“Abortion is HealthCare” Billboard is Missing One Small Detail

Empower women. That is the mantra. But when you kill one woman to empower another, that’s not true healthcare. I call that entitlement at best and delusional at worst. It is a distorted elitism of “I deserve to live and you don’t.”  Listen, this isn’t my first rodeo around abortion rights. It used to be “it’s not a fetus.” Scientific evidence shut that down decades ago. Yet instead of awakening our feminine hearts, we have devolved into madness. Today the notion of “my right” to healthcare and happiness and control means that I can kill my own child even past birth.

In what universe do we separate abortion from any other hate crime?  We cry out for racial, gender, and religious freedom. We harangue every sign of offensive action or speech toward perceived targeted groups. Yet we turn a deaf ear and deadly weapon on the unborn. We destroy the most unprotected among us and celebrate their deaths as women’s advancement. Animals have more advocates and compassion.

I am not offended by abortion. I am outraged. And yes, I am post-abortive. And yes, I KNOW what it means to trapped by an unwanted pregnancy. And yes, I support women in crisis pregnancies.

And I also know that murder never solved any problem anywhere.

I want to lovingly, boldly lay down this gauntlet for my on-the-fencer abortion rights friends. These are the women and men who are “personally against abortion but believe women should have healthcare.” You have been misled if you think the argument is about safe clinics. It’s never been about that. It never will be.

It’s about the life and death of a human being and who has the “right” to live.

I know Jesus died for us all. I know He loves us all even in this painful controversy we find ourselves in. And, I know this to be His truth. Jesus spent His whole beautiful Being bringing people to  Life. Not ending it. He plants life. He  resurrects life. He defends life.

As women, as men, we must raise up our voices, votes and prayers.  Almost 30 years ago it was said, “if today we can kill our kids in the womb, one day we will be able to kill them outside the womb.” We are chillingly closer to that statement every day.

God have mercy on us.  Please, LORD, resurrect our maternal instinct to protect the young.

Photo by Katherine Brown.
(One of my most favorite pieces of all time. Oh that He would heal us all.)

When the Student is Ready…

the Master will appear.  It’s an old proverb that rings true every time.  What we see as devastation, I am convinced the Lord sees as a teaching opportunity.  The question is, are we willing to learn, to be taught, to change according to the revelation given.

As we continue to reflect on the goodness of the Lord in and through the 18 days, and the 10 years of freedom that followed, we see His hand of mercy and impeccable timing. We began the marital separation with simple instructions: work on your own junk.  I worked on my own heart. Chuck worked on his. The counselor (God bless his brave soul) told us to not think about the fate of the marriage until we had stabilized our own hearts. Selah.

Author and pastor, Danny Silk challenged the way we humans emotionally blow up our relationships with mates, kids, family and then immediately try to fix the problem and get back to normal. Silk said it is impossible to get “back to normal” when there is blood all over the walls from the last explosion. Instead he advised, just work on cleaning up the mess. Take the time needed to restore some measure of connection and THEN work on what caused the blow up in the first place.

In our situation, 18 years of dysfunction and mess, carelessness and resentment, and now so broken that we are separated, the outcome of the marriage was not the most important thing. Tending to our own hearts before the Lord was the most pressing.

And I couldn’t shake the suffocating panic.

If you know me, you know that I am a go-getter, risk-taker, charge the hill. But now I had been punched in the gut. I literally woke up in the middle of the night with dry heaves. I was so scared. Everything of importance in my life seemed to be teetering on the brink of an abyss, ready to fall at any moment.

What would happen to my house, my notion of family, the girls’ schooling, my own ministry, the relationships I had? In my conversations, either awake or dreaming, I would roll questions over and over, “how can I be safe now?” “What do I need to do to be safe?” “I don’t know how to go forward and feel safe.”

I cried out to the Lord, whose voice I knew very well, but this was unchartered territory.

” I am safe,”  He kept whispering.

“I know you are but I’m don’t FEEL safe. I don’t know what Chuck is going to do. I don’t know what is going to happen,” I said dismissing His truth.

“You are with me, I am safe,” He said.

This went on for three days and nights until his message came through loud and clear.

Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
    but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Proverbs 29:25

The Master had spoken. And as the student, I had to learn this lesson.  I had to digest this word and let it go down into the innermost parts of my soul. It had to change me. And believe me, I was desperately ready for change. Are you there yet? Look at this verse broken down.

Fear of man:
Fear of others’ opinions, fear of looking good or stupid, fear of my team, my friends, my family’s approval or disapproval, fear of the church’s reactions, fear of bodily or emotional harm, fear of financial or social ruin

A snare:
A deadly bear claw hidden along the paths of life that once clamped there is no escape except by mutilation of caught limb or death

(How many of lose our lives over fear of other’s reactions)

Trust in the Lord:
Surrendering body, soul, and spirit to the One greater than me, leaning on, depending on, staking my whole life on His care

Kept safe:
Held in the loving, protecting arms of the God, the Savior, the  Lover who would never look away, never leave, never NOT defend me.

I am, was and would always be safe in His arms. End of story.

No matter the outcomes, the marriage, the children, the finances, the social implications, I was safe in Him. The rest of the 18 Days were radically changed by this revelation. I had a Truth greater than my feelings.

Ten years later, I see this deposit radically altered my future.

The Master is teaching us all the time.  Are we ready to learn?

The graphic somewhere seen on social media. Smile.

(janaspicka.com for previous blogs on the 18 Days)

 

The Pain Under Porn

One of the biggest lessons Chuck and I learned through our journey is to work on the right issue. I spent so much time trying to control Chuck and protect myself that I missed the deeper wound. Chuck spent so much time trying to look good and protect his quick fix, he missed the greater need.

Porn, like any form of coping, is not the issue. It is a symptom, but it’s not the cause. I often say it is the flower but it is not the root. We spend a lot of time treating symptoms: porn, food, anger, drugs, alcohol, shopping, social media, gaming, etc.

Yet all of these (and there are more) are attempts to manage a deeper pain and wounding. There is no sobriety or breakthrough without healing the root issue. Pain has to be processed. It can’t be ignored, or buried, it just comes back up until it is dug up.

But God.

I would never claim to be a certified counselor for marriage, addiction or otherwise.  My story of God and His counsel and presence is my only certification. I can’t heal your marriage, husband or heart. But I know the One who can.

Thank you for your kind comments to my recent blog. God is worthy to be praised. It was my Ebenezer, to declare that He met us in devastation 10 years ago and worked a miracle. I want to always remember His wonder-working power yesterday, today and forever.

And. I know that wasn’t the story for many of you. Some of you are still in miserable marriages with addicts. Some of you bear the scars of divorce.

I. Get. It.

I would like to offer a hard won perspective: All this living is an invitation to experience God’s presence in the middle of it.

Human frailty right next to Divine Hope.

My whole marriage journey taught me this. The lies and betrayal and brokenness, over time, became less about me and Chuck and more about me and Jesus. He was with me. He was changing me. He was fighting for me. And guess what? He was doing the same for Chuck.

One deeply profound truth that John Dee taught me was, “Ask for truth to be revealed.” Sounds almost too simple.  I would stand in my house and worship and ask God to reveal all things hidden, for truth to be revealed in my heart and Chuck’s.  God loves to answer that prayer but brace yourself for the fallout. He loves to break off every chain only to reveal every beautiful thing He has put inside of us.

I am now “fully persuaded” that God is good and He is good to me and for me. I know life and its excruciating pain is changed by His presence.  I don’t blame Him for heartache, I go to Him with my heartache.  Do you?

I don’t love and trust Him because of my outcome, I love and trust Him because of His presence and comfort in the middle of it. The Passion Translation has the beautiful expression, God’s wrap-around-presence.  He is With Us.

If the child goes astray, the loved one dies, the betrayal continues, the bankruptcy is final, we look for Him until we find Him.

God has an answer for everything we live through.  Heck, He is the answer.  Amen.

 


 

 

Recalling the Wonders of God

Wow. God. All I can say is Wow, God. Today marks the 10 anniversary of the worst season of our marriage. We humbly call it The 18 Days.  It was a period of time when our marriage and futures hung in the balance as we separated because of Chuck’s porn addiction.

After years of troubled marriage and years of recovery work, try agains, I’m sorrys, and empty promises, we set this consequence should he again choose his drug of choice instead of his family.

During the tension of separation we both tried answering impossible questions:
Do we stay together? Should we stay together? How would we stay together? Heartache and hatred abounded in our home. One thing was certain, only God could save us.

In 2000, the Lord told me He would deliver Chuck from addiction.
In 2009, all the wheels had fallen off our marriage.
In 2019, we are thanking God for His unfailing love, mercy and power.

There are stories that need to be released around this miracle. Today, I just want to thank God for keeping His promises.  Roman 4:21 commends  Abraham for “being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”

During this season, and many other seasons of promise waiting, God has brought me to verses 20 and 21.

‘Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,  being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.’

What was Abraham’s job? What was God’s job?

Abraham’s job was to not waiver, be strengthened, give glory and be persuaded of God’s power while he was STILL waiting.

God’s job? Be God. Full of wonder-working power to keep His word. Every time.

There are many testimonies of what God did during the 18 days. Dreams, visions, supernatural provision, Spirit led counsel, divine healing, and more. Why?

Because God had the power to do as He promised.

Today, I just want to raise a Hallelujah. Our God reigns.

Hilarious Generosity

The Giving seasons are upon us. First we’ll focus on the Giving of Thanks. Then we focus on Giving Tuesday. And then there is the great push, pressure, panic of Christmas Giving. I wanted to share what God is  brewing in my heart about His kind of giving.

Giving of Thanks. Sunday at New Wine Church we just released God Stories. My heart was so full after spending time bragging on our strong, healing, loving Father. Be sure to spend some time with someone you love and count your blessings. I mean it. Make a list and say them out loud. So good for your soul.

Giving Tuesday.  I have an abundance of ministry emails and letters flowing into my inboxes. My own letter is going out shortly. There must be a better way to navigate all the needs.  Here is one thing to try. For every “asking” letter we receive, or social media fundraiser we read, let’s stop and pray for that ministry. Each group really does need the fullness of Holy Spirit to do what they are doing.

Christmas Giving. Maybe, just maybe, the Grinch had it right. “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store.”

I have been pondering what it means to… slow…down… a… bit… and let the Spirit teach us about how to be generous.

One of my favorite passages on giving comes from 2 Corinthians. The whole chapter is amazing. But for now let’s look at verse 7.

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

Decided.

This word fraught with freedom. We get to choose. Decide. Determine. We get to decide: who is important to us, what issue is moving us, who is feeding our soul and spirit, who is in need?    Obviously God cares THAT we give, but He also cares HOW we give.

Not Reluctant or Under Compulsion

“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” NLT

God loves a person who gives cheerfully.  Let that sink in.

Are we more concerned about how we look? Do we feel guilt or pressure to give?  Or, are we motivated by love for the One who loves us, and loves that we give willingly, happily, trustingly, even cheerfully?

We love it when our kids share happily and cheerfully. I think God loves it when His kids do too.

Here is the beautiful equation about generosity. We give because God gives. We give because we trust God to refill our cups. We give because it pulls us out of unhealthy Me-syndromes. We give because we know that God does miracles with our two fish and five loaves.  We practice “hilarious generosity” because it reveals that we are overflowing with the same hilarious abundance that God has.

What do we give?

Money. Sure it’s a real thing. Giving can be a real thermometer for how well we are trusting God financially. No shame here. Just a reality check. It all comes from Him. And He never runs out. So do we feel the freedom to share our money because we know God will replenish? Just sayin’.

There are other resources that God asks us to share as well.
• Our God stories. They are like seeds that reproduce once they are shared.
• Our food, clothes, possessions can be shared. Do we really NEED all that stuff?
• Our wisdom and skills. Others may need what we carry but we have to be willing to share and to sacrifice the time, effort and comfort to give to others.
• Hope. Peace. Grace. Love.  More than cheesy Christian-ese these are tangible resources that we store up and give away to others.

I keep hearing in my spirit, “Am I willing to be hilarious generous all these things?”

Everyone is tapped out during the holidays. So it makes me question if we’re tapping into the overflow of Heaven and giving out of His abundance.

“Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything—every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do. “

Listen. I get the squeeze. I am just really confronted with “God loves a cheerful giver.” So what if we give a little less out of obligation and pressure but we give a whole lot more with honesty and hilarity?

Here is more of this passage out of the Passion Translation. Enjoy it. And ask the Spirit how you are doing with generosity. May all your Giving Seasons be full of cheer and overflow.

Hilarious Generosity

Here’s my point. A stingy sower will reap a meager harvest, but the one who sows from a generous spirit will reap an abundant harvest. Let giving flow from your heart, not from a sense of religious duty. Let it spring up freely from the joy of giving—all because God loves hilarious generosity!Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything—every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do. Just as the Scriptures say about the one who trusts in him:

Because he has sown extravagantly and given to the poor,
    his kindness and generous deeds will never be forgotten.

10 This generous God who supplies abundant seed for the farmer, which becomes bread for our meals,is even more extravagant toward you. First he supplies every need, plus more. Then he multiplies the seed as you sow it, so that the harvest of your generosity will grow. 11 You will be abundantly enriched in every way as you give generously on every occasion, for when we take your gifts to those in need, it causes many to give thanks to God.

(Quote from Dr Seuss book The Grinch)

One Man Did Defend Us

I read a post on Instagram that “sounded” right. So vigilant, so spot on for the gaping wound that is the collective woman’s heart. Yes, we have been scarred and marred. Yes, we have been abused and raped. Yes, we have been groped, gagged and threatened into silence.

But a Martin Luther King quote won’t fix it.
It only holds up a mirror.

The #Metoo won’t fix it.
It only breaks the mirror into a million pieces.

One court nomination (or possible witch hunt) won’t fix it.

Somehow we have lost sight of facts. Are we now seeking a wholesale revenge on half of the population? Are we pushing a movement in the name of progress? Is that movement actually healing anyone?

There is this not-so-subtle narrative  that offers women (and men)  two options. Either stand with Us, the belittled, broken-hearted, raging, victimized women, or stand with Them, the hate-filled, power-hungry, horny bastards who started all this.

I need more options.

I had a conversation with a young woman who said that we need to seize this time of exposure to stand up to a long historical injustice. Read that sentence again. Please.

Here is where I get stuck. Men should respect women. Period. Women should respect men. Period.

Every ethic group should respect every ethnic group. Period.

Why? Because every single human deserves honor and dignity. Period.

Every person is accountable for his/her actions. Yet, we are using a He Said, She Said conversation, done in a public forum, and trying to lay it over the whole of creation. As if a certain outcome in this situation is somehow going to make men behave better, or women heal faster?

Gender revenge doesn’t bring healing. Talk to any woman who has been sexually wounded. Her healing didn’t come by way of her wounder.

Politics doesn’t heal hearts. It reveals hearts.
Men are not the problem. Women are not the problem.

Sin is the problem.

And One Man did take the hit for the whole of creation. I think that’s what bugs me about the Feminine voices talking about their gaping wounds.

We are ALL wounded. Or were.  And my song now is not that I was abused, or molested or groped which I was. My song now is that I know a Healer.

Not only is my Feminine heart healed through Jesus, now I have the power to pray and Speak Up for the other Feminine and Masculine hearts that need to know there actually is a better way.

Jesus really did take the fall for all of the out of whack men. And he really did open the way for women to be truly restored and elevated.

There is still a battle raging for equality and honor.

And we have the answer. The real one. Let’s use it.

 

 

 

photo credit Moody Media

 

Changing How We Talk About Ourselves and Others, Part 1

I’m in the middle of a conversation right now with the Lord.  He is doing a renovation in my soul around toxic thinking.  I know we all deal with negativity and yuky self-talk. But He has taken it several steps further. Let’s dig in, shall we?

Part 1 — Being Tormented
God first pinpointed ownership. He asked me to examine the current theme running through my thoughts. I was at the beach when this happened so there was a LOT of noise around body image.  Even though I was having intense and beautiful conversations with the Spirit, there was a underlying barrage of “you don’t – you can’t – you won’t because you aren’t – you are – you’ll never – you’ll always…”

The Lord asked me who was saying all those awful things to me.

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When It Falls Apart, Trust His Heart

I just have to show you the church sign I passed yesterday afternoon.  “Faith in God includes faith in his timing.”  I sped right past that and did a good Christian “Mmmm-mm, Oh-that’s-a-good-word” thing we all do.  Then I came home to the email that said our long awaited and fought for building move was off.  What did that sign say again?

My friend texted me and asked “how are you doing, honestly?”

“Really hopeful. And I need a good cry,” I said.

Listen this isn’t my first rodeo. Or even my 10th. But you know what, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been in a rodeo, when you fall off the bull, it knocks the wind out of you.

But here comes God.

Holy Spirit stands over you while you are sprawled out and breathless, flashes that reassuring smile, offers you a hand (or a sign), and says “Get up and let’s keep going. There’s things to do.”

You know why we get up? Because when He starts sharing His dreams with us, when He starts asking us to risk and fail and keep risking, you know there is adventure on the horizon.  He is on the horizon.

He is the before me, behind me, hand upon me God.

So risk and failure seem a little less daunting. What is more frightening to me than the falling is the thought that the bruises of my falling down would keep me from running after His dreams.

What if  He has a better place, a bigger place in mind? What if I have been playing it safe and small because I lacked the faith to really go after it?

What if you and I both actually believed God when He says:

“I got this.”

So yeah. I’m up. Dusted off. Had a good cry. Breathing again. And I ain’t quitting. He’s too good for that.

At New Wine Church we have these beautiful offering declarations we borrowed from Bethel Church. The Lord brought back to mind a few lines from the one we prayed this past Sunday morning:

Repentance from poverty,
small thinking, and envy.
Courage to recognize opportunities
and make wealth.
Abundance to bless the world
and the prudence to save and invest.
Revelation to pass on wealth
to our children’s children

Bring it Jesus.


 

 

 

Go Higher

I must have looked like a crazy woman to the shoreline walkers. First I paced back and forth. Then I stood still and stared. Then I would pace again. Stare. Repeat.  This is how I process stuff at the beach when my brain is working on something too big for me.  I was praying. Sort of.  Lord what about… And Lord what if… And Lord I can’t figure out…Lord what are you going to do about…Lord when will…  As I said, praying, sort of.

For the life of me, I just couldn’t figure out an answer for burning in my soul. My list of issues were close to home.
• Facing fear in certain relationships
• Parenting in this season
• Helping my aging parents
• Overhauling my health

But my list also extended to further reaching problems.
• My friends’ mothers dying from cancer
• Grief over trafficking, immigration, etc
• Frustration with the church
• Our planet drowning in plastic

That’s not even everything on the list! No it’s not drama. So don’t say it.  It’s real world. It’s life. And sometimes it presses too close.

I wonder what the Holy Spirit does in these moments.  Watching me, watching you, try to figure out things that we were never meant to figure out alone.

In one of my pace and stare cycles I said out loud, “Lord, why aren’t you answering me?”

“I already have,” the Spirit said.

“When?” I shot back. “I’ve been out here forever pouring my heart out to you. You haven’t said anything.”

“Crystal texted you earlier.”

I stopped mid-pace. I grabbed my phone and looked at my text from my friend Crystal. She sent me a song link and said, “this reminds me of when you heard this at jazz. [jazzercise]”  I had even responded fondly with: “This is one of my favorite pre-Jesus songs. He’s always calling us home.”

Can you believe that interchange happened a hour before my prayer meltdown?

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Confidence in Transitions

Sometimes known as the Squeeeeeze, we call transition lots of things. In limbo, out of rhythm, off your game. Then there’s my personal favorite, out of my comfort zone. We are so certain the deep unsettled feeling is a bad thing we conclude we must be doing something wrong.  But what if the deep unsettled feeling is a good thing? I had a moment in the ocean about transitions that might help us navigate the arduous and sometime unwanted process.

By it’s very nature, transition means movement. Moving from one place to another. In work, family, relationships, even faith every area requires forward motion. To be fair the only thing worse than transition is stagnancy. Standing water, or stagnant, is foul and infested. We desperately need movement to keep us fresh. The Lord used waves to stir up my standing waters.

I go out into the ocean about ankle deep. Feeling pretty confident I step a little deeper because I have a sense of control. But pretty soon I feel the familiar pull on the sand as the water retracts. If  you are beach savvy at all, we both know there is a battering line you must cross, the line where the waves break before crashing onto shore.  If I try to stand or swim  near that line, I will be beaten to death. But if I jump over  the wave, or better dive under it as it is crashing over, I can “pass through” the line and the water calms a bit. By the way, it’s also deeper beyond the break.

(That’ll preach all by itself. Keep going. Don’t let the pressure of the coming waves paralyze you. Jump higher or dive under and you can pass through to deeper waters.)

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