As I have just returned from the mountain-top experience of visiting all six 40 Days for Life campaigns in Colorado over two and a half days, Shawn Carney asked me to share this quick report with you.
Upon landing at the airport, I went directly to the Focus on the Family campus where I met with members of their staff and recorded a radio interview. I then met with the local 40 Days for Life leadership team for a two-hour, no-holds-barred Q&A session where we discussed every aspect of growing and improving the effectiveness of local pro-life efforts.
We then headed out to a midpoint rally in front of a Planned Parenthood abortion center (which was just sued for allegedly forcing an abortion on a woman and then botching the abortion). Freezing temperatures combined with strong blowing wind and snow made for challenging conditions, but didn't daunt the dozens of faithful volunteers.
See for yourself in this very snowy video! Click the image below or go to http://40daysforlife.com/
The next morning, local Catholic Bishop Michael Sheridan invited me in studio for a radio interview. It was a very moving discussion and Bishop Sheridan shared his enthusiasm about 40 Days for Life. The audio recording of the show was just posted online at:
Next up was a three-hour drive to Alamosa, population 8,682. After my GPS got me lost on dirt roads trying to get to their location, I finally joined a handful of prayer volunteers at the vigil in front of Planned Parenthood. After praying together, we visited the local pregnancy resource center to meet with and encourage their staff and volunteers.
From Alamosa, it was a five-hour drive to Denver. I arrived just in time for a candlelight prayer vigil and midpoint rally outside the mega Planned Parenthood abortion center -- shortly after an ambulance had to rush a woman from the facility to a nearby hospital.
Early the next morning, I headed north to Fort Collins, where we had a midpoint rally at a campus ministry before going to pray at their vigil outside Planned Parenthood.
Then I drove to Greeley, where I joined more than a dozen volunteers peacefully praying in the middle of the day outside another Planned Parenthood office. While we prayed, a car pulled up and the driver said she felt called to stop and give them a donation to support their important work.
The final stop of my whirlwind tour was Boulder. We gathered for an hour of prayer outside of the Boulder Abortion Clinic (late-term abortionist Warren Hern proudly advertises that name on the building) before moving to a nearby church for a midpoint rally.
While praying with the faithful people of Colorado, I was deeply moved by their "mile-high" commitment to speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves -- even in the midst of challenging weather, persecution, and opposition. May we follow their inspiring example!
Today's devotional is from Rev. Clenard Childress of Life Education and Resources Network.
DAY 30 INTENTION
Let us pray that pastors may not be distracted from the priority of caring for human lives.
In those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
-- Acts 6:1
REFLECTION by Rev. Clenard Childress
More folks learning left some yearning.
It is the dawning of a new day. There is much excitement in Jerusalem. Many who dedicated themselves to the faith became disciples (the word disciple means "learner").
The unprecedented church growth was miraculous and undoubtedly brought much satisfaction to the new leadership. The apostles, however, were about to experience growing pains in their master plan of evangelism.
Projects that engage the community, especially those that are evangelistic in nature, are high on the list of priorities for every duty-bound pastor.
Church attendance is a constant concern for every pastor and often his or her worth is measured by it. Unfortunately, just as the original twelve pastors in Acts, they can be so focused on getting people in that they inadvertently end up pushing some people out.
Murmuring is a deplorable deterrent to a harmonious fellowship, yet God used it to get the disciples attention. Those that needed daily attention due to their age and social status were being neglected.
This neglect of the Hellenist widows during the daily distribution of food was causing undue grief and needed to be corrected by the leadership. By God's grace the problem was dealt with, but the lesson remains.
And during these 40 days, let us pray that today's church not make the same mistake of forgetting the contributions of our seniors, or the needs of the weakest among us, the unborn.
Father, in the Church's desire to engage our communities with the Gospel let her not disengage from those who need their care and company the most.
Let us gain wisdom from those who have gone before us and cherish their experiences and perspectives. Help us to appreciate every soul in the body of Christ and minister properly to everybody. Amen.
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40 Days for Life
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