Friday, January 25, 2013

Sanctity of Human Life

This past Sunday, our church showed a video to promote giving to our church association's pregnancy center. The video was a sonogram which showed a baby's beating heart just a short time after conception. It also showed other pictures of the baby inside the womb.

Our pregnancy center, with the churches' help, purchased an ultrasound machine just a few years ago. By showing young women the living child inside of them, many babies' lives have been saved.

As we observed this Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, I decided to look up exactly what sanctity meant. Here's what I found: Merriam Webster states that sanctity means holiness of life and character, godliness, sacredness. Sacred means set apart for the service or worship of deity.

Don't these definitions go right along with what we read in the Bible when we're told that God created our innermost being? He knit us together in our mothers' wombs.

I still have the video and the picture copies of my daughter's ultrasounds. I remember seeing that little heartbeat and the fascination of my husband as he watched it pulse. But, it took a long time to get to that point for me. I had infertility issues and wondered if I would ever conceive.

I remember praying in a most bitter tone to God asking why He would give me a love for children but grant me none. I watched as young girls accidentally became pregnant and asked why. Why would He grant those babies when I was prepared to truly love and support a baby. Those women called their babies "unwanted pregnancies."

Yes, I was rather bitter and depressed. When God finally granted me a baby girl, I was thankful.

Fast forward about 18 years - a year and a half ago I was asked by the director of our Pregnancy Crisis Center to come to the Thursday night classes to bring a devotion/Bible study. I prayed and questioned God. Did He really want me to go and stand in front of the women I had been so angry with years earlier? Could I bring anything to them of worth? Would they listen to me?

I went that first night armed with the devotion God had laid on my heart, and I came away changed. Each of the women had their own story. And, each of them deserved to hear of God's love for them and to be shown His love through me. I couldn't look into their needy faces and remain angry or judgmental.

So, do I believe in the sanctity of human life? Yes siree! Every child has the right to be born and allow God to mold him or her into what He has planned. And, everyone deserves God's love and mercy. I have no right to judge lest I be judged.

Every second and forth Thursday I still trek to the pregnancy center and share the devotion God puts on my heart. We've seen salvations. We've seen girls finish their education. We've seen lives changed and encouraged. I'm humbled and honored to stand before these brave girls every other Thursday. And, I'm thankful to share in the ooh's and aah's when we meet the little ones.

To God be the glory, great things He continues to do!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Super Heroes

Yesterday after church we ended up in our usual spot for lunch - the Mexican restaurant. We actually had some friends to join us. Included were four little ones - two girls and two boys.

One of the boys had a watch. I asked: "What's that on your watch?" He answered emphatically: "It's the Avengers!"

One of the girls has had a Spiderman party and has shoes of the same sort.

Among the children in the church choirs and at school, I've seen all kinds of super heroes represented.

I can remember watching Wonder Woman when I was growing up. Sometimes I would even pretend to be her, having her powers.

Super Heroes are strong, and they protect and save people in distress.

Now, where are we going with this, Paula? I'm glad you asked. As I read my One Year Bible passage this morning, my eyes zeroed in on a particular passage.

"In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall." Psalm 18:29

My mind immediately went to the slogan - "able to leap tall buildings in a single bound ..."

Christians don't have to pretend to be super heroes. We are super heroes. Now, we have to be plugged into the right power source because our super human strength doesn't come from some rock or bite from a spider. Our strength and ability to overcome obstacles comes from God.

Don't worry - I'm not planning on donning tights and a cape. But, I do need to clothe myself with righteousness and power-up with God's Word as I stay in constant contact with homebase through prayer.

Friday, January 18, 2013


After several days of rain - about seven inches of it - I arrived home just in time yesterday. School was called off at 1:30. I finally was able to leave at 2:30. When I left, firing up my little red Mini-Cooper, the precipitation had just changed from pouring rain to some solid stuff. I thanked the Lord as I hurried home, not knowing how my little car would fair in snow-covered roads. As I pulled into the garage, and went upstairs, changing my damp clothes, I peeked out the window to discover the largest flakes of snow I have ever seen. We even had thunder-snow.

As I watched those flakes cover the ground, I was struck by how pure and white it was. I couldn't help but be reminded of the verse from Isaiah 1:18b: "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow."

Now I try my best to do a good job with my laundry. I try to insure that my whites stay white and the colors stay colors. But, let's face it, when you have a stain like blood or grape juice get onto your nice white shirt, sometimes it just won't come out. And, it is hard to keep the whites really white and not become a bit dingy over time.

But, God doesn't have trouble with his whites. When He says that He makes something white as snow, it's white.

That means dirty and sinful ol' me was washed as white as the snow outside my window today when I asked Jesus into my heart. Is that not exciting? God says that even though I was really stained - scarlet sins - I will be white as snow.

Have you experienced this cleansing? If not, seek out someone to tell you how to gain this cleansing from God through Jesus Christ.

If you have been made white as snow, just reflect a moment on what that really means. Here's a few more snow pictures - thanks to my daughter.

Really think on what it meant when God changed your scarlet sins into a white just as white like snow. Thank Him today for doing something only He can do. Praise Him for making this cleansing available.

Oh, and God, by the way, do You have any suggestions for my laundry whites?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Plan, plan, plan.

Are you a planner and organizer? I can be a little fanatical when it comes to organization. Everything has its place, and I want it to be there. This works out well until someone messes with my organization. What do you mean you don't think this is the best place for this?

This just normally spills over into planning. I like to have everything planned out so as to insure the best outcome.

Now, planning and organization aren't bad qualities in and of themselves. But, I know you will find this hard to believe, especially those who really know me, sometimes I can be a little too planned and organized. Ouch! That smarted to say.

God expects me to use the brain I was given in being a good steward of my time and things, but He also warns against getting too wrapped up in planning the future. God knows the road ahead, but Paula doesn't. Argh!

In Sarah Young's book, Jesus Calling, the January 12th entry begins: "Let Me prepare you for the day that stretches before you. I know exactly what this day will contain, whereas you have only vague ideas about it." God sees all and knows all. I can only live in this moment. I can plan for my day, but only God knows exactly what will occur. This is why I need to let God be the planner while Paula follows.

Ms. Young continues in this entry to explain that we humans say we would like to see what the future holds so we can plan, but God isn't willing to show us that. But, He will equip us to accomplish everything we face.

So, what's my job? Faith and follow. I have faith in the Ultimate Planner because He has my best interest in mind. His plans are best which means the outcomes will be more than I could have planned for.

Paula can still be a planner and organizer - the plan is to trust God and organize my life by His Model.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Breathe First

How many of you have heard this speech while getting ready to take off in an airplane?

In the event that our cabin pressure should change, an oxygen mask will be released from the overhead compartment. Please place the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping small children or others who may need assistance.

This might seem a little selfish at first. I mean - making sure you get the oxygen mask on yourself first - aren't we the important one? But, the reason for placing the mask on your face first is not selfish but obvious. If you faint from lack of oxygen, you can't help anyone.

I've been reading the book, One Month to Live, by Kerry and Chris Shook. They use this example in Day 5, and it really made me think.

Those words from the airline to first take the oxygen for yourself has a spiritual truth within it.

"If you're going to make the most of your time on earth, living a no-regrets lifestyle, then you need to engage fully with those around you. You want the people you love to know just how much they mean to you. You want to be a healing agent in the lives you touch, leaving behind a legacy with eternal impact. But the only way to accomplish these goals of authentic living is first to take time and focus on yourself. If you're not healthy spiritually, physically, emotionally, and relationally, how can you move beyond yourself and invest in others?"

This struck me as a perfect way to explain the fact that I, as a Christian, must sometimes step back and analyze myself. Do a little health check. Am I where I need to be in my spiritual walk? Am I connected to my lifeline - the Lord? Do I see the responsibility I have to care for my temple? Do I pray for self-control for my emotions? Do I approach relationships as God would have me to - a servant?

I cannot give away what I don't have.

Right now, I'm taking some time to breathe deep first so later I can help others.

How about you? Do you need to grab that oxygen mask and breathe?

Thursday, January 3, 2013


With the start of this new year, I've read many blogs and articles on making plans and setting goals. Of course some are realistic in knowing that making resolutions doesn't mean those promises will be kept.

Often that new diet fizzles before the weekend. And, the promise to exercise can be put off indefinitely for one reason or another.

What about those lofty goals in your career? Can those be realized?

Scoot closer to your computer screen because I think I've found the answer to keeping all those resolutions. Here it is straight from Proverbs 16:1-3:

"Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word. Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good. Put God in charge of your work, then what you've planned will take place."

Hold it! You mean I can draw up a beautiful chart listing my plans, but it could be for nothing? I'm afraid so. Read the verse again. We can plan and plan, but God has the last word because His plan is the master plan.

Did you catch the next two statements? We humans are so often satisfied with something that looks good, but God may have the best awaiting us.

So, how do we make plans that align with God's will and make sure we get the best, not just settling for good?

We must put God in charge of our work. How do we do that? We start this new year by spending time with Him in His Word and in prayer. We give Him control. Let Him lead. We surrender our agenda to Him. As we do this, His will for us becomes ours.

I know, a different perspective on the whole new year's resolution thing. But, for me, it's all about emphasis. Instead of putting the emphasis on setting those lofty goals, I need to emphasize my relationship with the One who is in control of all things.

In light of what I've learned from this verse in Proverbs, I suppose my one word resolution should be: surrender. I'll surrender to His will and put Him in charge so that what He and I have planned will take place.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Please hop on over to Emilie Hendryx's blog and check out the interview I did for her.

Thank you, Emilie, for the opportunity to appear on your blog.

You might discover a few things you didn't know about me like snack preferences during writing and if I believe in resolutions for the new year.