Category Archives: yield


She was 22 years old and it wasn’t the first time. There were at least two others before this one and it’s likely there had been one more before those. No one knows for sure. Twenty-two and this one was a bit more of a surprise.

You’d think she’d know better by now but it was 1968 and some things about life remained shrouded in a heavy cloak of myth and mystery and now of course, it really didn’t matter.

She was 22. God only knows how old he was and as far as she understood, this time it was love. However, the United States Navy had a price on his head and a uniform on His back. Little did she realize, she was simply another “call” in another port and somewhere else another woman wore his ring.

And in 1968 it wasn’t easy to find yourself in this “predicament”. She was a long way from her Indiana home, having burned most of the bridges she’d crossed to get here. She knew there were ways this “problem” could be dealt with. Women like her had a choice now, didn’t they? And by this time, it was nearly legal, clean and “safe”.

Yes, she had a choice. And she chose.

On December 16th, 1968, all alone she went to a hospital in Plant City, Florida, and there– a child was born.

She named her baby Lorretta Lynn and “this one”, she would later say, was just “different”.


That was my mother and this is our story or at least the beginnings of it as best as it can be told now that there’s no one left to ask.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my mother, Mary Louise.  It’s been more than a dozen years since she left this planet and the longer she’s gone, the sweeter the memories grow. God is kind to us that way I think– allowing the pain to slowly fade so that eventually the beautiful is all that remains. He promised to give us beauty in place of our ashes and this is one of those ways I see it most.

Across from where I sit right now I can see our first little formal portrait… maybe done at Woolworths or some such place. On the back, in her handwriting it reads “1969 Mary and Lorrie, 4wks”.  She looks sorta shy but young, beautiful, strong and proud. Me? Squished up and not too attractive, but the shine in her eyes is unmistakable: love. I can see it clearly.

She had a choice and she made it no matter what it cost her then, or cost us both for the rest of our lives.  She chose life and she chose love. She chose vulnerability, pain and sacrifice.

She continued to choose good and choose badly and in both, she modeled for me how to choose well anyway. By the grace of God, she gave me life and the chance to become the woman I am today; the mother, the wife, the teacher, the mentor…the writer and follower of Christ I am today.

So… yes, I am pro-life but it’s more than a mere label I’ve adopted by virtue of the fact that my mother gave me life so I could say I am…or not. I am pro-life  because I’m learning to live in daily awareness of what true Life is– how one decision can resonate forever in all directions and depending on where I stand, it becomes a testimony either for life or for death.

I’ve learned that

  • being pro-life is vastly more than taking a biological, procreational stance on a touchy, uncomfortable subject.
  • It’s more than political rhetoric or media spin.
  • So much more than a tug of war using unborn children and stem cells as pawns in a power play of perceived justice.

Choosing life means daily choosing to live in a way that is life-giving.
It means speaking life so that I’m supporting and enhancing life.

It means being available as an agent for life whether it’s volunteering time and resources to a crisis pregnancy center, or the most important work of mentoring and discipling young mothers who need to know and experience the hope of the Gospel and see what that looks like lived out in real life.

It means caring for the sick, the debilitated, the physically, psychologically and emotionally challenged with dignity and respect and the guiding hope of the Gospel.

It means giving care to the elderly… being pro-life for as long as life remains.

Choosing life is not simply a choice to save an unborn child or protect a mother and father from lifelong infinite-possibilities-abortedregret: it’s ultimately about saving souls. As a Christian, being pro-life means I fully understand abortion is wrong and harmful to everyone involved but

stopping it is not enough;
it’s only the beginning. 

Jesus teaches this in Mark 8:34-38 , specifically in verse 36:

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”

The question becomes more personal if I say, “What good is it to shout and holler and picket against Planned Parenthood to stop a woman from having an abortion if I’m not going to help be a part of the solution and lead her in love to the life-saving Gospel?”  That’s where real life begins.

timthumb-1Each day I learn a little more about what living like this means and I am thankful for what God has taught me so far.  Like my mother, some days I choose good and others I choose badly but because she chose life for me, I have the opportunity to choose well anyway.

I pray that with God’s strength and guidance I will continue.

I hope you will too.

There are many ways to get involved in being part of the solution–just look around your circle of influence and see where God is at work,  join Him and

choose life.
Be life-giving.

Need some ideas? I know some folks…message me. Do you have some ideas? Please share them in the comments below.  I am blessed by you already!

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resolved: a {yielded} perspective

Every new January, I find myself mentally and emotionally traveling back to the top of that heap of months where the view is fresh and the air is clear and the days seem to endlessly trip over one another with their blank calendar whitenesses just waiting to be filled with the hopes and dreams for a coming year.  There’s something so refreshing and hopeful found in taking down that raggety-edged, worn out old calendar and putting up another one, still shiny and slippery-slick with newness between my fingers.

I think the equation goes something like this:

new year + new resolve (x) new beginnings = new me. 


If only it was that easy. Yet, somehow, that’s the way we’ve been conditioned by the world to behave and believe. Let me tell you more…

Darkness Before the Dawn

Even if we could…where else would we go?


I must speak so carefully… so respectfully for the sake of everyone concerned.
I must draw from the deepest, most horrifying recesses of my own soul…
draw from this common place of shared anguish over something that has once again risen sharply into focus… oozing it’s way slowly across the entire world:


We all seem to feel it; we can’t help itEven those who say they do not believe there is a God know it’s true: Something is dreadfully wrong and there is nothing we alone can do to fix it. 

Flags fly at half mast, stuffed animals and tributes line the streets of Newtown Conneticut and a memorial may likely be built in memory of this innocence stolen and forever burning a little town’s name on the map of our conscience.

Pronouncements will be made and fingers pointed.
Accusations will arise and justice sought,
Arguments will be heard and laws levied.

But our guts wrench at the thought of it all because in the end we know: no answer will be satisfactory and no earthly justice can be adequately served that will deliver children back into the aching arms of their mothers and back into the hearts of their community. Not in Newtown or anywhere else where evil has scratched it’s ugly mark upon human history.

Because, we can’t control or legislate against evil; we live in it’s territory. 

As for those who’d argue that their “jesus”, their “god” would never allow such things to happen, I can not answer with regard to their understanding of who Jesus really is. 

I only know that Jesus taught hard things
to a hard people
often using hard examples. 

This is hard.
He knows it.

God knows that sometimes it takes difficult and jarring moments to shake us from our daze when we might almost be willing to relax and listen to the coaxing voice of that enemy, very nearly convincing ourselves that we’re safe and all is right with the world. It’s not.

And we hate that about God. We might want to hate Him too…but we know we really can’t. We grieve and mourn, not only the wreckage and horror strewn before us, but we grieve most the wreckage within

That horrible moment when our words and sensibilities fail us and we’re repulsed and choking on the noisy silences in response to our search for a sensible answer….and there isn’t one.

There’s just no way to make sense of it because we’re not supposed to.

We’re not supposed to be able to make sense of evil at all. 

And maybe God does not owe it to us that we should. Maybe He has told us what we need to know and that’s all we’ll get. This is indeed a hard teaching. I’ve heard this a couple of times and I believe the spirit of these words are true: I should not say that God allows these things to happen or that these things are part of His divine will. Even if it might be true. Why?

Because that’s not my business. Because that’s not my place. Because those words are not helpful and that attitude is not healing or loving. And even when I can’t explain why it seems that sometimes God allows evil to have it’s way, I need to trust HIm. I must trust that this….even this.. will one day be redeemed.

As I stood at the clothes line yesterday pondering this thought, something so shocking occurred to me that even now I’m startled by it:

Perhaps most often, even as a Christian,  perhaps I’ve not been asked to defend God or His word  or even to explain His ways. 

Instead, maybe I’ve only been asked to represent Him, His word and ways. Maybe only God, himself can make the defense clear….in His own way,  in His own time….for His own glory.

The price of  representation is often painful, costly and awkward but it’s  part of being His chosen people and a royal priesthood. It’s my part of bringing comfort to those walking in any darkness by walking with them and sharing the light of His counsel and comfort which usually has come at the expense and depths of my own pain where…
….He has best comforted me…..has best comforted us.


So that from that comfort,  moments to humbly speak truth may come to us and be born in us but only because  the Spirit bears witness and testifies through us. 

And the testimony is simple: this– even this, does not have to be the final word. There is hope and this is not the end.

We’ll hear again this Christmas the words from Isaiah and positioned later by John that people walking in darkness have seen a great light and this light is the Light of all men.

His name is Jesus.

What’s terrifying  to us is the sudden realization that no matter how far we think we’ve come, it’s still dark. We’re often lulled into forgetting that it’s just as dark now as it was when those words were first scribed…just as dark now as it was on the night Jesus was born.

The only hope we have, for here and now and for tomorrow is in knowing that the Light can not be overcome by the darkness no matter how dark it gets before Jesus returns.  It’s through the darkness that the light can best be seen and that Light– Jesus,
must. shine. through. us. 

God planned it this way.

So while we must and will mourn with those who mourn, we must not give in to grieving as those who have no hope.

We must grab hold our lasting comfort in Him, share it with one another and then turn that comfort back over to others in this hurting world. To those who are this day, groping and grasping for peace and a reason for hope anywhere in this darkness… and they need to see and know Jesus.

We do this certain that even though it seems to be getting darker and darker, we know how this story ends. Recalling that somewhere it’s been said that it always seems darkest before the dawn.

And Dawn is coming.

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