The Consequences of Unconfessed Sin

Dear Christian Sisters & Brothers,

This is a continuation of The Spiritual Consequences of Abortion Series, which includes:

Today, we continue to how King David described the consequences of unconfessed sin.

Despite David’s efforts to cover up his sin, the fighting men seem to have figured out that David had Uriah killed given that Bathsheba’s father was one of the mighty men (2 Samuel 23:34; 11:3) and that her grandfather Ahithophel later conspired against David (2 Samuel 15:31).

Certainly, those working in David’s palace knew that David got Bathsheba pregnant (2 Samuel 11:3-4) and tried to fool Uriah (2 Samuel 11:8-10, 13).

Perhaps all the people in Jerusalem figured out David’s sins (because not all rumors are false) but were afraid to say anything.

Until Nathan confronts David, the king thinks he has gotten away with his sins of extra-marital sex and murder (2 Samuel 11:27).

David Confessed His Sins

After Nathan explains things, David immediately takes responsibility and confesses his sin (2 Samuel 12:1-13).

As you know, David sang nearly half the Psalms. I say sang because psalm means song. Did he write them before he sang them, or did he sing them and then write them down? We don’t know.

But after he takes responsibility for what he did, David goes into the Tent of Meeting and sings his confession, as recorded in Psalm 51.

He also sings Psalm 32. In Psalm 32, David elegantly described what happened while he had unconfessed sin:

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; and You forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:3-5 NASB, emphasis mine)

From Psalm 32 and from Psalm 51, we learn what happens when we murder and commit adultery:

  • When we keep silent about our sin, our bodies waste away (Psalm 32:3).
  • The Lord’s hand is heavy upon us (Psalm 32:4).
  • Our vitality is drained away (Psalm 32:4).
  • We yearn to hear joy and gladness again (Psalm 51:8).
  • We can’t wait for our broken bones to rejoice (Psalm 51:8).
  • We want to be renewed with a steadfast spirit (Psalm 51:10).
  • We want to feel the Holy Spirit within us (Psalm 51:11).
  • We want to be restored with the joy of salvation (Psalm 51:12).

More Holy Spirit!

Like King David, once we have confessed we can feel the Holy Spirit within us, and perhaps then other people will see that we have more fruit of the Spirit—

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness
  • gentleness
  • self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)

But there’s more! In Luke 11:13, Jesus gives us permission to ask for even more of the Holy Spirit.

Join me tomorrow when I connect the whole series, explaining how the story of David, Bathsheba, and Uriah relates to the spiritual consequences of abortion.

In Christ,

Cheryl

Abortion Hurts Women Spiritually

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

This headline makes me so angry! No wonder so many women in The Church abort—they are not hearing the truth!

36% of women who abort go to church at least once per month (Care-Net 2016).

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17 NASB)

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 ESV)

As a post-abortive woman myself, let me explain what abortion does to women spiritually.

I have yet to hear the following message in any Sanctity of Life sermon, but every woman and man needs to hear it.

God is Holy, and He Hates Sin

God has set standards for how we are to live, not because He wants to control us or take away our fun but because He loves us as a perfect Father does.

Now, we do not have perfect fathers here on earth, and many of you have broken relationships with your imperfect fathers. I realize that our broken view of fatherhood makes it difficult to see God as a loving Father, but perhaps you can imagine with me.

Anyone remember the TV show Leave It to Beaver? Remember how the father worked hard, provided for his family, and loved his wife and his boys?

How about the father in the Brady Bunch?

My Three Sons?

How about Liam Neeson’s character in the “Taken” series of movies? Clearly he’s imperfect but fiercely protective of his virgin daughter.

God, as Our Father, Creates Standards for Us Because He Loves Us

God is love. (1 John 4:8)

From the Old Testament to the New, God removed the food standards (all the standards for eating kosher foods), but He did not remove the moral standards. We can read these moral standards in the 10 Commandments and other places.

Jesus reiterated the 10 Commandments by telling His Jewish audience to love God and love people.

When our parents create boundaries for us—or standards—we know that if we do not follow their rules, we will experience consequences, such as a time-out when we’re little or losing privileges when we’re teenagers.

God, our loving Father, taught parents to create standards because that’s what He does. We are to reflect His fatherhood. We are imperfect people and therefore imperfect parents (just ask my boys), so we do not reflect God perfectly, but we are called to try.

God’s standards include keeping sex within marriage and not murdering. (Before you get mad at me, remember that I have not kept either of these standards.)

If you need a reminder of the Bible verses that show these standards, see the links below to my other websites:

Best Pro-Life Bible Verses

Bible Verses on Sexual Immorality

So, what happens when we break God’s standards? I think the best example is to look at King David’s life.

David and Bathsheba

David’s whole story shows us a man of great faith (God calls Him a man after His own heart [Acts 13:22]) but also a man of a great imperfections.

Let’s look at what happens to David when he does not keep sex within marriage and then murders to cover his sin.

You are probably familiar with David and Bathsheba’s story, but let me give you a quick reminder. The short version is that David used his kingly power to have sex with another man’s wife and then killed the man to cover up his sin (see 2 Samuel 11).

Today in the United States, you might expect a rich man to offer his mistress money for an abortion or even pressure her into having an abortion. But that’s not what David does.

Why not? Because the Hebrews valued babies.

Until Nathan confronts David, the king thinks he has gotten away with his sin of extra-marital sex and of murder.

After Nathan explains things, David immediately takes responsibility and confesses his sin (see 2 Samuel 12).

The Spiritual Consequences of Murder and Adultery

David then goes into the Tent of Meeting and sings his confession, as recorded in Psalm 51. He also sings Psalm 32. From these two Psalms, we learn what happens when we murder and commit adultery:

  • When we keep silent about our sin, our bodies waste away. (Ps 32:3)
  • The Lord’s hand is heavy upon us. (Ps 32:4)
  • Our vitality is drained away. (Ps 32:4)
  • We yearn to hear joy and gladness again. (Ps 51:8)
  • We can’t wait for our broken bones to rejoice. (Ps 51:8)
  • We want to feel the Holy Spirit within us. (Ps 51:11)
  • We want to be renewed with a steadfast spirit. (Ps 51:10)
  • We want to be restored with the joy of salvation. (Ps 51:12)

Why do we desire the Holy Spirit? Because when we have more of the Holy Spirit, we have more fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).

In my memoir, ReTested, I explain my 14 or so years between my abortion and my confession as walking through life dead inside. I called myself “the walking dead” before there was a TV show by that name!

Pastoral Leadership

So, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and United Church of Christ pastors in Tennessee, when you tell women that it’s okay to abort, you are telling them that it’s okay to live separated from God, that God doesn’t mind that they murdered, that it’s okay to walk around like zombies.

The truth is that Jesus came to set us free (Galatians 5:1) and so that we can have abundant life (John 10:10). Abortion does not result in abundant life. It results in drained vitality (Psalm 32:4; John 10:10).

Your letter to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is not the kind of leadership we women deserve. We deserve to be:

  • taught the truth (John 8:31-32; Acts 17:10-11).
  • gently rebuked like Nathan gently rebuked David (2 Samuel 12) and Jesus gently rebuked the woman at the well (John 4:4-42) and the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11).
  • taught the path to renewed vitality (Matthew 6:12-15) so that we can live abundantly (John 10:10).

Further, for those women who do not believe that Jesus is the Christ who died for our sins (Romans 5:8), was raised from the dead (Romans 10:9-10), and today sits at the right hand of God, you are telling them that it’s okay to be forever separated from their babies and spend eternity separated from God.

And just to appeal to the practical nature of running your local church, if you want women to serve in the church, get them freed from their sins.

Freedom Is Available, and It’s Awesome!

If you have been involved in an abortion—whether you had one yourself or “supported” a woman through one—you can have your vitality renewed, like I did.

The path to renewed vitality is confession (Matthew 6:12, 14-15) and returning to God (John 8:11).

We protestants do not spend enough time talking about the benefits of confession. Let me just tell you from my own experience that confession and forgiveness results in freedom and abundant life!

And freedom is awesome!

Post-Abortion Healing Is Available!

Post-abortion healing classes are offered through pregnancy centers and some churches using curricula like Surrendering the Secret and Forgiven and Set Free. The Catholic Church offers Project Rachel.

Men who have pressured a woman, drove her to the clinic, or paid for the abortion need healing, too. Some pregnancy centers offer classes for them as well. A common curriculum is Healing a Father’s Heart.

The links to books above are affiliate links. Any remuneration that I receive from affiliate links are used to pay for my three websites: CherylKrichbaum.blog, MybodyMyworship.org, and FacesofAbortion.com. Please contact me if you have any questions.

In Christ,

Cheryl

3 Things about Sex that Nobody Talks About

Dear Christian Sisters,

It’s Valentine’s Day, and here in the USA we not only commercialize everything but we also get our belief systems from TV, movies, and the media.

As a result, many of us have a concept of love that is not biblical. For example, we say “making love” when we mean “having sex.”

We know from 1 Corinthians 13 what love is and is not. Sex is not mentioned at all.

So, on this Valentine’s Day, I want to share with you a bible teaching on sex.

My friend Katharine Wang, Founder of Master the Bible Ministries, has a wonderful teaching on sex and graciously wrote a guest blog for all of you. I pray that Katharine’s teaching blesses your understanding of how God sees sex.

Lord, open our minds to understanding the scriptures (Luke 24:45)—in Jesus’ name, Amen!

3 Things about Sex that Nobody Talks About

by Katharine Wang, Founder of Master the Bible Ministries

Sex is everywhere you turn in our culture. There’s no easy way—well, really no way—to avoid sexual temptation. It’s calling to us on every corner.

So what do you do when you start getting pressure to have sex before marriage or to look at or listen to sexually explicit stuff?

Before doing something you can never take back, there are three things you should know about sex that nobody talks about.

But first, we need a little sex education from the One who designed sex.

Sex & Our Bodies, Souls, and Spirits

Sex impacts three parts of us—our bodies, our souls (our emotions and mind), and our spirits.

God designed sex to create a physical, emotional, and spiritual connection for us. Anytime we engage in sex—or even think about it or look at something that arouses those desires within us, those three areas are triggered.

When we engage in sex as God designed it—in marriage to one person of the other gender—it gives life to our bodies, souls, and spirits.

Marital Sex & Good Health

Sex in marriage actually makes us healthier. It decreases stress levels, which makes us less likely to get sick. It creates an emotional bond with our spouse.

But more than that, it actually expands the capacity we have within us to have deeper emotional connections with anyone.

And it gives us a spiritual connection—not just to our spouse but to God and to others, too. It deepens our capacity to relate to people spiritually.

Extra-Marital Sex & Sickness

But what happens when we engage in sex-related things not how God designed us to do it? Sex still impacts our bodies, souls, and spirits.

Instead of making us healthier, sex outside God’s design opens us up to illness. Any sin will open our bodies to getting sick.

Numerous medical studies have documented the connection between illness and things like stress, anger, and even unforgiveness.

When it comes to sexual sin, doctors have an entire category of illnesses caused by these temptations.

Maybe you had heard that one. But here are three more things about sex that nobody talks about.

1. When Sex Can Make You Stupid and Feel Alone

First, giving in to sexual temptation numbs our conscious faster and in a more deadly way than a lot of other things.

You’re no longer as sensitive as you were before to the difference between truth and error, good and bad. That causes you to make more blunders, bad choices, and poor judgments in life.

2. When Sex Can Make It Harder to Relate Normally

Second, certain sexual sins will block your ability to relate normally to people of the other gender. It becomes hard to see them as anything but an object of your pleasure. That robs you of deep relationships that God designed your soul to have.

It’s harder to make deep connections with people. You may feel empty, lonely, disconnected—almost like the walking dead.  Relationships can become more shallow and more focused on what people can do for you rather than being focused on deep and satisfying mutuality.

You may find yourself less and less fulfilled with your relationships because you’re losing the capacity for satisfaction through relationships.

3. When Sex Can Make It Harder to Form Spiritual Connections

Third, giving into sexual temptation shrinks your capacity for deep spiritual connection with others and with God. It becomes harder to perceive what God is communicating to you. You may feel disconnected to God or like he’s being silent or hard to find.

And you may find it harder to have deep, satisfying spiritual connections with other people.

God’s Purposeful Design

Sex was designed by God to expand and bring life to our bodies, souls, and spirits. When we engage in sex as intended, we see our health and capacity for deep connections grow in all those areas.

But when we give in to sexual temptation, we will be impacted in all three areas of our being.

Maybe you’re experiencing some of the negative things that can happen when we give into sexual temptation. God will completely heal, forgive, and restore when you reach out to him.

But why be the one that needs healing? Use sex to help you—in your marriage with your spouse—not to bring you down.

I pray that Katharine’s teaching helps you understand God’s design for sex. You can find more great biblical teachings by Katharine Wang at the Master the Bible Ministries website.

In Christ,

Cheryl

Take Heart—God Has a Plan

Dear Christian Sisters,

After everyone at the temple saw that Zacharias couldn’t speak, Zacharias and Elizabeth went home. Luke says:

After these days, Elizabeth his wife became pregnant…
Luke 1:24a

Can you imagine Elizabeth and Zacharias’ excitement? Not only were they finally pregnant, Zacharias now knew what the angel said was true!

…and she kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, “This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among men.”
Luke 1:24b-25

I find it sad that we think of not being able to have children as a disgrace.

If you are unable to have children, my love pours out for you. I am praying for you as I write.

Know that even if the Lord has not given you the ability to bear children, you can have spiritual children.

Isaiah 54:1-4 says:

“Woman, be happy! You have not had any children, but you should be very happy.

“Yes, the woman who is alone will have more children than the woman with a husband.” This is what the Lord says.

“Make your tent bigger. Open your doors wide. Don’t think small! Make your tent large and strong, because you will grow in all directions. Your children will take over many nations and live in the cities that were destroyed.

“Don’t be afraid! You will not be disappointed. People will not say bad things against you. You will not be embarrassed. When you were young, you felt shame. But you will forget that shame now. You will not remember the shame you felt when you lost your husband.”

Take heart. God has a plan.

In Christ,

Cheryl

Believing God’s Plan (#BraveLikeMary Series)

The angel answered and said to him (Zacharias), “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
Luke 1:19-20

Dear Christian Sisters,

God had a plan, and He wasn’t going to let Zacharias’ unbelief stop His plan.

God has a plan for your life. Are you believing it?

Before I believed in Christ, I imagined myself as a public speaker. Once I had a relationship with Christ, I thought I might want to be a Christian speaker, but I didn’t know what I would talk about.

Well, I knew that I could speak about schizophrenia and abortion, but I did not want to speak on either of those topics!

Then while on my first short-term mission trip a year ago, the Lord made it clear that I needed to speak about abortion. I didn’t want to. I was miserable for about 6 weeks until I submitted and said, “Yes, Lord.”

God sent me with Julie Mad-Bondo, Founder of Julie’s Heart Cry, to speak in Uganda. He set everything in motion. The travel part of that trip is one huge God story that you can read on my post titled, “God’s Perfect Plan or Sometimes God Just Likes to Show Off.”

Trust me. It’s better to submit to God’s plan for your life than resist it. He works everything out for your good.

Not sure what His plan is for your life? Ask Him. He loves to bring Himself glory through your life. And once you submit, I’m sure you’ll enjoy His plan.

In Christ,

Cheryl

Doubting Zacharias (#BraveLikeMary Series)

Dear Christian Sisters,

I know we haven’t gotten to Mary, yet, or how brave she was. But there’s still lots to learn in the story of the birth of John the Baptist.

We Say Chance—He Says “For Such a Time As This”

Now it happened that while he (Zacharias) was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division, according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
Luke 1:8-9

We as well as Zacharias might think that he was chosen by chance to perform the priestly duties that day, but God likes to do things on purpose.

There was a whole process for deciding when priests were to serve at the temple, hence “the appointed order of his division.” Then Zacharias was chosen by lot to enter the temple to burn incense. Today we would say that they “rolled the dice.”

From a human perspective, Zacharias was chosen by chance.

From God’s perspective, Zacharias was chosen for such a time as this. (“For such a time as this” is from Esther 4:14.)

Being chosen to burn incense was a big deal! A once in a lifetime opportunity!

Do you think that Zacharias told anyone? Of course he did! He told all his friends and relatives.

And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering.
Luke 1:10

Considering the honor this was for Zacharias, the multitude would’ve included his family and friends, including Elizabeth, who were all celebrating the honor with him.

What do you think was Zacharias’ first prayer request?

Don’t Be Afraid of Angels

And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias…”
Luke 1:11-13a

When people are visited by angels, as recorded in the Bible, they are afraid. How do we know? Because the angel says, “Do not be afraid” as the angel Gabriel says here.

But are they afraid because angels are scary looking?
or
because angels are big?
or
because angels bring God’s glory with them?

Answered Prayer

…”for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.”
Luke 1:13b-14

Zacharias asked and God answered!

Nazirite Vow—No Wine or Liquor

“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.”
Luke 1:15

No wine or liquor? This may seem strange to us. Some Christians don’t drink wine or liquor, some only drink wine, and some drink both wine and liquor.

The Bible does not say do not drink.
The Bible does say not to get drunk.
You can read more about this on the GotQuestions website.

Why didn’t John the Baptist have wine or liquor? Because he was a Nazirite from birth.

Being a Nazirite is not the same thing as being from Nazareth. Jesus is from Nazareth, but He never took the Nazirite vow.

Any Jew could take the Nazirite vow, which included not drinking nor cutting his or her hair, for a time in order to dedicate him- or herself to the Lord. During the time of the Nazirite vow, the person is holy to the Lord. You can read about taking the Nazirite vow in Numbers 6:1-21.

There were three people who were Nazirites from birth, as recorded in the Bible: Sampson, Samuel, and John the Baptist.

Preparing Others for the Lord

“And he (John the Baptist) will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Luke 1:16-17

Perhaps there was someone in your life who prepared you for the Lord. Or perhaps you are preparing others for the Lord.

Who prepared you? Thank them!

Who are you preparing? Your children (if you are a parent) may be the most obvious answer, but remember that everyone you meet, even while going to the grocery store, may be someone you are preparing for the Lord. (Read my blog post about being a missionary to McDonald’s.)

Doubting Zacharias

Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.”
Luke 1:18

Not only did God answer Zacharias’ prayer, but He answered big!

Ephesians 3:20 says that God is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works within us.

Zacharias was granted his request. The angel promised to give him what he asked for—and more!

Zacharias is in the temple. Zacharias is serving the Lord. Zacharias is praying. And yet he is surprised and doubting that his prayer will be answered because he asked for something that seems impossible.

That was me. I was a doubting Zacharias.

What I want, more than anything, is that not only would both my sister and my brother be completely healed of schizophrenia but that they would accept Christ’s sacrificial gift of love.

From a human perspective, schizophrenia cannot be healed.

  • Medicine doesn’t heal schizophrenia.
  • Counseling doesn’t heal schizophrenia.
  • Natural health doesn’t heal schizophrenia.

But I didn’t ask God to heal my siblings until recently.

Many years ago, I did ask God to let me know if my brother was okay because no one had seen him for weeks (this was the first time that he was homeless). God answered in a matter of hours. He answered so quickly that I couldn’t help but ask myself why I asked so small.

Now I ask big! And I am believing that God will answer my prayer and answer big. Why not? I’ve got nothing to lose.

Heart check!

Are You a Doubting Zacharias?

Are you a doubting Zacharias?

Are you doubting that the Lord will answer your prayer because it seems impossible?

Or perhaps even though you have an impossible request, you haven’t even asked because you can’t imagine that God would give it to you.

What is your impossible request? Are you trusting that the Lord will answer your request?

Your request may not be big like healing my siblings of schizophrenia. Maybe your request is about your career. I have requests like that, too.

My first book will be launched in January, and I have several others in my head. Oh how I would love for these books to be so moving to readers that they become best sellers and my readers more like Christ.

What’s Your Impossible Prayer Request?

So, what is your impossible request? Are you ready to trust the Lord to answer and answer big?

Now might be a good time to ask God if you are being a doubting Zacharias.
Now might be a good time to ask God for forgiveness for being a doubting Zacharias. “Lord Jesus, take away my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24)
Now might be a good time to ask God for that impossible request in complete faith that He will grant your request and answer big.

What do you have to lose?

Try this prayer:

Lord, my Rock, my Salvation, You can do anything—far more than I can ever imagine or guess or request in my wildest dream (Ephesians 3:20-21).

I’m sorry for being a doubting Zacharias.

Thank You for answering my little prayers. Now I’m coming before You in humbleness to ask big.

Lord, carry out Your purpose and do super abundantly far over and above all that I dare ask or think—infinitely beyond my highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams in the name of Jesus so that You are glorified.

Amen.

In Christ,

Cheryl

Perspective (#BraveLikeMary Series)

Dear Christian Sisters,

The story of Jesus’ birth actually begins with the story of John the Baptist’s birth.

John’s mother, Elizabeth, was a relative of Mary’s, so John and Jesus were cousins—not first cousins because Elizabeth and Mary were not sisters, but cousins in their larger, extended family.

Elizabeth plays an important role in Mary’s life–she was Mary’s mentor.

But before we talk about Elizabeth mentoring Mary, let’s see the story from Elizabeth’s perspective.

Introducing Zacharias and Elizabeth

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
Luke 1:5

So what Luke is telling us is that both Zacharias and Elizabeth were of the tribe of Levi. The Levites served the Jews as priests.

Elizabeth is Both Righteous and Barren

They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years.
Luke 1:6-7

So, Elizabeth’s clock had been ticking for some time. She wasn’t beyond childbearing years, that is, she had not yet entered menopause, but she was getting close.

Yet, she had no children.

In the Jewish culture of the time, big families were the norm. To not have children was rare. And as you may recall from my blog post titled, “Abortion & the Bible,” Old Testament Jews valued children.

It could have been that others shamed Elizabeth for not having children, yet she walked blamelessly.

God’s Perspective

We all have our stories, and we tell our stories from our own perspectives.

“We can’t have kids” is Zacharias and Elizabeth’s story.

“When I will receive greater glory, Zacharias and Elizabeth will have a child” is God’s story.

We can look at every story in the Bible from the perspective of those who were there and from the perspective of God.

Now, our insights won’t be perfect because the culture of the time isn’t like ours today (especially here in the United States) and because it’s challenging to imagine God’s thoughts since He is so much greater than we are; however, taking time to consider other perspectives will help us to understand God.

We can also look at our own stories from our own perspective, from the perspective of others, and from the perspective of God.

It’s a whole new twist on He said/she said.

He Said / She Said

Have you ever told a story from childhood only to hear your parents or your siblings tell the story in a completely different way?

To encourage my older boy to write, we teamed up to write some he said/she said stories. We took the same event and each told the story. It was a great way for him to learn perspective!

Our favorite he said/she said story was about a trip from Minneapolis to Atlanta through Detroit, where we had a 5-hour delay. He absolutely loved that trip because he got to watch videos, explore the airport, ride the tram and the moving sidewalk, and go on a big airplane (777).

He was seven at the time of this story. My other boy was a potty training toddler. The 7 pm flight ended up being a 12 midnight flight. Can you guess what the trip was like for me?

I carried my bag, my purse, a diaper bag, and a toddler.

I took all of us to the bathroom for every diaper change.

I walked boys on the moving sidewalk and took them on the tram over and over again.

When we finally got on the airplane, the boys wouldn’t go to sleep because they were so excited that they had their very own TV.

When we got to the Atlanta airport, the two-story escalator going down to the tram was out-of-order. Thankfully it was going down, not up, but it was 3 am, and I was carrying several bags and a toddler!

What my son thought was fun, I thought was exhausting!

My Abortion Story from My Perspective or God’s Perspective

When I think of my own abortion story, I can think about it from my perspective (read “Faces of Abortions” or wait for my book, ReTested, due out in January)
OR
from my boyfriend’s perspective
OR
from my parents’ perspective
OR
from God’s perspective.

How does the story change?

She Said

When I had the abortion, I was relieved because I thought the crisis was over.

How else did I feel? Good question. I think that mostly I was angry that I got pregnant. It didn’t seem fair to me that men could have sex without consequences, but women were shamed for being pregnant out of wedlock.

I’m not saying that I was right. Feelings are not right or wrong. They just are.

He Said

I’m sure God cried when I aborted my baby. I’m also sure that God welcomed my baby girl into heaven that day.

I am also convinced that God decided to use my story to stop future abortions, to stop other women from hurting themselves through abortion.

And here I am today, redeemed by His love (read “Forgiveness“), compelled by the Lord to write this blog, and speaking in Uganda and in the U.S.

I traded my story for His story.

The United States’ Abortion History from Women’s Rights Perspective or God’s Perspective

When I think of crisis pregnancies and abortion throughout the history of the United States and the world, I can look at it from from the perspectives of women who are worried about bringing a child into this world
OR
from a women’s rights perspective
OR
from God’s perspective.

How does the story change?

She Said

Women’s reasons for aborting are varied. Here are just a few: I can’t afford to raise a child. My parents will be so disappointed with me. The baby daddy will be so mad. Children put up for adoption feel abandoned and might be abused by their adoptive parents. I have the right to choose.

Again, I am not saying that these are right. They are feelings, mostly feelings of fear.

He Said

God cries for every woman who aborts. God welcomes every aborted baby into heaven. God wants those babies and their mothers reunited.

Also, I am convinced that God is saddened by women not feeling valued by men even though we are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

As for our our country—as for all the countries that have legalized abortion—I’m sure God is angry. He founded the United States based on His commandments, yet as a country we have decided that murder is okay in some cases and not others.

How is this different than King Ahaz burning his sons in fire as sacrifices to a foreign god (2 Kings 16:3; 2 Chron 28:3, 2 Kings 16:2; 2 Chron 28:1)?

(For more on King Ahaz, read the “What God Said About the Jew Who Did Not Value Children” section of my blog post “Abortion & the Bible.”)

I look forward to reading more of Zacharias and Elizabeth’s story with you tomorrow.

In Christ,

Cheryl

Announcing MybodyMyworship!

Dear Christian Sisters,

I had the privilege of being interviewed on the radio about my new ministry, MybodyMyworship. When the audio recording becomes available, I’ll share it with you, but in the meantime, here is the transcript.

Katharine: I’m Katharine Wang and you’re listening Radio Fairfax in Fairfax, VA. This is Keys to Spiritual Growth. Today we’re going to answer listener questions live on the radio.

But first a reminder that you’re listening to Radio Fairfax, Fairfax, VA. Cablecast on Cox and Verizon FIOS Channel 37 and Comcast channel 27 in Reston, VA. Webcast worldwide on the internet at www.radiofairfax.org.Katharine Wang on the radio

We’re live once a month answering questions about God and the Bible. I like to think of it as the type of question you’d like to ask God if you could pull up and chair and maybe grab a cup of tea and ask him something. We take questions in advance and also live right now. The call in number is 703-560-TALK. That’s 703-560-8255. Or on Facebook at facebook.com/mbministries.

Katharine: I’m here with my friend Lorelei, who’s going to tell us what questions we’ve received from listeners this past month. Lorelei, you couldn’t be with us last month. It’s good to have you back.

Lorelei: It’s good to be back.

Katharine: Before you tell us the first question from listeners, did I tell you we have two special guests on the show?

Lorelei: You did. I’m excited about meeting them.

Katharine: Yes, Cheryl Krichbaum is here with Michele Bair. Cheryl is the founder of a new ministry called My body My worship, which I’m excited to hear about. Michele is going to be part of this ministry, too.

Lorelei: Welcome to Keys to Spiritual Growth with Katharine Wang. We’re excited to have you on the show today.

Cheryl: We’re excited to be here.

Katharine: So Cheryl, you grew up in Minnesota going to church with your family, but it was more of a tradition that you did and you didn’t really believe Christianity or have its power.

Cheryl: Yeah, I didn’t understand what Christ’s sacrifice was about. I knew all the Bible stories, but I didn’t understand what they meant for me. When life got difficult, I turned my back on church and on God then made some pretty big mistakes. I became even more bitter against God. But then I met a man who wasn’t scared away by my life. In retrospect, I can see that he was showing me what the love of Christ was like. To make a long story short, he prayed for me, I accepted Christ, and then we got married.

Katharine: Let’s fast forward. Tell us about your trip to Africa.

Cheryl: I was in Uganda just over a year ago on a short-term mission trip. I had taught your Bible studies to children and had met a 5-year-old boy with Down Syndrome. That night I was asking one of the pastors about special needs children in Uganda and Africa which led to a discussion about abortion. The pastor said that he preaches on how our words often send women to have abortions. And that’s when I knew I needed to change the conversation about abortion.

Cheryl Krichbaum on the radioKatharine: So you realized that the way the church talks about abortion can be damaging to women? How should the conversation change?

Cheryl: The pro-life movement usually talks about babies, trying to convince the abortion-minded that killing babies is wrong–and it is wrong. But the pro-choice movement is talking about women and women’s rights, not babies. Women choose abortion because they think it’s best for themselves. We are ego-centric people and Millenials even more so. We need to have conversations about women and the psychological damage that results from abortion. If they are Christians, then we also need to talk about the spiritual darkness they plunge themselves into when they have abortions. We need to have loving conversations that draw women into life–physically and spiritually.

Katharine: So women-centered, eternally-focused conversations about abortion. I like that. This topic has a personal interest to you, doesn’t it?

Cheryl: Yes, when life got difficult and I left the church and God, I went looking for love elsewhere. I spent more time with my boyfriend than in my parents’ home because life was difficult at home but pleasant with my boyfriend. Not surprisingly, I got pregnant. Because I didn’t want the shame of pregnancy in high school and because I wanted to stay on track with my education, I had an abortion. And then I made more bad choices, like living with my boyfriend, buying a house with him, and eventually marrying him even though I knew deep inside that I shouldn’t have. That marriage ended in divorce. And, by the way, I still had the shame of pregnancy in high school, and my education was not completed on schedule.

Katharine: What a powerful personal story. And now you’re founding a ministry called My Body My Worship. How is your work different from what other pro-life groups do?

Cheryl: We battle abortion in a way different than all other pro-life ministries–through true worship and teaching the nations all that Jesus commanded (Romans 12:1, Matthew 28:20). We do this through women’s conferences and social media posts.

Our mission is to inspire spiritual acts of worship by teaching biblically sound science of sexual integrity and psychological effects of abortion–based on Romans 12:1-2 and 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.

Katharine: Michele, that’s where you come in. You’ve been a worshipper and a worship leader at your church for more than 20 years.

Michele: Yes, one thing I’ve learned in over 20 years of leading worship is that our bodies, souls, and spirits are intertwined. When we worship, it washes out our spirits and souls. It’s like taking a spiritual shower. All the filth and grime of the day washes off, and we’re filled with God’s presence.

Katharine: And you’ve named the ministry My body my worship? Why?

Cheryl: The pro-choice movement says, “My body. My choice.” We say that it’s our choice to worship with our bodies. As Michele says, our worship and our bodies are intertwined. There are many ways to worship–with hymns, on our knees, with lifted hands, even dancing. But the New Testament believer should also worship with their whole bodies in a Levitical sense, meaning that they should be pure before the Lord.

We get this from Romans 12:1, which says: Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Michele: We are also using worship as King Jehoshaphat in the Bible did to defeat his enemies. In 2 Chronicles 20, we see that the kingdom of Judah was about to be attacked by many enemies. King Jehoshaphat immediately went to the Lord. He called the country to pray and fast. Then he sent out a worship team ahead of the army. And GOD defeated their enemies.

Cheryl: We too are at war–spiritual war. Women (and men, but most obviously women) are under attack–even from other women. Women are fooled into thinking that abortion is no big deal. We are fooled into believing that we can have safe sex outside of marriage. We abort in order to avoid the shame of being caught pregnant out of wedlock, and then we hide our abortions because we are ashamed.

Katharine: A lot of people think of abortion as a political issue. But you don’t. Explain.

Cheryl: We don’t think God sees abortion as a political issue. When you embrace Daniel chapter 4, you can’t help but realize that God is in control of who is in office. I do believe that God is unhappy with His Christian nation legalizing abortion, so yes, we need to de-fund Planned Parenthood and reverse Roe v Wade.

But God is unhappy with our hearts and is waiting for us, for Christians, to act like Christ. The real victory in this spiritual war is saving eternal lives of abortion-minded women and men here in the United States and around the world. The Church is bigger than our country and so is spiritual war.

So, we’re going to battle by worshipping through music, lifted hands, etc. and by teaching what both the Bible and science say about abortion and about sex.

Katharine: That’s intriguing. Both the Bible and science.

Cheryl: Yes, both the Bible and science because scientific research supports all the biblical laws about sex–Which is no surprise, right? since God created science.

Katharine: Can you tell me just one thing scientific research has found that supports what the Bible says about sex and abortion?

Cheryl: The hormones that are activated in us when we have sex bond us with our partner. So when people have heterosexual or homosexual sex, they feel bonded to that person. The Bible says, the two shall become one, which is reiterated in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. When women break that bond, their emotions are affected and often they become depressed or develop anxiety. When men break that bond, they often become jealous ex-boyfriends.

Katharine: Wow. So our bodies were physically designed to operate best when we make a marriage connection to just one person. Alright, shifting gears a little, I’d love to hear what you would say to a woman who has an unplanned pregnancy right now who is thinking about an abortion?

Cheryl: When I had my abortion, I plunged myself into darkness. Even before there was a TV show called “The Walking Dead,” I described myself as the walking dead. I looked alive. I acted happy. But I wasn’t. I was dead inside. When you choose death for what is growing inside of you, you also choose death for yourself and Satan wins. God loves you so much that He doesn’t want the pain of abortion for you.

Katharine: What would you say to a young woman thinking about having sex before getting married?

Michele: As young women, we were told it’s OK to have sex as long as you use birth control. Today they called it “safer” sex. But the Bible doesn’t say that it’s okay to have sex if we use birth control. God says the only way to fully experience the beauty that He made sex to be is to have it with just the one person of the opposite sex to whom you are married. In fact, sex outside marriage is so dangerous–both physically and spiritually–it can scar our bodies, emotions, and spirits forever. Until we ask Jesus to heal those wounds.

Cheryl: The biggest advantage of sexual purity, of course, is obeying God–this is your spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1) and your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). When our spirits are pure, we can hear more clearly from the Lord and become like spiritual superheroes. Nothing is impossible for us spiritually. When we live with sin, it’s like Superman meets kryptonite. Sin drains our spiritual power. Sex outside of marriage makes us weaklings spiritually. We can’t hear God, and we can be easily defeated. Sexual purity gives us spiritual super-strength. It keeps our emotions free of deep wounds.

But it also keeps our physical bodies free of so many diseases. For example, HPV is so prevalent now that we have a vaccine for it. Women are biologically more susceptible to HPV than men and get it even if the condom works perfectly.

We need to change the conversation about abortion. We need to talk about abortion and sex more in church than in politics. We need to teach our generation and the generations after us. This is not a young person’s issue. This is a heart issue of all the generations. All the generations need healing. And in a 2 Chronicles 7:14 way, all generations need to repent and seek God’s face if we want revival–and we believe our conferences will spark revival.

Katharine: What about a woman who has already had an abortion, like yourself, Cheryl? What would you say to someone like you?

Cheryl: Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). If we want life, if we want to stop being the walking dead, then we have to accept Jesus’ love for us. I chose Christ and then later admitted to Him that I was wrong to have an abortion. And He immediately washed away my sins, and I felt clean and alive. You can have that freedom, too. Start with Psalm 51 and then contact your local pregnancy center for a post-abortion healing class. You can also seek a healing ministry or attend one of our conferences.

Katharine: I’ve never had an abortion, but I lost two children in utero, so I understand the guilt and feelings of loss that we feel anytime we lose a pregnancy. And I can also tell you that our children are with God. I believe I will spend eternity with them. And they always have a place in our hearts. Their short lives served a purpose here even if they were never born.

Cheryl: Yes. And our babies love us and forgive us. They are in heaven waiting for their moms. And those babies whose moms do not know Christ are crying. We Christians have got to share the Gospel with post-abortive women so that those babies are consoled and reconciled some day with their mothers in heaven.

Katharine: Amazing work you’re both doing Cheryl and Michele. If someone wanted to find out more about your work, how could they do it?

Cheryl: Our website is MybodyMyworship.org. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We also do MybodyMyworship conferences at churches. You can find out information about how to get involved or how to bring a conference to your church on our website. We honestly believe that worshipping the Lord in this way will spark revival.

Katharine: It’s been a delight to have you on our show today.

Cheryl: Thank you for having us!

In Christ,

Cheryl

How Was Your Church’s Sanctity of Life Sermon?

Dear Christian Sisters,

January was Sanctity of Life Month. January 21st, specifically, was Sanctity of Life Sunday. What was Sanctity of Life Sunday like for you?

I know it was 2-1/2 weeks ago, which seems like a lifetime. But do you remember?

Many pastors across the United States preached on the Sanctity of Life. Mine did. His sermon was awesome.

But it was just a start.

I heard that a woman in our congregation changed from pro-choice to pro-life. Yay!

I heard that another woman said she was going home to her daughter, who is pregnant out of wedlock, and encouraging her to go through with the pregnancy whereas she had previously planned to promote abortion. YAY!

These are victories!

But they are just the start.

I went home simultaneously encouraged and disappointed.

I was encouraged because our pastor got so many things right.

  • He explained that God is the Creator of life, including the life of the pre-born.
  • He explained that God is both the judge of sin and the Savior for sinners!
  • He exhorted the church to go out and be the hands and feet of Jesus to love and serve women, men, and babies.

But that is just the start.

And so I was disappointed.

Until the Lord reminded me that He has lit a fire inside of me to get The Church to go even further. This is the mission the Lord has given me.

  • We, The Church, must talk more about abortion in the church than in politics—beyond Sanctity of Life Sunday.
  • We, The Church, must change the focus from saving the mortal lives of babies to saving the eternal lives of women and the men who get them pregnant. And when women choose to go through with the pregnancy, we need to focus on saving the eternal lives of those babies. The Great Commission tells us to do so (Matthew 28:19).
  • We, The Church, must teach sexual purity (Matthew 28:20)—because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:12-20)—not leave sex education to the schools, TV, and social media (Deuteronomy 6:7).
  • We, The Church, must repent of our unwillingness to talk about abortion and sexual immorality.
  • We, The Church, must help women and men heal from abortion and sexual immorality.
  • We, The Church, must repent of its sexual sins in order to show God that we’re ready for revival (2 Chronicles 7:14).

What did you think of your pastor’s Sanctity of Life sermon? Post a comment below. And if you have a link to your pastor’s message, please include it!

I’ll put two links in the comments below, including a link to David Platt’s message.

In Christ,

Cheryl

Mary Pondered These Things (#BraveLikeMary Series)

Dear Christian Sisters,

Merry Christmas!

Today, we celebrate Jesus’ birthday by remembering that God the Son gave up His heavenly dwelling for about 33 years to become fully human and yet still fully God.

Through His sacrifice, Jesus knew what it was to be human:

  • to be tempted,
  • to be dishonored,
  • to be distrusted,
  • to be frustrated,
  • to be hated,
  • to be betrayed,
  • to be in great physical pain,

and

  • to be loved by His friends,
  • to be loved His siblings,
  • to be loved by His earthly father and
  • to be loved by his mother.

Today, we celebrate that we have a God who can fully empathize with us.

Let us also celebrate all that Mary and Joseph did to bring Jesus into this world.

We left off with Joseph taking Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Today, that would be a 2-hour drive, but Mary and Joseph would have walked 5-7 days.

Can you imagine walking and riding a donkey for 5-7 days while 9 months pregnant?

My only consolation is that Mary and Joseph would have been traveling in a caravan for safety. Certainly there were other women in the caravan to console her.

While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. Luke 2:6

I’d be ready to give birth, too, after that trip!

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

Many people were traveling for the census, so it’s no surprise that there was no room for them in the inn. They would also be looking for privacy so that she could give birth.

With so many people in the inn, certainly there were women there to help Mary give birth.

After giving birth, Mary settled in for a little sleep for giving birth after such a long trip would certainly make a woman exhausted.

But people wanted to admire the baby, including some some who were unexpected.

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Luke 2:8-14

We sing “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” but the angels said it.

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”

So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.

When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. Luke 2:15-18

“All who heart it”… Today, this would be like all the visitors at the hospital stopping to admire baby Jesus and then a group of homeless people come in to see the baby and tell this wild story of seeing angels.

Consider this: Mary knows that she gave birth to the King of Israel. All the Jews expected a political savior. Yet instead of Jewish Priests and Hollywood stars coming by to congratulate her, homeless people show up.

Would you believe them?

But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.

The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. Luke 2:19-20

May we spend today glorifying and praising God for all that we have heard and seen of Jesus in our lives. May we also appreciate Mary and Joseph all the more, understanding just how brave they were.

In Christ,

Cheryl

P.S. What about the wise men, you ask? Well, they didn’t arrive in Bethlehem until almost 2 years later! (Matthew 2:7, 16)