Given options, I will (almost) always choose chocolate over any other flavor of ice cream. Add the word “extreme”—as in loads of fudge threads, toffee bits or cookie chunks—and I’m extra certain to choose it.
I grew up two miles from Cook’s Farm Dairy in Ortonville, Michigan, when the cones were .75 cents and more than any 10-year-old could eat before it melted down her arm. Enjoying a frozen confection there was a trade-off: you must be willing to tolerate the pungent odor of bovine off-gassing. Very worth it!
Being at Cook's always makes me feel like a kid again. Photo credit: Jordyn Hillary, July 2020
We had a delightful visit to Cook’s a couple weeks ago, in celebration of our 31st wedding anniversary. Our flavor choices: mint chip and Cowpuccino=a match made in heaven. It would have been a relaxing visit if not for Buck, our precocious puppy, who was intoxicated by the sights, smells and tastes (residual ice cream under the picnic tables). When the cute French Bulldog came trotting near, it was all over and we had to put him in the vehicle.
This past few weeks has been one of extremes: climate, economy and family. Heat waves all around wreaking havoc, recession upon us, an engagement and Ken and Buck ending up in different Grand Rapids hospitals.
JOY!! Our son Aaron proposed to his college sweetheart, Bailey, on the shores of Lake Michigan. He set up his drone video to capture the sunset and also captured her "Yes!" So happy for these two!!
Scott and his father, Ken, were up north when Ken took a tumble, hitting his head and incurring multiple shoulder fractures and bruises. A few days later, Buck found some rodent poison, ingesting a cube before Scott could stop him.
Thank God, Ken is recovering nicely at home, arm in a sling and cane in tow. We are so thankful that he is still with us! Buck hadn’t a clue; after induced vomiting and a charcoal binder he’s as perky as ever. Scott promptly removed all the mouse poison and, as I write, is building a safety railing for his dad.
Mischievous Buck got himself into more trouble last week, here being apprehended by a Waterford police officer. He almost got booked for assault after pulling my friend so hard that he fell off our deck!
Life can turn on a dime. If you have been around a while, you should know this. Living wisely means being aware of this reality, making the most of each moment, being prepared for you and others to pass on and yet, being simultaneously thankful.
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” ~ Proverbs 27:1
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” ~ Ephesians 5:15-16
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” ~ James 4:13-17
In early July, I was invited by the program host to be interviewed on a local radio station. I was really nervous, but knew this was an opportunity not to pass. We had a good 25 minute conversation focused on the current events surrounding abortion law and I was able to share my adoption story and passion for protecting the unborn.
Going to the WMUZ studio in Detroit was exciting. My dear friend Wes, shown here, drove me so I could relax and prepare. Bob Dutko guest host, Rabbi Glenn Harris's conversational style helped a lot!
Hopefully, we are all a work in progress, not just getting older each day, but getting better—thinking wiser and growing more humble, learning from mistakes.
During the interview, I shared about how, in my early 20s, I used to think that I was pro-life, but I also thought there were times when a woman should be able to abort her baby—exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother.
My parents had raised me to know and love the Bible, led me to faith in Yeshua/Jesus, and informed my morals by living transparent, godly lives. They always told me they had adopted me and that when I became an adult, they would support me in searching for my birth parents.
When I did so, in my early 20s, the social worker could not locate my birth mom (it was just before common access to the internet.) She did find my maternal grandmother, who was very angry at being discovered. My grandmother told the social worker that she would ask my mom if she would like a reunion. Weeks later, she said my mom was not interested, and by the way, “She had been raped and I told her to abort.”
Upon learning this, a number of thoughts raced through my mind:
My mother’s pregnancy was a shame to her family and kept a secret. (From non-identifying information I had been given, I knew she was from Tennessee, but she was likely hidden away, as I was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.)
My mother may or may not have been raped—how can I truly know—but whether or not this is the case, despite the shame she felt and the pressure from her mother, she chose to protect and nurture me, placing me for adoption rather than aborting me.
Even if it’s true—that she was raped—am I less human, less valuable because of how I was conceived?
I was born before Roe v. Wade, when states had laws protecting the unborn—laws without exceptions.
I am what abortion supporters, “prolife” activist, lawmakers and I, myself, consider “an exception”.
My idea—that one could be “prolife with exceptions” is false. I can no longer support abortion for the "exceptions”.
My heart was grieved that I had had such wrong thinking! I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit led me to awareness of my sin. I repented and now—thirty years later—have to repent of more from my anti-abortion mentality.
For far too long I have considered myself a “prolife activist”. More than a decade ago, I began to act on my beliefs, standing at abortion mills, speaking out for the unborn, marching in our nation’s capitol and going to my state capitol for legislative hearings.
Despite forsaking exceptions, all this time I have bought into this bad idea: that legislating how abortion can happen is a necessary evil to eventually ending it. The thinking goes something like this: if we can control how and when women are allowed to abort, this is progress. Laws limiting abortion based on gestational age, waiting periods and parental consent are considered victories.
The preborn who are not developed enough to have a heartbeat, babies who can’t feel pain are considered collateral worth sacrificing in the prolife “greater good” mentality .
I have been duped by the incrementalist approach, supporting legislators and my state pro life organization’s efforts to “chip away” while we wait for…what? Wait for the culture to spontaneously develop a conscience?
Killing Babies is Extreme
I'm all for choice when it comes to things like marriage partner, job and ice cream flavor. But women who choose to kill their babies are extremists. Abortion workers are extremists. A culture that thinks baby killing is a good or necessary choice has lost its mind and morals.
Only in recent years have I come to terms with the fact that the only way to end abortion—individually and nationally—is through the gospel. The thought and the action of killing our unborn is evil. Pure wickedness. What does God have to say about the nation that supports child sacrifice?
“For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned incense in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind. So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call this place Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.” ~ Jeremiah 19:4-6
We live in a Valley of Slaughter here in the United States, where daily 2,500 are intentionally sacrificed, led to slaughter by their mothers.
But even if someone is convinced scientifically (which unequivocally proves that life begins at conception) and philosophically (a zygote, an embryo, a fetus is a person worthy of equal protection under the law) that abortion is wrong, if he or she does not recognize that humans are made in the image of the one true Holy God, to choose life and not death, then it profits nothing.
“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” asks Yeshua/Jesus in Mark 8:36.
We are bodies and souls, made to glorify our Creator. If we save a baby, but moms and dads deny the Creator, her/his soul is forfeit. Lost.
I am sorry that as an incrementalist I have been compromising in my thinking/acting/strategy to end abortion. If I had been alive in 1850, would I have been just pro-freedom or an abolitionist? Would I have fought for the personhood of female slaves, hoping male slaves might eventually gain their freedom too?
Like Moses, who when prompted by Pharaoh refused to take just the men out of Egypt (Exodus 10:10-11), I want to be uncompromising, not abandoning ANY of the needy.
Forgive me, Lord, for being “prolife” all these years and not an “abolitionist”. Incrementalism is a deceitful approach, leading to compromise and complicity with evil. God is slow to anger and abounding in love, which is why—while it is still today—we have time to repent and do right. I don’t want to waste another day missing the mark (sin) on bad ideas or actions.
Call me extreme. As my sweet Dad liked to say when rightly accused of something: “I resemble that!” Is urgently and unapologetically protecting the most defenseless among us--without exceptions--extreme? I’d rather be accused of being this kind of extremist any day over being lukewarm, milquetoast. Bold and merciful, that's how I want to be. Lord, help me to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with you.
There is ALWAYS forgiveness for the sin of abortion.
CLICK on each of the below for more on:
Welcome Eden Pauline!!! Congrats Devin & Nikki!!!
"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward." ~ Psalm 127:3