Wednesday, March 4, 2015

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 15: Victory for free speech

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
Not everyone likes 40 Days for Life in their community.
Every now and then, overzealous public officials try to create new ordinances or twist the laws to get rid of the peaceful prayer vigil outside of an abortion center.
The target is often the signs that people hold while they’re praying. It can be about the number, size or location of signs. Sometimes they’ll even try to ban all signs from the public right-of-way. 
When local 40 Days for Life leaders recognize a threat to their campaign’s free speech rights, we ask for help from our friends at the Thomas More Society law center.
It usually doesn’t take long to get things straightened out ... which was the case in Arkansas, where the Thomas More Society just scored a victory for freedom of speech.
Here’s the story …
Fayetteville, Arkansas
The 40 Days for Life team in Fayetteville is in the middle of their 14th 40 Days for Life campaign. But they recently came across a brand-new challenge.
A highway department representative told the people praying on the sidewalk that because they were standing on a state-owned right-of-way, they needed to have state permits for the signs they were holding.
The employee added that if they didn’t get the appropriate permits, they could be fined as much as $100 for each person holding a sign.
Knowing that couldn’t possibly be correct, the Fayetteville leaders contacted the Thomas More Society … which quickly sent a letter to the Arkansas highway department demanding that the state respect the participants’ First Amendment free speech rights.
Within a matter of days, the state admitted that there was no requirement for sign permits at the vigil … confirming “what we already knew to be true: the First Amendment applies even next to a state highway,” said the Thomas More Society’s Corrina Konczal. “40 Days for Life participants are able to hold signs informing passing drivers of their public stand for life without the fear of unjust criminal punishment.”
Sterling Heights, Michigan
“Sadly, the abortion center was busy today with clients,” said Barb, the local leader in Sterling Heights. “And we kept their security guard busy, watching us and harassing one young couple who mistakenly parked their car in their lot.”
And it didn’t get much better after she completed her prayer time at the vigil.
“Barb, just for your information, there was much activity after you left,” one volunteer told her. “There were so many cars that they could no longer fit in the back and filled up the parking spots on the side.”
“So you see,” Barb said, “it is not too cold for people to drive to their neighborhood abortion center, nor is it too cold for the staff to accommodate them.” And therefore … not too cold to go out and pray!
Today’s devotional is from Carmen Pate of Alliance Ministries. 

Day 15 intention

Pray that we will not become defeated by the enemy’s attacks but rather call on the name of the Lord who is on our side and our help in time of trouble.


What if the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us? They would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger.

Praise the Lord, who did not let their teeth tear us apart! Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

— Psalm 124:2,3,6,8

Reflection by Carmen Pate

The enemy attacks in many ways, but one of his favorites is to slander us with hopes of tarnishing our reputation and character, and ultimately to defeat our good work for the Lord.

It is interesting to note however that it is usually not the slander that causes harm to our testimony, but our response to the slander.

Proverbs 24:10 says, “If you faint in the day of adversity your strength is small.”

If we are applying God’s truths to our lives moment by moment, we are not swayed by the lies of the enemy and we will be strong. Standing on the front lines, armed with God's truth, places you in the battlefield for the mind.

As you are prepared to present words of love, for the sake of the unborn and for the distraught and confused women and men who are entering the abortion facilities, know that the enemy has prepared his forces to attack your mind.

Unkind words from a protester, or vicious lies in the local paper about who you are and what your mission is, can indeed be hurtful.

But rather than give in to defeat, that is the time to shine for the Lord, standing firm, as you call on Him to defeat the enemy.

Remember the words of Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Let’s stand strong for those who need us most.


Dear Lord, help us to ignore the verbal attacks of the enemy and instead turn to You, our refuge and strength.

Help us to find shelter in the blessed promises and provisions of Your Word.

Thank you that no enemy can defeat us, and we praise You knowing that nothing can separate us from Your love. In the name of Jesus, we come to You, Amen.

Printable devotional

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For life,
 Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life