Responding to Filmed Abortion
A few weeks ago, the internet was full of opinions about a video that was shared about a woman who filmed her own abortion. She herself is an abortion counselor, and she made it very clear that she thought that filming her experience would be a public service to women who are afraid of getting an abortion. Ever since I watched it, I can’t shake it. I was profoundly impacted by the reality of what The Lord is calling us, His believers, to do about the abortion holocaust in our current culture. If you expect a political view here, you are not going to get one. I see this a bit differently than many of the opinions I have seen going around about this video.
In my counseling office I see many, many women who have had abortions. Some in the distant past, some recently. I have counseled elderly women who had abortions in a back alley because it was illegal. They carried that shame all their lives in secret, until they told me. I have counseled young Christian women who fell in to sin in college, and aborted in secret and now hide in shame. I have counseled a woman who found out as an adult that she was the product of a rape - and a failed abortion, and she struggles to understand God’s purposes. What they all have in common is not just their abortions. What they have in common is what we ALL have in common: sin.
We need to be careful not to be condemning of this woman who filmed her abortion, name-calling and unloving attitudes are not winsome - instead, we need to stand ready to share the Gospel with her. It’s her (and mine and your) only hope for forgiveness and healing.
And she WILL need healing. The impact of abortion is huge.
Don’t get me wrong - I found that video vile, disgusting, and it made me literally weep…for the baby who is now dead and for the woman is also dead - dead in her sin. It gave me an overwhelming desire to take her by the hand and tell her about life, hope, mercy, and grace. I pray that a Christian will come in to her life and tell her that even now, after this atrocious sin she has committed (and so publicly and disgustingly) that there is hope.
It’s too easy to say how awful things have gotten in our current culture and to blame technology. But let’s remember, there is nothing new under the sun. Since Adam, sin has always been disgusting. Technology has just put it more in our face than ever before.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
Maybe the fact that it is more in our face is actually a means of Grace that God is providing to our current culture. He knows that we can’t ignore it, hide from it, avoid it, and pretend it isn’t there. That video went viral, and if you use Social Media or watch the news, you had the opportunity to view it. If you have a computer with internet, you can google it and view it. I don’t recommend you do so, but it is right in front of you whether you view it or not.
This is a troubling reality of the times we live in, isn’t it? But it is also an opportunity. An opportunity to realize that God is trying to get our attention. Not for the sake of America’s politics, but for the sake of The Gospel. That is our true mission.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
This is a spiritual battle. The young woman is not our enemy. Politicians and voters who keep abortion legal are not our enemy. She’s a lost, deceived sinner and we can’t expect her to see our worldview clearly. Her choice is not a political matter - it is a sin matter. Without God’s grace, we might do what she has done. Let’s not throw stones at her - but let’s do call it what it is - it is sin - and pray for her to be saved by grace. If not for God’s grace in my life, I could be her. So could you.
Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
Please visit our website, www.wordofhopeministries.com if you or a loved one have been touched by abortion and need hope and healing. We will gladly serve you.
Reproduction and Multiplication
If you are a friend of mine, and you are struggling deeply with something in your life, you have probably heard me say “let me help you with that!” Not “I can help you with that,” but “LET me help you with that.” There is a difference.
I am compelled by God’s grace in my own life to share hope with you and others. This is why I do what I do as a Biblical Counselor. I love to counsel people who come to me for help from various places in my community. Often we begin as strangers and end our season of counseling as friends. Sometimes we already know each other and may even be friends already. I have had the privilege of giving Biblical counsel to many of my closest friends through the years. What a privilege that they have LET me help them! When I serve them, it blesses me, too.
It’s not because I have arrived somewhere greater than you. It is not because I am smarter or wiser than you. It is not because I am one bit capable on my own. It is because of God’s Holy Spirit working between us as the real counselor. (Throw in whatever giftedness God has granted me by His grace, too.)
I’ll let you in on a little secret of the trade. I am not really the counselor in my counseling sessions. I am an instrument. Counseling someone with situational struggles in their life is a fearsome responsibility. I would never do it if I thought that it depended on me. But because I can depend on God, I am willing to counsel those He places in front of me. I am more than willing, I am burdened to help.
Why am I burdened? Because I want you and I to live in freedom that the Gospel affords us. There is more work to be done than I, as one woman counselor, can do in my local area and beyond. This, too, burdens me.
I am working towards providing Biblical Counseling training in my local area within the next year. There is much ministry to be done, and so few workers. I also provide Biblical Mentor training for women who wish to help others but do not want to take a more rigorous counseling course. I do this so that more people can be helped with the concepts, philosophies, and tools of Biblical Counseling. As I gained experience over the past decade, I began to realize that the best way to help more people is to train others to do the work of the ministry, coming alongside them as they gain their experience. Biblical Counselors not only counsel, they equip others to counsel. Ministry should multiply.
Leaders MUST reproduce themselves.
Consider these 12 multiplication examples from Scripture, and you will see that there is a Biblical basis for the phrase “ministry should multiply.”
Genesis 1:28 (NRSV): "God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion…’"
It was on God’s heart from the beginning that human beings would be created for relationship all over the planet earth. Multiplication.
Genesis 17:2 (NIV): "I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
When God redeemed a family and nation, His intention for it was that it would grow to be large. Multiplication.
Exodus 1:12-13 (NIV): "But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly.”
Even in slavery and facing a barrage of evil, the people grew strong and overcame. God’s plan always prevails and bring multiplication.
Matthew 13:23 (NIV): "But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
The Good News always produces fruit. Multiplication.
Matthew 13:33 (NIV): "He told them still another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.’"
Spreading Good News brings growth. Multiplication.
Matthew 14:19 (NIV): "[Jesus] gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.”
When we spread the Good News, God brings the growth. Multiplication.
Matthew 25:20 (NIV): "The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master', he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’"
Jesus blesses faithfulness with growth. Multiplication.
Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV): "Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”
Jesus reproduced Himself in His disciples. Multiplication.
Acts 2:47 (NIV): "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
The Kingdom expands rapidly. Multiplication.
Ephesians 4:11-12 (NIV): "It was he [the ascended Jesus] who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
Jesus intent is to “fill the whole universe” though His church all over the world. Multiplication.
2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV): "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”
Generations branch out and pass along the Truth from one leader to the next. Multiplication.
Revelation 7:9 (NIV): "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes…”
A great multitude comes out of the generations who have lived on planet earth. Multiplication.
If you are not purposing to reproduce yourself in your ministry, and if you do not see your ministry multiplying, it is time to take a look at how you can do so. You need more help. And, it’s Biblical.
For more information about what The Lord is doing on California’s Central Coast with Biblical Counseling, please visit:
www. wordofhopeministries.com and
Just a few years ago, a young woman came to visit my church for the first time. I was a greeter that morning, and I noticed her right away because at that time we had very few young adults in our church, especially single ones. She came to service alone that morning. When I met her, I thought “wow, she’s got a lot of personality, I wonder what her story is!” It wasn’t too long before she got involved in the church and one day approached me to be her mentor. She admitted to some struggles and regrets, and wanted help to navigate all of those areas that she was very motivated to change. She shared her story with me with honesty and transparency. That takes courage, and trust, and our hearts were knit together quickly.
And so it began. These past few years that I have been privileged to walk alongside her in her journey to know God more, I have seen a transformation from an insider’s perspective. We never did what I consider “formal counseling.” Instead, we just became friends and talked about everything imaginable. She was the first young woman I really mentored in my current ministry, and it is largely because of her response to my ministry that I became passionate about serving the younger generations of women and girls.
Through the years together, we worked through many life struggles at the heart level. She willingly submitted to my Biblical advice, even when it was very difficult. She sought my input when she met a man that she thought might just be “the one”. She walked in to that relationship carefully, and this man is now her husband and the father of her two children. God always blesses obedience, and this is a perfect testimony about that.
What she doesn’t know, and what came as a surprise over time is that I, too, was changed by my relationship with her. She was not only a mentee, but she became a close friend. To top that off, she became a mentor to a teenage girl who just happens to be my very own 16 year old daughter. I always say “ministry should multiply” and in this case, it definitely has, and it’s been so sweet to mentor someone who then mentors my daughter.
If you ever meet her, you will see why this relationship has blessed me so much. She is one-of-a-kind and everyone who knows her loves her. She is incredibly relational, and has the ability to make you feel like you are her best friend. She is a natural leader, and a master at connecting people to each other. She loves teen girls and pours hours of herself in to them for the sake of their discipleship. She serves God wherever there is a need, and she loves God’s people. She is relentless about your wellbeing and she can talk you in to saying “yes” when you would rather say “no”. Just try saying “no” to her, and you will see how difficult that is!
This week, she and her family moved to France for her husband’s work. To say that their absence will leave a huge gap in our church, and in my own life personally, is an understatement. Many tears were shed as we sent them off with our love and prayers. We realize that God calls us to serve Him outside of our comfort zones sometimes, but it is hard to say goodbye, isn’t it? I have had a sense of loss and sadness ever since we hugged goodbye. Mentoring sometimes means that we will become very attached. In this case, she has become like a daughter to me - what a priceless gift.
I am incredibly proud of her - not because of what she has done but because of what she has allowed Christ do in her. She has matured in Him as I have mentored her, and she has grown in many ways that have impacted not only her, but many others.
Why am I telling you about her? Because I want you to consider the ministry of Biblical Counseling or Mentoring for the sake of the younger generations. Titus 2 calls all of us to this, and that is reason enough. But another reason is that you are missing out on a privilege and blessing if you don’t do it. You will be missing out on seeing God use you as an instrument of change in another’s life. We have a responsibility to raise up the next generation in order to fulfill the Great Commission. Mentoring is all about the Gospel, and we are all called to one-another ministry.
I pray that God will break your heart for the younger women and girls so that you will carry the same burden that I do. That burden compels me to emphasize intergenerational ministry in my counseling and training. There are too few willing to serve as mentors - will you please consider how God may be calling you to mentor someone in your sphere of influence?
To my mentee and good friend, I miss you a ton already! Thank you for your friendship and support and sharing your journey with me and caring about my journey as well. I love you dearly, my friend. I can't wait to see you on Skype as soon as you are settled! Our relationship will be from afar now, but it is a comfort to me to know that we will carry on with mentoring thanks to technology. "See" you soon!
Titus 2:3-5 "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
If you would like to learn more about how to mentor the younger generations, please visit our website www.biblicalmentor.com.
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