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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What Have I Become?


How long have you walked with the LORD???  Years, months, days?  Do you remember what it was like to not follow HIM.  When was the last time you sat and talked with someone who wasn't a a believer or someone who is but has a differing view of "life".  Do you ever feel as though something's been lost in translation? What language are you speaking?  What language are they speaking?  Have you ever had a conversation with someone and you noticed that they just weren't hearing you much less understanding what in the world you were saying.  You might as well have been from another planet.

For those who are not followers of Jesus it is difficult at times to understand what we are saying because we speak our own language.  And unfortunately there are some of us who seem to have forgotten how to converse with someone who hasn't learned the new language.  Now I'm not talking about profanity or English vs French or Spanish -- I'm talking about "Christian-ese" which comes in many different dialects and consequently we don't always understand each other much less someone else.  So when  we do speak to a person with a different language or dialect, their eyes seem to glass over and their ears close so much so they can't and don't want to hear what is being said.  I believe it goes both directions.

When I was first introduced to this new language called Christian-ese, my eyes glassed over, too, but I wanted to be like those who spoke it so I put a smile on my face so as not to alert the person talking to me that I really didn't understand fully what they were saying.  As time went on I began listening to it day after day, week after week, and year after year until I began speaking and hearing just the same as the person who had originally introduced me to this new language and because I no longer talked with those who spoke my old language I forgot how to speak it to them and to understand it.  I failed to do what Jesus did -- walk and talk with the prostitutes, the adulterers, the addicts, the lost people-those outside the "church" who I had been before.  Oh my goodness had I become one of those Pharisees Jesus talked about in the Bible who should look at the large plank in my own eyes before I looked at the speck in the eye of someone else. I fear I had -- LORD please forgive me.  

My husband enjoys a television show "Falling Sky" in which we as earthlings (humans) are attacked and about to be taken over by alien beings who kill the adults and take the children into captivity.  And after they capture the children they put what is called a harness on them which is embedded in their backs and into their nervous system thus taking away their own thought processes replacing them with the aliens' own thoughts and as this happens the aliens are able to control the children's actions.  In a recent episode as the humans cut into the corpse of one of the aliens they discovered there was a "harness" which was deeply imbedded inside the alien which had been grown over and so covered up the former thing was not recognizable.  So the question is what was the alien before?  So now I'm asking myself the question what and who was I before I surrendered my life to the Lordship of Jesus?   To the humans in the show, the aliens are ugly and mean, and lurking about to devour them, void of any emotion or feeling and believe me they are ugly and vicious.  Oh LORD had I become one of those aliens, not remembering who or what I once was, what I did, and how I thought?  Was I trying to devour those who I had been just like me only a few years before.  Had I so surrounded myself with "life minded" people that I lost site of everyone else.  What about reaching out to those with differing views and attempting a true dialogue in a language we both just might understand.  After all Jesus ate, walked, and talked with those who were prostitutes, tax collectors, "sinners", etc.  I have to confess I haven't been doing much of that.

Have those of us who are Pro-Life alienated our brothers and sisters in the LORD because some advocate "choice" as an option.  I'm actually reading a book written by a woman who is a professing Christian and who is also pro-choice.  Something which seemed very foreign and impossible to me.  She believes that every life is precious and as such one should not be forced to bring a child into this world unwanted or one who would be born with addictions because the mother chose to continue doing drugs during pregnancy.  To her it is more compassionate for mother and child to abort the child and allow the mother to continue on with her choice.  I don't agree with her reasoning because to me, every life IS precious INCLUDING the life of the unborn child, which is where we differ.  But I now understand where she is coming from and where some in the Pro-Choice camp are coming from.  I don't have to agree but I don't have to alienate them either.  Which will bring me to another future Blog topic "The God of Choice"... but I digress. 

Whether we are pro-life or pro-choice --  we all desperately need our minds to be transformed as it states in Romans 12: 1-3 (NIV) - 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

So before I look at the speck in someone else's eye I must first removed the very large plank in my eye.   For I desperately need the Holy Spirit to engulf me in such a way as to mold me and make me into the imagine of a most Holy God --to change the way I think and to fill me with HIS presence and inhabit me so that I am able to live life by the Fruits of His Spirit -- which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.    Help me LORD today to do just that -- to be lead by your Spirit and to continually transform me and shape me and to give me a new mind to think with,  Help me love those who think differently than I do and bring us both into a revelation of the truth so we can be set free.  I fear LORD because of my actions in the past, people may have a distorted and ugly view of who you really are -- please forgive me for that.   May I be light in a dark world and for those around me and those whom I meet, may they see YOU in a true light as a loving and compassionate GOD as well as a Holy GOD, not a mean, ugly,  GOD who wants to strike them and devour them but a GOD who loves them.  And because sin separates us from a Holy GOD -- thank you that you loved us so much that YOU gave us your SON, JESUS, to take our punishment when we accept HIM and acknowledge HIM,  and HE bridges the gap and allow us into your presence.  Help me LORD not to alienate those who are different from me but to love them and show them YOU.  May, The HOLY SPIRIT, remain visible to me and to those around me and LORD help me not be an ugly alien so covered up that I don't even look human anymore; but may I be seen as one who has been forgiven much and one who loves much not trying to devour those which I once was and still can be.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Forgiven & Set Free April 2007 Memorial Service

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 we once again had the privilege of memorializing 6 babies and celebrating the freedom that only comes with knowing our wonderful Savior Jesus. The women in this study persevered, as they all have, and by pressing into HIM they allowed HIM to free them from the bondage they have carried for far too long. Praise the LORD ~ They are being set free and are finally able to acknowledge their children knowing they will one day be united.

Tom Nolan did a wonderful job of bringing a special word from our LORD on forgiveness and we thank he and Karen so much for always supporting us and this ministry. Please enjoy this journey with us.

We continue to ask for your prayers for all the women who have come through this class and the many more who are out there hurting who have yet to make the decision to join us in being Set Free ~ may the LORD begin to draw them in.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Operation Outcry Retreat


We had the most wonderful time this past October at the Operation Outcry Retreat. Operation Outcry leaders from around the country came to San Antonio for a time of refreshing, renewing, and fellowship. We were fed to overflowing by some wonderful speakers, teachers, and worship leaders.

Praise and Worship Leaders

Chuck and Lora Edgett -- They were fantastic and even treated us to a song they had written. They have been married for 10 years. Between the two of them, they have five children ranging in age from 10 to 21. Currently, both are members serving at Alamo City Christian Fellowship in the Children's and Singles ministry. Both are prodigal children who have come to know the depths of the Fathers grace, mercy and love. They are recovered alcoholics of 13 and 16 years enjoying the freedom of deliverance. Both their lives have been adversely affected by abortion, but thanks to God for healing through our Lord Jesus Christ. All this is evident in their new music ministry dedicated to sharing the Gospel, celebrating Jesus, and His healing grace that they have received.
You will surely forget your troubles recalling it only as waters gone by.
Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning.
You will be secure, because there is hope.
Job11:16-18

Abbi Walker is an annointed worship leader and led us in worship on Sunday morning. She is a 23 year old singer/songwriter/worship leader out of San Antonio, Texas and is also my Pastor's daughter. Abbi sings, speaks, and ministers because of what God has done in her life (Psalm 78). “The Lord gave me a home that truly worshipped, and honored Him. He allowed me to be exposed to a lot of ‘good’, and a lot of religion, and then He saved me from it and called me to truly know Him and walk in true freedom.” Abbi cannot deny that the Lord has called her to lead in worship and sing the songs that He has written through her. Abbi describes the place of leading worship as: “I can’t help but approach the throne of God, the place of worship, with an honest heart, believing He meets me there, like He said in John 4. That place came through a lot of personal pain and humility, but has become the place of freedom in my life. There seems to be something welcoming to people about that. I sing not just because I want to, but I believe the Lord has truly anointed me to do it.” Abbi leads both with a band, or just a piano. Her music ministry has included leading worship and singing for: Girls Weekends/Retreats, Women’s Nights of Worship, Mother/Daughter Events, Youth Camps/Retreats, School Retreats, special music on Sundays, and concerts/coffehouses. The songs and worship do not come without the Truth, and it seems that these two actually walk hand in hand. Most often, Abbi speaks and sings intermittingly. The stories behind the songs are at times more powerful than the songs themselves, creating an intimate ministry time.
Abbi’s 2nd CD is in the final stages and is scheduled to be complete sometime in October 2006 – www.abbiwalker.com.


Guest Speakers

Tom & Karen Nolan – Married for 43 years this couple has two grown daughters; Vicki and Donna, and one grandson Lane Thomas Nolan who is “the light of their life”. Tom Nolan was born in 1942 in New Jersey met Karen while in high school and had their first date April 10, 1959. Tom graduated high school in 1961, served 3 years in the US Army in the Military Police and married Karen in 1963. He served as a police officer in New Jersey for four years before moving to Tulsa, OK in 1969. He was with the Tulsa Police Department for 12 years before going to work for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in their security department. In 1984 Tom and his family moved to Corpus Christi, TX and was saved in First Baptist Church Portland, TX. After moving to San Antonio, TX in 1985 he and Karen joined First Baptist Church San Antonio and later moved their membership to Alamo City Christian Fellowship where they remain today. Tom retired his security job with Southwest Bell in 2000 and joined the staff at Alamo City Christian Fellowship as the Men’s Ministry Coordinator and remained in that role until January 2006 at which time he became the Pastor’s assistant relating to Pastoral Care.
Karen Nolan – By trade Karen is a lucrative Realtor, but she feels her greatest accomplishment is being able to see her grandson, Lane, everyday. She has been married to her husband Tom for 43 years and together they have two grown daughters. She is actively involved in ministry at Alamo City Christian Fellowship in San Antonio and she and Tom have made several evangelistic mission trips to Brazil, Ukraine and Uganda and look forward to many more. In the early 90's Karen felt lead to attend training for counselors at a pregnancy care center in San Antonio. After completion of the training she became a counselor voluntarily working one day a week at the center. But the prodding of the Holy Spirit to become an intercessor for the “Forgiven & Set Free” study at Alamo City Christian Fellowship has set a course that she feels has significantly impacted both she and Tom now as well as in the years to come.

Lonnie and Candy Phillips have been married for 10 years and have two beautiful children, Abigail who is 8 yrs old and Stephen who is 2 months old. Lonnie Phillips is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary where he received a MA in Missions and Evangelism in 1997. Lonnie and Candy met in 1994 while attending Asbury. They married and moved to India where they were missionaries for four years. Lonnie ministered and served as a Bible Teacher at the Oxford Institute for Grassroot Evangelists. Together Lonnie & Candy pastored the Divya Shanti Orphanage in Bangalore India. In 1998 they moved from Bangalore to Bombay India where they ministered in a church plant and discipled graduate students at a nearby college. In the spring of 2001 they moved back to the U.S so that Lonnie could attend Asbury Seminary where he received his Masters of Divinity with Emphasis in Missions and Evangelism and pastor two country churches. For the past three years the Phillips family has lived in Mountain Home, Arkansas where they are serving as ministers of Evangelism and Discipleship at Church With No Walls. And most recently they have been called back to India. Their greatest love and passion is seeing the lost come to the Lord and the Saints walk in their calling and destiny. Lonnie has known the bondage as a Christian that comes with sexual immorality but has experienced and is now living in the freedom that comes with a life surrendered to Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to live victoriously in Christ Jesus. His focus now is to see men delivered from sexual bondage and walk in their rightful place as spiritual leaders in their home.
Candy Phillips was born and raised in Bangalore, India. In 1992 she received her Masters in Religion at South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies in Bangalore India. She worked at the Institute for one year as well as Youth for Christ for a year before coming to the United States to attend Asbury Theological Seminary. She graduated in 1996 from Asbury with a Masters in Counseling. She taught pastoral-care and counseling at South India Bible Seminary. Candy’s gifting is in the area of children and youth ministry as well as ministering to wounded and hurting women. For the past year God has been moving upon Candy to become more involved with women who have been hurt by abortion and has been opening doors for such ministry.



Shirley Walker - For thirty years, Shirley has ministered alongside her husband, Dr. David Walker as a pastor’s wife, mom, speaker, and author. Shirley is a mother to three children Abbi age 23, Katie age 20 and Evan age 17. She has served as a radio host of a daily program, Heartbeat, heard in the San Antonio area, guest columnist for the San Antonio Express News and co-hosted numerous programs on local Christian television. She and David are presently co-hosting a weekly live webcast, Legacy, with Sammy and Tex Tippit on Sammy’s website, www.sammytippit.org

In 1993, she co-founded City-Wide Women’s Prayer, a ministry calling women to pray for revival across denominational lines and served as the ministry’s director until 2000. Presently, she serves on staff at Alamo City Christian Fellowship.
Shirley’s fresh and convicting approach to the Word has left a lasting impact on those who have sat under her ministry. She regularly speaks at conferences and retreats.

Her first book, Window in a Glass House, Imago Dei Publications, has found national attention through radio and print exposure. Window appears as a resource in Focus on the Family’s Pastoral Care Directory. An excerpt from it appeared in the Summer 2004 edition of Just Between Us Magazine. The Window in a Glass House Ministry Wives Conference is an extension of her writing. Held in October, this conference provides hands on encouragement to ministry wives.

Trivia
Born: Tulsa Oklahoma
Raised: Houston Texas
Education: Although she attended Texas Christian University and Baylor Dental School, moves in the pastorate ended her schooling at Amarillo College where she earned an Assoc. Degree in Dental Hygiene

When she’s not working…
o She plays tennis
o She spends as much time as possible in a log cabin in Montana getting in near death experiences with her husband; and
o When she’s stressed, she eats chips and salsa

Shirley’s website is www.shirleywalker.com.



Virginia (“Ginny”) Curd and her husband Thomas reside in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Ginny is the founder of Post Abortion Ministries, LLC and is a 2005 graduate of the Biblical Training Program of Christian Counseling & Training Center in Richmond, Virginia. PAM was organized in 2002 to help those suffering from abortion aftermath and to train those desiring to minister to such persons at home and abroad. Ginny was adopted by a loving family shortly after her birth, has had three abortions and is barren. She understands first hand the difficulties associated with post-abortion trauma. She is also familiar with the struggles of both the church in reaching the post abortive as well as pregnancy care centers in ministering to the abortion-minded. In 2000, Ginny gave testimony before the Virginia General Assembly’s Committee on Education and Health in connection with proposed legislation involving informed consent. Through a variety of resources and educational opportunities, Ginny pursues reaching the hurting for Jesus Christ.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Memorial Service




As we conclude each Forgiven & Set Free class we end with a Memorial Service. You may ask yourself why? It is a way to memorialize the children that have been lost. Society does not regard or respect aborted babies. By using impersonal terms like product of conception, blobs of tissue, contents of the uterus, even fetus – the child’s humanity is negated. We as Christians are aware of the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Even though our children were never allowed to live on earth, we know they are alive with our Lord in Heaven. Because human life is God-given and so precious we identify and dignify these babies. One of the ways in which we do this is by naming our child(ren) and memorializing them with a pair of baby shoes. Each pair of shoes has the name of our child(ren)and is displayed at various times during the year.

Women who experience any pregnancy loss need a time and place to grieve. These memorial services are necessary supports to grieving. This enables the mothers and fathers to publically acknowlege their children and grieve and mourn. Parents need to shed tears, mourning the loss of their children and the lost relationships with their children.

The Memorial Service helps to bring closure for the parents. They experience release and the blessing of comfort as they grieve. The memories of the abortion will be replaced with a beautiful experience that helps overcome the many negative memories of abortion. It is a special time and place which can be revisited in their memory by saying, "I can't change the past. I have publically acknowledged my child(ren), they do have worth. They are real and I will see them in heaven."

March for Life


Women and Men of Operation Outcry and Silent No More prepare for the March for Life.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Abortion & Breast Cancer

Coalition on Abortion Breast Cancer
Not all women who have breast cancer have had abortions. Similarly, not all women who have had abortions will get breast cancer. Nevertheless, abortion is the most preventable risk factor for breast cancer.
www.abortionbreastcancer.com/The_Link.htm

If you've been hurt by abortion -- there is hope and healing through Jesus!