One of our favorite writers, Julie Love, had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time at the Cleveland Right to Life Convention this past week, and boy did she have fun! What follows is a collection of her thoughts from a few different guests who spoke at the convention – Gordon Douglas, Sol Pitchon, Carlton Smith and Gigi Graham.
Here’s the promo for the great Cleveland Event:
“The encroaching culture of death shall not prevail, for we know, as we read in St. John’s gospel, that ‘the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it.’ The darkness will never overcome that light. Never. Never.” Dr. Jack Willke, known as the father of the pro-life movement.
I was at a right to life convention this weekend. Man, if you want to meet some happy people, hang out with people who like people. Seriously, these are the nicest people I have ever met.
Instead of wanting to abort children and exterminate by the age of 75 (at the latest) anyone who happens to not be aborted, pro-lifers love all life. So, they actually like living, and it shows.
One of the speakers today was Sol Pitchon. Sol was born in Greece and is of Jewish descent. He moved to America in 1951 and became a Christian in 1981. He is the president and CEO of New Life Solutions.
Sol tells an amazing story of his mother, Garmaine’s, survival of the Holocaust. Garmaine, who was 16 at the time, was in the middle of being sterilized by Nazis in a concentration camp. One ovary had already been removed.
The Nazi butcher was called away on an emergency and couldn’t complete the “surgery.”
Get a tissue.
“An old Jewish doctor, who performed the sterilization surgery under the threat of death, had removed one of her ovaries and made the incision but did not remove the other ovary,” Sol, 63, says. “He said to her, ‘When you have children, think of me.'”
What a beautiful story of kindness and redemption even in the face of pure evil.
“Abraham Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should therefore be slaves. Likewise, we can not survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide…There is no cause more important for preserving freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.” Ronald Reagan
The thing about a right to life convention is that you meet a real cross-section of the population. Every Christian denomination is represented, every race. And, everyone is conservative. It is kinda nice to be able to speak freely about basically anything and everyone agrees. We all have the same world view, the same ideology about everything. It all comes down to this one issue – life.
On Friday, I met a man named Carlton Smith. Smith is a black pastor. We talked about his experiences, my family (my step father is black, my step brother is black and works for the DNC) and my neighborhood, which is a bi-racial community.
Smith explained to me that even though I may know lots of black people who disagree with abortion, who are against gay marriage, who are for the military, low taxes and love Walmart, they will still vote for Obama and the democrat party.
This is me – what the wha?!?!?
He said that being black trumped all of the other beliefs.
I asked, “How can that perception be changed?”
Smith said that his perspective changed when he became a Christian. Instead of being black first, he became a child of God, first and foremost.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 ESV
On Friday night at the right to life convention, Gigi Graham spoke. Gigi is the oldest child of Ruth and Billy Graham. Ruth Graham died in 2007, Billy is 96-years-old.
During her talk, which she called a “Graham family chat,” Gigi revealed that she is from an ordinary family with an extraordinary God.
Gigi’s maternal grandparents were missionaries in China. They went to China in 1916 and stayed for 25 years. Gigi’s name comes from the Chinese word for “first born sister.”
Gigi’s paternal grandparents were dairy farmers. They had a prayer group that met on their farm. During a meeting they prayed for a revival and that the lord would lift up a man to go and preach all over the world.
Little did they know that the answer to their prayer was their very own son, Billy. Sure enough a revival did come to town and Billy committed his life to Christ.
Billy attended Bob Jones Bible College. He felt it was time for him to leave and was told by the headmaster (I think) “If you leave my school, you will never amount to anything.”
Please remember that the next time that someone tells you that you are crap or no good or you will never get anywhere or do anything special. Billy Graham was told he would never amount to anything!
Although Gigi gave her life to Christ at the age of 4, she reminded us that being a Christian is being committed to a “process.” Although she tried to hard to be good, she was really bad at it.
My family recently left a non-Bible believing church to join a Bible-believing church. I was telling my friends that I leap out of bed every Sunday morning to get there. My friend leaned over to my eye-rolling children and quipped, “Do you leap out of bed on Sunday mornings?”
Gigi encouraged us to enjoy our religion – how can our children develop an appetite for Christian if we aren’t enjoying it? So, leap out of bed on Sunday mornings, ok?
Gigi has asked her father about how we are to react to people who believe things that are so different from what we believe.
Billy Graham said to Gigi, “Our job is to love, it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict and it is God’s job to judge.”
This is the true living faith of Christianity – no matter what you hear on MSNBC.
Gigi showed us a picture of her mother’s grave stone. It read, simply,
“End of construction, thank you for your patience.”
Gordon Douglas, a pastor and comedian, was the MC for the right to life convention.
He told a story of being asked for a donation at a convention, similar to the one that we were attending. He prayed about the donation and received this message in response, “Refrigerator!”
Baffled, he asked his wife about her thoughts on an appropriate donation. She said that she thought maybe they should donate the money that they had been saving for a refrigerator and what did he think about that.
Well, after she picked him up off the floor, they agreed that they would do just that. They donated the saved money, even though their refrigerator was on life support.
When they got home from the convention there was a message on the machine. Gordon pushed the button and heard the following message,
“Hey, Gordon, it’s your mom. Your aunt is moving and wondered if you might like a brand new…”
And, we all said, “refrigerator!!!!!”
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