No Fear in Agape Love

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. The one who fears is not perfected in love. (1 John‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭NASB‬‬)

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

If you have room in your giving budget, would you buy PB&J or instant mac n cheese or cereal and donate it to your local food shelf?

A lot of public school kiddos do not have lunch foods when they are not in school–and perhaps not breakfast, either.

If you have room in your food budget, get take out or go out to eat. We don’t worry in our house, so we have no problem going to a restaurant to eat and then we tip well.

With everyone keeping themselves in their own homes, businesses are suffering. This will have a ripple effect in our economy/society. If you have the means to help prevent that, please help by giving restaurants business.

As Christians, we need to stand firm Armor of God style, so I’m including a prayer for you below. I published this prayer in my Worship to End Abortion booklet. I encourage you to stand firm rather than in fear.

AND take your vitamin D, which research shows helps to protect you against the flu. Here is my favorite Vitamin D3, which includes K2 (they like to work together).

Armor of God Prayer

based on Ephesians 6:10-18

(Start any way that you like according to your own tradition, then…)

Lord, I praise you that I am in the power of Your might and that I am strong in You. Open my heart to feeling Your strength.

Today, I put on the whole armor that You gave me so that I am able to stand firm against the schemes, strategies, and deceits of the devil. I take up the whole armor so that I am able to withstand in the evil day, having done all that crisis demands, to stand victorious.

Thank You for girding my waist with truth. I confess my sins to You now so that my breastplate of righteousness is securely in place, protecting all my vital organs.

Thank You that my feet are firmly grounded with the gospel of peace.

Thank You for reminding me throughout the day to defend myself by using the shield of faith to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

Thank You for my helmet of salvation, which protects my mind.

Thank You for the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, my only offensive piece of armor.

Thank You for reminding me to pray and ask in the Spirit throughout the day, staying alert for all of Your people.

Anen.

Blessings to you all!

In Christ,

Cheryl

Pray Righteously

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Sometimes, we are in difficult situations, trying to love others while disagreeing wholeheartedly.

You may have this situation in online discussions over abortion.

You may have this situation in your home, disagreeing with your spouse over how to raise your children.

So what is the first thing you do?

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16b)

Yes, we need to pray. But before we ask God to give us a hand, we need to pursue a righteous relationship with Him.

Righteousness is not something to strive for. Righteousness is something to surrender to.

Surrender—now there’s a word people don’t like! No one wants to surrender because that means they lose the battle.

But why would you want to be in battle with God?

  • He reverently and wonderfully knit you together in your mother’s womb because He loves you (Ps 139:13-14).
  • He has a plan and a purpose for your life, which is designed for you to enjoy  (Jer 29:11-12).
  • He wants to give you everything to finish your race well (Heb 13:20-21).
  • He works everything together for your good (Rom 8:28).

So, the first step to getting everyone moving in the same direction is to start with ourselves.

That’s what I had to do.

Many years ago, I wanted my husband to change. We were in disagreement about just about everything. I didn’t like his attitude. We didn’t enjoy spending time together.

I thought the only way God was going to change my husband was if I fasted while praying for him. I was certain that God would listen to me then.

But just hours into the fast, someone at church said, “Often we are focused on our husbands when we should be focused on ourselves.”

As my teenager would say—that felt targeted. There was a big bullseye on my heart, and that statement hit right in the center.

I had to work on me, so I filled myself with the Holy Spirit through Bible study, through giving up my self-righteousness, and through prayer for myself.

That same someone at church taught me that I can ask for more of the Holy Spirit, as Luke 11:13 tells us.

Verse 13 is at the end of the “ask, seek, knock” teaching by Jesus, but we usually read the story in the book of Matthew.

In Luke’s telling, Jesus ends his parable by saying:

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)

As believers, we have the Holy Spirit—but if you’re living life as a grumpy Christian, then certainly you know that you could use more of the Spirit.

When we have more of the Spirit, we have more fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Do you feel
⇒ loving
⇒ joyful
⇒ at peace (that means not worrying!)
⇒ patient (even when your food order doesn’t arrive right away!)
⇒ kind (even to your barista!)
⇒ good
⇒ faithful (never substituting lattes for God!)
⇒ gentle (always saying things God’s way!)
⇒ self-controlled (even around chips, chocolate, and chai lattes!)
24×7 ?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. Now would be a good time to ask God for more of the Holy Spirit, don’t you think?

This is just one thing that we’re learning and praying for in the MybodyMyworship Group on Facebook as we worship to end abortion. Will you join us?

In Christ,

cropped-cheryl-blog-icon.jpg

Get More Holy Spirit This Holy Week

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Get more Holy Spirit this Holy Week! In ReTested, I talk about how I received more of the Holy Spirit through Bible study, prayer, and especially worship. With more of the Holy Spirit, I also had more fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

peace_dquare

In Christ,

Cheryl

Day 16: Pray Against Hollywood’s Pressure

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Although I will not pit one political party over another, I will advocate for life in the political arena.

My book is not political. Read the one-and-a-half page introduction for yourself.

Nevertheless, we need to pray for pro-life legislation. Hollywood celebrities are threatening to boycott the state of Georgia if Gov Brian Kemp signs the House Bill 481, The Living Infants Fairness and Equality (L.I.F.E.) Act.

If you didn’t know already, many production companies are located and shoot in Georgia. We used to live in one of those towns, Senoia, which boasts such lovely projects as The Walking Dead and “Fried Green Tomatoes.”

When we moved from there, another production company was moving into the nearby town of Fayetteville. And I’m sure there are other companies as well.

Dear Heavenly Father,

We lift to you the state of Georgia. We praise You that Georgia’s heartbeat bill is ready for Gov. Brian Kemp to sign.

Thank You for loving life. Thank You for loving women so much that You do not want the pain of abortion for them. Lord, shield women in the state of Georgia from making the same mistake that I did.

Lord, thank You for giving Gov. Kemp the courage to love You more than he fears loss of revenue.

May You be glorified in the name of Jesus.

Amen!

In Christ,

Cheryl

40 Days of Prayer Day 15

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Let us continue to pray with Heidi.

Gracious Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your grace. It’s a simple thing to say yet the cost of it was anything but simple. Thank you for the soul abiding peace we know in Jesus.

Following You is hard sometimes; love always requires sacrifice and sometimes the sacrifices are deep and painful. But the beautiful truth is that we can then identify with you in Your sacrifice.

We see new shades of You, we realize that You’re closer to us than we ever knew before and that You love us more completely than we realized.

I attended a stirring, life affirming rally for the unborn. Over a thousand concerned people stood on the steps of the Virginia Capitol Building in Richmond. While there were times of passionate shouting, there was always the overtone of love and many reminders to the crowd to use the passion to vote and inform but to always respond to this issue in love. There is SO MUCH PAIN.

Yes, the abortion industry exists to make money and to push a liberal agenda, but I wonder if much of the fuel that drives the average pro-abortion marcher (besides misinformation) is buried pain of personal experience with abortion. The furious power of denial and the desperation to justify oneself is real.

I once read that 90% of post abortion women experience some form of mental trauma, including depression. That’s an astronomical number.

But again, Lord, Your grace. While our adversary, the Devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour–and often wears pro-choice clothing–YOU, hold out grace, healing, forgiveness, and LIFE to any who seek it.

You are making all things new. And so, Lord, as we passionately seek to make an impact and to save the babies, let us remember that we reach out with YOUR hands. We don’t want to look anything like that roaring lion, the Great Accuser.

For the children who die in great numbers each day, for the families ripped apart, for our unity as a Nation Under God, Mighty Lord Jesus, we humble ourselves before You and beseech You to hear our prayers and end the era of legalized abortion in the United States. And soon.

In the wondrous name of Jesus we pray,
Amen.

In Christ,

Cheryl

Grandmothers: 40 Days of Prayer Day 14

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Let us continue to pray for the influencers. Today, let us concentrate on the Grandmothers—the mothers of the women who have a crisis pregnancy—are the #3 influence on a woman’s “choice.”

Father, Abba,

We cry out to You for all mothers, who have a great privilege and responsibility to raise Godly children.

We beg of You to pour out Your blessings on women, that they would feel Your love and attribute it to You. That they would praise Your name and trust in You.

The evil one is crafty. He’s a liar. He has convinced women that You and Your Son Jesus are against women when in fact Your Bible shows that Jesus treated women with love and care far over an above societal expectations.

Today, Christianity reveres women far more than other “religions.” I put “religions” in quotes because for me Christianity is not about the rules of religion but instead of the loving relationship I have with Christ.

I praise You, Lord that You love us so much that You want us to be close to You, to choose to be close to You. Open our hearts, Lord, to Your great love.

Lord, the fact that grandmothers, the mothers of women in a crisis pregnancy, support and even pressure their daughters to abort just shows how pervasive the lie of Roe v Wade is.

Everyone who turns 64 this year has known Roe v Wade their entire adult lives. For those raised in New York, Hawaii, Alaska, and Washington, they have known legalized abortion even longer.

I am so sad to say that when the pro-choice movement says that abortion is normal, they are not far from the truth. Because abortion is pervasive, many believe it is normal. With 25% of our women having an abortion by age 45, it feels normal.

But there is nothing normal about killing life inside of us.

Lord, I plead for not just those in their 20s who are the age group most likely to abort, but for all ages because we all need to re-learn what is truth.

Lord, I plead that You would embolden Christian women to mentor and teach all generations that Your love is meant for all people, not just men; that “being caught” pregnant is not a punishment from You but a blessing from You; that You are for women, not against them.

And, Father, teach us to forgive. Teach us to forgive men for not being responsible. Teach us to forgive men for all that we blame on them. Heal our bitterness and return oneness to our relationships.

In Jesus’ Name,

Cheryl

Doctors: 40 Days of Prayer Day 13

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Yesterday, Heidi led us in prayer for fathers, who are the number one influence on a woman’s “choice.”

Today, I am feeling inspired by Heidi to pray for doctors, who are the number two influence on a woman’s “choice.”

Dear Heavenly Father,

Hallowed be Your name. Lord, I am sorry that we do not rejoice in Your name often enough. I apologize that we use Your name in vain far more than we revere it. May we feel convicted when we say “Oh my God” and “Gosh” and “Jeez.” May we instead praise You in truth and love.

Father, we mourn over the tide of death over the medical profession. We mourn that doctors are recommending abortion rather than carrying to term.

We mourn that doctors are now even delaying decisions to save newborns until after they are born alive. I never thought I would hear a politician nor a doctor advocate for infanticide. I was certain that the Virginia Governor didn’t even realize what he said, but he knew exactly what he said—and he’s still in office.

I never thought this day would come. But I see now that You are revealing hearts. You are making it clear what abortion is. You are calling people to the truth, and more people are claiming to be pro-life. We praise You for revealing hearts and calling people back to You.

Even with more pro-life people in the United States, we continue to hear about medical professionals who do not do all in their power to support life of premature babies. And for that, we mourn.

Lord, we repent for our worship of money over You (Matt 6:24). We repent for putting fear of being sued over our trust in You (1 John 4:18). We repent for believing the lies of the Roe v Wade era rather than believing what we have learned in biology class and Sunday School.

Lord, wash away this tide of death and bring in a new era of life. Take away the old and replace it with the new (2 Cor 5:17-19). Bring pro-death doctors to repentance and wash them clean as snow (Psalm 51).

In Jesus’ powerful name,
Amen

In Christ,

Cheryl

Fathers: Day 12 of 40 Days of Prayer

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Fathers of unwanted babies are in a precarious position. They are told by society that they have no voice and no choice in the life and death of their children.

Yet fathers are the number one influence on a woman’s “choice.” They are told that they have no voice, yet they have the loudest voice.

Let us pray with Heidi for the fathers.

Lord God Almighty,

Today I’m moved by the deeply loving and stable example you are of fatherhood. Many of us do not have earthly examples of good fathering and we sometimes struggle to grasp the gentle goodness of Your authority and care.

Again and again, You call us to repentance and cover us with Your forgiveness; again and again You lead with strength; again and again You bless, answer prayers, and delight in us. You want nothing more than a close relationship with us and You sacrificed everything to secure it.

In this abortion culture, the fathers are [often left] out of the discussion. [Many] are the silent party, the unnoticed victims of a system that abhors responsibility and cares only for rights.

It is, sadly, because most of them are happy to walk away and leave their responsibility in the hands of the mother–or, thanks to the current rhetoric, believe that’s what they’re supposed to do.

But they are fathers, still, Lord God, and the deaths of their babies have repercussions. There are fathers out there who would have fought to keep their unborn child if they’d had a voice. There are fathers who still grieve and lament.

Lord, rescue the fathers, I pray. Help them to see the peaceful contentment they can have by assuming the place you’ve created for them.

Help them to be strong and righteous and lead as You do. Help them to stand up in love and protect their children as well as their women, delighting in their relationships. Give them forgiveness and peace where it’s needed. And give them a voice, Lord Jesus, give them a voice.

Above all, Heavenly Father, we ask You to use current events to swell the tide of the pro-life sentiment. Give us a strong, clear voice to proclaim the truth in love and to protect the innocent.

Work in the hearts and minds of every American and once and for all, Gracious Father, end the era of legalized abortion in the United States. The babies need You, the fathers need You, we all need You.

We pray expectantly in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

Abba Father, I plead with You to move strong Christian men to mentor and influence men in this country to be the responsible, loving men You created them to be in Your image.

Give Christian men the strength to get out of their comfort zone and be a force for life through mentoring all these fatherless men we have in this country.

In Christ,

Cheryl

First Do No Harm: Day 11 of 40 Days of Prayer

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Let us pray with Heidi that we become a culture that first does no harm.

Heavenly Father,

I am shaken by the things I see and hear, by the violence of the abortion procedure described by Dr. Anthony Levatino, a former abortionist, before Congress yesterday; by the video of the current abortionist calmly sifting through a bloody pan of tiny dismembered legs and arms, and a sweet little face, crushed horribly out of shape, while crooning about the life he has given back to the mother.

I am shaken by Medical professionals who have vowed to “first do no harm,” and yet wreak destruction and death every day; by mothers who deny their own children; by fathers who deny responsibility; by a legal culture that respects the life of unborn animals yet denies the life of unborn human beings; by a social culture that shouts “RIGHTS,” and “CHOICE,” and denies any and every RESPONSIBILITY.

I am shaken by the soothing rhetoric of for-profit entities who spread lies to assure women their procedure is safe and painless and will give them back their freedom–as long as they can front the money.

I am shaken by our nation of strong Christians who remain silent on this, the most important life and death emergency in our nation’s history. Where are we?

Lord God, Thank You for being a true father who loves without conditions, who protects with no strings attached, who fights for continued relationship with his children.

Thank You for valuing our lives and nourishing our growth and always giving us good gifts.

Bring this kind of reality to our culture, Father, we pray! Bring goodness, rightness, and true LIFE to our cultural mindset.

Thank You for Your awesome example and for the hope that You fill us with. We know you hear us and our prayers move Your mighty heart.

We look forward to bringing You more glory and to seeing the end of this shocking horror of abortion in the United States. We implore You, Heavenly Father.

In Jesus Mighty Name we pray!
Amen

In Christ,

Cheryl

Toddlers & Sea Turtles: 40 Days of Prayer Day 10

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Let us continue to pray with Heidi for the end of abortion for we know that we are far more precious to God than even sea turtles.

Lord God,

It seems that the abuse of young children produces just about the most outrage our society can muster. It breaks our hearts and fills us with deep righteous anger to see toddlers and preschoolers being yelled at, yanked around, or neglected.

It is especially egregious because they have no escape, no recourse. Those who should be protecting them are the ones inflicting the damage and the children don’t have the resources or understanding to seek help.

So why is it that our hearts break for the toddlers who have no one protecting them, but not for the tiny babies?

Lord God, Almighty, we want them to live. We want them to be safe and warm–without trauma, or pain. We want them ALL to live, healthy, sick, male, female, from rape and incest. Every life is created by You and created in Your image, which means it is a life worth living.

The horrifying videos and dispassionate explanations of the abortion procedure that I’ve seen are so horrific and violent that there aren’t words to encompass it. We treat our dogs better. We pass laws to protect turtle eggs.

How long, Oh Lord, will you stay your hand of judgement? How many more silenced screams and how many more dismembered babies tossed out with the garbage? We see it, and we are crumbling with the guilt of it.

Bring redemption and healing and a swift end to this ferocious beast that devours our children. We cannot bear it any longer.

Father, we pray this in Christ’s most Powerful Name,
Amen

In Christ,

Cheryl