by-grace-of-god:

Sign Language Interpreter at Planned Parenthood Shares Heartbreaking Story of Having to Interpret Abortion
I was eighteen when I took a job as a sign language interpreter at Planned Parenthood. I was raised Roman Catholic, but I was Catholic in the same way that Olive Garden is an authentic Italian restaurant: just because you throw some fancy words on the menu doesn’t make it genuine.
For me, abortion was not a choice that I would make personally, but the way I saw it, who was I to judge another woman for having one? I didn’t know her life. I didn’t know her circumstances, and I had prided myself my whole life on not judging people without knowing their full story.
A deaf friend referred me to the job opening at a Boston clinic, and it paid well. I averaged about $100 an hour for my services! That’s all it was to me, a job to make money for my upcoming college tuition. I didn’t work often, maybe one or two days a week, and traveled around to the Boston-area clinics when needed. For the most part, I interpreted for women seeking counseling, getting prescriptions for birth control, or just getting general information about sexual health. It all seemed innocent enough.
Deep down, however, I must have known I was doing something wrong. I told people I worked for a “family services counseling center.” I figured that wasn’t completely a lie. The trouble was, most people took that to mean that I was going into the world and doing good: interpreting for families living in poverty, or families who were trying to keep themselves together. Despite the fact that Planned Parenthood offered all kinds of services, in the back of my mind I knew that at the root of it they really were just an abortion clinic.
The worst day of my life—and an anniversary I never forget when it comes every year—is Thursday, November 1, 2012. I was called in to interpret for a “medical procedure.” I arrived early, and chatted with the receptionist as I did every day. I grabbed a cup of coffee and waited for the client to arrive. While I waited, I went over her file. I’ll call her Kate. She was twenty-three and had been deaf since birth. Kate estimated that she was about eighteen weeks pregnant.
At 10:30 sharp, we entered the operating room. That’s when my stomach started to turn. Previously, when I’d read “medical procedure,” it had been for ultrasounds. But this was different – we were in an OR. The lights were too bright for the size of the room. There were cold-looking metal objects on a table. I was in an abortion.
I tried to remain calm. I interpreted back and forth, but when the murder began, I lost it. As I watched the doctor pull this life out, limb by limb, I couldn’t help but let the tears start to fall. What I had thought would be just lumps of blood clots were body parts. Arms, a torso, legs, and a head. I felt as if I was suffocating. As soon as it was over, I ran from the room. I collapsed in the hallway and sobbed uncontrollably. To this day, I haven’t cried like that since. A security guard rushed me into his office. I realize now that it was probably not to console me, but because I was scaring the patients.
I quit my job that afternoon. I went into the manager’s office and signed my papers. Abortion was not a strong enough word for what I had witnessed. Murder wasn’t even good enough a word. To me, murder implied that the person might have been capable of fighting back. No, this was a slaughter.
I don’t think I will ever fully recover from what I saw that day. A human life, a BABY, had been ripped from its mother’s body, piece by piece. It is the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I think of before I go to bed. I still have nightmares about it sometimes. Whenever I see a child around two, I imagine that that is how old the aborted baby would be now. I can’t help but wonder who that baby would have become. Maybe she would have been an artist. Maybe he would have dreamed of being a firefighter. Maybe she would have gone on to become a doctor who saved lives; maybe he would have become a teacher.
With counseling, I have come to accept that God forgives me for the act that I was a part of, but I am still working on forgiving myself. The only thing that consoles me on the nights that it keeps me up is knowing that that baby is now in Heaven, enjoying Eternal Life. After what this world put it through, I think that’s a good place to be.

by-grace-of-god:

Sign Language Interpreter at Planned Parenthood Shares Heartbreaking Story of Having to Interpret Abortion

I was eighteen when I took a job as a sign language interpreter at Planned Parenthood. I was raised Roman Catholic, but I was Catholic in the same way that Olive Garden is an authentic Italian restaurant: just because you throw some fancy words on the menu doesn’t make it genuine.

For me, abortion was not a choice that I would make personally, but the way I saw it, who was I to judge another woman for having one? I didn’t know her life. I didn’t know her circumstances, and I had prided myself my whole life on not judging people without knowing their full story.

A deaf friend referred me to the job opening at a Boston clinic, and it paid well. I averaged about $100 an hour for my services! That’s all it was to me, a job to make money for my upcoming college tuition. I didn’t work often, maybe one or two days a week, and traveled around to the Boston-area clinics when needed. For the most part, I interpreted for women seeking counseling, getting prescriptions for birth control, or just getting general information about sexual health. It all seemed innocent enough.

Deep down, however, I must have known I was doing something wrong. I told people I worked for a “family services counseling center.” I figured that wasn’t completely a lie. The trouble was, most people took that to mean that I was going into the world and doing good: interpreting for families living in poverty, or families who were trying to keep themselves together. Despite the fact that Planned Parenthood offered all kinds of services, in the back of my mind I knew that at the root of it they really were just an abortion clinic.

The worst day of my life—and an anniversary I never forget when it comes every year—is Thursday, November 1, 2012. I was called in to interpret for a “medical procedure.” I arrived early, and chatted with the receptionist as I did every day. I grabbed a cup of coffee and waited for the client to arrive. While I waited, I went over her file. I’ll call her Kate. She was twenty-three and had been deaf since birth. Kate estimated that she was about eighteen weeks pregnant.

At 10:30 sharp, we entered the operating room. That’s when my stomach started to turn. Previously, when I’d read “medical procedure,” it had been for ultrasounds. But this was different – we were in an OR. The lights were too bright for the size of the room. There were cold-looking metal objects on a table. I was in an abortion.

I tried to remain calm. I interpreted back and forth, but when the murder began, I lost it. As I watched the doctor pull this life out, limb by limb, I couldn’t help but let the tears start to fall. What I had thought would be just lumps of blood clots were body parts. Arms, a torso, legs, and a head. I felt as if I was suffocating. As soon as it was over, I ran from the room. I collapsed in the hallway and sobbed uncontrollably. To this day, I haven’t cried like that since. A security guard rushed me into his office. I realize now that it was probably not to console me, but because I was scaring the patients.

I quit my job that afternoon. I went into the manager’s office and signed my papers. Abortion was not a strong enough word for what I had witnessed. Murder wasn’t even good enough a word. To me, murder implied that the person might have been capable of fighting back. No, this was a slaughter.

I don’t think I will ever fully recover from what I saw that day. A human life, a BABY, had been ripped from its mother’s body, piece by piece. It is the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I think of before I go to bed. I still have nightmares about it sometimes. Whenever I see a child around two, I imagine that that is how old the aborted baby would be now. I can’t help but wonder who that baby would have become. Maybe she would have been an artist. Maybe he would have dreamed of being a firefighter. Maybe she would have gone on to become a doctor who saved lives; maybe he would have become a teacher.

With counseling, I have come to accept that God forgives me for the act that I was a part of, but I am still working on forgiving myself. The only thing that consoles me on the nights that it keeps me up is knowing that that baby is now in Heaven, enjoying Eternal Life. After what this world put it through, I think that’s a good place to be.

(via the-ephemeral-poet-society)

"Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them."

— Jonah 2:8

Don’t crush your dreams by holding on too tight. Let them grow, change, and liberate you.

Hollow Actions.

We often understand and relate to the expression of hollow words. They are meaningless words that enter the air and float away; they have no weight to them. But how how much less do we acknowledge the existence of hollow actions?

You see, everyone has a purpose. We all have a choice to impact this world, but often we make ourselves busy with things that don’t matter. In the end, we feel like we wasted another day. We all understand what this emptiness feels like. So do something about it! Get up, make a plan, and make a difference. Let your actions be full of life instead of hollowness!

When people say your name, I hope it will carry weight. I hope your name will remind people of what you have done for them and what you are all about. I hope that stranger will remember the time when you helped her with her shopping. I hope your sibling will remember that you stayed up with them when they were crying. I hope all the people you have ever come across will remember the good that you did to them.

Just remember: Making someone’s life easier is not easy. If you want to make a difference, even if no one is watching, it will demand sacrifice. But when you know you are doing what is right, that’s when you will stop feeling empty inside. So get out of complacency! Make something of yourself for someone else.

With Love,

Samuel Assaf


"The Gospel is not just helpful when you die; it’s helpful until you die. Living from your identity beats living for it."

— Mark Driscoll

Repentance.

When we read our Bibles, we come across so many stories of Jesus. All of the time, they have to do with people. For the most part, it all ends the same way. People turn from their sin. Jesus would call people to repent, and they would. He would tell them “Go and sin no more.”

Today, we seem to embrace sin. Instead of showing people the right way to go, we have grown passive in our evangelism. We are quick to accept and embrace the life decisions that our peers are making. We don’t hold the line of truth and show the way of love. Instead, we tell them "Go and sin some more." 

Yes, we cannot force our beliefs down people’s throats, but we can give them the option to choose Christianity. Instead of shrinking back and avoiding the awkward friction and tension, we can take a risk and give the option of life. It is strange today to think that Jesus hung out at parties with sinners and embraced their sin. He never did. Everyone knew who Jesus was and what He was about. He made that very clear.

So my prayer for all of us is that we will make ourselves very clear. That we are going about our Father’s business. That we are embassador’s of Christ. That we are not perfect, but forgiven and repentant. 

God bless and much love,

Samuel Assaf

Why is homosexuality a sin?

Anonymous asked: Hey, I have a question. I don’t mean this in a disrespectful way at all. I’m just curious. Why is homosexuality a sin? I just don’t understand. God is love. And when somebody loves somebody else.. I don’t understand why it’s a sin. I am asking because I am lacking understanding. Thank you so much.


I Answered:

Thank you for your question and how respectful you are about it. It’s a touchy subject, and I’m happy to see that you’re sensitive about it just as I am. 

Before we start, I want to highlight three things: 

  1. There is more to a person than sexuality.
  2. When I refer to homosexuality, I am referring to the sexual act, not the person.
  3. There are more boundaries to marriage than just heterosexuality.

 

Having clarified that, here are a few of my thoughts: 

1. Homosexuality is not a sin because two people of the same sex love each other. In fact, there is nothing homosexual about that. Love is not just limited to romance, but it is brotherly, friendly, and fatherly. In this sense, God is love. God is not love in a romantic way, but in a much greater way. His love is not sexual, but spiritual. It is the deepest form of love. So when we say that “God is love”, it is not in a romantic way, but in a Fatherly way. 

2. Homosexuality, defined by the Bible, is a choice. The Bible does not say anywhere “If you ever feel any sort of attraction towards someone of the same sex, you are sinning.” When it comes to homosexuality, the Bible talks about our choices. Any one can choose to be sexual with someone of the same sex. That is the sin. It is when the temptation becomes a choice. It is when we take the desire, choose to dwell on it in our thoughts (lust), and then take action upon it (sexual action). Both of these are sin. Struggling with temptation is not a sin. The choice to sin is a sin.

3. Homosexuality is a sin but so is heterosexuality outside of marriage. I am a man who is heterosexual. This does not mean I get to undress women in my mind or practice any sexuality outside of marriage. Heterosexuality does not have any leverage over homosexuality outside of the context of marriage. Both are sin. One must abstain from any sexual relations until marriage, because that is how God designed sex. Whether those sexual relations are heterosexual or homosexual, they must not be done outside of marriage. The one who practices homosexuality sins, and the one who practices heterosexuality outside of marriage also sins.

4. Any sexual practice outside of a heterosexual marriage is a sin because it does not follow God’s blueprint for marriage. God made male and female for a purpose. He designed the husband and the wife to fulfil the needs of one another physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. When it comes to homosexuality, this practice is unable to fill those needs. That goes the same to any partner that is unfaithful in marriage. Whether it is homosexuality, pornography, adultery, pre-marital sex, and any other practice that exceeds the marital boundaries of sex, sexual sin defies the structure and design that God placed for marriage.

5. Homosexuality does not follow God’s blueprint for marriage because it denies the natural laws placed by God.  Those who practice homosexuality have to agree that it is not natural. It is clear that a male and female are intended for sexual relations and that a mother is designed for her children. It is also clear that every child needs a father. I must make this very clear: Homosexuality is not a sin because childbearing or natural sexual relations cannot take place (after all, if a woman is barren or the husband is somehow castrated, would that be a sin? Of course not!). There is just clearly seen in the natural laws God has placed a blueprint and design for marriage.

6. Homosexuality is not the only thing forbidden from marriage. Polygamy, beastiality, adultery, pornography, and anything else you can think of is also forbidden from marriage. God designed marriage to be between one man and one women to reflect His love to His church, and he has designed the male and the female to come together and fulfill the needs of one another. I know it may seem that homosexuality is the only thing that gets brought up, but rest assured that every sexuality is forbidden if it is outside of the context of marriage between one man and one woman.

7. Just because someone practices homosexuality, it doesn’t mean that they are lesser beings.  I truly believe that we all have our temptations and desires that we need to overcome. If anyone struggles with homosexuality, I do not believe they are any less than me or anyone else. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. They are equal to me in their value as human beings and should in no way be treated as anything less. Know that I love everyone who practices homosexuality, I just don’t love the practice of homosexuality. I do not believe anyone should be called a gay or a lesbian, because, as human beings, we are much more than our sexuality. There is so much more to us than a sexual preference, and I’d hate for that to be the only focus and topic of how one describes others or themselves. Our identity is far deeper than our desires and practices.

Here are a couple videos that you should watch:

Here is a video of Ravi Zacharias talking about Acceptance of Homosexuality (You must watch this. It’s not very long.)

Here is a video of Mark Driscoll talking about if homosexuality is a sin. (Please watch this too.)

Please know that I love you and I say all these things because it is the truth of God and I want all to know God. Jesus doesn’t hate sin because we enjoy it or find it fun. He hates sin because it hurts us and causes damage to the world He has made. He hates it so much that He died to cleanse us from all of our sin. He calls all to repent from any and every sin and to turn to Him for life and forgiveness.

I hope I have helped a little bit in this touchy area! If you have any questions or problems about anything I have said, feel free to send me a message. Thank you for the question! 


God bless and much love,

Samuel Assaf

Homosexuality II

Anonymous said: Seeing as you’re not homosexual, you have absolutely no right to say it’s a choice. You’re clearly an uneducated close minded Christian. And there’s no proof to say homosexuality isn’t genetic. Does other people’s sexual preferences have any effect on your life? No. It doesn’t. So don’t have opinions on things that don’t concern you. Let people live the way they want to live. You’re making yourself look so immature when you say that. And isn’t christianity largely based on love? Why should

one limit their love? And why would you follow a God who doesn’t allow people to love freely? That should be a sin. There should never be a limit to love. But if you think there should, then thats your deal. But don’t have such a strong opinion on things that have no effect on you. Live and let live. Why is it so hard to be accepting of another persons lifestyle? You lack respect, and you should concern yourself with that. Not who other people love.

 

I said:


I’m actually a very open-minded Christian. I have been around the board with my beliefs (New Age, Buddhism, etc.) , and I choose Christianity because I cannot deny that it is the truth. You can read my story if you like. It is the page titled “I Should Be Dead.” Perhaps you are the one that is uneducated and close minded, because you have stereotyped me. But that is up to you to decide. Let us not form prejudices about one another, yes?

 Returning to our discussion, you said that I have no right to conclude that the homosexual lifestyle is a choice because I am not a homosexual. If this is true, then you have no right to say that murder is wrong because you are not a murderer. You have absolutely no right to say that rape is wrong if you have not raped somebody. However, this is not true. You do not need to participate in something in order to have an educated opinion on it. Do you see my point?

Also to clarify, I believe that homosexual actions are wrong, which means any sort of sexual immorality concerning homosexuals. This includes lust, marriage, any sort of sexual conduct, etc. Obviously, I feel the same way about heterosexuals who engage in any sort of sexuality outside of marriage. I cannot help being attracted to girls. That doesn’t mean I must go participating with girls for a relationship or sexual conduct. I have a choice with whom I want to marry. In the same way, even if you cannot help being attracted to your own gender, it doesn’t mean you need to participate in homosexuality. You can also choose who you wish to pursue a relationship with. I know you understand this. I’m sure I just had to clear that up. My apologies for not being more clear!



Now on Christianity: You say that it is largely based on love (which is true), but love for what? You see, you can love anything. However, Christianity teaches to love Christ above all else:

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.Matthew 22:26-28 (ESV)


Having said that, I can now tell you why morality concerns me. It would not be very loving to let anyone do what is evil, without trying to show them a better path to go. I do not enjoy calling out homosexuality, and to be honest, I find it quite tiresome. But I love homosexuals, and I want to see them with Jesus in Heaven. So I choose to state my opinion because God has ordained marriage between a man and a woman in order to show His perfect image of love: Christ giving up His life for the church. For further information, please watch the video I have done on it:

http://amartyrschallenge.tumblr.com/post/21124953887/does-the-bible-accept-or-deny-homosexuality-and


Moving on, you also said that it should be a sin to follow a god who doesn’t allow people to love freely. Let me put it to you this way:  He created sex. He created marriage. He created people. He created everything. If you violate His laws, then you must be held accountable to Him for what you have done. He has outlawed murder, lying, stealing, cheating, adultery, rape, pride, gossip, homosexuality, and so on and so forth. Anyone who does these things can say “It should be a sin to follow a god who doesn’t allow people to choose freely.” Just because one wants to practice such things, doesn’t mean that God should allow it. Do you understand what I’m saying?

I don’t want you to get the wrong idea; I do defend homosexuality from others who wish to discriminate or bully that type of lifestyle, because bullying and discrimination is not okay. I love homosexuals. And because I love homosexuals, I want the best for them, and that is Jesus Christ and His salvation that is freely given to all. He died for you because He loves you. He wants to save you from the bad things that you have done. A good judge has to punish evil doers. Think of the person closest to you. Imagine if someone brutally murdered him or her and then stood before the judge and said. “But Judge, I have done so much good in my life!” and the judge let the criminal go. Would that make a good judge or a bad judge? A bad judge of course! So God has to punish us for the evil things we have done, because He is a perfect judge. Thankfully, He loved us so much that He found a way to still bring justice for sin by allowing His Son, Jesus Christ, to take our place by dying for us. It is just as if a judge was condemning you for a crime, and someone came in and payed your debt!

Please realize His great love for you. He only wants the best for you. He is calling for you. Please think about this.

Send me another message if you have any more questions about what I have said.

God bless and much love

Samuel Assaf

 

One foot in Hell? The rest will follow soon.