Australia, Social problems, Uncategorized

Emily’s Voice

baby-in-womb

The issue of abortion is one of the most polarizing subjects of our time.  People’s strong opinions on both sides of the issue make it difficult to have an open and honest dialogue.  Usually, someone’s agenda is at stake.  Politicians have votes and money on the line; doctors and abortion clinics do too.  Women in crisis have emotions, fear and stress affecting their judgement.  And, many Christians have a “holier-than-thou” judgemental mindset that widens the gap between those who consider themselves “pro-choice” and those who are “pro-life.”

We celebrate medical technology advancements like intrauterine surgery to save a baby’s life on one day; and the next, we see medical professionals advocating killing a “fetus” that’s the same age or older in the name of Women’s Rights.  The prevalence of lies surrounding the subject is one thing.  The absence of truth is another. I believe if most people are given the facts on both sides of an issue, they are competent and capable to make a wise decision on the matter.  When rhetoric and emotion are involved, this is hard to accomplish.

The facts are that at LEAST 80K babies are aborted annually in Australia alone.  And, there is a MAJOR lack of information and resources out there to actually help women (and men) facing a crisis pregnancy situation.  Contrary to popular belief, more than half of abortions are for social reasons, not because a mother’s health is in grave danger or because the baby suffers with a disability. 97% of aborted babies are PERFECTLY HEALTHY.  (Click here for references or to read more facts about abortion.) Sadly, abortion is often the only option a lot of women feel is available to them. We want to help change this in our community.

We have recently personally partnered with an amazing organization called Emily’s Voice which exists to help Australians fall in love with the unborn.  Motivated by love for the mother and her unborn baby, Emily’s Voice uses a clever and beautiful marketing campaign (30 sec commercials, bus ads, billboards) to portray real life stories of people who were faced with an unplanned pregnancy or with the news that their baby had a disability.  Sometimes the ads just remind us that “long before our first steps, first haircut and first heartache, the journey’s already begun in the womb.”  By highlighting beautiful facts about our unique features like hair, feet, or hands, we are reminded of the miracle that is LIFE.

Sadly, one in three Australian women will have an abortion.  This means one in four pregnancies are terminated.  However, 70% of women who had an abortion say they would have continued the pregnancy if a significant “other” had encouraged them. We believe Australians mindsets about abortion will change over time.  Much like the major government marketing strategy to highlight the dangers of smoking (no one actually thinks it’s a wise decision to smoke due to the influx of truth about this disgusting habit), Emily’s Voice will help Australians become aware of the fact that abortion is bad for more than just the baby who loses its life.  The emotional and physical ramifications for the mother are dangerous too.

Because of our own personal experience and passion to see these stats and mindsets change, Greg and I want to help others affected by this issue.  We have a vision to see a crisis pregnancy centre in our city which will provide education and support to women facing difficult situations. After all, if we really care about women’s rights, they deserve to have emotional support and correct information to make their CHOICE.  If you would like more information about Emily’s Voice or to partner with them now, click here.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made! Psalm 133:13-14 (MSG)

Australia, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Patient Endurance

I can quote all kinds of phrases about success being a journey and not a destination.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  Life’s a marathon, not a sprint.  Yet, when it comes to a big goal in life, I’m tempted to let the overwhelming process cause me to give up on my dreams.  How do we bridge the gap between where we are and where we want to be?

One

day

at

a

time.

When I think about living in Australia, my brain gets bombarded with questions:

  • How are we going to get people to come to our house for church?
  • Will we ever have enough people to launch a real service?
  • Who will lead worship for us so its not cheesy?
  • Where is the money going to come from?
  • Will I need to get a job and if so, what will I even do?
  • Not to mention, “Where are we going to live?” and “what school is my kid going to go to?”

God clearly spoke and reminded me to take it

one

day

at

a

time.

He encouraged me that how we got where we are today wasn’t through some out of body experience that promoted us to “leader status.”  We got here one choice at a time.  Handling the small stuff each and every day brings progress.  After each of my three pregnancies, I gained 50 pounds; I wanted to lose weight immediately after I gave birth and ran a couple of miles.  Instead, it took nine months!  Early in our marriage, Greg and I were in heaps of credit card debt.  I wanted to get on a budget for a few months and see it all magically disappear.  Instead, a couple of years of strict financial discipline and working hard to earn extra money finally allowed us to pay it all off.

Think of this: the same logic we use to justify a bad decision can be used to gain positive momentum in life.  For example, I can look at a bowl of ice cream and say, “it’s just one bowl.  Eating it will not make me gain five pounds” (bad decision).  Or, I can look at it and say, “it’s just one bowl.  But, I’m not gonna eat it.”  If I do that consistently for a few weeks, I’ll lose five pounds.  The problem is, instant gratification often overrides this logic.  Instead of convincing ourselves that “a little bit won’t hurt” why not say “a little bit WILL help?”

The phrase “good things come to those who wait” is partially misleading. I guess it applies if you’re talking about standing in line to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  Following the crowd mindlessly will eventually lead you to the ride.

For everything else in life, there’s work in the waiting.  While we are waiting to launch Lift Church, we are working hard.  There’s not much I can do today grow Lift Church, but I CAN grow myself.

Who we area today, is a direct result of the choices we have made over time.  The great news is: the person I want to become doesn’t depend on finding a genie in a bottle or winning the lottery.  I just have to work on today. Planting a church in Australia isn’t happening overnight.  The way we are going to get there is

one

day

at

a

time.

We will work while we are waiting.  Everyday, I spend time with God.  Everyday I pray.  Everyday I read my Bible.  Everyday I take care of my physical body through exercise and healthy eating.  Every paycheck, I tithe.   Discipline, praying for God’s favor, serving people, making the phone calls to raise money, keeping our family life a priority, networking.   Even when we don’t feel like it.  Day by day.  Little by little.  One bite at a time.  I’ve spent the last 35 years doing that.  So, today, I’ll just do it again. And tomorrow more of the same. And when worry or fear creeps up, I’ll just do it anyway.  And then, one day, I’m gonna wake up and realize, we have a church!

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. Hebrews 10:36