Too Scared to Speak

In the past 6 months I have shared many articles on social media about pro-life and bioethical issues that are most controversial in our world, especially concerning those about abortion and birth control with the occasional post about homosexuality, gender identity, and so-called “same sex marriage.”

It never seems to fail that each time I post, one of my Christian friends privately messages me and thanks me for speaking up and not being afraid for saying what they wish they could say. At first it was random, but lately it’s been a more frequent occurrence. And the verbiage is usually similar – A common theme of fear.

“I’m not brave enough like you to say anything. ”

“It’s so great that you have so much courage to speak up on such controversial issues.”

“I can’t speak up like you do, I’m a wimp.”

Courageous? Brave? It’s strange that people use these words to describe a simple keystroke. I mean, really, how difficult is it to click the word “share?”  But what is even more strange is the “fear” that people have in their own hearts.

What are we afraid of? If we know this is truth, what is there to fear?

I suppose the biggest fear is fear of losing an argument. Fear of losing friendships maybe. Fear of looking foolish. Fear of what others think of us.

But something I think we need to be more fearful of is Ignorance. If we don’t stay informed of these pressing issues, then this allows misinformation to spread. And let’s keep in mind one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to “Instruct the Ignorant.” So that means, in this Jubilee Year of Mercy issued by Pope Francis, that we not only have a duty to seek the truth ourselves, it means we need to share the truth. (The “ignorant” isn’t meant to be an insulting term here; it simply means the “uninformed.”)

For example, the controversial undercover Planned Parenthood videos:

I have met with and conversed with a few people who have never even seen a minute of any of the undercover video footage from the Center of Medical Progress and journalist David Daleiden. Not surprising when you read that none of the major media outlets gave it more than 39 seconds of coverage.

But just today, a grand jury in Houston has found Planned Parenthood not guilty of any wrongdoing and decided to bring charges up against Daleiden himself. Oh and one of the DA’s is on the board of Planned Parenthood. Sigh…

To those of us in the pro-life movement, this would seem like a huge step backwards, especially considering the March for Life in D.C. and the Walk for Life in San Francisco were so successful.

But see, I think of this as a misstep by Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. I think, rather, I pray, that this will be their undoing. How?

Because now they will be forced to take the stand. Of course, nothing is going to stop liars from lying, even under oath. But I predict one of these doctors will have a major conversion.

If “Jane Roe” could have a conversion, would it not also be possible that one of these abortion doctors could have one as well?

Today in the Catholic Church we recognize the Conversion of St. Paul. St. Paul had the biggest conversion ever. Like, if there was an award for conversions, this dude would receive the award, hands down. The  guy was pretty awful when he was Saul, persecuting followers of Jesus left and right.

Reading about him was one of the catalysts for me when I myself “came back” to the Church after a short departure.

Reflecting on him tonight I can’t help but think, “Wouldn’t it be great if one of these PP docs or workers had a conversion? Wouldn’t it be awesome if they decided to find a way to give life instead of taking it away?”

Do you know what’s stopping them?

Probably the same thing that stops you from sharing or speaking up on controversial topics like abortion: Fear.

They probably have no idea how to leave the industry. Think about it – What would they do if they left? How would they make a living? What would their co-workers think?

Enter the awesome website run by Abby Johnson called And Then There Were None. She seeks to help former abortion workers (yes, even doctors themselves) to leave the industry for good. To date, they have helped approximately 200 workers out of this darkness and on to the path to healing and recovery.

She helps them speak up when they are too afraid.

So let’s set the example and show people we aren’t afraid of a little debate, of a little controversy, of a little action.

We have truth on our side.

  • Looking for ways to help the unborn from the inside out? Consider writing a “Love Letter” to abortion clinic workers in your city/state. Before someone can be converted, they need to know they’ll have support when/if they leave. This means we don’t shout obscenities and awful things to them when we stand outside abortion clinics. This means we love them and pray for them. We hate what they do for a living. But we always love them because they are humans and worthy of respect and dignity.
  • If you’re looking for simple ways you can help the unborn and promote the pro-life message, here’s a short article from Word on Fire.
  • For other helpful websites that speak the truth when it comes to bioethics and the Catholic Church teachings, especially the unborn and human dignity, I recommend the following:

National Catholic Bioethics Center

Life Site News

Live Action

LifeTeen

EWTN

 

 

 

Be Not Afraid

Joshua 1:9

This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Today’s message is so simple, it really doesn’t need much commentary. How much more clear can you get? The Lord asks us to be strong and courageous. We have no need to be afraid of anything because HE is with us. Of course, you have to believe that He is with you. That might be the most difficult part to accept. We are so used to doing things on our own, we don’t like to rely on others. But God wants us to count on Him. He wants us to ask Him for help. How encouraging it is to read these words – The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Fit In Your Faith Today: What are you afraid of this week? What discourages you or causes you to doubt yourself? If you remember that the Lord is with you wherever you go, whatever situation you are in, it can help give you the courage to keep going. Don’t be afraid of taking the wrong action, be afraid of taking NO action. The hard part is listening to what God wants us to do. So be strong, be courageous in all that you do today and the rest of this week!

Be Determined and Confident

Joshua 1: 9

Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.

The words that were spoken to Joshua by the Lord in this passage were to encourage him to be confident that he could lead the Israelites to the promised land. Moses had just died and the people were still mourning his passing. Joshua was their newly appointed leader and this was the Lord’s “pep speech” to him.

We can take these words and make them our own. When we are being guided by the Lord to do something that maybe we feel we aren’t equipped to handle or maybe we feel we aren’t worthy, this passage can serve as our own pep speech. When we are lacking confidence in anything in life, so many words in the Bible can help us.

Put yourself in Joshua’s shoes. He probably felt a lot of pressure to live up to Moses’ reputation. He may have felt unworthy to take on this new role. But the Lord assured him that he would have his back. What a great encouragement to him this must have been and what a great confidence booster for us as well.

Fit in your Faith Today: Read the rest of the passage in the book of Joshua for even more uplifting words and pretend that God is speaking to you directly. Life is not easy, the road is always rough, but with God on our side, we can be strong and confident that we will be successful.

 

 

Unchartered Territory

“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” By: Edward Stanley

This quote popped up on an app I have just moments after speaking to someone who insisted that he did not have any time to devote to exercise. This person works very long hours and claims he does not have any time left in the day do get on his treadmill at home for even a quick 20 minute walk.

After hearing his complaints and then seeing this quote I thought, “There HAS to be a way to help this person.”   Because it’s so true isn’t it?  If we don’t take care of our bodies and MOVE a little more everyday during our sedentary life, (I’m standing as I type this because I refuse to sit during my desk job all day) we WILL be plagued with illness.

I’ve heard it so many times from many people that they wish they would have started getting on the path to health ages ago or “right after I had kids” or “before I turned 40” and now it’s so much harder for them to create that habit.  And maybe now they do have diabetes or an injury or something that prevents them from really working out to their full potential.

It’s one of the most frustrating parts of being a Personal Trainer; I want to help as many people as I can and even if financially, there is no problem, it’s still the BEHAVIOR that has to be implemented.  And THAT is probably the hardest part.

Dr. John Berardi from Precision Nutrition posted his blog today about this subject with regards to coaches/personal trainers.  I found one of his quotes very interesting:

“Yet “dieting” or embarking on a new fitness plan in the 21st century means purposely enduring discomfort, restricting activities and foods that soothe us (or give us a “high”), and/or adding more demands or stimulation to an already busy schedule.

If you think about it, why would any client ever eat less and go to a gym with bright lights, loud music, and unfamiliar equipment, in order to expend excess energy?”

Wow.  I mean, he’s right!  As a coach/trainer I’m telling the average person with a 9-5 job:  “I want you to get up in the morning and come to a place you aren’t too familiar with yet and wear clothes that you can sweat in so I can watch you exercise and  instruct you on what to do and then I want you to go home and make yourself a meal that’s healthy, oh and if you go to work and there are donuts at the office avoid those at all costs,…etc”

It shouldn’t be a surprise that many folks are afraid of exercising and dieting.  They have that fear of the unknown.  They’ve never done this before and asking them to completely change their daily routine is extremely unnerving.

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I began on this figure journey in a similar way; I’ve never done anything like this before and it was uncomfortable and I was fearful.  I continue to be fearful of what is to come!  But it’s more of an exciting, anxiousness than actual fear.  Because I gave myself such a long-term goal, there really isn’t any pressure on me.  And there shouldn’t be pressure on anyone with a desire for change.  You put that pressure on yourself but you have the ability to make it easy or hard on yourself everyday.  I think once people realize THEY are in control and the coach or personal trainer you hire is just a GUIDE, you can get much better results.  You have the guidance, you have the tools, now it’s up to you to use them.

So my challenge of the day/week/month/year for anyone out there is to not let fear stand in your way of your fitness goals – This is more than just saying “If you want something bad enough, just do it.”    That’s all well and good but I think it’s much deeper than that.  If you have always wanted to do something that challenges your body and your mind, you should do research first and figure out the best approach.  And if you’re looking for the quick fix, then unfortunately you will fail because it doesn’t exist.  And you will be back to where you started.  So make up your mind today if you’re doing to lose weight and get fit the RIGHT way or the STUPID way.

Here’s a hint:  If you’re finding things to be difficult challenging and frustrating slow-going and telling yourself  “I thought this would be easy!” “This is hard, I don’t know if I can do this!”  then you probably chose the RIGHT way. 🙂

-Michelle