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NOTE: Commentary is made as a private citizen and not as Regional Coordinator for Silent No More or Leader of Rachel's Hope, unless otherwise stated.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

SCENES FROM THE PORCH


Our home has a porch which is situated in a way that allows witness to magnificent sunrises and sunsets.  Every morning and evening you will find me there reflecting on how blessed I am.  It's also where I spend quiet time with God. 


Morning Moon 9/30/15
Sunrise 9/30/15










His artwork inspired this prayer:


Heavenly Father,
You created a world of beauty and wonder.
Open our eyes to focus on that beauty and
feel Your presence.  Precious Savior, guide
us to follow you in our thoughts, words and
deeds and at day’s end may we count our
blessings with love and gratitude.

Amen.

HERE ARE A FEW SCENES FROM OUR PORCH


HAVE A BLESSED DAY!



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pro-Choice: Desperate Times - Desperate Measures



As more horrors are exposed from behind the scenes of Planned Parenthood, the pro-choice community started a campaign, #ShoutYourAbortion.  Their desperation has hit a new low, but it doesn't surprise me.  Those claiming to have no regrets about their abortion(s) want to encourage others to join them.  As the old saying goes, "Misery loves company."

I read a few of the tweets associated with that hashtag and the following questions popped into my head to those women celebrating their abortions. 

1)  Can you honestly say you don't think about the abortion, wonder what you would have had or what that child would have looked like?

2)  Can you honestly say you don't, from time to time, look at other children and think, "Mine would have been that age."

3)  If you had to write a letter to your aborted child about why you chose to abort, what would you say?  Especially if you had other children before or after. 

4)  Would you be able to admit honestly sacrificing his/her life for yours was worth it?  

5)  Would you be able to say, in all honesty, you walked out of the clinic, feeling liberated and empowered?

By no means am I being judgmental.  As you already know, I am post abortive, and I have answered those questions.  It's why I'm inspired to fight for the lives of the unborn and the hearts and souls of women contemplating an abortion.  It's why I reach out to those secretly suffering  ... afraid to step out into the light of forgiveness and truth.

The last question is more of a "what if":  I wonder if the women celebrating their abortions would feel differently if they set aside their pro-choice ideology just for a while --- and make a concerted effort to objectively watch the undercover videos, watch The Sidewalk Chronicles, listen to testimonies of post-abortive women and/or attend a post abortion healing program

One final thought:



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Power of Forgiveness



 

I think it would be safe to say we’ve all declared, "I’ll never be able to forgive him/her,” at some point in time.  Granted, those words are usually not literal … just a spontaneous reaction to a minor transgression that is quickly forgiven and forgotten.  Unfortunately, it's not that easy with major transgressions. For those, we may carry the darkness of resentment for years, breeding nothing but anger and hatred.

In my book, And God Still Loves Me – A Journey from the Dark Abyss of Sin to God’s Mercy, I discuss one particular incident that haunted me for over thirty years:  I was, as usual, drunk at a local bar and agreed to meet a man after closing to get "more acquainted".  Unbeknownst to me, he invited a few of his friends … enough said. I never reported it, figuring it was my fault.  I blocked out the incident for a while, but images began flashing through my mind.  Reliving the painful and humiliating experience placed me on a perilous path of self-destruction and further away from God. 

Catherine Ponder once said, “When you hold resentment towards another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”  I may never be free from the memory of that night, but through counseling, prayer and opening my heart to forgiveness (for the perpetrators and myself), I am free from the darkness. 

Expelling resentment from the heart makes room for hope and serenity. Most importantly,  it bridges the gap between us and a loving, compassionate and merciful God.

All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.
Ephesians 4:31-32 (NABRE)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Welcome Carmen Stevens to "An Author Speaks"



Carmen Gross, pen name Carmen Stevens, was born in Fargo, ND, March 1992. She currently resides in Detroit Lakes, MN, where she is a recent college graduate and works part-time. Carmen published her novel "Anne" in July 2013-an exciting, richly-written historical work about a young English girl who makes many bad choices throughout her life and then struggles to find redemption.

What five words describe you?

Shy, kind, bubbly, sweet, and strong-willed. This is what others have said about me.

What are you working on at the minute? What is it about?

Right now, I'm simply working on promoting 'Anne'. I also recently graduated from college, so I've been trying to find a job in the Paralegal field, which is what I went to school for.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

I'm not sure about this one, I mean, it's hard to think of a well-known English actress to play my titular character. I do know that I would like English actors and actresses, since the story takes place in England. Probably not someone as well-known as others, but who is talented enough.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

None. I'm quite satisfied with my book.  :)

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Making sure your characters stay in character, and knowing which direction your story's plot is going.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writers block?

Read a different book, or occupy your mind with something else. Doing these things should get ideas in your head rolling again.

Where would your dream location be for writing?

I've wanted to live in South Dakota for quite a while, so maybe this state is my dream location. But writing and living in North Dakota or even a pretty place in Minnesota would be fine, too.

When creating characters, are they based on people in your life?

Yes, or at least Anne was. I formed this character from the dark side of my own personality. I wanted to make her as interesting a character as possible.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I do read my reviews, but I don't respond to them, good or bad. I actually could use some advice myself on how to better handle bad reviews. But I guess that authors shouldn't let these reviews get to them, and they should just keep chugging along and doing their best.

If you couldn't be a writer, what would you be?

Like I said, I went to college for a Paralegal degree, so I'd love to work in a type of legal career and write or promote my book(s) in my spare time.

What would you tell your younger self that would have helped you in your writing career?

Well, I kind of wish that I'd finished writing 'Anne' sooner, so I think I would tell my younger self to work harder and faster, and don't get sidetracked or distracted by anything.

Where can we buy your work?

'Anne' can be found on Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. But here are a few of those links:

How can we keep up with you?