature addressing the issue in the future, but said, “regardless of whether Texas legislates on this topic, it is possible that allowing men in women’s restrooms could lead to criminal and otherwise unwanted activity.”
“As chief lawyer and law enforcement officer for the State of Texas, I ask that you provide the full text of Target’s safety policies regarding the protection of women and children from those who would use the cover of Target’s restroom policy for nefarious purposes,” Paxton continued.
More than 1.1 million people have pledged to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms. Opponents of the policy worry that it puts women and children at risk by emboldening predators, who may now freely enter women’s restrooms.
Target’s new policy is “inclusive,” the company claims, and they say “everyone…deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally.”
“Texans statewide can no longer be silent on the issue of protecting the safety of women and children,” Texas Values President and Attorney Jonathan Saenz said in a statement Wednesday urging Texans to boycott Target. This is the first time in its history the pro-family group has called for a boycott.
“We need all Texans to understand that Target is using this radical change in their store policy to try convince people that our laws should be changed in this dangerous direction as well,” said Saena. “Our goal with this boycott is for Target to change its dangerous new policy, to raise awareness of the real threats to safety that these policies bring and to help businesses and lawmakers understand the significant opposition to such measures that is growing daily… Texans all across our state must join this Boycott Target effort before someone gets hurt.”
On Tuesday a male allegedly filmed an underage girl at a Frisco, Texas, Target fitting room. Police are searching for the man.
There have been numerous incidents of male predators across North America accessing women’s facilities and citing transgender policies as allowing them to do so.
Christians, America has reached a crisis point. Are you ready to take up this challenge?
May 5, 2016 (Albert Mohler) -- For nearly two and a half centuries, Americans have enjoyed the enormous privilege and responsibility of forming our own government—a privilege rarely experienced throughout most of human history. For most of history, humanity has struggled with the question of how to respond to a government that was essentially forced upon them. But Americans have often struggled with a very different reality; how do we rightly respond to the government that we choose?
To put all of this in historical perspective, the Framers of the American experiment understood that a representative democracy built on the principle of limited government would require certain virtues of its citizens. These would include a restraint of passions and an upholding of traditional moral virtues, without which democracy would not be possible. As the idea of limited government implies, the citizenry would be required to carry out the social responsibilities of the community without the intrusion of government and, thus, citizens would be expected to have the moral integrity necessary for such an arrangement. The Framers of the American Republic also agreed that it would be impossible to have a representative democracy and a limited government if the people did not elect leaders who embodied the virtues of the citizenry while also respecting and protecting society’s pre-political institutions: marriage and family, the church, and the local community.
Thus, the idea of a limited government requires that society uphold and pursue the health of its most basic institutions. When a civil society is weak, government becomes strong. When the family breaks down, government grows stronger. When the essential institutions of society are no longer respected, government demands that respect for itself. That is a recipe for tyranny.
Much of this was essentially affirmed until the early decades of the 20th century when progressivists began promoting an agenda that fundamentally redefined the role of the federal government in public life. By the middle of the 20th century, the Democratic Party had essentially embraced this progressivist agenda, becoming committed to an increasingly powerful government—a government whose powers exceeded those enumerated in the Constitution. At the same time, the Democratic Party also began advocating for a basic redefinition of the morality that shaped the common culture. By and large, however, the Republican Party continued to maintain a commitment to the vision of America’s founders, advocating for a traditional understanding of morality while also upholding the principle of limited government.
By the 1980s, the two parties represented two very different worldviews and two very different visions of American government. For decades, each party has acted rather predictably and in ways that accord with their fundamental principles. All of that, however, has now changed.
The 2016 presidential campaign has developed in an entirely unpredictable manner and, in many respects, represents a crisis in American democracy. This crisis is not limited to either party. Bernie Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont, has won several stunning victories in the primary season over presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. While it is still extremely likely that Clinton will become the Democratic nominee, Sanders support among voters represents a populist flirtation with Democratic Socialism. This pattern is something few Democrats could have imagined just one year ago. What this foray into Democratic Socialism represents, then, is a radical adjustment of the Democratic Party’s basic economic principles. Thus, even if Hillary Clinton becomes the nominee, the process will likely drag her even further to the left, eventually redefining the Democratic Party before our very eyes.
But if it is remarkable to see what is happening in the Democratic Party, it is absolutely shocking to see what is happening among Republicans. Traditionally, the Republican Party has established its reputation by standing for the principles advocated by the American Founders—limited government upheld by the health of society’s primary institutions such as marriage, family, and community. Yet Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, represents virtually everything the Republican Party has typically defined itself over against. Clearly, both political parties are now redefining themselves. What is not clear is where each party will ultimately end up. What is also not clear is whether the American experiment can survive such radical political change.
As already noted, the American experiment in limited government requires that the citizenry and those who hold public office honor certain moral virtues and respect the institutions that are crucial for a society to rightly function. Yet, we now find ourselves in a situation where the three leading candidates for president show little to no respect for such institutions in their articulations of public policy.
This fundamental redefinition of the American political landscape requires Christians to think carefully about their political responsibility. Make no mistake; we cannot avoid that responsibility. Even refusing to vote is itself a vote because it privileges those who do vote and increases the value of each ballot. In truth, we bear a political responsibility that cannot be dismissed or delegated to others. Every Christian must be ready to responsibly steward his or her vote at the polls.
To put the matter bluntly, we are now confronted with the reality that, in November, Hillary Clinton will likely be the Democratic nominee and Donald Trump the Republican nominee. This poses a significant problem for many Christians who believe they cannot, in good conscience, vote for either candidate. As a result, Christians are going to need a lot of careful political reflection in order to steward their vote and their political responsibility in this election cycle.
Headlines from around the world tell us that other representative democracies are at a similar moment of redefinition. Political turmoil now marks the United Kingdom and also nations like France and other key American allies. Perhaps democracy itself is now facing a crucial hour of decision and a crucial season of testing. It is no exaggeration to say that democracy is being tested around the world; it is certainly being tested here at home. Yet if this is a moment of testing for democracy, it is also a crucial moment for Christian witness. This election cycle is going to be a particular test for American Christians—and we are about to find out if Christians are up to this challenge.
Reprinted with permission from Albert Mohler.
‘Sick and twisted’: Scientists keep embryos alive outside womb up to 13 days for experimentation
May 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two teams of scientists have announced that they have been able to keep human embryos alive outside the womb for 13 days for the purpose of conducting scientific experiments. Some call the announcement the onset of a “Brave New World,” while others are petitioning lawmakers to lift sanctions that would keep scientists from experimenting on newly conceived babies even longer.
Researchers from Cambridge University, King's College, and Rockefeller University said in two separate reports that they stopped at 13 days only to avoid violating an internationally accepted law. At least 12 nations restrict the amount of time a newly conceived child may be kept alive in a laboratory to 14 days, the point at which scientists believe “individuality” begins.
The newest development allows scientists to observe newly conceived human beings after the point at which implantation in the womb would have occurred.
Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, one of the studies' lead researchers, said her team's breakthrough could advance embryonic stem cell research and “can improve IVF success.”
Some scientists have called on the international community to extend the amount of time such experimentation can take place.
“If restrictions such as the 14-day rule are viewed as moral truths, such cynicism would be warranted,” three experts – Insoo Hyun, Amy Wilkerson, and Josephine Johnston – wrote in a commentary published yesterday in Nature magazine. “But when they are understood to be tools designed to strike a balance between enabling research and maintaining public trust, it becomes clear that, as circumstances and attitudes evolve, limits can be legitimately recalibrated.”
Pro-life experts said the experimentation destroys human life and could lead to grave ethical dilemmas by extending the research.
“No human being should be used for lethal experimentation, no matter their age or stage of development,” said Dr. David Prentice, a professor of molecular genetics and an Advisory Board Member for the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center. “The 14-day rule is itself arbitrary, and does not assuage those who believe life begins at the moment of sperm-egg fusion. Moreover, allowing experiments on human embryos beyond 14 days post-fertilization risks the lives of untold more human beings, because it further encourages creation and destruction for research purposes.”
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, called the experimentation “sick and twisted.”
“Science has undeniably proven that a new human life, with unrepeatable DNA, begins at conception,” she said. “There is no reason for experimentation on that human life and science itself should not be heralding thae fact that a tiny human being can survive now for two weeks outside of the womb, all for the sole purpose of experimentation.”
Dr. Prentice noted that embryonic stem cell research “has yielded no benefit thus far,” leading even its most vocal advocates, such as Michael J. Fox, to admit it has not lived up to its promise.
“If this research does not stop at 14 days, where does it stop?” asked Prentice. “This is a risky step which could encourage further eugenic attitudes and actions.”
Dr. Prentice encouraged Congress “to have a full and open debate on the issue of human embryo research before the research community moves further without oversight.”