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

Legalized Abortion & the Anniversary of Roe v Wade

Dear Christian Sisters,

Today, January 22nd, is the 45th anniversary of Roe v Wade.

Although I am heartbroken that our country has given in to satan’s* lies, let us not be deceived into thinking that reversing Roe v Wade will end abortion. It won’t.

Abortion is illegal in countries all over the world, yet the abortion rate is still high in those countries.

Uganda’s Abortion Rate

In Uganda, where abortion is illegal, the abortion rate is thought to be as high as 70%. What will change that?

Changing the abortion rate requires a societal change away from pre-marital sex, adultery, and tribal traditions of having multiple wives to following what the Bible says about sex—that is, only having sex with the one person whom you marry.

Cheryl preaching sexual integrity in Kigumba, Uganda
Crazy Hair Krichbaum, or as my mission-trip teammates called me, Chastity Krichbaum. Pic taken in Kigumba, Uganda January 3, 2018

The whole society has to change, and that change needs to begin within the church. For that very reason, I have been preaching sexual integrity in Uganda.

Now to do the same here in the United States. (New ministry beginning this year: MybodyMyworship, which you can find on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.)

The Effects of Reversing Roe v Wade

More Needs in the United States

When (not if) we reverse Roe v Wade, the need to care for women will rise.

We will have more women in crisis pregnancy centers.

We will have more women in emergency rooms because women will go to unsafe doctors or take homemade concoctions that not only kill the babies but hurt themselves.

We will have more children in the foster care system.

We will also have more children born with disabilities.

Are you ready for that reality?

What are you doing through your church to get ready?

Further, you will have even more women angry at Christians because, from their perspective, we are putting them into bondage.

We need to stand firm. We need to convince them that we are protecting them from satan’s* bondage of lies and darkness.

Influencing the Abortion Rate Worldwide

Reversing Roe v Wade will also reduce the abortion rate worldwide.

Why? Because with legalized abortion, we are telling the rest of the world that abortion is okay. Despite their own laws, they are following our example.

Whether we like it or not, we are watched by the world. Whether we agree or not, we are perceived to be a Christian country.

Because we are perceived to be a Christian country, we are telling the rest of the world that Christ approves of abortion at any point in the pregnancy.

By restricting pro-abortion laws and eventually reversing Roe v Wade, we are telling the world that Christ is against abortion.

Simultaneously Pro-Active in Politics and Pro-Active in Our Communities

So let’s get ready. In politics:

Through your church:

The abortion rate is not going to change with us sitting here idly reading blog posts. Let’s get to work.

In Christ,

Cheryl

* I refuse to capitalize “satan.” He does not deserve the respect of a capitalized name.

Abortion: Changing the Conversation

Dear Christian Sisters,

I am Cheryl Krichbaum, a wife, a mom, a former web-based training project manager, a prayer warrior, and the founder of MyBodyMyWorship, which you can find on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

I am an outspoken Christian, just telling it like it is. And I have a mission.

Cheryl Krichbaum

My mission is to change the conversation about abortion. Perhaps as a result, Christians will think and talk differently about abortion and then accomplish the Great Commission one hurting woman—and man—at a time.

I firmly believe that the pro-life movement is a Great Commission opportunity:

Rather than just pro-life, let’s be pro-eternal-life.

Why CherylKrichbaum.com?

Naming my website with my name rather than a created name for my ministry provides me the opportunity to write about whatever the Lord places on my heart, even if that’s something other than abortion and purity. For the foreseeable future, though, my posts will address those issues.

Naming my website CherylKrichbaum.com may seem arrogant to you, but for me it’s recognition that “Cheryl Krichbaum” is my Christian name, a name taken in humbleness and gratitude to my Father above.

Cheryl Krichbaum is my married name, the name I took when I married Russ. Just five months before we got married, I chose to have a personal relationship with Christ. That is, I changed from being a Christian by birth to a Christian by choice. I changed from being a hearer of The Word to a doer of The Word. I changed from being a Christian by title to a disciple of Christ.

Russ is my second husband. When I was married the first time (before I became a Christian), I did not change my name. So, until I married Russ (after I became a Christian), I had always had my birth name.

When Russ and I got engaged, I did not want to change my name. I remember that we argued about it. Russ felt emasculated, but I was offended, too. For me, it wasn’t about Russ. It was about wanting to feel valued for me.

Somewhere in those four months that we were engaged, the Lord softened my heart and made me realize that Hewas giving me a new name. So Cheryl Krichbaum not only is my married name, not only the name that I chose, but the name that reflects both Russ’ love for me and God’s love for me.

My Story Exchanged for His Story

You can read my story in the following blog posts: Faces of Abortion and Forgiveness and Peace that Passes All Understanding or watch my testimony on Facebook.

Someday you’ll be able to read many more details in my memoir, which I am editing and preparing for publication right now.

I Believe

I believe that we need to change the focus from babies who have no voice to women who are in charge of their own bodies. The pro-choice movement is all about the women, so we need to address their issues head on (know thy audience!). That’s what a true Aristotelian rhetorician would do. That’s what the Apostle Paul, a classical rhetorician, would do. That’s what we need to do, too.

We need to:

  • focus on saving eternal lives, not just mortal lives.
  • talk about abortion and sexual integrity more in church than in politics. Why? Because abortion is illegal in most countries throughout the world, yet the abortion rate in those countries is still very high. Yes, we need to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Yes, we need to reverse Roe v Wade. But we also need to understand that the law won’t change hearts. Only Christ can do that.
  • teach men, women, and children to be obedient to God’s rules about sex. Just think about how many fewer abortions would be “needed” if there were fewer crisis pregnancies.
  • repent over our own sexual sins and our own silence about abortion and sexual immorality.
  • help men and women heal from abortion so that they do not abort again and heal from sexual immorality so that they have sex only within marriage.

In Christ,

Cheryl

Abortion is Healthcare vs Abortion Causes Psychological Damage

Dear Christian Sisters,

Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood Director turned pro-life advocate, sent an email about billboards like this one in Cleveland, OH:

It’s disgusting.

I can’t afford billboards, but I can afford social media, which has the potential to reach far more people. So, I’m countering these billboards with social media “billboards.”

But unlike the pro-choice movement, I am making mine personal. Mine don’t say “abortion causes.” Mine focus on the women who have abortions–because abortion does not just affect the baby; it affects the woman. And if you want women to stop aborting, then you need to make the message about them.

If you are on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, please like and share my billboards @MyBodyMyWorship. Or send the images below via email.

Post-abortive women are more likely to become depressed. @MyBodyMyWorshipPost-abortive women are more likely to abuse alcohol. @MyBodyMyWorshipPost-abortive women are more likely to get addicted to drugs. @MyBodyMyWorshipPost-abortive women are more likely to have anxiety. @MyBodyMyWorshipPost-abortive women are more likely to commit suicide. @MyBodyMyWorshipPost-abortive women are likely to abort more than once. @MyBodyMyWorshipPost-abortive women live in spiritual darkness until they have Christ. @MyBodyMyWorship

In Christ,

Cheryl

MyBodyMyWorship—God’s Counter to “My body. My choice.”

Dear Christian Sisters,

It all came together in Uganda.

A year ago, I came home from Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, where I had been on my first short-term mission trip. While teaching the Bible to children, I met a 5-year-old boy with Down Syndrome. His left eye was closed, just his left eye.Ugandan boy with Down Syndrome

I was born with my left eye closed, too. But, even though my family had little money, we did have insurance, so I have had 4 surgeries to open the lid. (As a result, the lid doesn’t like to close any more, and I wink at everyone!)

I have boys with mild special needs, and I am in a small group of moms of special needs children.

Raising children isn’t easy. Raising a child with special needs is outright challenging.

I can’t imagine how challenging it is for that mother to raise a boy with Down Syndrome in a developing country where her son not only will never go to school but is thought to be a curse or demon possessed.

As I asked our pastors what happens to children with special needs, I was confronted by the horror of murder.

Often, African women who have children with obvious physical deformities will drop their children into a pit. And by pit, I mean an outhouse with no seat. A toilet. An African squatty potty.

In the U.S., we don’t wait until the child is born. If the results of the amniocentesis indicate Down Syndrome, we abort.

What’s the difference?
Size—The baby may be smaller.
Location—The baby is inside a womb instead of outside.

It’s still murder.

I asked whether abortion was legal in Uganda. No, it’s not legal. But women still abort.

Keep that in mind when you think about abortion as a political issue. Yes, we need to change the law. But the law doesn’t change hearts. Only Christ can do that.

One of the pastors on the mission trip went on to talk about one of his pet peeves—how we talk to our daughters sends them to abort. He preached there in Uganda against telling our daughters not to come home pregnant because when we say that, our daughters abort rather than shaming their families.

Is it really any different in the U.S.?

With that, I knew what the Lord was calling me to do. He was calling me to change the conversation about abortion.

Abortion: Changing the ConversationAs I’ve been speaking and blogging over the last year, the Lord gave me His vision for a new ministry. My friend and I have named it MyBodyMyWorship—all together because they are intertwined.MyBodyMyWorship

You may have seen the pro-choice movement called “My body. My choice.” MyBodyMyWorship is God’s counter-movement.

While again in Uganda over New Year’s, it all came together. I understood what the Lord wants MyBodyMyWorship to do—teach Christians what it means to worship Him in all ways:

  • Song
  • Lifting hands
  • Dance
  • Kneeling in reverence
  • Serving others

—just to name a few. But also to worship Him with our bodies:

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.
Romans‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Why Christians?

  • Because Christians need to get out of abortion clinics.
  • Because Christians need to obey Christ’s commands about sex.
  • Because people who say they are Christians need to become Christ followers.

So MyBodyMyWorship will teach:

  • What it means to worship God
  • The psychological effects of abortion
  • The biblical reasons to not abort
  • What science says about how we bond to our sex partners—all of them
  • The biblical reasons to have sex with only your spouse
  • How to heal from abortion and from sexual immorality

And will include:

  • Worship music
  • Testimonies
  • Prayer

based on Romans 12:1-2 and 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.

I had the opportunity to teach a shortened version while in Uganda, and it was well received. People are hungry for the truth.

Stay tuned for MyBodyMyWorship events.

Ask us to schedule an event at your church.

Follow @MyBodyMyWorship on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In Christ,

Cheryl

What about Mary’s Parents? (#BraveLikeMary Series)

Dear Christian Sisters,

Like you, I have a lot of questions for God, questions that I am not likely to know the answers to on this side of heaven.

One of those questions is: What happened when Mary told her parents that she was pregnant?

In the verses after Mary said “yes” to God, we learn that she went to Judah to visit Elizabeth.

Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. Luke 1:39-40

But it’s not like Mary just hopped in her car and drove for 2 hours to get from Nazareth to a city near Jerusalem. Back then, it was a four-day walk wrought with danger, especially for a young woman traveling alone.

And it’s not like she could stop at McDonald’s along the way. She had to prepare and pack food for her journey.

So when scripture says she went in a hurry, she didn’t go in an American hurry. But she did interrupt her wedding plans to go.

Mary and her parents had been preparing for her wedding. Certainly her parents would not have just let her go to visit their relative without explanation.

How did she tell them? Did they believe that she was going to be the mother of the Messiah?

Probably not.

I mean really. What do we know about Mary’s parents? Let’s think ahead to what we know about the rest of the story:

Mary and Joseph are away from Nazareth for over 2 years, so we know that Mary did not hurry home to show her beautiful baby to her parents.

Even after returning from Egypt, the couple planned to live in Bethlehem. They only returned to Nazareth because Joseph had another dream:

But he heard that Archelaus was now king in Judea. Archelaus became king when his father Herod died. So Joseph was afraid to go there. Then, after being warned in a dream, he went away to the area of Galilee. He went to a town called Nazareth and lived there. This gave full meaning to what God said through the prophets. God said the Messiah would be called a Nazarene.

Matthew 2:22-23

Because Mary does not tell us about her parents, I think that Mary’s parents did not believe that her baby was the Messiah.

Because we know that people thought Jesus was borne of fornication (John 8:41), I think that Mary’s parents were ashamed.

Now, we don’t know if Mary reconciled with her parents. She may have. But we do know that her parents missed out on at least the first two years of Jesus’ life.

And I bet He was an adorable baby!

Can you imagine the regret her parents had when they went to heaven and discovered that they said “no” to Jesus?

What about you? If your teenager were to come home with a baby, how would you react? Would you miss out on the first two years of your grandchild’s life? When you get to heaven, would you have regrets?

In Christ,

Cheryl

Elizabeth’s Barrenness—Her Perspective vs God’s 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 try to 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 were the Jewish 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.

Barrenness

Let me ask you this: Is an inability to have children a curse from God?

I hope you said no!

The answer is in Luke 1:6-7 (quoted above). Both Zacharias and Elizabeth were righteous in the Lord, yet they did not have children.

God is love (1 John 4:8). A curse cannot come from love.

If Elizabeth’s story is like your story, know that your challenge to conceive or to carry a child to term is not about how good you are.

It’s about furthering God’s kingdom.

God’s Perspective

We all have our stories. 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 that of 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 7 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 diaper changes.

I walked boys in 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 2-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
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.

[Will you sponsor my next mission trip to Uganda? (Dec 26, 2017-Jan 6, 2018) Your tax-deductible donation can be made online.]

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.

I am also 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 nation—as for all the nations that have legalized abortion—I’m sure God is angry. He founded the United States based on His commandments, yet as a nation 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.”)

A good friend of mine has a lot to say about this. I’ve asked her to be my guest blogger in January, which is Sanctity of Human Life month, so stay tuned!

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

In Christ,

Cheryl

PS: Here is the link to my son’s He Said/She Said blog post titled, “My First Flight on a 777.”

Facebook Live Sept 30, 2017

I was on Facebook Live today with an ASL interpreter telling my story.

  1. Our lives are messy. The circumstances surrounding a woman’s decision to abort are messy.
  2. The forgiveness that comes from Christ is freeing. We should never put the heaviness of guilt back onto a woman.

Thank you, Pam, for interpreting!

Part 5: Abortion & the Bible

Dear Pro-Choice Christian Sisters,

You may have heard it said that the Bible says nothing about abortion, but I say that the Bible says a lot about valuing the pre-born.

And before you get mad at me, let me tell you that I have had an abortion. (I wrote some of my story in “Part 2: Abortion & the Church,” in “Part 3: Abortion & Our Words,” on Facebook Live, and in “Faces of Abortion.”)

Please do not think that I am writing to you from a “holier-than-thou” pedestal. The last thing I want to do is tell the world that I had an abortion.

But I am telling you anyway because I do not want the emotional pain of abortion for you—or for anyone.

What I did was wrong. But I know that the Lord has forgiven me. If you need forgiveness and can’t wait for my blog on that, then go to Psalm 51 and read it as if you wrote it, as if you are saying it to God yourself.

Not only has God forgiven me, but He has also called me to cry loudly, to not to hold back, and to raise my voice like a trumpet (Isaiah 58:1a).

You see, I used to be you. I was raised in the church and yet I had an abortion anyway. I volunteered for Planned Parenthood Action Fund. I counter-protested the Christians who picketed outside an abortion clinic. I voted solely on whether a candidate was pro-choice.

If I had understood the scriptures, I’m sure that I would not have had an abortion. Knowing what I know now about how darkness fell over my life, I do not want that pain for anyone—not you, not your friends, not even my enemies. You are my sisters in Christ!

Ever since the Lord first showed His love for me in very practical ways, I have studied the Bible. He has taught me how to understand the Bible. He has taught me how to pray.

So today I pray that you will hear me out—or as Jesus would say, “She who has ears, let her hear” (Matt 11:15, 13:9, 13:43; Mark 4:9; Luke 8:8, 14:35).

Lord, bless the readers of this blog post in ways that they feel, without doubt, that those blessings came from You. Open their minds to understanding the scriptures (Luke 24:45). Let us remember that You are love (1 John 4:8). You love the world, the whole world (John 3:16). You do not love only the men but also the women. Lord, if any readers do not believe Your love for them, let them read “Part 2: Abortion & the Church,” to see how Your Son, Jesus, lovingly treated the woman at the well and the woman caught in adultery. I ask these things in the name of Jesus. Amen!

Choosing Light Not Darkness

When I had an abortion at age 17, darkness fell over my life. Before “The Walking Dead” became a TV show, I referred to myself as the walking dead because I looked alive. I pretended to be happy. But I had no joy.

I realize this now that I have been called out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9) and have received mercy (1 Peter 2:10). I have turned from darkness to light and have received forgiveness (Acts 26:18). Now I have the joy of the Lord (Nehemiah 8:10) and peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

You see, when we choose to follow Jesus, we walk in the light (John 8:12). I like it much better here! I invite you to join me so that you, too, can feel the joy of the Lord.

The Word Abortion Is Not in the Bible

You may be thinking, “Well, that’s fine for you, but I know that the Bible doesn’t say anything about abortion.” Since the Bible does not have the word abortion in it, I can see your point. But I ask you to spend some time with me today exploring why pro-life Christians still believe that abortion is wrong in the eyes of the Lord.

For Christianity “is not a blind leap in the dark; faith is a reasoned response to God’s Self revelation” (Dr. Bill Creasy).

You are right that the word abortion is not in the Bible. You can find a lot about sex, money, and repentance in the Bible but not any stories of abortion. Why is that?

Old Testament Jews Valued Children

Let’s remember that the Old Testament was written for Jews, which was a culture that valued children. Because the Jews valued children, there was no reason to instruct them to not end their pregnancies. How do we know they valued children?

  1. We know that they valued children because the Old Testament includes many genealogies—lists of people in their family history, their ancestors (genealogies of Cain, Adam, Noah, Shem, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob/Israel, Esau, Joseph, Jacob’s grandchildren, census by tribe of genealogical record, David’s ancestors, Samuel’s ancestors—We’re only at the 9th book out of 66; we haven’t even gotten to Jesus’ genealogy through Joseph or through Mary).
  2. We know that they valued children because of how women reacted to not being able to have children (Sarah, Abimelech’s wife and female slaves, Rebekah, Rachel, Samson’s mother, Hannah, Michal, the Shunammite Woman, and New Testament Jew Elizabeth).
  3. We know that they valued children because of King David and Bathsheba’s story. Do you know this story? You may remember that Solomon, who becomes king after David, is Bathsheba’s son, but do you remember that Solomon had an older brother who was born as a result of adultery?

That’s right, David, the man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22; 1 Sam 13:14; Ps 89:20; Acts 7:46), broke one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18). Actually, he broke at least two (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17). Read on.

David and Bathsheba’s Story

There are many cool things about David’s story. Everyone knows the gist of the David and Goliath story. Many know that he was anointed king over Israel by Samuel, but many miss that it was another 13 or so years before he actually became king.

Everything about David’s story is interesting. There’s plenty of drama in David’s life to keep you riveted for years. But here we’re going to focus on how David and Bathsheba got together.

At this point in his story, David is king over all of Israel. David stayed home when he should’ve been at the battlefield. He sent all his men to battle while he stayed home (2 Sam 11:1), including Bathsheba’s husband Uriah (2 Sam 11:3, 1 Chron 11:26, 41).

While hanging out on his own rooftop, David saw Uriah’s wife Bathsheba bathing (evidently Uriah’s home was nearby), he summoned her, and he had sex with her. She got pregnant (2 Sam 11:2-5).

What we don’t know is whether David and Bathsheba “had eyes for each other” before this story or whether she had sex with him because he was the king and reasoned that she couldn’t say “no.” My personal opinion, based on how Bathsheba interacts with David throughout their lifetimes, is that they had eyes for each other. But that’s my opinion, not fact.

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 that’s not what God’s chosen people did.

Instead, David tries to trick Uriah into having sex with his own wife so that he would think that the very large baby born prematurely was his (2 Sam 11:6-8). Uriah doesn’t fall for the trick (2 Sam 11:9-13), so David has him killed in battle (2 Sam 11:14-21).

After Bathsheba mourned the death of Uriah, David married her and she had a son. “But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord” (2 Sam 11:27).

The Lord sent Nathan to David to rebuke him for what he had done (2 Sam 12:1). Basically, through Nathan, God says, I gave you everything. “Why have you despised the word of the Lord by doing evil in His sight?” (2 Sam 12:8-9)

Despised the word of the Lord.

The Lord explains the consequences of David’s sin (2 Sam 12:11-12, 14), David feels convicted of his own sin (2 Sam 12:13, Ps 51:3-4), and his son gets sick and dies (2 Sam 12:15-19).

In summary, David decided that it was better to kill one of his own mighty men of the armies (1 Chron 11:26, 41) than to kill the pre-born baby boy.

Why? Because the Jews valued children.

And because the Jews valued children, there was no reason to instruct them to not end their pregnancies.

What God Said About the Jew Who Did Not Value Children

Were there Jews who killed their children?

Yes, King Ahaz burned his sons in fire as sacrifices to a foreign god “according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons of Israel” (2 Kings 16:3; 2 Chron 28:3). The nations whom the Lord had driven out were the ethnic groups that lived in the Promised Land while the Jews spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness.

How did God feel about what Ahaz did? The Bible says that Ahaz “did not do right in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 16:2; 2 Chron 28:1).

Over 100 years later, the Lord sends Jeremiah to the same location as Ahaz’s blood sacrifices, the “blood of the innocent” (Jeremiah 19:4), and referred to the blood sacrifices as “a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind” (Jeremiah 19:5).

If blood sacrifices of children never entered God’s mind, why would abortion?

Ahaz was worshipping gods of wood and stone (Ezekiel 20:31-32).

What are our gods of wood and stone?
Paper money and diamonds, perhaps?
How many times do we women abort babies because of how costly it will be to go through with the pregnancy?

“For when you offer your gifts and make your sons pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols, even to this day. So shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live,” says the Lord God, “I will not be inquired of by you. What you have in your mind shall never be, when you say, ‘We will be like the Gentiles, like the families in other countries, serving wood and stone.’”
Ezekiel 20:31-32 NKJV

How is it that we expect God to be inquired of by us—that is, why do we expect God to listen to us—when we are bowing to wood and stone gods rather than Him?

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
Matthew 6:24 NASB

Bible Shows That Pre-Born Are Children

Now you might be thinking of the argument that the pre-born are not babies or are not human until they are born.

First
Let me ask you this: If I would not have had an abortion, what would have happened? I would have given birth to a baby, a human. Not a dog, not a monkey, but a human baby who would have grown up and today would be 29 years old.

Second
Surely someone before me has quoted to you all sorts of verses that show that God knew people before they were born. Here is the list for you to read on your own:

Third
The Law in the Bible (Exodus 21:22-25) says that if two men struggle and strike a pregnant woman in the process, causing harm to the pre-born, then the penalty is a life for a life, that is, his life for the baby’s life.

Fourth
But here’s the best proof that I have heard to date. I learned this from Pastor Lon Solomon of McLean Bible Church. The New Testament was written in Greek, and Pastor Lon points out that the same Greek word brephos is used to refer to:

  • John the Baptist when he was still in Elizabeth’s womb (Luke 1:41, 44)
    AND
  • babies when the disciples were bringing their children to Jesus so that He could touch them (Luke 18:15-17).

Not sure if you believe me? Read for yourself on the Blue Letter Bible website. Be sure to scroll down for all the uses of brephos.

By Him all things were created both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible (Colossians 3:16a).

The body is not for immorality but for the Lord and the Lord is for the body (1 Corintians 6:13b).

Choose God’s Light & Teach Other Christians To Do the Same

Dear Christian Sister, do not despise the word of the Lord. Do not do evil in His sight. Believe that the Bible demonstrates that God values the lives of children and pre-born babies. As a follower of Christ, He wants you to value the lives of children and pre-born babies, too.

Choose life for yourself.
Teach your daughters and sons to choose life.
Teach all those at your church to choose life.
Choose the Light.

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.

Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.

But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
Ephesians 5:6-14 NKJV

We Christians have got to get this right. The Lord cannot use us in the world when we are living like the world (see Romans 12:2; James 4:4).

We Christians have got to stay out of abortion clinics—for where our treasures are, there our hearts are also (Matt 6:21).

If you are conflicted, if you are unsure, if you are considering an abortion, please contact me privately. There’s no judgment here. Let me pray for you. Let me help you find help near you.

With the love of Christ,

Cheryl

Abortion & _______ Series:

Abortion & the Great Commission | Abortion & the Church | Abortion & Our Words | Abortion & Politics | Abortion & the Bible | Abortion & Revival