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Dear Deacon,
 

In a recent talk during this 40 Days for Life
campaign, I mentioned that the pro-life movement
is made up of sinners.
 

We are all sinners … and the pro-life effort
includes many who have had abortions, doctors who
have done abortions and thousands who at one point
sincerely defended abortion but are now pro-life.
 

Many know the pain of abortion — including men. 

After my talk, a man with passion in his face and
tears in his eyes shook my hand and shared how his
past sin of abortion is still deep in his heart.
 

Men can play a large role in an abortion. They can
abandon women when they hear they’re pregnant. They
can encourage, and many times pay for, the abortion.
Their mistakes are real, but so is their pain.
 

Other fathers are told they have no rights, no voice
… and they can do nothing to stop an abortion. And
that, too, can hurt deeply.
 


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GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA
—————————————————–
 

Volunteers prayed as three young people walked into
the abortion center — a young man and his girlfriend,
plus another female friend whom they described as
verbally abusive. A short time later, the young man
walked out of the building, sat on the steps — and
stared at the signs the prayer volunteers were holding.
 

Before long, he told his story. His girlfriend was
pregnant. She already has a child and wants an
abortion — a decision her friend strongly supports.
 

The volunteers showed him fetal models, and he was
totally shocked at the level of development of a
12-week baby. He said his girlfriend promised she
would not abort if she was past 14 weeks … but she
and her friend were quite angry with him for not
supporting the abortion.
 

The friend then got in her car and took off, stranding
the young man at the abortion center. One of the vigil
participants asked if the angry friend had previously
had an abortion. “How did you know?” the young man
asked. To those familiar with post-abortion pain, it
seemed a reasonable suspicion.
 

He went inside once again, where he learned that his
girlfriend was nine weeks pregnant and going ahead
with the abortion.
 

He came back out, “fell to his knees and dropped his
cell phone and cigarette and cried so many tears that
they wet the sidewalk,” the volunteer said. He kept
repeating, “It’s my baby, too!”
 

The young man was offered emotional support and
guidance, financial assistance — even a ride back
home. “Please pray,” said the volunteer, “that God
would somehow turn this tragedy into repentance and
a future that would glorify His name.”
 


—————————————————–
AUSTIN, TEXAS
—————————————————–
 

Vigil participants often see a man walking his dog on
the sidewalk near the vigil. One day, one of the
volunteers simply said, “Good morning!”
 

The man walked down the street a bit, but then turned
around and walked over. “I want to tell you something,”
he said. “I know that I’m responsible for three of
them” — abortions — “and your sign that says ‘men
regret lost fatherhood’ is exactly right. I do regret
it … and I want you to know I support what you’re
doing here.”
 

Another volunteer said all it took was a smile to get
the attention of a woman walking towards the abortion
facility. She walked over to the vigil participant,
who was standing next to a display that said “free
pregnancy tests and free ultrasounds.”
 

The woman said she was coming for a pregnancy test.
“I heard Planned Parenthood was the place to go,”
she said, adding that if she was in fact pregnant,
she wanted her baby.
 

The volunteer mentioned to her that Planned Parenthood
only offered sonograms to women who wanted an abortion.
The young woman quickly realized that Planned Parenthood
was NOT the place to go.
 

To see a picture of the vigil site in Austin, go to: 

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=3526 


Here’s today’s devotional from Dennis DiMauro of
Lutherans for Life.
 


—————————————————–
DAY 23 INTENTION
—————————————————–
 

We pray for the strength to love those who do not
love us.
 


—————————————————–
SCRIPTURE
—————————————————–
 

But the Lord said “You have had pity on the plant for
which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which
came up in the night and perished in the night. And
should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which
are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons
who cannot discern between their right hand and their
left, and much livestock? Should I not be concerned
about that great city?”
 

– Jonah 4:10-11 


—————————————————–
REFLECTION by Dennis DiMauro
—————————————————–
 

God doesn’t value people and things like we do. Jonah
loved a shade tree more than an entire city of sinful
people. We love our dogs more than a terrorist. We
love our cars more than a beggar on the side of the
road. And sometimes, we love our money more than a
child growing in a desperate teenager’s womb.
 

But God isn’t like us. Genesis 1 tells us that humans
were the capstone of God’s creation. We were created
on the sixth day after God had completed the land,
the stars, the plants and the animals. Therefore, His
love for us is greater than His love for a plant, an
animal, or any other created thing.
 

And the book of Jonah tells us that He loves even the
most sinful people and seeks to bring them into His
merciful arms. And it’s a love that seeks to touch
all of his created children: that desperate teenager,
the baby growing in her womb, even tyrants and
terrorists.
 

So it’s up to us to imitate God’s merciful love by
helping and praying for those who persecute us, and
those who don’t love us back.
 


—————————————————–
PRAYER
—————————————————–
 

Gracious God, loving our enemies seems like one of
most difficult things you could ask of us. Please
remind us that this is how you love and that if you
ask it of us then you will give us the grace to do
it. This we ask through Christ our Lord, Amen.
 


—————————————————–
PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
—————————————————–
 

To download today’s devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:
 

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2012day23print.pdf 

—————————————————– 

For Life, 

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life
 

PS: In addition to 40 Days for Life, please be sure
to participate in the many other important pro-life
events taking place in October, a month marked by
many churches as Respect Life Month.
 

Additionally, this Saturday, you are invited to
participate in one of the Stand Up for Religious
Freedom rallies that are scheduled in more than
145 cities around the United States to peacefully
oppose the federal mandate that requires employers
(faith-based and otherwise) to carry insurance plans
that pay for abortion-causing drugs. Find a rally
near you and get involved by visiting:
 

http://standuprally.com 


PPS: Have you had to overcome hesitation to step out
and pray at a 40 Days for Life vigil? If you have,
please leave a comment on today’s blog entry at:
 

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=3526 


40 Days for Life
 

10908 Courthouse Road
Suite 102229
Fredericksburg, VA
22408
US
 

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