Sunday, November 4, 2012

DAY 40!! Facing Adversity

If you weren't aware, we're having our closing celebration today from 2:30-4pm at the West Hillhurst Community Center. We'd love to see you there.
At our midpoint rally this year, Jojo Ruba from Faith Beyond Belief shared with us a little bit about facing adversity. I asked him if he'd be willing to put a few of those thoughts together for our blog to share with those of you who may have missed it.


There are three lessons Christians need to remember about adversity.

1. We need to expect adversity. As Christians who are representing a good God to a willfully evil world, we’re not going to be popular. Christians sometimes think our job is to help people feel better but our job is to help people be better.

There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators."' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are.  
Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

2. Adversity should not come because of bad character but because of good character. There is no command that says though shall be nice but we are to love. True love means we speak truth and are willing to offend.Don’t we do that with those who we love the most?

3. Facing adversity is a privilege. God only brings adversity to those who can handle it and those who He wants to use to show His power:

“In selecting his witnesses, God looks for loyalty. Some of Daniel’s friends didn’t make it. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were chosen out of a group (Daniel 1:6). The other ten or twenty do not appear on God’s lists. They sink into self-chosen anonymity. They have allowed the world to decide their lifestyle and to set their standards of right and wrong. They have willed to sacrifice their distinctive marks because they can’t bear to be different from the word.

The lion’s den is not for them. The lion’s den is only for those with lion’s den loyalty. We need to ask ourselves, Am I living with the world or as its victim? Am I unnamed on God’s lists, or am I willing to be his chosen representative in some dark place?” 
R. Arthur Matthews, Born for Battle

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 39 - testimony

i asked my friend to send me a picture of the sign that she carried when she went to pray at the abortion clinic. Arms wide open - she allowed her life to be changed by adoption. This is her story, shared in red ink on a cheap cardboard sign. A sign that could prove to be priceless. And so i shared my story too:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 38 - You're Invited!

If you missed both our opening rally and our midpoint rally, you won't want to miss our closing celebration.
We are planning an encouraging afternoon from 2:30-4pm on Sunday, November 4th, 2012.
Following our short program including food, a panel discussion and sharing time, we'd like to do a prayer procession at the Kensington abortion clinic location. We will give information how that will work at the end of our program and invite you to meet us there for a time of corporate prayer.
More information to come... will you consider joining us?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day 37 - post-abortion healing

by Kali - a Victoria vigiler

I made my way to the site of the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil yesterday. It was my first time there- and though I registered myself as a member of the 40 Days team, I hadn’t made it to actually checking the schedule and slotting myself in, officially.
Fear presents itself in subtle ways at times. This time, it was in the form of procrastination. Though I wanted to go, I realized that the thoughts of venturing out on my own made me find a zillion reasons why it was really not convenient and probably not necessary. I can pray anywhere, after all…and God knows my heart, and really, would my prayers there Really make a difference? You know how that thinking goes- though it seems absurd to actually name the feelings that way, there they are? Bottom line: I was forced to acknowledge that my actions were really not in line with my beliefs.
So I went. I casually planned to meet a friend, who was not there. I parked- and I worked on knitting a baby hat while I prayed. After 30 min or so, I realized I had to at least have my feet touch the pavement. I wanted to make my presence apparent and at the very least, support those who were quietly taking their place on the sidewalk across the road.
I said hello, I walked up & down a few times, and I prayed for all that was going on behind the closed doors of this innocent looking community building. A modern, friendly-looking establishment housed with family & maternity doctors, midwives, and a complement of natural health practitioners. Funny, there’s no mention of abortion on the signage. Only health and wellness and babies and families and a drugstore below, (one with a fine reputation as a compounding pharmacy that meets the specific needs of pediatric patients in the community.)
The contrast of nurturing health and life with the hidden agenda of promoting death was so raw, so obvious, so sad. And in the drizzly gray of the day, I lasted only a short time on that sidewalk. I knew I did what I came to do as I literally took only babysteps in the right direction.
As I walked back to the car, I identified with the loneliness and sadness these woman face: the confusing emotions of not yet wanting a baby, coupled with the devastation (or numbness) when faced with the alternative. I cried, I walked and prayed. As I neared the car (parked further down the road in a residential area as directed by the Vigil guidelines) a large sign, suspended by large oak branches in the middle of a beautiful garden border caught my eye. Engraved on it were the words:

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,–
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
I wept again at the goodness of my Father- who knows my love for gardens. Who knows I needed a kiss for pardon- from the True Son. It was a little gift, a nudge, to show me He was there. And that He cares for me. In my lame attempts to do what is Right- He was blessed. And so was I- and on that sidewalk near a lovely garden, I did indeed feel near to His heart.
I journalled on a scrap of paper I found in the car, jotting down more of the emotions and memories that came to me as I allowed myself to recall the experiences of my own abortion. Sad and raw on some levels, yet ridiculously straight-forward, I recalled how easily I got on with my day afterwards back in Grade 12…back to student council meetings and dance team rehearsals and a rigorous academic schedule and a scholarship resume in the works. Blah. So very wrong. I scribbled a page of reflections. On Day 29.
So in the midst of the muck & the mire, I give Him praise- and I’m looking forward to going back. Anyone want to come?

1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40