Remembering the Gift of Sacrifice on Memorial Day

When Memorial Day approaches, most Americans tend to think of pool parties, barbecues, and enjoying the day off work. Those are all wonderful parts of our American culture – the joy in celebrating the occasions that make our country great. However, when I think of Memorial Day, one word comes to mind – sacrifice. The sacrifice of the soldiers who leave their homes to fight for our freedoms every day. The sacrifice of families who “hold down the fort” while their loved ones are away. The sacrifice of the men and women who never return home.

“The last hope of human liberty in this world rests on us. We ought, for so dear a stake, to sacrifice every attachment and every enmity.”
-Thomas Jefferson

This spirit of sacrifice is deeply ingrained in our American culture – an essential component of the American Dream. Sacrifice is also a defining characteristic of the One who saved us – Jesus Christ. Christianity is the only religion in which God reaches out to the people to save them, rather than the people trying to be “good enough” to reach God. To do this, God sent His Son as a faultless sacrificial lamb to die and free us from the chains of sin. Freedom requires the spilling of blood and is maintained by the pains of death.

Sacrifice, though not to the point of death, is also a precious trait of the pro-life movement. I’ve never known a group of people more dedicated to helping and serving complete strangers, even in the face of persecution. I’ve been spit on, yelled at, wished rape upon. And I know those of you who are also involved in this ministry have experienced the same and worse.

Though pro-lifers have been called merely “pro-birth” or “anti-women,” they are some of the most selfless, compassionate, and dedicated people I know. They reach out to women in crisis, not just to save the baby, but to save these parents from themselves. I’m deeply encouraged by those who’ve chosen to abort in the past and use their time and effort now to help others avoid that mistake – to evade the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences of such a tragic decision. It’s not easy to be honest about a mistake like that. This sacrifice of pride reaps beautiful results in the lives of vulnerable men and women considering ending their unborn child’s life.

So this Memorial Day, enjoy your time with friends and family, but don’t forget to take a moment to recognize the incredible gift of sacrifice. We have the freedom to fight the injustice of abortion because of Jesus Christ and the people He’s emboldened to continuously defend our freedoms. In that spirit, every day is Memorial Day.

What Happened to Safe, Legal, and Rare?

Remember when the pro-choice movement claimed they wanted abortion to be safe, legal, and rare? This begs the question, if abortion is a good thing, why should it be uncommon?

However, we no longer have to question this as the abortion industry and pro-choice leaders have revealed what we knew to be true all along.

Even Leana Wen, Planned Parenthood’s new president, admitted that they are in the business of abortion. That is their primary goal.

Only a year ago, I remember people told me that late-term abortion, partial-birth abortion, and infanticide were “slippery slope” arguments. Yet today we see the nation in a frenzy in the wake of New York’s recent “Reproductive Health Act,” which allows abortions up until the moment of birth.

Now the courts are faced with a question: should double homicide laws still exist when a pregnant mother is killed? Technically, it would be legal to kill that same baby through abortion in New York. So what’s the difference?

Ultimately, the immorality of murder is no longer clear. However, there is hope.

Legislators’ outrageous moves to make abortion legal and morally acceptable through all 9 months of pregnancy is a knee-jerk reaction to the growing support for the pro-life movement. Science is very clear that a human fetus is, indeed, a human being. If left to its normal processes, that baby will grow into an infant, then to an adolescent, and finally, an adult.

Additionally, states such as Tennessee, South Carolina, and Arkansas have responded with swiftness, strength, and boldness, introducing life-affirming legislation.

Even President Trump decided organizations providing abortion referrals and services will no longer receive Title X funding. This will likely result in Planned Parenthood foregoing approximately $60 million in federal funding in order to continue their primary moneymaking “service” – abortion.

The bottom line is, the pro-life movement is stronger than ever. We’re unraveling the myth that pro-life people are “anti-women.” In reality, pro-lifers are the ones providing the services, resources, support, and help women need to make a decision they can feel proud of.

However, the stronger we get, the more we’ll see the pro-choice movement frantically lashing out.

They’re desperate.

They’re going to extremes.

They’re overplaying their hand.

Polling reveals only 20% of Americans support third-trimester abortions for any reason. When people come to understand what a baby in the womb looks like and how it functions at the various stages of development, it becomes increasingly clear that a baby pre-birth and a baby post-birth aren’t so different after all. The thought of aborting a baby, large and developed in the third trimester, starts to make people feel uncomfortable, to say the least.

The more the pro-choice movement and liberal legislators push an agenda in favor of late-term abortion, partial-birth abortion, and infanticide, the further they push their advocates and constituents away.

So be patient and take heart.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

You can help by supporting pro-life politicians and loving on pro-choice people. You never know when your compassion, understanding, and non-judgmental support will lead to a tremendous change of heart.

Throw a Baby Shower for a Mother in Need

Do you know a woman in the midst of a crisis pregnancy? Perhaps you met her at church, outside of an abortion clinic, or maybe she is a neighbor, friend, or family member. Navigating the complex waters of a crisis pregnancy can be daunting, but there are simple things you can do to help.

One of my favorite ways to promote life is through a baby shower. When a woman in crisis has expressed interest in continuing her pregnancy or has experienced a complete change of heart in favor of life, offering support in a fun, uplifting, and helpful way can further solidify her life decision.

When I ran my pro-life club on my college campus, one of our most successful events was the baby shower we threw for two local students. One was pregnant and expecting her son soon. The other had already given birth to her son a few months prior, but never had a baby shower because her family tried to quietly sweep the situation under the rug.

This event was well-attended, but I measured the true success in the impact we had.

This was an incredible opportunity to celebrate these young mothers and their decision to continue life. We were able to provide tangible resources through gifts like clothes, diapers, detergent, wipes, gift cards, and toys. We even collected donations of gently used items from the community including cribs, strollers, bottles, bassinets, high chairs, etc. We enjoyed delicious food, played themed games, and got to know one another better.

Most important of all, we showed these young mothers that they were surrounded by a loving community to support them through the joys and difficulties of motherhood.

To this day, this baby shower is my favorite pro-life event because it made me feel like we were really making a difference and living our pro-life values. I can’t speak to what effect the event had on the mothers and their children. However, I believe this is an incredible tool that all pro-lifers can utilize to show women in crisis that they are loved and cherished.

A woman facing an unplanned pregnancy often just needs some kind words and someone who believes in her. It’s one thing to say you support a mother in crisis; it’s another to show it. Throwing a baby shower to celebrate a mother’s life decision and set her on the right path with some helpful resources can really make all the difference in the world for her and her unborn child.

Pass the Torch to the Next Generation

Did you know the up and coming generation is the most pro-life in decades? With incredible advancements in science, technology, and social movements, it’s becoming more and more apparent to the youth that abortion is harmful to both women and their children in the womb.

We know what a fetus is – it’s a pre-born baby with its own heart starting to beat between 18-21 days and the ability to feel pain at around 20 weeks.

We know what an abortion is – it’s a procedure to end a baby’s life in the womb through pills, a saline solution, or surgery to dismember and extract the fetus.

We know the effects abortion has on women – it can cause damage to the reproductive organs, heavy bleeding, cramping, future infertility or pregnancy complications, eating disorders, insomnia, nightmares, depression, guilt, isolation, suicidality, infection, and even death.

My generation has all of the tools we need to uncover these truths. With the proliferation of social media, undercover investigations, and readily available information online, there is no excuse for ignorance.

We also care about justice for all people and strive to create a better world. This mobilizes our generation to rise up with the truth and compassion needed to help women in crisis by lovingly encouraging them towards life. If you’re wondering what the future of the pro-life movement looks like, look no further than the pro-life youth.

Young pro-lifers are starting student-run organizations in high school, college, medical school, law school, and even homeschool groups. We host events on campus such as movie nights, informative displays on topics like the corruption of Planned Parenthood, and even throw baby showers for pregnant students. We lobby in our capitol buildings and flood our representatives with calls regarding pending legislation. We recruit other students, educate them, and mobilize them to be effective life-long activists. We even collect baby and maternity items for young mothers in need and urge our student governments to implement various resources and accommodations for pregnant and parenting students on campus.

We are passionate.

We are dedicated.

We have the time, energy, and innovation to impact our culture in a powerful and lasting way.

The future looks bright with young pro-life leaders at the helm. So what can you do to help these teenagers and young adults? Encourage them, pray for them, provide financial assistance when you can, donate resources like baby items or pizza for their meetings, and help them connect with other prominent individuals and organizations they can work with. We can all do our part to empower the next generation, whether it be in big or small ways. So be present, but allow them the space they need to brainstorm, innovate, and succeed. I assure you, they are ready to take up the torch if you’ll just pass it on to them.

Creativity in Prayer

If you’re anything like me, your mind drifts during prayer. Of course, you have the best intentions. One second you’re talking about the struggles of the day and suddenly your mind shifts to that pending to do list, the items you forgot at the grocery store, what time you have to get up tomorrow… Soon you’ve forgotten where your train of thought started, and if your thoughts do stumble back to that prayer, you can’t help but feel disappointed with yourself.

We all fall short of the standards we hope to achieve, especially when it comes to our spiritual disciplines. It’s human to make mistakes, but those shortfalls also provide opportunities for improvement and change.

One of the many wonderful things about our God is His compassion. He offers us mercy and understanding in the big and small things. Because we are able to experience a personal relationship with Him, there is freedom in our practices, including prayer. Praying alone in your head or aloud with other people are not your only options.

One of my favorite ways to pray is through journaling. Not only does this allow me to keep my mind on track, but I can also see how I’ve changed and the ways my prayers have been answered over time. This practice has also taught me to keep my prayers concise. Matthew 6:7-8 says, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” When I pray quietly to myself, I tend to drone on, which leads to my thoughts derailing into irrelevant territory. And although I’m the type of person that can write forever, my hand eventually hurts, urging me to stop. So praying through writing forces me to get to the point. Instead of focusing so much time and energy on myself, I can offer those requests and concerns to God and then await His response, grace, and peace.

Maybe journaling isn’t for you, but there are plenty of options available to one who is willing to explore them. Some people sing hymns or recite Bible verses as their prayers. Others speak their prayers aloud, even when they’re alone. I’ve also known some very artistic individuals who will paint or draw certain words as they meditate over prayers and scriptures.

The point is, our God is innovative. He created everything from the fish in the sea to the stars in the sky to every person on the planet. He’s also instilled His sense of creativity into us, so why not use it? No matter what method of prayer you prefer, know that God hears you and will answer in His time.