Archives

Save the Stork


On March 13, in Dallas, TX, an organization you’ve probably never heard of is going to revolutionize the pro-life movement.

It starts with a kid from Philly, a bus in New York, and an idea that brought him quite by accident to the city where Roe v. Wade started — the city where he hopes abortion will finally meet its match.

David Pomerantz, 23, does not look like a pro-lifer or a practicing Christian. He looks like a vegan hipster with emo hair. As a matter of fact, he sort of is a vegan hipster with emo hair. If you visit his loft apartment in an industrial section of downtown Dallas, he will offer you fermented tea with organic honey. You can lounge in a beanbag chair and talk about art while he surfs his Macbook and plays indie music and talks about Jesus.

A polite, friendly young man with a laconic kid-from-nowhere accent and a direct blue gaze, David Pomerantz — “Dave” to his friends — does not jibe with the stereotypical image of the angry activist holding signs outside a clinic. And he doesn’t mind, because that’s not the kind of pro-life activist Dave is.

He hails from Philadelphia, but he was attending Word of Life, a two-year Bible institute in New York, when he met Chris Slattery and Julie Beyel of EMC (Expectant Mother Care), a Manhattan pregnancy resource center. He was astonished to find that EMC had formulated a “new model” for approaching women outside abortion clinics.

EMC had a bus equipped with a sonogram machine. By approaching women outside the clinic with the offer of free help, with no mention of a pro-life ideology, they were able to see a staggering success rate. In fact, by their estimate, about 70% of women who got on the bus for a sonogram decided not to abort. In one day, they saw nine women decide on life for their children.

They did some simple math, and realized that if this success continued, 15 to 25 women a week, or about 800 a year, would choose life.

Excited by the possibilities inherent in this new approach, Dave contacted his friend and mentor Joe Baker, who flew in from Philly to see the results firsthand. Equally impressed, the two began to ferment the idea that would become Save the Storks.

Dave was already planning on attending Southwestern Theological Seminary in Dallas, so he headed down south. With Joe Baker developing the art and marketing, and the generous help of Dallas-based organization Get Involved for Life and other private donors to bring to life a sleeker, smaller, more mobile ultrasound vehicle, they were off and running.

Save the Storks was born. Or, if you prefer, flown in through the window.

“We don’t want to intimidate anyone. We don’t want to force anyone. We just want to serve.” Dave is the Local Director for Save the Storks. Today, along with Daryl Harshbarger, Head Female Client Advocate, and Julie Beyel in town from New York, we are having pizza (some of it vegan) in Southeast Dallas. Dave is explaining to me why Save the Storks is a new kind of pro-life action.

“No one is offended by our activism,” he says. “We’re delivering a loving message in a strong way.”

Here’s what happens: a woman is walking up to an abortion clinic. She is approached by Dave or Daryl or another member of Save the Storks.

“Hi, how are you? Would you like a free ultrasound?”

This is the approach. There is no dangling rosary, no graphic pamphlet, no doom-and-gloom. Just an offer of free help from a non-threatening, friendly, smiling young person.

And then there is the Stork bus.

The stork was chosen as the mascot because of its comforting, unoffensive, nostalgic connection to motherhood and pregnancy. We can all remember old cartoons where a smiling stork would fly in a window and lay a swaddled baby in a crib.

What Dave and the others weren’t aware of until later is the text of Job 39:13-17.

The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, but are her feathers and plumage like the stork’s?

She abandons her eggs on the ground and lets them be warmed in the sand.

She forgets that a foot may crush them or that some wild animal may trample them.

She treats her young harshly, as if they were not her own, with no fear that her labor may have been in vain.

For God has deprived her of wisdom; He has not endowed her with understanding.

This is the kind of thing that makes you whistle the Twilight Zone theme music.

The Stork bus, however, is free of all Old Testament references. It is a bright, lovely blue on the outside, and the inside is clean and free of clutter, with a welcoming but no-nonsense clinical feel. There is a little couch for the mother to sit on and speak to a counselor, and a padded bench where she can lie comfortably.

The ultrasound machine pulls out from underneath the bench. It is operated only by a licensed sonographer whose work is frequently reviewed by an OB/Gyn. In the back there is a small private toilet for pregnancy testing. It isn’t the slightest bit cramped or unpleasant; these mothers get only the best. The completed bus with the ultrasound machine was paid for by private donations to the tune of about $140,000.

The Stork bus is by no means the first mobile ultrasound vehicle — it was Chris Slattery’s mobile sonogram bus that inspired Dave and Joe in the first place — but it may be the smallest, lightest, and most practical. It doesn’t require a permit or special permission to park. It will fit in a parking space or even at a meter.

It is an abortion clinic’s worst nightmare.

So now this woman, who was going to go into an abortion clinic, is able to have a pregnancy test and a sonogram without ever reaching its doors.

But what happens now? She’s heard, “Yes, you’re pregnant! You’re this far along! There’s your baby! Here’s his heartbeat!”

So what does she hear next? “Good luck with that?”

Nope. Save the Storks is directly connected to Get Involved for Life and the two pregnancy centers it operates in Dallas, one uptown and one downtown. Also, needless to say, any expectant mother will be welcomed by whatever pregnancy center is closest to the bus at the time. The Stork team is prepared to call a cab for the mother if she needs a ride.

In other words, unlike the abortion clinic, the Storks and the pregnancy centers are in it for the long haul. They are going to get her what she needs to take care of herself and her baby, body and soul.

I don’t know about you, but I would be totally comfortable peeing in there.

“The heart of this ministry is the Gospel,” says Dave, after asking for more vegan marinara sauce. “There are two causes every Christian should take up: orphans and widows. This encompasses both.”

It is part of Save the Storks’ mission that every woman who steps on the bus hears the Gospel message. While this may seem off-putting to some, to the Storks it is an essential aspect of caring for the mother that goes along with the physical support and counseling she will receive through the pregnancy center.

“She is just as important as that child,” says Dave. “We aim to improve her quality of life… The major issue here is the devaluation of life, and the answer to every injustice on earth is the church of Jesus Christ.”

“Our ministry is designed to meet all the needs of the woman,” says Daryl. At the pregnancy center, every mother will receive whatever her personal situation calls for, be it help with affordable medical care, legal aid to escape from an abusive boyfriend, life skills counseling, mental health counseling, spiritual guidance, and more.

Which of course begs the question: if the Storks’ mission is in fact successful and Dallas pregnancy centers see 800 or so more mothers every year, how will they handle the added demand for resources?

The answer is simply: us.

“The churches need to stand up and start giving to their local pregnancy centers,” says Dave.

Without the generous help of good-hearted people giving what they can, pregnancy centers can’t work, and by extension neither can the Storks.

 

Daryl Harshbarger, Head Female Client Advocate. I don’t think it’s a requirement that you be extremely cute to be a part of Save the Storks, but it obviously can’t hurt.

Abortion clinic workers and management are used to seeing protesters outside their clinic. What they are not used to is a name brand.

The Save the Storks bus is slick, recognizable, welcoming, and — horror of horrors — it sits in between a mother and the abortion clinic doors. With a simple offer of no-strings-attached help — “Would you like a free ultrasound?” — and a bright, comforting image, it appeals to the desperate woman before she reaches the clinic.

She is not confronted. She is offered help. And while I firmly believe that virtually all sidewalk counselors and activists outside clinic are there for no other reason than to help women, the Storks are able topresent help first. That is the key. The average clinic sidewalk approach is, of necessity, “Please don’t kill your baby. Here’s why. And here’s help.” Because they have their awesome bus, Save the Storks are able to say, “Here’s help. Now please don’t kill your baby. Here’s why.”

Because they don’t have to lead with agenda, there are no warning bells for a desperate and defensive mother. There is only a friendly face.

This new model will absolutely revolutionize the front lines of pro-life activism.

Joe Baker, National Director

What is the battle cry of the pro-abortion movement? “Choice!” It is their mantra. What do you constantly hear from abortion advocates? “These desperate women feel like they are out of options.”

Right here, on four wheels, parked in front of the clinic, is another choice — one they might not even know they have. Inside that bus is an image of their baby waiting to be seen. Connected to that bus is a support system — in short, options.

Dave and the team have high hopes, and they should. The approach is breathtakingly simple and, if early tests are any indication, profoundly effective.

As mentioned, the Storks take to the streets of Dallas on March 13. Meanwhile their website is up and running at SaveTheStorks.com with the purpose of raising money to take the program national. A Save the Storks bus is not cheap, and it takes people to run it. While Dave and his team get things off the ground in Dallas, Joe is in charge of building a national movement.

The thought of a Stork bus in every major city in America should bring a smile to your face. Every one of these buses represents hundreds of lives saved every year.

I have met Dave and the gang. I have been on board the Stork bus. And I have never been more excited about a pro-life idea than I am about this one.

You probably are having the same reaction I did. You are probably thinking: “What can I do to help?”

First: spread the word. Use Facebook, Twitter, Twitbook, whatever, to share with people how awesome this is.

Second: go to SaveTheStorks.com now and volunteer. They need all kinds of stuff — bloggers, artists, counselors, you name it — all across the country to be part of their national team of Save the Storks volunteers. Whatever your talent is, Save the Storks can probably use it to help get Stork programs off and running across the country. You — yes, you! — can be a part of this movement from the ground up.

Third: donate if you can. Save your Starbucks money for a few days and buy a ridiculously cool Save the Storks T-shirt. Wear it and tell people about it. (I promise they’ll be curious.)

In just a few days, Dave, Daryl, and their remarkable bus hit the streets of Dallas, the city where abortion rights were born. As a native Dallasite, I hope what started here is ended here. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Save the Storks becomes a major factor in helping Dallas — and the country — see an end to abortion.

 

Advertisements

The Roots of Infanticide


Margaret Sanger

oval_ms  marg sanger

Woman and the New Race, ch. 6: “The Wickedness of Creating Large Families.” Here, Sanger argues that, because the conditions of large families tend to involve poverty and illness, it is better for everyone involved if a child’s life is snuffed out before he or she has a chance to pose difficulties to its family.

[We should] apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.

Plan for Peace” from Birth Control Review (April 1932, pp. 107-108)

Article 1. The purpose of the American Baby Code shall be to provide for a better distribution of babies… and to protect society against the propagation and increase of the unfit.
Article 4. No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit…
Article 6. No permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.

“America Needs a Code for Babies,” 27 Mar 1934

Give dysgenic groups [people with “bad genes”] in our population their choice of segregation or [compulsory] sterilization.

April 1932 Birth Control Review, pg. 108

Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.

Woman, Morality, and Birth Control. New York: New York Publishing Company, 1922. Page 12.

We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities.  The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.

Margaret Sanger’s December 19, 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, 255 Adams Street, Milton, Massachusetts. Also described in Linda Gordon’sWoman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1976.

A woman’s duty: To look the whole world in the face with a go-to-hell look in the eyes… to speak and act in defiance of convention.

The Woman Rebel, Volume I, Number 1

[The most penetrating thinkers] are coming to see that a qualitative factor as opposed to a quantitative one is of primary importance in dealing with the great masses of humanity

Pivot of Civilization, 1922. Here, Margaret Sanger speaks on her eugenic philosophy – that only the types of “quality” people she and her peers viewed as worthy of life should be allowed to live.

Such parents swell the pathetic ranks of the unemployed. Feeble-mindedness perpetuates itself from the ranks of those who are blandly indifferent to their racial responsibilities. And it is largely this type of humanity we are now drawing upon to populate our world for the generations to come. In this orgy of multiplying and replenishing the earth, this type is pari passu multiplying and perpetuating those direst evils in which we must, if civilization is to survive, extirpate by the very roots.

The Need for Birth Control in America (quoted by Angela Franks.)

Women of the working class, especially wage workers, should not have more than two children at most. The average working man can support no more and and the average working woman can take care of no more in decent fashion.

“Family Limitation,” eighth edition revised, 1918

LifeNews Note: Lauren is a Legislative Associate for Texas Right to Life and a graduate of Ave Maria University. This post originally appeared at Live Action News and is reprinted with permission.

Sanger addressing KKK meeting
319715_4787404915619_1237954156_n

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?


The Autumn season blesses us with a myriad of warm colors as we watch God’s green vegetation slipped slumberly into hibernation for the cold winter months ahead.   The rays of the sun add a snuggly warmth as one takes a stroll along the pathways of the Creator’s world, enjoying the gentle breeze as it gingerly feathers the hair.  This is the season for hot mulled cider, toasted marshmallows over an outdoor wood burning fire, and of course for many true blooded Americans, the arrival of Football season.  We are indeed so spoiled!  As is true to form in this sin-cursed world, the beauty and  of autumn also has its blemish.

christian-halloween Each year, millions of children are allowed to engage in a ritual which is a reproach to God.  Included among those are the offspring of Born-again Christians who are  uninformed or choose to dance with the  world in participating in this event.  One only needs to meander through the candy aisle of a retail store to be reminded of the event of which this article addresses.

The last days of October have become a traditional time of dressing up in costumes, trick or treating, bobbing for apples and of course carving pumpkins.  It is an event in which people visit haunted houses and cornfields, and attend  masquerade parties.  Among the revelers are God’s people who are totally unaware of the Satanic  influence immersed in these traditions.

It is believed that the origin of Halloween began with the Celtic people.  Their festival of Samhein, the Lord of the Dead, was celebrated at the end of summer and the beginning of darker days of the year. These folk believed that as the days became darker  that this was a time when the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred and the ghosts of the dead returned to earth causing havoc and damaging crops.  These people would dress in costumes to scare away the evil spirits.  They also carved vegetables, such as gourds or pumpkins to further their belief that if they and their pumpkin reassembled evil spirits that the spirits of their dead would leave them alone.

The practice of ‘bobbing for apples’ originated with the Romans.  Their god, Pomona, the goddess of fruit and trees.  was celebrated in the festival of Parenthalia , to honor the dead. She was worshipped in the practice of bobbing for apples.  Other games which have become a tradition in our lifetime include the ouija board which advocates necromancy, an attempt to communicate with the dead.

The carving of pumpkins originated with the Legend of Stingy Jack.  Stingy Jack supposedly invited the devil to have a drink with him, and in true character, Jack conned the devil into paying for his drink.  This is the beginning of the story which concluded with Jack not being allowed into either heaven or hell.  He wanders around the world looking  for a place to ‘call home’, on Halloween.  Folk would place a lighted gourd, or pumpkin on their door step to frighten his evil spirit away.

In Ireland, they believe that their dead return to their former homes on Halloween.  Alters decorated with candy, flowers and samples of the deceased’s favorite food were erected in the home.  During the middle ages, the Egyptians considered cats sacred and thereby honored the Goddess Bast.  The Greeks worshipped  her sister goddess  Artemis, while the Roman counterpart was Diana, who is also known as the Queen of witches.  Thus the cat, especially the ‘black’ cat became associated with the worshipping of their dead.

Costumes were worn by Druids, a priestly class in Britain, Ireland and Gaul during the Iron Age, while they were offering live sacrifices in a bonfire; a fire of burning bones. ( bone – fire).   Their masks were to impersonate their gods, and in so doing supposedly manifested their pagan god in their flesh.

In recent years the god of this world has successfully lured the historical spiritual origin of this yearly celebration into a secular celebration.  It has become another one of those ‘let’s party and have fun’ events which has prospered in the world of commercialism.  As Christians we need to be aware that participating in this occult occasion cannot be glorifying to the Lord

During the Reformation period in England when Marin Luther shook up the church with the posting of his thesis, the celebration of Halloween ceased.  It is ironic that Luther posted his 95 Thesis of Contention on the Wittenburg church on Halloween of 1517.  In doing so he changed the course of history which led to the common people having access to God’s Word.  Therein they would find that the celebration of Halloween began with the Baal worship after the  fall of man.

God commands us that we are to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.  We are to abstain from all appearances of evil  We may wish to believe that celebrating Halloween is not a serious matter, but God does and so does SATAN!.   I plead with parents in the Name of Jesus, that they research the origin of this Holy Day of the Occult and learn for themselves that it is a reproach to God for his people to participate in this event in any way, shape or form.

Incest – the Defilement of Children


The media is becoming more riddled with heart breaking articles of children, young and old, being abused at the hands of their parents, relatives, friends or others in supposedly positions of trust.  Although many of the nastiest cases reported are those of physical abuse,  rarely are there reports of emotional or verbal abuse.  Whatever the type of degrading treatment a child receives at the hands of others, it often leaves scars that hinder the childs life, sometimes even into old age.  The most devastating, degrading and disgusting infraction upon a child is sometimes at the perverted hand of the very one who brought them into the world.  The scars of this abuse interfere in almost all aspects of the childs maturty, in their relationship with others, their marriage partner and especially in their trust of authority.   This particular heinous sin against children for the most part is a sordid relationship of a father to his daughter, but cases are reported where a Mom entices her son.  Whether the act is by force or intimidation, it is not only an abomination to God, but it violates the entire mind, body and soul of a child.

Sadly, this sin is not necessarily limited to the unsaved parent, but it is becoming evident that even those who name the Name of Christ are guilty of practicing   incestuous relationships with their children.  A wall of secrecy prevails within the ‘closets’ of the Christian community.   God states in Luke 17: 1 that it would be better for them that a millstone were hanged about their neck, and be cast into the sea, than that they should offed one of these little ones.  Thrown into the sea where there is not burial maker to acknowledge their prior existence.  Jesus spoke harshly to religious leaders whose facade covered their true character.   In Matthew 23:27,28, he referred to them as white sepulchres, which appear beautiful on the outside, but within are dead mens bones and all uncleaness……..ye also outwardly appear righteous ……..but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Because of the secrecy of this horrendous infraction upon the innocency of children, these youngsters often suffer in silence.  Their trust and innocence has been betrayed and they are hesitant to seek help because they have been ‘sworn’  threatened or bribed into secrecy.  These ravaged little ones are unable to trust anyone; their minds are filled with distorted knowledge which  tarnishes their innocence.  Their cry can be found in Psalm 41:9  Yea, mine own familiar friend in whom I trusted….hath lifted up his heel against me.  Sometimes a parent will find out through a Camp counsellor that their child is being molested by the spouse; others have found out when the child had been admitted to the hospital for an unrelated ailment.  However, or whenever a parent discovers the sexual abuse of the child, she should seek the counsel of the Pastor to assist in dealing with the problem.

Non verbal cries for help  in these scenarios can sometimes be detected by changes in behaviors.   Some sexually abused children will not want to be left alone with the abusing parent.  Young girls will want to go to the grocery with Mom, or even accompany her to the hairdressers rather than stay home with Dad.  There may be an uneainess in their demeanor or a pleading in their eyes, when being instructed to remain at home.  Other children will indulge in overeating to compensate for the stress related to the confusing nature of this type of abuse.  Some children will go from the extreme of profound modesty to sensuousness in dressing.   Many books have been written by unsaved authors that set forth other symptoms displayed by victims of incest.  The important thing to remember is that when the child has noticeable changes in their behavior it is a red flag that something is amiss.  It is important to seek wisdom from the Lord to direct you to the source of the problem.  Whether  it be sexual abuse or any other  issue, the child will need to be dealt with in a compassionate caring manner.

Years ago, a wise Pastor counselled a young mother to write a letter to the wife of the president of a Christian University about her history of paternal sexual abuse.  Much to her surprise, the lady sent her a manuscript of her new book “Mount Up on Wounded Wings”.  The book was written from a Christian perspective on overcoming incest as well as other childhood atrocities.  I would recommend this publication to anyone who needs or is in need of being counselled concerning this topic.  The author of the book is Beneth Peter Jones.

Bathsheba – A Tarnished Christian


bathshebaBathsheba is best known for being an adulteress, a woman involved in infidelity with King David.  This sin resulted in her pregnancy, her husband’s murder and the death of her firstborn son.  Her story did not end at this point in her life.   Fortunately, we learn that her life did have a happy ending.

Bathsheba came from a God-fearing family.  She became the wife of Uriah, one of the most trusted and loyal of Kind Davids military leaders.l  Her grandfather, Ahithophel, was a trusted counselor of King David’s.  As with most Grandfather’s Ahithophel was proud of his beautiful granddaughter and proud of her valiant husband.

Temptation often has as its breeding ground situations where we are not being obedient to the will of God in our lives.  David a valiant leader, decided to take time off from fighting the battles with his enemies and began lounging around the house.  Perhaps he thought that since he had bravely trusted men to do the fighting that he did not need to become involved in the rigors and risks of battle.  Bathsheba, likewise, was not in the will of God because she did not see to it that her bathing was not being observed by others,  The Bible is not clear whether she knew that King David was looking upon her nude body; nor whether she made the effort to even look around to make sure that she was not being watched.  This was a perfect medium for Satan to develop the necessary temptation to lure both of these foolish people into sin.

King David looked, then he lusted, and then he lured Bathsheba into his bed.  The Lord warns us that when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.    Bathsheba was summoned to the King’s palace, possibly being totally unaware of the nature of the invitation.  Perhaps, in her heart she feared that it was bad news concerning her faithful husband, Uriah.  This woman had a Godly, trusting husband who was very loyal to the King; risking his life in the service of her seducer.  However, once she became aware of the King’s intentions, she could have fled as Joseph did when Potiphers wife attempted to seduce him.  She did not!

God has made it clear that our sin will find us out, and so it was with the adulterous affair of King David and Bathsheba.  She became pregnant.  They decided to cover up their sin by bringing Uriah home from the battle in hopes that he would be intimate with his wife and thereby no one would know that the child was actually fathered by Kind David.  However, being the man of character that he was, Uriah refrained from being with his wife because his men in battle were not able to be with their wives.  David, getting a little desperate, even got Uriah drunk, thinking that he would mellow and sleep with Bathsheba.  It would also seem plausible that Bathsheba, herself, did all that she should do to allure her husband into her bed.

Plan “A” having failed, King David, succumbed further into sin, by arranging for Uriah to be killed in battle.  Having seemingly been able to cover up his sin, he married Bathsheba.  Foolish David did he not remember that Jehovah knew all about his sin.  In fact, God sent his prophet, Nathan, to confront David.  Once rebuked, David came to his senses, confessed his sin against the Lord, and the Lord forgave him.   Psalm 51 is evidence of David’s sorrow and repentance of his transgression against the Lord.  Unfortunately, sin always has consequences.  The Lord chose to strike the child with an illness that would result in his death.  God’s Word is true, we are not to be deceived; God will not be mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  David arranged for the death of Uriah,  God arranged for the death of the child that David had fathered with Bathsheba.

Being restored into a fellowship with God is as refreshing as a gentle spring rain.   We learn from scripture that there is much rejoicing in heaven over a sinner that repenteth.  A with the prodigal son, God is eager to begin bestowing blessings upon his wandering sheep that returned to the fold.

bible-episode-2-david-bathsheba-solomon-pKing David is remembered as a man after God’s own heart.  Bathsheba, having also repented, became the mother of Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived.  In addition, she is mentioned in the genealogy of out Lord Jesus.   Both of these did not allow sin to ruin their lives.  Once forgiven by God, they put the ugly past behind them and pressed forward in the service of the Lord.  Let this be a  lesson for all of us who have been delivered from sin-ridden pasts.  ………………more as the Lord leads.

 

 

ex1