January 22, 2017 marked the forty-fourth anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision of the United States Supreme Court legalizing abortion. In 1984 President Regan proclaimed January 22nd to be National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. Ever since the original Supreme Court decision in 1973, abortion has been a topic of national debate with both sides bitterly divided over the issue. When I graduated from college in 1974 I had many mixed feelings about the issue. I understood how many women celebrated that decision, gaining a sense of personal empowerment and freedom. But my greatest confusion came from watching the evangelical church’s reaction to the decision. What I saw shocked me. The church reacted by pointing fingers and condemning people, the court, politicians, doctors who performed abortion and any person who would consider an abortion. Rather than committing to love, serve and assist people facing difficult these difficult “life and death decisions”, the church often chose to vilify and judge people. That runs contrary to the gospel of Jesus. Jesus came proclaiming grace and truth. He did not come to condemn the world, but to save the world. He did not come pointing fingers; he interacted with all who came to him seeking to show love and grace, hoping those he interacted with would find life and healing and embrace God’s truth.

Fortunately the church has begun to change and embrace a ministry of care and compassion for women and couples struggling how to respond to the challenges of an unexpected pregnancy. And that is a decision to embrace life in all its fullness. Psalm 139 tells us that each person is “fearfully and wonderfully made” in the image of God and that God knows all about us long before we are ever born. Every life is precious in God’s sight. And when the church chooses to love and show compassion to those struggling with how to respond to an unplanned pregnancy, the church is choosing to value life in its mission and ministry.

I hope that you will listen to the testimony of my wife, Sue Ellen, about the blessings of choosing life and the power of prayer to change a person’s life and be blessed by what God did in her life and what God can do in anyone’s life, if they will only give God a chance.

Chuck Oblom, Pastor, Journey Church on the Common

18 thoughts on “The Blessing of Life & the Power of Prayer

  1. You have been truly blessed with a wonderful wife and journey companion and Sueellen has been blessed by a trusting and Godly man. Love you both and celebrate God’s amazing grace and hand upon your and your families lives. Debbie Eason

  2. Wow! You ever know how ur life journey can encourage others. Thank u SueEllen for ur encouragement to others in that same journey. Thank you for being a witness to all of us in sharing Gods testimony in ur life

    Love Julie

  3. What a wonderful testimony Sue Ellen! We love you so much and are so excited for you and Shawn and for the restoration that God has brought to both of you. <3

      1. No it is not really amazing; it’s the impact of sustained consistent prayer and a gracious God who delights in those who take Him seriously.

    1. Roy,
      It is truly an amazing story and it’s more amazing day by day. We went from 2 grandchildren to 8 overnite. Sue Ellen’s daughter is flying out from California to visit in two weeks. Chuck

  4. Dear Sue Ellen,
    I am a friend of your daughter, Shawn, and heard her speak at our church yesterday of God’s hand over her life (and your 46+ years of prayer over her) and now, of your miraculous reuniting. There was not a dry eye in the room and there was a standing ovation of praise to God for all His grace, mercy and faithfulness in your lives, and all we can see God doing in ours once again because of hearing your story. Now, to hear your spoken story here as her mama is another confirmation of God’s knitting our lives and our journey together on this earth, ultimately for His praise and glory.
    You sound like a very special woman indeed and I also thank you for your decision to protect Shawn’s life, though it meant great loss for you. I want you to know, your daughter, Shawn, is a gem of a woman, a warrior for God, and she has impacted my life greatly and spoken into our son, Nathaniel’s, life as he’s grown up. Working with our youth at church, she and Houn have been a beacon of love and encouragement and a safe place for him and to us as parents. We are ever grateful!!
    So, bless you in this wonderful new season, the biggest embrace from God!!! We celebrate with you and Shawn and your whole family and look forward to hearing more about your “in-person” reconnection! How beautiful!! Praising God with you!!??❤?? Thank you again for sharing Shawn with us and our whole church family that loves her so!
    ~Jennifer Sweeney

    1. I have read her testimony to your church and the two are so complementary that it is truly a God thing. Thank you for sharing. Her husband.

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