About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Secret to a Happy Marriage

According to Mr. Troop who has just celebrated 80 years of marriage, there is no secret. He says,


There's no secret to staying happily married for so long, Bill said.

"It ought to be what everybody knows," he said. "First, you should know love. You should know you're in love. Then, you should know the Lord."

He also said that while other couples fought and divorced, they "just decided not to do that".


For more of their story click here.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sailing Through Uncharted Waters

Every year when we embark on a new mission trip to Pine Ridge, things are different. Nothing about the trips really ever stays the same. Each year brings a whole new set of people, a whole new set of experiences, and a whole new set of challenges. Perhaps it's just the nature of mission trips. While it is a bit frightening and a bit frustrating, I mostly find it exciting for the simple reason that if I'm comfortable with what is going on, then God is probably not in control.

Our next trip will be no exception. We have quite a few changes for the 2007 trip and I'm excited about it.

For one thing, we are taking the Omega Youth group this year. I LOVE it that the youth are going. They are a great bunch of youth who I happen to have a huge amount of respect for, not to mention that they are just a lot of fun. They are young enough they haven't lost their enthusiam or their passion. Life has not squelched their dreams yet. They still believe they can change the world - and they can.

We also have a local graffiti artist and rap artist going with us. Phayth is going to be using his talents to reach out to the youth at Pine Ridge and while I have no idea how this will work out logistically, I'm thrilled at the possibilities. We are possibly looking at a concert in the village and we are praying/hoping for a chance for him to do some of his art work in the village. This may or may not work out, but it is exciting to consider. Since the rez is much like the inner city without the city, Phayth is uniquely gifted to minister there.

And then I'm excited about the possibility we have for raising money for a well in Africa through Blood/Water Mission. I believe this will open new possibilities for the Lakota youth. It will be good for them to see that everyone has something to give and that even they can make a difference in the world. I'm thinking this will give them a sense of dignity and self-respect and that is something they badly need. We have a man who has recently started attending our church who is from Africa. Today I talked to him about speaking to our mission team about Africa and he is happy to do it. In fact, he seemed to be excited about it. This was especially touching for me because this man is from Cameroon. Some readers here may remember that the tiny country of Cameroon gave almost $860.00 to America for hurricane relief last year after Hurricane Katrina. This is a country where the average person makes about 45 cents a day!

It boggles my mind to think of how one little thing can help in so many ways. Not only will we be helping Africa with some desperate needs, but we will also be helping the Lakota youth gain a sense of self-respect, and we will be helping our congregation become more aware of the needs in Africa and it will give this man an opportunity to become more involved! The possibilities for this endeavor just make me want to squeal but I'll wait in quiet anticipation to see what God is up to.

None of this was planned. Not once did we sit down and say, "this year we will do .such and such". Nope, each of these new ideas simply "happened" somewhere along the way. Sometimes it was just a wild idea. Sometimes one idea led to another. And sometimes it truly just "happened". I have learned to believe that God leads that way much of the time. It seems the less I am in control the more He is. Funny how that works.

Each of these endeavors are new - we've never done any of them before. And I am quite certain that each of them will present new challenges and new frustrations. None of it will be easy. But that's the beauty of it. We get to step out into uncharted waters and exercise our trust muscles and because of that I am convinced that God will be glorified and our faith will grow stronger.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Times They Are A Changin'

Things at work are about to change.

I've become spoiled, having only one lady to care for. Most of the houses in our company have 2 - 3 clients in them but because the lady I care for, known as Ms. Cranky, has a well-earned reputation for being difficult to get along with, we have seen a few roommates come and go.

First there was *Bonnie, a 36 year-old who was Mentally Retarded, Schizophrenic, and Bi-polar. She was delighful! Really. She could at times be violent and has the jail time to prove it, and many times I went to work wondering if I were going to get my butt kicked. But for the most part Bonnie was a very loving soul who was a lot of fun to work with.

After she moved out (due to not getting along with Ms. Cranky) we had *Missy for a while. Missy was 23 going on 16. She loved to talk on the phone for hours - at all hours and blast rock music from her bedroom. She was very high functioning but in our care because she was blind and mildly MR. Like any good 16 year-old, she could be quite rebellious and would throw major tantrums when she didn't get her way. Not getting her way might mean being told that 1 AM was too late to be calling anyone. That would ensure a fight, possibly a physical one if she was so inclined. She did not last long before Ms. Cranky sent her packing.

Now I should say that Ms. Cranky is not so cranky with me. Not anymore anyway. She gave me a hard way to go when I first started the job but over the past 3 years a trust and friendship has been built and she rarely gives me any grief. If she does I promptly tell her to knock it off, and like most bullies, she does.

Tonight when I go in to work we will be trying out a new roommate. She is 23 and smokes cigars and I'm told she likes to cuss out the staff (me) and dislikes people of color. She has not done well in other homes because of this. We'll see how she and Ms. Cranky do. I expect she'll be on her best behavior tonight.

*Not their real names

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What I'm Reading

I'm going to attempt to start a new installment of "What I'm Reading" on my blog each week. It will not be a book review as such, but I'll be highlighting some of the books that I am enjoying or have enjoyed in the past, and who knows, maybe we can swap ideas of what to read.

This week's book is on that I read some time ago and found useful.
One Step Closer: Why U2 Matters to Those Seeking God by Christian Scharen
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Scharen, a Lutheran pastor and instructor of practical theology at Yale, points to the many biblical, theological and spiritual themes found in U2's lyrics to explain why this band "matters to those seeking God." The book focuses strongly on how the theology of the cross is revealed in the music of U2.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

I hope you've found this bok because you too, find yourslef drawn into the
ways Bono and U2 talk of spiritual matters. I've been a fan since I first
heard them in 1985. I've alays felt a spiritual kinship with them, as
though they seem to know my soul and put words to thoughts I've had.
They've been spiritual companions for me. This is true during times when
I've felt at home in a traditional church, but even more so during times when
I've felt frustrated with the church. When my life is in spiritual
upheaval, U2 has been and is a trustworthy companion.

I don't mean to be scolding in this effort to think through U2's spiritual
voice as so many Christians have done when they've questioned if U2's members
and music are sufficiently "Christian". That question is humorous if you
reflect on the ways U2 has turned htat question back on the church, asking
whether the church is sufficiently Christian! Rathre, what I mean to do
here is to think about how U2 fits within a longer tradition of Christian voices
that point us to the cross, to Jesus, and to the power of God's ways in the
world.


And a quote from Bono...


There's cathedrals and allyways in our music. I think the alleyway is
usually on the way to the cathedral, where you can hear yyour own footsteps and
you're slightly nervous and looking over your shoulder and wondering if someone
is following you. And then you get there and you realize there was
somebody following you: it's God.




In my opinion, this book would be a great study guide for a group that may be familiar with U2's music but not so familiar with the church. In a day when many, both inside and outside of the church, are becoming disillusioned with the Church, this book can offer something a faith that is real and practical and worth holding on to. For that reason, perhaps it would also be good for anyone who is a bit frustrated with what they find in today's churches.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Coming Soon

Tomorrow evening is the Harvest Party at church. We do this every year to give the kids a safer alternative than trick-or-treating. The costumes are hilarious - those of you who do not attend our church should be aware that we have a crazy bunch of people. I do believe the adults have way more fun than the kids.

I'll be posting pics after the party! Until then, here's a pic of a guy at church who is dressed like ... well ... you guess who. (and this wasn't even Halloween!)


Friday, October 20, 2006

This Just Baffles Me

Do you ever visit Youtube.com? It's a strange place. I've used it to upload various "videos", mostly of our mission trips so that people in our church who are interested can see what we do there. It's mainly a way of being somewhat accountable to our church family and at the same time sharing our trip with anyone else who's interested.

I've also uploaded one personal video. Just a compliation really of the places I've been put to a song that pretty much sums up my feelings. I didn't expect anyone to watch it. Strangly enough, it has been watched more than the others - with one exception. Who would have thought.

The video of our mission trip to Romania back in the early 90's has the most hits and the most comments - mostly from Romanians, some happy, some not, about what I have presented there. The more profane one's I deleted.

Then there's Brian's sermon snippets.... bits of his sermons that he uploads. The one on Illegal Aliens has the most hits. Naturally, it's a hot topic and so there is a lot of discussion on that one. Heated discussion. Unfortunately, it's turned really, really nasty. It is so strange as I read those comments. I know Brian's personal opinion on the topic, and I know what his message was and yet every one of those folks missed the entire point. It's as if they hear what they want to hear, or what they expect to hear, without really listening. Their opinions overshadow the message and they make assumptions.

I wonder how often I do that when I'm listening. Do I really listen or do I just assume that I know what the speaker is going to say and shut out any possibility of hearing?

Back to Youtube... it just baffles me. The videos I thought would be most interesting go unwatched, unrated, and receive no comments, while the one's I was sure no one would care about have been the most popular. I wonder, "who are these people who are watching", "why are they watching", and I wish they would at least leave a comment so I would know where they were from and what they thought. It's a bit disconcerting to post something personal and then have lots of hits but no comments. Oh well .... Some things are just strange.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Judas

This is my first attempt at combining different video clips into a project.
There are mistakes and the editing could be better but I'm happy to have learned how to do it. Thanks to Brian for his guidance and patience in showing a slow learner how to cut and splice video.



By the way... what are your thoughts on Judas?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Call

It's the call every parent fears. The one that leaves you breathless and your heart pounding. Last night I was waiting for Logan to get home from work and was beginning to wonder where he was. Assuming he was driving slower because it was a dark rainy night, I didn't worry too much - until the phone rang.

I answered to hear, "Who am I speaking to?"

At first I wondered what kind of whack job was calling and fought the urge to answer back "who am I speaking to?". Instead I replied giving the caller my name. Then a miriad of emotions and thoughts swept over me as he informed me that he was with the local police and that my son had been involved in an accident. My anxiety grew as he seemed reluctant to tell me if my son was OK or not and went on to explain how the accident occured - he was driving along a somewhat deserted stretch of road when a dear ran out in front of him and he swerved to avoid hitting it. He ran off the road and hit the bushes and trees instead. I was still waiting to hear if my son was OK when the officer asked which hospital we wanted him transported to.

EVENTUALLY, he assured me that Logan was OK, was only complaining of some neck pain but that the squad would board him up and take him to the ER to be safe.

Needless to say Brain, Cody and I rushed to get our stuff and get out the door as soon as humanly possible. The site of the accident is only 3 min. from our house so we made it there just as the life squad was pulling away. We talked to the officer for a few short minutes and then headed to the ER to meet up with Logan.



He is fine. Just a mild case of whiplash, a night of missed sleep, and a day of missed school. It could have been much worse. He even managed to avoid being cut by the flying glass. The passenger side of his car was hit the worst with a tree ending up in the passenger's seat and broken glass all over the car.



Today, knowing that Logan is fine and that the car is fully insured I am resting much easier. But it does make me wonder about something .... I wonder why it is that people are reluctant to stop and help someone who's been in an accident.

Last night just after Logan crashed his car another car drove by. Logan's car was completely off the road and obviously crashed into trees and bushes. No one could have assumed that he was faking an accident as a ploy to rob them. But the car, rather than stopping as Logan waved for help, continued to drive. It then turned around in a church parking lot and drove back past Logan. Logan again waved for help but the car drove off, not even stopping to ask if he was OK. Logan fished around his wrecked car and found his cell phone to call 911 himself.

It just makes me wonder if we've grown so fearful or indifferent that we refuse to stop to help someone in need? Thankfully my son is OK, but he could have been criticially injured and the least that someone could have done is call 911 for him. Driving off carelessly just seems ... rude.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Perfection

It seems that after years of therapy and convincing I have been pursuaded to give up the goal of perfectionism only to have found that indeed, perfection is attainable.

Exhibit A.
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Yes, he is perfect.

I have proof.

Wanna hear about it?

Cody and his bride to be are now in pre-marital counseling and as part of that counseling they were both required to take psychological test to uncover any issues either of them might have. Well, it turns out that after taking the test my son's test came back "no results". Puzzled, the therapist had him retake the test. Again the results were "no results". The therapist was a bit confused but told him that this was a good thing - it meant that he has no psychological issues, hense I have raised a psychologically perfect child. (There'll be no living with him after this. You have my prayers Allison.)

Now, the only logical conclusion I can come to is that I must be a perfect mother to have raised such a perfect child.

Which might lead me to think that it's quite possible that my second son is also perfect (he's not been tested yet).

What do you think....

Exhibit B.

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He looks pretty perfect to me.

So, there you have it. Perfection really is attainable.

*disclaimer*
All the only truth in this post is that Cody did take the test twice and failed it both times. Meaning that he has no issues. ....or that they just haven't been discovered yet.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Jazz

Our dog Jazz is having surgery on Thursday. It's nothing serious but she is old (14-15 years) and I hate to see her go through the hassle of a surgery.

Read This

I'm continually touched, encouraged, humbled, and inspired by the author of this blog. Don't miss this post. Trust me, you'll be glad you took the time.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Work Situation Update

Yesterday co-worker called from the house we work at to tell me that a fax came in stating that the director had been trying to call me and had not been able to get a hold of me. Funny, I've been home most of the day except to run to the groc. store and to go out to dinner with Brian for our "date night". There were no messages and my cell didn't ring.

Anyway, the fax said that the change of hours had been approved starting in Nov. but that I had to work the Oct. schedule. As it stands I will be working a 15 hr. shift, have a 6 hr. break and then go back to work a 12 hr. shift. There is still no one on the schedule for Sunday morning. Pat has said that she would “probably” work the rest of the Sundays but is not on the schedule. If no one works then I will be stuck there until 2PM Sunday afternoon.

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I'm debating what to do....

On the bad side ....

If I do this it I will basically be going all weekend without sleep. The 6 hour break is not enough time for me to drive home, sleep, get up and get eat something and then drive back. Obviously I will not be taking care of any family responsibilities either. I would no doubt not be attending church on Sunday evenings - I just couldn't go that long without sleep. Even though I do not think church attendance 3 times a week makes one any more holy it is an expectation for pastor's wives. And too if no one shows up to relieve me on Sunday I will not make it to church and my class will be without a teacher. That would really tick me off because I take that responsibility seriously. And I would be seen as backing down to pressure which may mean that they would then think they could pressure me anytime and get away with it.

On the good side .....

I would probably be able to erase some immediate personal debt in the next 2 weeks and it would only be a 3 week schedule and then I would be working the schedule I wanted. And I would keep my job - which is my long-range goal. So I would be getting what I wanted in time and in the meantime would be making more money.

I'm leaning toward just going with this and then if no one shows up to relieve me on Sunday ... raising the biggest ruckus they've seen.

And too, they are currently under investigation for working employees too many hours without sleep and thus putting our clients at risk. If the investigator sees this schedule they may be in big trouble.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Playing Hardball

An update on my work issues....

Thursday I met with one of the directors and was told that they had never received the faxes I sent in August and Sept. letting them know that my availability had changed and I could no longer work Saturday nights.

So if they have "lost" them there is no proof that I ever sent them. The only indication that they did receive the information is that the scheduler changed the schedule according to the information I had faxed. I pointed this out to them. No real reply.

His only real comment was that there was nothing he could do. He doesn't "have authority to change schedules". So he pushed me off on the other director. I did fill out the paperwork and he promised to give them to the other director that evening. The strange thing was that I was not even on the schedule for Saturday nights.

As of today, Saturday, I've not heard from her. Apparently they really don't care about this issue.

Today I received and updated schedule for October. They have me on the schedule for every Saturday night. AND they also have me on the schedule for every Sat. morning until 2 in the afternoon. That would make my schedule look like this:

Go in at 11 PM Friday and work until 2 PM Sat.
Then go back in at 8PM Sat. and work till 8 AM Sunday.

In my opinion working these hours in a setting where a handicapped person relys on me to give her meds and lift her is putting her at risk. (BTW, the director admitted that this company is putting clients at risk) Too bad I don't have a tape. I do have a witness though. =)

Anway, to be dirty they backdated the new schedule to read "Revised Oct. 1, 2006". That is SO NOT the case. As of Oct. 5th they had no one scheduled to work Sat. nights and were calling my co-workers to see if they could cover it. To my advantage though, the date of the FAX reads Oct. 6, 2006 at 9PM.

I called the director and reminded her that I am not available for Sat. ngihts.
I also have copies of the schedules.
They are also being investigated by the county for possibly putthing clients at risk. I did not make that call but I know who did. ;)

I really get the feeling they are setting me up so that they can fire me for not showing up to work.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Just a Personal Rant

I am just furious tonight. In fact I have a huge headache on one side of my head - probably due to high blood pressure brought on by stress. I am just way beyond the point of frustration with my work situation and today may well be the last straw.

I work as a Personal Support Professional (caregiver) to a lady with mental and physical disabillities. I am employeed by the nation's largest provider of home care for the mentally handicapped. Perhaps one day I will name the company. Actually I probably should because I would never suggest that anyone put a loved one in their care.

The problem has been ongoing but has gotten much, much worse in the last 6 months or so. I typically work third shift on Thurs, Fri, and Sat. nights with the Sat. night shift being a 12 hour shift. I was hired as full time but then found out that they were going to take hours away from another lady in our house in order to give me full time status. She had been there for 5 years and understandably was not happy about that so I was given long shifts to make up the hours.

The problem has been that they have failed to have adequate coverage for the weekend shifts. On a regular basis I am "stuck" at work on Saturday or Sunday. Often times I have missed Sunday School because of being "stuck" at work - not a good thing since I am the teacher.

I was willing to deal with this for a time ... I understand that it is not possible to hire and train someone instantly. But in recent months I have become more and more frustrated with being stuck at work and have started to complain. I've told them that I would not put up with this forever and that they needed to hire someone.

Six weeks ago I put my foot down. I faxed in (twice) a notice that my availabilty had changed and that I could no longer work Sat. evenings. I volunteered to work until 2:00 PM on Saturdays in order to help out with the scheduling problems. The changed the schedule but there were still 3 shifts that were not covered each week the whole month of October.

Today I got a call on my answering machine asking if I could work Saturday night. I didn't return the call - we've already had that conversation. Later this afternooon I received another call telling me that "when your availability changes there are forms you need to fill out and then those need to go to "L" or "B" for approval ... until those forms are submitted and approved you will be required to work Saturday nights."

SO, if they have their way my schedule will look like this:

Work Thurs. 11:00 PM - Friday 8:00 AM
Work Fri. 11:00 PM - Saturday 2:00 PM
Get a 6 hour break
Work Sat. 8:00 PM - Sunday 8:00 AM.

Since there is no one scheduled to come in to relieve me on Sunday morning at 8 AM, I will likely be "stuck" there again unitl 2:00 PM Sunday. That would make for 42 hours in 3 days, 33 of them with only a 6 hour break.

I should mention that this is an "awake" house. We are not allowed to sleep because the client needs round the clock superivision. Can they really expect us to take good care of a handicapped person with no sleep? Is this legal? I've contacted the Ohio Department of Labor and the national Department of Labor to inquire about it. I am certian that this is not in our client's best interest.

I wonder .... why did they wait until 2 days before I am scheduled to work to let me know about the "forms" that needed to be approved? I sent in my notice A MONTH ago. If they are just now realizing this, then I rest my case about how poorly managed this company is. Actually though I think it's just their way of forcing me to work so they have coverage.

This is NOT my problem. They have known for months that they need to hire someone and have made NO ATTEMPT to do so. Not one person has shown up for training. I tolerated it for a while but then it occured to me that as long as I'm willing to tolerate it, they will be willing to let me. Now that I've put my foot down they are resorting to force.

I don't think so.

Tomorrow I willl attempt to work this out with them - so long as I do not work on Sat. nights. That is not an option for me. If they won't work with me, I'll quit and if the DOL tells me this kind of thing is not legal, I'll report them.

I can't afford to quit. I have a Jeep payment each month and other expenses. This will have a really bad impact on our family if I quit but I cannot deal with this kind of abuse any longer. Please pray for me about this situation.

*side note*

I stayed home from church tonight to get on the phone and deal with this situation. While I was at home a youth group from a local church came to the door. They wanted to tell me about Serve City, a ministry to the homeless in our town. I told them I knew of Serve City and had been involved there on a very small level. They told me that the shelter was out of food and they were going door-to-door to collect food for them. When I gave them a bag of food they offered to pray for me. I let them, and then I prayed for them. They were shocked that I would pray for them. =) It was such a blessing to have that group come by. It was just what I needed. Funny how God chooses to show up.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Wounded Knee

For the past few days I have been a bit preoccupied with thoughts of Wounded Knee. I thought I knew quite a bit about it, but have discovered even more horriffic facts about that terrible day. Please see this post on my other blog. I can't even begin to put into words how I feel about this.

A Poll of Sorts

Maybe this is why Brian has trouble getting my eye color right. These two pics were taken yesterday but in different light.

Here they look brown

And here they look green

So actually they are a muddy green. Not really green but not really brown either.

Even so, I'm still thinking that he should know this.....


What do you think? Is he off the hook or not?

Monday, October 02, 2006

My Abortion Story

Please take a minute to read these two blogs regarding the subject of abortion. They are well worth your time.

Barbara's Story @ Prodigal Daughter

Getting Up In God's Face @ Today at the Mission

Now for my story...

I have never had an abortion or ever considered getting one, but for some reason I have always been touched by the subject of abortion. I suppose injustice of any kind just pulls my chain and always has. More than 20 years ago I became involved in the Pro-Life movement. My initial reason was simply that I believed abortion to be wrong and that I felt I should "do something" about it. I was turned off by the radicals in the pro-life movement and didn't want to be involved with them so it took a while to find a place where I felt comfortable.

After moving to Alabama I again took up my search for a place where I could be involved on a more low-key basis. Eventually I found myself volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center and after moving to Ohio I continued to volunteer at a center here in Cincy.

I learned a lot by working at the center, perhaps one of the most important things I learned for myself personally was that it is just not possible to judge our sucess or failure by the results we see. If I looked at things that way, I would be a huge failure. I can honestly say that even though I volunteered there each week for over 10 years, I never had a single case where I saved a life. Apparnetly I'm not so good at the art of persuasion.

I do however, have a lot of stories. Like the year our church had a tattooed, Mary with rotting teeth and her newborn baby girl was the baby Jesus in our Christmas play. She had been a client of mine at the center who had also become a friend and I thought she was perfect for the part. I still do.

But then there is this story of Linda (not her real name). Let me say that I am in no way going to attempt to explain this story or how God worked. I have long since given up on trying to explain God because frankly, most of the time I don't "get Him" myself.

It was working my usual shift at the Crisis Pregnancy Center when a very pretty, very timid young girl walked in and shyly asked if she could have a pregnancy test. I said I thougt we might be able to work that out and led her into a room to get the initial client information form filled out.

To make a long story shorter (I just can't do short), she was indeed pregnant with her second baby at the young age of 17. Her first child was only 1 year old at the time and her boyfriend had walked out on her. Her mother was supportive the first time but Linda just didn't see how her mother could possibly be supportive of her getting pregnant again so soon and still not married. I knew that if Linda chose an abortion it would leave an ugly emotional scar that may never heal. She was so sweet and so soft-hearted that I just couldn't bear to imgaine the emotional pain she would endure if she went through with her decision to abort. And yet, in the end, that was her choice.

A week later I was again working my shift and was due to be off and go to dinner with Brian when I looked up and saw Linda was back, this time with a friend. Her friend wanted a pregnancy test too. We did one. It was negative. She was fine. But Linda was obviously upset. Before they left I asked if she needed to talk. She folded into my arms as bitter tears streamed down her face. Stepping into a side room I held her and listened as she told me that her decision was final. In fact, as soon as she left our office she was headed to a bus station to catch a bus to Atlanta where she already had an appointment at an abortion clinic there. Why Atlanta? She had a friend there who she told her mother she was going to visit.

Before she left I prayed with her and then watched her walk out the door knowing that she was making a horrible mistake. Brian and I went on to dinner but I couldn't shake the feeling of unsettledness that evening. Later that night I prayed .... hard, for Linda. In my desperation I remember praying for God to intervene by praying, "God just take her money away from her", knowing that if she did not have money, she would not be given services at the clinic.

Then it occured to me what a stupid prayer that was... I couldn't ask God to steal her money... that just wasn't ... well ... Christian. OK, scratch that God.

A week later I called to check on Linda and see how she was doing ... if she needed anything.

I was stunned when I heard her say, "You're not going to believe this. I'm still pregnant. I didn't get the abortion. As I was getting off the bus in Atlanta, some guy stole my purse and took all my money". She was right, I couldn't believe it. (She had no idea of how I had prayed.)

Linda decided to keep her baby. We walked through a very trying pregnancy together. Once she even showed up at my church looking for me because she was having a difficult time. Through this time she prayed with me to receive Jesus as her Saviour. Months later the most beautiful baby girl was born. I had SO wanted to be there in the delivery room with her but instead I was on the West Coast when Tammy was born.

Linda brought her new baby to church the following Sunday and placed her in my arms. It was the first time I'd seen her and I think I might know a little bit about how daddy's feel when they see their newborns the first time. I was THRILLED. I really felt like she was part mine. I even interupted the morning worship service to introduce the baby and gushed on and on as if she were the most wonderful baby that had ever been born.

Linda, her son, Tammy, and I stayed in touch for a long time afterward. I was blessed to see Tammy grow to be one of the cutest grade schoolers you can imagine. Somehow over the years we lost touch but as I type this a picture of Tammy sits on my desk as a rminded to the wonder of God's ways and the miracle of life.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

This is Worth a Look

If you've not seen the video Brian put together and posted on his blog, check it out. It's a powerful message and was given the honor of being #42 at Youtube.com. And considering the traffic that site gets, that's nothing to sneeze at.

Congrats Brian!!!