The culture of life and how we define it, our morals, our values, our decisions around what is right and wrong, is being attacked consistently and ruthlessly. The victims aren’t even aware they are victims and they become younger by the day.
Shows and movies on streaming services are more bold than prime time TV and theater movies. They push the envelope with violence, sex, and moral values. This push translates in product placement as well. Over the years we’ve grown used to and, likely, unaffected by the brand names we see in on-screen images. From soft drinks and athletic brands, to department stores and fashion, America’s corporate giants flood our TV and movie watching with their brands and they pay to make that happen. Just like with any other ad placement, business is given the opportunity to pay to have their brand seen and heard in front of millions.
Planned Parenthood has joined the circle of corporate giants who is paying to be seen by larger audiences. Abortion is becoming an act that is commonplace in storylines featuring young women – teenagers – who wish to hide pregnancy from their parents or simply “deal with this and move forward empowered.” Planned Parenthood is capitalizing on this trend and making sure they are the go-to, household name brand that is chosen by teens and young women across the country.
We’re no longer being lured to choose one brand of running shoes over another. We’re subliminally sold on choosing Planned Parenthood as our abortion provider of choice over the local abortion clinic. We can no longer simply shake our heads at these bold actions and bold messages.
Our ministry is focused on saving two lives. The life of the unborn child and the eternal life of the woman facing the most desperate time of her life. We would be ecstatic of we could place the ICU Mobile name on the biggest screens with the biggest celebrity names all over the country to widen the impact of our multi-faceted life-saving efforts. And yet, that’s not where we want to be. We want to be on the streets, in the neighborhoods, in the most accessible places where every woman facing an unplanned pregnancy can find us. We want to see her face-to-face and offer a kind smile, gently hold her hands while we pray with her, and see the light in her eyes when she experiences the indescribable gift of Christ and a choice for life for both her and her baby.
To us, product placement means an ICU Mobile unit in every community. To women everywhere, we want every mobile unit to be a clear and bold message of hope.
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:3
If you’d like to help us bring more hope into every community, please click here to donate.
Published on Friday, May 8, 2020 @ 11:51 AM EDT
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
One of the greatest gifts the world has ever known was the birth of Jesus Christ. His love covers all of our insecurities, our mistakes, our misdirection’s and guides us to beautiful rivers of acceptance and forgiveness. He willingly came into our brokenness and offered the sweet salve of peace and salvation through relationship with Him. He came to us. He knew we were in need and had a plan.
ICU Mobile has a plan. A plan for women who have questions about their pregnancies, women who need understanding and who need a friend. Acting as the hands and feet of Jesus on the wheels of their mercy medical units, they also come to our world; our places where we are in need. Working with a local pregnancy center in the area, ICU Mobile finds its way to us; they heed the call. They meet us where we are in our personal journeys without any judgment, no awkward silences or disappointing glances. Only love.
I was once like so many of the women that ICU Mobile serves. Although I didn’t have a surprise pregnancy, I did have a very unplanned parenting path that included me being marginalized overnight and an ex-husband in jail. I was so young and afraid. I was embarking on a life journey that I had no way to navigate. No compass to show me the direction to go. I felt like the world was coming at me like a tsunami, and I didn’t have any life jackets for us. I didn’t have a job, or any college education. I was looking at a life that seemed to be filled with uphill battles, struggles with my children’s father, and not being able to pay the bills. When I thought of my future, I was depressed and overwhelmed. I knew that there were services out there for women like me, but I had no idea how to find them. Honestly, I didn’t have any time to try to find them. I was so busy doing life and trying to make sure the pantry was stocked with mac and cheese and peanut butter. At night, I was so physically drained and emotionally depleted I could barely keep my eyes open. I didn’t think I would be able to handle this situation. How can I raise my children if I can’t even take care of myself?
It’s places like ICU Mobile that come and fill in the gaps. When you walk into a mobile unit, you won’t find a cold and impersonal atmosphere. You’ll find warmth of community and feel the support of relationship in a state-of-the-art capacity with certified physicians and nurses. ICU Mobile staff treats all clients with respect and dignity in their sensitive life circumstances. They understand and they are available to discuss your pregnancy questions (and provide ultrasounds), but also so many other topics that may be going through your mind. They have real answers. And, it’s not the type of answers that lead to more questions. It’s the type of answers that lead to solutions and creating a life plan that we can follow toward overcoming whatever may come our way. ICU Mobile can connect you to the organizations within your community that can support your needs from basic (like food and shelter) to more complex needs like long-term financial support and job placement. They are our advocates; they fight for us. We all need someone in our corner. I know, I did.
The name itself says it all: ICU Mobile literally means I SEE YOU. To be seen and accepted as we truly are is a beautiful thing. It tears down cultural, socioeconomic, and ethnicity walls. You are uniquely you. If you are uncertain about what to do with your pregnancy, and you want to be more than a number, more than just a face in a crowd, come be seen by ICU Mobile.
“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” –A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Shannon is the author of The Bounce-Back Woman, Ignite, and Single Moms 101. Along with being an author and speaker, Shannon is a featured contributor of Keep the Faith radio. She also writes for Lifeway's HomeLife magazine and other various publications including as Crosswalk and iBelieve.com.
Published on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 @ 6:04 PM EDT
For a Time Such as This
A new season is upon all of us and it’s foreign in every way. Our office is at home, we have become teachers to our children, our meetings are 100% done by video conferencing, we are with our spouses 24/7, perhaps income has been cut in half, confusion abounds over whether we should actually make a trip to the grocery store or order them to be delivered.
The phrase “normal routines” went out the window weeks ago. Whatever stressors we had before COVID-19 are now amplified and multiplied as we shelter in place, practice social distancing, and wash our hands more than ever in the history of our lives.
Whether you feel the stress or not, it’s likely there. Some of us wear our hearts on our sleeves and it doesn’t take much for us and others to see the anxiety. Others of us internalize our anxiety and stress responses, allowing them to build up without knowing it. We feel fine, but we’re not. This is a time to reflect on the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Each of us needs to engage in stress relief measures on a daily basis. Make it part of your routine. If you don’t have a routine, implement one. That’s the first step to less stress. If you’re teaching your children, extend them and yourself a little extra grace during this time. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be rigid. Relax, do the best you can, and recognize this too shall pass. The fruits of the Holy Spirit apply to every activity we do. With each item on your to-do list, consider which fruit of the Spirit can be applied.
If you can manage it, take a short walk each day. Start each day with a scripture that you can meditate on when things get stressful. End each day by journaling what went well and what you’d like to improve on for tomorrow. Try to eat as healthy as possible and let the sunlight into your home.
It’s imperative to give children the opportunity to share their thoughts about things, too. Their world has also turned upside down and they will need a way to manage stress. Outside time for them, times of rest and doing activities they enjoy will help immensely.
Rest and grace are paramount to this season we are in, as they are the two things that will re-set our responses to others and replenish our energy stores. Undoubtedly, there is wisdom in scripture that will help us in many ways. These one-word “fruits” plant seeds within us that will strengthen us season after season.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Published on Sunday, April 19, 2020 @ 4:30 PM EDT