Note

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.

Contact

Thursday, October 12, 2017

MASKS




Advertisements for Halloween costumes are all over the place right now, and ... uh, oh ... it got me thinking. We all wear masks from time to time; we have to.  There are situations where our true feelings or reactions would not be socially acceptable or, in the worse case scenario ... even illegal.  
 
What we need to realize is there is one mask we wear that can interfere with our lives:  A false persona created due to the misguided notion of not being good enough.  That notion subsequently prevents us from forming a genuine relationship with God and others.

God doesn't make mistakes.  We need to trust Him.  Remember, He created each one of us in His image. We need to embrace who we are; establish an honest relationship with ourselves.  Then, and only then, can we form a true and lasting relationship with Him and others.

You formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works!
My very self you know.

Psalms 139:13-14

Sunday, October 1, 2017

God Didn't Want Me - Or So I Thought.....



Going through some boxes of pictures, one surfaced that reminded me of a canceled baptism.

I was raised in a Christian home, but my parents did not have me baptized as a child; they believed it should be my decision later on as to what faith I wanted to follow. I never thought much about it in my younger years, and in my "demon days," God was not even part of my vocabulary ... unless I was using His name in vain.  Anyway, I was too interested in partying and doing my own thing.

In 1977,  my parents and sister were attending a Methodist church in my home town, and my sister decided to get baptized.  I was twenty-four and living on the other side of the state, but they wanted it to be a family affair.  They asked me to join my sister ... secretly hoping it might somehow change my evil ways.

Figuring this might be a way to get my parents "off my back," I reluctantly packed my bags and took the three-hour trip on a Friday night. The baptism was not until Sunday, so I had all day Saturday to do whatever I wanted.  I decided to attend an intramural baseball game sponsored by my previous employer, which gave me a chance to catch up with old friends.  I was busy chatting during the game, and all of a sudden my ears started ringing and people screamed. I saw blood flowing, and I thought I had a nosebleed. The bat had slipped out of the batter's hand, into the bleachers and onto my forehead.  It did not knock me out (hard headed aren't I?) but my skull was fractured in four places, I had a subdural hematoma and needed twenty-eight stitches across my forehead.  My parents were told not to get their hopes up for me making it through the night, and that if I did make it, there was no guarantee of a full recovery. While they were stitching me up, mom and dad were at my bedside. Remembering the upcoming baptism, I looked at both of them and said, "See, God does not want me."

I believed that statement for years after the accident, and it was not until I sobered up and started on my wonderful faith journey that I realized how wrong I was.  I was too self-absorbed back then to see that He did want me. Otherwise, I would not have survived the accident, let alone my wanton lifestyle, and I would not have learned the valuable lessons still ahead of me.

I consider the accident a blessing in disguise. Although God did want me, I did not want Him. The baptism would have been a farce; just something to make my family happy. I would have entered the water with a closed heart and mind then get in my car and return to my self-destructive ways. I would not have appreciated the significance of the sacrament, in fact, I would have forgotten about it the next day.

It took a few more years of lessons learned, but in 2006 I was baptized in the Catholic church. Not only did I appreciate the significance, I entered the water with an open heart and mind, I felt His presence, heard His invitation and joyfully welcomed Him into my life.

Habakkuk 2:3

 For the vision is a witness for the appointed time,

a testimony to the end; it will not disappoint.

If it delays, wait for it,

it will surely come, it will not be late.

Two days after the accident.
My baptism in 2006. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

"MENTORING FOR ALL SEASONS" - AN INTRODUCTION TO AN INCREDIBLE BOOK

Janet Thompson takes the mystery out of mentoring in her new book Mentoring For All Seasons. I was honored to be part of this inspirational project as I discuss after-abortion healing as a recipient and provider.

Enjoy this special introduction from Janet…

I grew up in Southern California where, with few seasonal exceptions, the weather was consistent year round—sunny and beautiful. Sunny and hot with morning fog near the beach in summer. Sunny and warm with occasional Santana winds in the fall. Sunny with a few storms, rain, and overcast days in the winter, when the temperatures might dip into the 60’s. Sunny and colorful in the spring. Those were our seasons.

Then we moved to Idaho where we have four extremely distinct and different seasons, each one lasting about three months, except last winter’s snow went from November until a few snow days in April! The biggest difference I’ve noticed about the four climate “seasons,” is that the year seems to fly by in Idaho!

During that heavy snow winter, everyone could hardly wait until it was summer. Then when summer brought high temperatures and smoke from forest fires, everyone could hardly wait for fall. Now that fall has finally arrived, in just a few months we’ll be right back into winter snow again.




We’re continually coming out of one season and going into the next completely different season—a great metaphor for our life seasons. Many of you have experienced the blessing of having a mentor in the changing seasons of your life, or long for a mentor to help you through a new life season. That’s when those with experience in a life season can reach out and offer counsel, support, prayer, and God’s wisdom to a woman in a season we’ve experienced. Mentoring is that easy.

When we moved to Idaho from Southern California, we had never lived in the rural mountains year round. We had a lot to learn and there was always someone willing to mentor us; all we had to do was ask and be receptive to what they had learned from living here. Now that we’re a bit “seasoned,” we can help others moving here too.

One group of friends call themselves “Seasoned Veterans of the Word,” and they’re anxious to learn more about mentoring. Author and speaker Pam Farrel has several stories in this book where she tells of forming a group of “Seasoned Sisters” to prepare for menopause and midlife together, a season I’ve definitely included in Mentoring for All Seasons.

So that’s my challenge, let’s look for those God puts in our path and share what we’ve learned from our experiences and how God and His Word helped us and will help them too in whatever life season they’re going through now. And if you’re going through a difficult life season or are new in your faith, ask God to help you find a mentor. Mentoring for All Seasons encourages women to intentionally share their life experiences and God’s faithfulness. I’m not just talking about women; we need to mentor our tweens and teens too!

You may encounter a woman in a season you haven’t experienced. Mentees come from all walks and seasons of life, ages, and spiritual maturity. Even if a mentor doesn’t share the exact life experience of her mentee, the mentor can provide spiritual guidance, do research, and pray about how to address the specific issues her mentee is encountering. Some mentees might even be seekers or brand new believers who need to know how to live as Christian women today.
In Mentoring for All Seasons, sixty-five women share their mentor or mentee testimonies, along with my own personal experiences, helpful tips, and suggestions will guide women in how to connect and nurture each other through mentoring relationships, as a mentor or a mentee from tweens to twilight years. There are Scriptures for each season to help guide the discussion to God’s Word. Mentors don’t have all the answers, but God does!

Mentoring for all Seasons is a reference, application, and coaching tool for a mentor or mentee as they traverse life’s journey together. I pray for Holy Spirit inspiration for some women to become Titus 2:3-5 women.
"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
Throughout our lifetime, we vacillate between being a mentor and needing a mentor, depending on the season of life. I pray whatever season you’re in today, there’s someone walking beside you, and you’re walking beside someone who needs you in her season of life.

Bio: Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and award-winning author of nineteen books including her latest, Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness.
She is also the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries. Janet and her husband Dave relocated their empty nest from Orange County, California to the rural mountains of Idaho, where Janet writes and they love watching the deer frolic in their yard.
Sign up for Janet’s Monday Morning Blog and online newsletter at womantowomanmentoring.com.
You can also visit Janet at:
www.facebook.com/Janetthompson.authorspeaker
http://www.linkedin.com/in/womantowomanmentoring/
www.pinterest.com/thompsonjanet
https://twitter.com/AHWministries

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Secret



Today’s Gospel reading struck me like lightening. 

“For there is nothing hidden that

will not become visible, and nothing

secret that will not be known

 and come to light.”  

Luke 8:17

It reminded me of a term frequently used in Alcoholics Anonymous:  “You are only as sick as your secrets.”  

Many women and men carry their abortion experience in the dark recesses of their soul.  They do everything in their power to shroud the secret from others and the guilt, shame, and remorse associated with abortion from themselves. Sadly, the means used to avoid detection are more disastrous than exposure:  self-destructive behavior such as substance abuse, eating disorders, promiscuity, being in abusive relationships, gambling, over-protectiveness of living children or the opposite, etc.    

I visualize the tools (coping skills) used to conceal the secret as volcanic magma.  As time passes, weaknesses in the earth’s crust can no longer hold back the magma, and a catastrophic eruption occurs. As one tool stops working, the world crumbles and ushers in hopelessness, fear, and depression resulting in the use of another, which starts the vicious cycle all over again.  

The only way to stop the debilitating aftermath of abortion is to summon the courage to reach out for healing.  Removing the shroud of secrecy will allow the light of love and forgiveness from our merciful God and Savior, thus replacing the guilt, shame, and remorse with peace and serenity.  

Take it from one who knows....

For healing resources visit:

www.rachelshopehealingministry.com (San Diego)
www.rachelsvineyard.org (International)
www.silentnomore.com (International)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Martha Plimpton: Praising Abortion - Or Not?




Actress Martha Plimpton made headlines recently by announcing she had her best abortion in Seattle, which isn't surprising.  She has never been coy about that part of her personal life.  In 2015 she told ABC, “For me in particular because I did have two abortions as a young woman, I feel that my ability to access that kind of medical care made it possible for me to live out my dreams and do what I really want to do in life.”

My initial reactions were of disgust and anger that someone could be so nonchalant about ending the life a child.  But, truth be told, her words triggered a flashback that directed those feelings not towards her, but me.  Back in the 70’s I minimized the conduct of aborting twice by spewing pro-choice rhetoric and using my career goals as defense for my actions (coincidentally, both abortions were performed in Seattle).

It is very common for women to not just initially feel relief after ending an unplanned pregnancy, but also identify with and become involved in pro-choice organizations such as Planned Parenthood or the National Organization of Women.  They also immerse themselves in their careers.  Eventually, however, dysfunctional patterns of behavior surface. 

In my case not only was I a workaholic, but also an alcoholic.  Successfully climbing the ladder of success in a government career only temporarily validated the sacrifice of two babies and I was oblivious to the fact my drinking was escalating at the same time.  In actuality, I was numbing the pain and regret of aborting.  Eventually, alcohol dominated my life and affected my work performance, propelling me into a downward spiral that made suicide the only alternative to the overwhelming emotional pain.  Obviously, I survived – but only through rehab, therapy and healing from the psychological and spiritual damage unleashed due to my abortions.

Instead of being angry and disgusted towards Ms. Plimpton, I am empathetic and sympathetic.  She may be unaware or deny it all together, but her pro-choice activism and relentless pursuit of more roles on stage and screen are more than likely a smokescreen --- covering up the same pain and regret I carried for so many years.  I pray she and the countless others living in denial are able see through the smoke and reach out for healing at some point....not just to help themselves, but to stop the rhetoric that misleads vulnerable young women.