"Return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is He.” (Joel 2:13)
Today is the first day of Lent. Are you ready? I’m not! It always makes me a little anxious as I consider what I will do, how I will encourage my children, when I can fit in more prayer, and on and on. Yet, as I read from “The Word Among Us” magazine today, I found that I need to look at Lent a bit differently.
They write, “The last thing anyone wants to do is reduce this season of grace to a to-do list. Your heavenly Father is ‘gracious and merciful.’ He is calling out to you so He can bless you. Our works during Lent are meant to arise from a heart that wants to know a deeper freedom from sin and fear – a heart that is looking to God for more of His love. We don’t do them to prove ourselves to God or convince him to bless us. We do them because they can help us feel the presence of God. We do them because they can change our hearts and make us more like Jesus.”
So take a deep breath, soften your heart, and keep it open to the Lord this Lent. He will use whatever effort you make over these next 40 days, no matter how small, for your good and the good of others.
Need some ideas of ways to “return to the Lord?” Here are a few:
1. 40 Days for Life begins TODAY! – There are four aspects of this worldwide campaign to end abortion: prayer, fasting, peaceful vigil, and community outreach. See “Upcoming Events” below to find out more about this mission which has had amazing results in converting abortion workers, closing abortion mills, and saving babies. Vigil locations are in Glen Ellyn and Aurora. Watch a video of the Aurora site’s kick-off rally where they witnessed a save that very day!: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXRWkZqLqIQ
2. Two Lobby Days in Springfield Feb. 20 and March 13 – Visit your state Congressmen in person and make an impact! You will be provided with all the background to speak with authority on the issues. See the upcoming events tab for more information.
3. Click HERE to view “40 Ways to Embrace Life” . Choose one thing that you will do this Lent to promote LIFE.
UPDATE ON A SAVE
- We have a little more information about Kathy who chose LIFE at Forest View last July. Her baby girl, Kylee Elise, was born on January 15. Kathy is so appreciative of the presence of people praying for her that day and throughout her pregnancy. She texted, “She really wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you, so thank you so much for that!”
- From the update when we first met Kathy, “She came with two Hispanic young men. Neither was the father of her baby. As God would have it, the two men dropped Kathy off and then parked in the parking lot in front of the Women’s Center building which allowed us the opportunity to go right up to their car and talk. We are not legally allowed on the premises of the abortion mill’s parking lot, so it really was an amazing blessing! The one young man, Angel, was willing to listen and was very moved by the pictures of developing babies and aborted babies in the pamphlet I shared. He immediately texted Kathy to come out. And she did! All three came with me to the Women’s Center and left later with a plan for LIFE!
- May God bless each person who pleaded to God for the life of this child. We have sent a gift to Kathy and Kylee from all of you!
News from the last two Thursdays’ Forest View vigils:
** On Thursday, January 31, we estimate that SEVEN children died at the hands of a “doctor.”
** One couple arrived at 7:00 am and left 20 minutes later. They did not stop to talk or even look our way, so we do not know what happened.
** On Thursday, February 7, we estimate that again SEVEN women chose death for their unborn child.
** As much as we would love to report that there was a save on one of these days, we simply don’t know. Of course, this doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. Former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson said that on abortion days when there were people present praying outside, their no-show rate shot up to 75%. However, even if not one baby was saved on these days, our prayers were not in vain. We must continue to go to these places of death. We may be the only ones who mourn the passing of these children at the site of their murder. Each one was a unique individual, a precious baby, who will never be seen in this world. “Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) It is a sacred duty to never forget the youngest victims of abortion. To this end, the Pro-Life Action League has launched a project to remember these little ones. Read about it here: http://prolifeaction.org/hotline/2013/topten03/#more-27984(You can also find some comfort here by reading Eric Scheidler’s list of the top ten accomplishments of the pro-life movement!)
Our vigil update writer: